Copycat Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists

Copycat Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists

Kristina Vanni

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 8 cups cinnamon twists

If you have ever ordered the cinnamon twists at Taco Bell, you probably wondered how they make these light and airy treats. They look like large puffs of rotini pasta, but they are actually made with a special ingredient called duros. Also known as "duros de harina" or "pasta para duros," these are a popular Latin American snack food that are often flavored with chili and lemon or cinnamon and sugar.

To make your own homemade version of the Taco Bell cinnamon twists, you'll need to purchase a bag of dried duros from a Latin American grocery store or online. Although it looks similar when dried, this ingredient is different from typical rotini pasta. Duros are made with wheat flour as well as cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. This helps them become puffed and airy when they are deep-fried. Do not attempt to make these cinnamon twists from regular noodles since pasta will simply sink to the bottom of the oil and burn.

The end result is a light and magical treat. It's hard to believe that the tiny pasta-like spirals could so quickly transform into these large puffed treats. While the Taco Bell cinnamon twists use the spiral variety of duros, they are also sold in 1-inch-square pieces and round wagon wheel shapes. It is fun to experiment with different shapes and sizes when cooking your own homemade version of this Latin American street food snack.

Ingredients

  • Vegetable, canola, or peanut oil, for frying

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 cups spiral-shaped dried duros

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Copycat Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Using a deep, heavy-bottomed pan or electric skillet, add enough oil to reach about 2 inches up the side. Heat oil to 350 F.

  3. While oil is heating, combine sugar and cinnamon in a brown paper bag. Set aside.

    Cinnamon and sugar in a brown paper bag

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Working in small batches, place several duros in hot oil to cook. The duros will sink to the bottom of the pan and nothing will happen for the first few seconds. Watch carefully because suddenly they will begin to puff up. If necessary, gently turn duros so they are puffed and cooked on all sides. The whole process will take about 30 seconds.

    Duros added to the oil

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. Once duros have puffed up and cooked, remove from oil using a slotted spoon or a spider.

    Draining duros over the oil using a spider

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  6. Transfer cooked duros to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off excess oil.

    Duros draining on paper towels

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  7. Once cool enough to handle, quickly transfer duros to paper bag filled with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Fold down top of bag and shake to coat.

    Duros in a paper bag with the cinnamon and sugar

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  8. Place coated duros on a plate to cool. Repeat frying and coating process in small batches with remaining duros.

    Copycat Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists on a plate

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Recipe Variations

  • Use a cup-for-cup sugar substitute for a sugar-free version.
  • Add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a little heat.