Bigotes de Azúcar (Sugared Mustaches)

Recipe by Fany Gerson

Pan Dulce logo

The name for this buttery, sugar-coated Mexican pan dulce comes from the Spanish word for mustache (shape them right and each will be a very respectable stache). While they’re similar to croissants visually, the dough is closer to Danish dough — bigotes still have layers, but they’re softer and less flaky than their French counterparts (and, bonus, they aren’t laminated!). While this recipe requires an overnight rest, it’s well worth the wait.

This recipe is part of our feature celebrating Pan Dulce. Find more recipes here.


40 mins
20 to 25 mins
19 hrs 20 mins
eight 4" pastries
Bigotes de Azúcar (Sugared Mustaches) - select to zoom
Bigotes de Azúcar (Sugared Mustaches) - select to zoom
Bigotes de Azúcar (Sugared Mustaches)
Bigotes de Azúcar (Sugared Mustaches) - select to zoom


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is about the size of peas and the mixture resembles coarse meal, 3 to 4 minutes. 

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, and milk.  

  3. Add the egg mixture to the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix on low until the liquid is nearly all incorporated, about 30 seconds. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and finish working the dough by hand, sprinkling more flour as necessary, until you have a homogenous dough that's soft and slightly sticky but still manageable; you might still see pieces of butter, which is OK. Form the dough into a 1"-thick rectangle, wrap well, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. 

  4. On a lightly floured work surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out the dough to a rectangle roughly 8" x 15" in size and about 1/8" thick, with the short side facing you. Fold the dough like a business letter, bringing the bottom third of the dough up and the top third of the dough down and over the top; this is called a letter fold. This is your first turn.  

  5. Rotate the dough 90° (a quarter turn), then repeat the rolling and folding process. As you work, dust the work surface, your hands, and the rolling pin with flour as necessary to prevent sticking. If the dough starts to soften at any point, refrigerate it briefly and then continue.  

  6. Wrap the dough and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. 

  7. Repeat the rolling and folding process one more time (for a total of 3 turns), then wrap the dough well and refrigerate it overnight, or at least 8 hours. 

  8. To shape the bigotes: Line a baking sheeet with a nonstick baking mat or lightly spray with nonstick spray, then line with parchment. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle that’s slightly larger than 12" x 9" and about 1/4" thick, with the long side facing you. Trim the edges with a pizza cutter or sharp chef’s knife. Cut the dough crosswise into 4 rectangles that are about 3" x 9" in size. Cut each rectangle diagonally, from top left corner to bottom right corner, to make 8 triangles. 

  9. Working with one triangular piece of dough at a time, roll it with a pin or stretch it with your hands to lengthen it to 11". Make a 1/2" cut at the center of the wide end, then roll up the dough towards the point, not too tightly. Use your hands to gently stretch and curve the ends to resemble a mustache. Place it on the baking sheet with the point side down so that it won’t unfurl during baking. Shape the rest of the bigotes. 

  10. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap or a reusable cover (like a large, overturned baking dish) and let the bigotes rise in a warm place until they are puffy and nearly doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  

  11. Towards the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the center.  

  12. Bake the bigotes for 5 minutes at 400°F, then reduce the oven to 350°F and continue to bake for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through, until golden brown on the bottom. The bigotes should feel light, but they won’t be shiny like croissants since there’s no egg wash.  

  13. To coat the bigotes: Put the sugar in a shallow bowl. Working with one bigote at a time, brush generously with melted butter, then toss gently in the bowl to thoroughly coat in sugar before serving. Repeat with remaining bigotes.

  14. Storage information: Bigotes are best fresh. Store airtight at room temperature for 1 day. 

Tips from our Bakers

  • To add another element of flavor to your bigotes, flavor your coating sugar. To the 1 cup (198g) granulated sugar, add 1 teaspoon cinnamon; 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or your ground chile of choice); or 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Or pulse the sugar with the zest of 1 lime in a food processor until the zest is evenly distributed.  

  • To make gluten-free bigotes: Replace the bread flour with 1 1/2 cups (180g) King Arthur Gluten-Free Bread Flour. When you roll out the dough for the final shaping (step 8), your dough may threaten to tear or break. Simply press it back together. When you shape each bigote (step 9), roll the triangles to the intended length of 11" — the dough is not extensible enough to stretch in your hands.