Harborside Restaurant's banana cream cheese bunuelos

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 6
Harborside Restaurant’s banana cream cheese bunuelos
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Caramel sauce


In a deep, heavy saucepan, bring the sugar, water and lime juice to a boil and continue cooking until the sugar darkens to a light brown color.


In a separate saucepan, bring the cream and butter to a simmer. Remove from heat and keep in a warm place until the sugar is ready.


Very carefully whisk the cream and butter mixture into the sugar (the cream will steam and bubble as it is added). Continue whisking until the caramel sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and hold in a warm place. The sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until needed; rewarm before using. This makes about 1 1/2 cups sauce.

Cream cheese filling


Beat the cream cheese until softened, then add the sugar and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined. This makes about 3 cups filling. Chill until needed

Whipped cream


Beat the cream, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy no more than 30 minutes before using. Chill until needed.



Heat the tortillas to soften. In the center of each tortilla, scoop one-half cup filling and top with 2 banana pieces. Fold the tortilla sides in toward the edges of the banana, then roll the tortilla to wrap, pressing the filling to look like a roll. Seal the tortilla with the egg flour glue. Repeat to form 6 rolls.


Fill a pot with enough oil to deep-fry the rolls and heat to 350 degrees. Fry the buñuelos until golden brown, about 3 minutes (this will need to be done in batches). Remove and drain on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.


In a shallow baking dish, combine the sugar with the cinnamon. While the buñuelos are still hot, roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.


To serve, drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons caramel sauce over a plate. Cut the buñuelos on the bias and place on the plate, standing one half slightly over the other. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and garnish with whipped cream, a fresh strawberry, a little powdered sugar and drizzle over more caramel sauce. Repeat with the remaining buñuelos and serve immediately.

Adapted from Harborside Restaurant, 400 Main St., Newport Beach, (949) 673-4633.

Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.
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