how to home made tortillas

I’m not even a little ashamed to admit I go to my favorite local Mexican food restaurant {Cafe Rio} just for the tortillas.  They’re insane.  But at a dollar a pop on top of an entree, my Mexican food expeditions are getting a little pricey.  So I decided to make my own homemade flour tortillas.

flour tortilla

Holy cow you guys, I can’t even begin to explain the yum.  Totally different taste than store bought tortillas, like you’re not even eating the same food.

Let me show you how I did it.

tortilla ingredients

Ingredients for Home Made Flour Tortillas

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 c warm water
mixing flour

Mix together all the dry ingredients.  Spend a little bit of time really mixing them together, no one likes coming across a chunk of salt unexpectedly.

vegetable oil

In a separate bowl {I just used the measuring cup, because I’m lazy expedient like that} add the oil into some hot water.  Hot.

Try mixing it together, just for the fun of it.


One teaspoonful at a time drop the oil/water mixture into the dry ingredients.


And keep on mixing.

tortilla dough

Add all the water + oil until you end up with dough.


Dump the dough onto a floured surface and start kneading.

It’s just like you’re making bread, seriously.

In fact from now on, just like my bread, I’m going to start doing this in my Kitchenaid mixer because I got tired of doing it by hand several days in a row.


Add more flour if you need it.  Knead it, need it.  Get it?

I’m hilarious!


Pull it apart into several little chunks.  This recipe makes about 9 tortillas, minus the pinches of dough my kids ate while I was cooking.


Round the dough into little balls.  It doesn’t matter if they’re not all the same size.

No two snowflakes tortillas are alike.

Cover with a wet kitchen towel and let sit for 20 minutes.  Knead out the balls of dough, roll them back, and repeat the wet towel process only for 10 minutes this time.


Now you’re ready to start making tortillas.


This is the tricky part.  My arms were actually sore the next day from all the rolling I did.  We don’t need to talk about the fact that I’m out of shape, it’s just that tortillas take a little bit of back labor.

Pound the dough flat, make sure it’s in a circle, and start rolling it flat.


You want it to get as flat as humanly possible.  Cooking will “thicken” it up, if you will, so get it super thin.

homemade tortillas

I used my cast iron pan to cook the tortillas, use whatever makes you happy.  Spray with a cooking spray or coat the pan with butter, depending on your caloric needs for the day.

When the tortilla starts to bubble, flip it over.  Cook until just brown in the middle, and you’re done.

flour tortilla

You just made home made tortillas.

Try spreading on a little butter while they’re still warm.  Holy, holy. Holy.

We made these three times in one week because they were so good.  They’re really not hard at all, and there’s hardly anything in them!

Go forth and make tortillas.

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Tami Warner :

    Oh my yumminess! I’m going to have to try these. They will go perfectly with my recipe for Cafe Rio pork salad! Ole!

    • Allison :

      Mama, you need to make them!

  2. Kim :

    Ah, homemade tortillas. Is there anything more satisfying? When I lived in Texas, one of my coworkers taught me how to make tortillas the way her Mexican grandmother did and goodness.gracious. me. I can’t seem to stop making them.

    But your recipe looks a lot healthier than mine (which includes FIVE, count ’em, tablespoons of straight-up lard). Girrrlfriennnd!

    • Allison :

      No way Jose. I don’t even have Crisco in my house. Won’t do it.

      These are amazing.

      • Lindsey Johnson :

        LOL I came over to tell you that I used to use lard in my homemade tortillas. Holy moly are they good with lard. But then I vowed to never use it again. I’m going to make you homemade corn tortillas sometime. I made some last night and they are the best.

      • Allison :

        Lindsey! Ha!

        I’m sure yours melt in the mouth. Can’t wait to try some.

    • Allison :

      Seriously, ridiculous. Yum.

  3. Mela Kamin :

    Oh – one of my high school friend’s Mom made these all the time & they are so good. I’m trying these today! Thx

    • Allison :

      Go you! Let me know how they turn out.

  4. Andy :

    #1- I bought a tortilla press. Which I never used. Booo.

    #2- Have you tried the uncooked tortillas you can buy in bulk at Costco? I die. Lug two packages back every time we visit. We can’t get them at our east coast Costco. Double boo.

    • Allison :

      The only problem with those is that I eat them by the POUND.

      Honestly, these taste better too.

  5. Alison@howdoesshe :

    Gheez these look awesome! Seriously going to forward this on to my husband…he’s the cook in this house:)
    Your pictures rock BTW!

    • Allison :

      Ha! That’s fantastic.

      Thank you.

  6. Emily :

    Yum! I’ll have to try these sometime. We love Cafe Rio’s tortillas!

