Sonho (Brazilian Beignet)

Photo and Text by Cynthia Presser.

Sonho – which literally translates to Dream – is equivalent to a Brazilian beignet, except that Sonho is always shaped round and filled with something that is sweet and creamy. Sonho is very popular and it is available at every bakery in Brazil.

Sonho – pronounced “SON-yoo” – is crunchy on the outside, and fluffy in the inside. In this simple method, the dough is formed into golf-size balls that are deep fried until golden-brown to later receive a generous portion of sweet filling.

For this recipe, I chose dulce de leche, my absolute favorite, but the filling is totally up to you! Guava paste, Nutella, chocolate ganache, and coconut cream are some other popular options, and since it yields for about 35 to 40 units, it is perfect to be shared with friends!

This recipe turned out just like the Sonho I would get at the bakery down the street in my hometown. My craving is now gone, and I am happy that I was brave enough to take care of it!


  • 1 cup lukewarm milk

  • 3 ½ teaspoons instant active dried yeast

  • 4 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Zest of 1 lime

  • 4 cups flour

  • Cooking spray

  • Vegetable oil for frying

  • Dulce de leche, guave paste, or Nutella for filling

  • Confectioner’ sugar for dusting


  1. To a large mixing bowl, add the milk, dried yeast, and sugar. Mix well.

  2. In a small bowl, mix the eggs and egg yolks.

  3. Add the melted butter, salt, lime zest, and egg mixture to the large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring until incorporated.

  4. Place a dough hook attachment to an electric mixer. Transfer the bowl to mixer and turn on to medium speed. knead the dough until smooth; about 10 minutes. If needed, scrape sides of the bowl periodically so