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Team Sopapillas

Set Supervisor / VFX Supervisor

Aaron Estrada

Aaron Estrada is a VFX Supervisor and Sr. VFX artist with over 25 years experience. While his interest always centered on photography and computer graphics, his first break in the VFX industry was as a model builder at DreamQuest Images in the days when C.G. was just starting to replace miniatures and traditional techniques as the predominant technology in the industry. He has worked on 14 feature films as a sr. artists including Iron Man 3, Men in Black 3, G-Force and The Amazing Spiderman. His Television credits include Cosmos, The Librarians and Black Sails, where he served as a C.G. Supervisor. His former employers include Dreamworks Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Nickelodeon and Rhythm & Hues.




A sopaipilla, sopapilla, sopaipa, or cachanga is a kind of fried pastry and a type of quick bread served in several regions with Spanish heritage in the Americas. The word sopaipilla is the diminutive of sopaipa, a word that entered Spanish from the Mozarabic language of Al-Andalus.


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3/4 cup warm water, plus more as needed
Peanut oil, for frying
Honey or cinnamon sugar, for serving


Sift the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add the shortening and water, work them in with your hands to make a soft, pliable dough. Add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough feels too dry. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Put the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour so it will firm up a bit and be easier to roll and cut. (Dough can be prepared 1 day ahead, refrigerated.)

Unwrap the ball of dough and put on a lightly floured surface, cut in half. With a floured rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a circle, about 1/4-inch thickness. Using a paring knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into triangles as you would a pizza. You should end up with 6 or 8 triangles per circle.

Heat 2-inches of oil to 375 degrees F in a heavy skillet or deep pot over medium-high heat.

Fry a few of the sopapillas at a time, keeping an eye on maintaining the oil temperature. As the sopapillas puff up and rise to the surface, flip them over with a slotted spoon, skimmer, or chopsticks; about 2 minutes on each side. Carefully remove the sopapillas from the oil and drain on several layers of paper towels or a brown paper bag. Cool slightly. Serve hot with honey or cinnamon sugar.