    • Allison :

      Me too!

  7. Nancy J :

    Those look heavenly, I’m going to definitely give them a try. Do you ever buy the uncooked ones at Costo and Sam’s? We LOVE those, my kids live on them.

    • Allison :

      I do, and I eat the entire package in one sitting. Terrible stuff.

  8. Jane Maynard :

    look at you gettin’ all gourmet and stuff. wanna take over my blog for a few weeks? ;)

    • Allison :

      Um, totally. As long as I can get in Martha.

  9. Alicia :

    Okay, I’ve tried probably 4 or 5 different recipes for homemade tortillas and screwed them all up. I’m going to give this one a try sometime soon, so send good luck cooking vibes my way! LOL. Love me some Cafe Rio (well, until I got pregnant – its not exactly on my top 10 right now).

    PS Joann Caldwell sent me… she’s my grandma.

    • Allison :

      This one is so easy, I really don’t think you can screw it up, too few ingredients!

  10. r8chel :

    I recently tried to make homemade pasta without a machine to roll it out. My abs were sore for the next couple days, and it wasn’t until AFTER the soreness went away that I finally realized why! Who knew that a rolling pin was actually equipment for toning? :)

    • Allison :

      I did that as a teenager and I think I need to try it again, it’s so delicious!

      Isn’t it funny how much physical labor it takes? Crazy.

  11. Ludicrous Mama :

    Totally unrelated to this post, but I just found you through Make and Take’s gardening post. And then I saw your home-made Biore strips post. But comments are closed. Well. First I wanted to thank you. I’ve hated using up a whole box of strips on just 2 or 3 facials, since I use them on my nose, chin and forehead. And TOTALLY still need them on my cheeks! But for years I’ve been wishing they had a big one… for my husband’s back!
    I also decided to subscribe via email. My verification word? “chinspot” how apropos!

    • Allison :

      We closed the comments because people were getting weird. And not in a good way.

      So happy you found it, it’s such an easy thing to do! I love the word verification. Perfect!

  12. Kami :

    Wow, Allison! Those look so good! Yum!

    • Allison :

      Yum is right Miss Kami, YUM.

  13. Maria :

    They look awesome! Nice work!

    • Allison :

      Thanks Maria! High praise coming from you.

  14. Laurel :

    We love Cafe Rio too :) We’ll definitely try these! p.s. I adore reading your blog, Allison.

    • Allison :

      So addictive isn’t it? Thanks so much Laurel, means a lot.

  15. Stephenie Parras :

    An alternative to tortillas but the exact same prep is pan doblado. Instead of rolling out the tortillas to where they are super flat then cooking them on the comal, you flatten with your hand and fold in half.. hence the name (bread folded). Stick the top with a fork and bake at 350 for 10-15min until golden brown. They are great for soups or anything juicy (pot roast)… and especially great when you’re not feeling like all the work of regular tortillas. Seriously, yum.

    • Allison :

      Stephenie, I’m absolutely trying this. Can you imagine this with some taco soup in the winter? Dipping? Oh my heavens.

      Thank you!

  16. Marie :

    Those look fra-reaking amazing! I’ve been wanting to find a recipe for this and now I’ve got it. You’re my girl!

    • Allison :

      I can hear you saying “Fra-Reaking!” right now.

      Try them and you will see, try them and you may.

      Dr. Seuss never hurt anyone.

  17. Sarah :

    I made these a few nights ago & they were wonderful! I am making them again for my mother but didn’t know if I could make the dough and refrigerated it until I used it later during the day? I am trying to prep dinner while my little one naps.

    • Allison :

      I don’t see why you couldn’t! Seriously, try it.

    • Allison :

      You’ll die of happy.

  18. Janelle Anderson :

    Hello…first time visitor of your blog. I googled “homemade tortillas” and found you. Did I mentioned that I knew I hit the jackpot when I saw your comment about Cafe Rio!!! That is our most favorite place to eat. We used to live in Utah years ago when we discovered it. To our surprise, there are now Cafe Rios in Denver, CO so we have yet another excuse to go visit family in Colorado. :) We currently live in Ohio and suffer from lack of good Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Tacos…or any good Mexican food for that matter. For few years I’ve been trying to master the pork taco meat which I’ve think I finally got. However, our tacos were missing something?! We were in Colorado two weeks ago eating Cafe Rio and instantly realized that it was the homemade tortillas. The last key to our homemade Cafe Rio dinner!!! I’M SO EXCITED TO TRY YOUR RECIPE! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!1 -Janelle

    • Allison :

      Thanks Janelle, so happy you found me! These are heaven on a plate, seriously. Good luck!