Fried Cinnamon Sugar Tortillas & My Love of Fall

Fried Cinnamon Sugar Tortillas. When I want churros and there are none, I reach for these chips and I am satisfied |

I’m in love with Fall. I love its crunchy leaves underfoot and crisp evening breezes. I love its earthy autumn colors and promise of new beginnings. It makes me feel all warm and gooey inside, which is weird because I love the cool weather it brings. Sorry Summer. I know you’re the popular kid but I’m just not feeling you.

Fall has stolen my heart…and stomach with pie…glorious sweet potato pie. But there’s no pie. It’s not time yet. I still have about a month to go and I’m not good at waiting.

So, while I’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for Fall, I’ve soothed myself with these fried cinnamon sugar tortilla chips in the shape of Fall leaves. And when I write ‘soothed’ I mean power-snacked two handfuls but pretended it was only one. How could I not? Did you read the title? They’re fried cinnamon sugar tortilla chips!

And just in case you were wondering…fried tortillas + cinnamon sugar = double-win, y’all.

Fried Cinnamon Sugar Tortillas. When I want churros and there are none, I reach for these chips and I am satisfied |

At the dman’s request I prepared some daisy-like shapes, as well. They were harder to cut out and didn’t mesh with my ‘love of Fall’ vibe, but I did it anyway. Of course, they photographed beautifully.

Ugh, I hate it when the dman is right.

But maybe I was wrong. I’m not-too shabby at the waiting game. In fact, I should be given a ‘waiting’ award-all fans should. We just waited one year for the last eight episodes of Breaking Bad!

Now, then…I’ve got a big bowl of  fried chips and eight hours of Breaking Bad in my queue. Sounds like a perfect way to wait for the arrival of Fall.

Fried Cinnamon Sugar Tortillas Photo Notes

by David

I wish all photo shoots were this easy.  I captured both of these images with less than 10 shots and called it a day.


I’ve been getting sloppy, so this shoot was about good technique and good lighting.  A picture made with lousy technique may look decent on the web, but it looks like junk on a print…… and guess what? Real photographers print.


I locked the camera on the tripod and left it there.  I also turned on the mirror delay mode and used a remote shutter release.  When the composition looked off, I didn’t take the camera off the tripod and hope for a miracle.  Instead, I recomposed the items on the table until I got it right. This is pretty simple stuff, but even in a studio with strobes, sharp images require good technique.


I tried something different and now have my new favorite lighting setup.  For the main light, I bounced a strobe off the back wall of the studio.  This lighting is stupid simple and simulates a large window.  For the fill, I got on the David Hobby bandwagon and put a large 60″ soft-silver umbrella on-axis.  This created a very even fill across the scene and cut down on the contrast.  For the shot with the bowl, I also added a small white bounce card on the right side of the chips.  This setup may be a 99 cent store solution, but it creates beautiful results.  Here is a picture from behind the scenes:

fried cinnamon sugar tortillas lighting setup


Tech Notes

Camera: Nikon D90
Lens: Tamron 17-50mm 2.8
Strobes: White Lightning x1600
Tripod: Manfrotto
ISO: 200
Focal Length: 48mm
Shutter: 125
Aperture: f/10


Fried Cinnamon Sugar Tortillas Recipe

Recipe slightly adapted from Cheeky Kitchen

Fried Cinnamon Sugar Tortillas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8-10
  • 1 package of large tortillas (I used a package of 8)
  • ½ c sugar
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ T cinnamon
  • 2 c. vegetable oil for frying
  • Medium-sized cookie cutter
  1. Cut as many shapes as the tortilla’s will allow.
  2. Mix sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  3. Heat oil in pan set to medium heat.
  4. Once the oil is hot, fry the tortillas on both sides until the edges are browned. Be careful! They cook fast!
  5. Cool fried chips on a wire rack.
  6. Gently toss the fried chips in the sugar-mixture.
  7. Serve immediately.