After several gluten free donut attempts over the years, ranging from baked to fried and filled donuts to rings to donut holes, without ever being completely satisfied with the result… It suddenly hit me. Why not make churro donuts instead!? So I thought I’d start with some quick and easy but oh so delicious churro donut holes rolled in cinnamon sugar. 😍
Sure it’s not exactly the same seeing as churros, unlike ‘normal’ doughnuts, are choux pastry based, but in my experience they never fail to have that melt-in-the-mouth donut effect that I’ve struggled to reproduce using a standard donut recipe.
And well, my friends, if you’re after a super easy and fail-proof way to enjoy some deliciously light and airy donuts, give churro donuts a try. I’ll be trying some donut rings next; in fact I already have my piped up dough rings ready in the freezer to be fried. 😛
To make it even better, choux pastry is so incredibly easy to make and takes no more than 5-10 minutes. In my (lazy) opinion this is a huge advantage over ‘normal’ doughnuts which require a long resting time for the yeast to take action. 🙌
In this recipe I’m practically using the same exact dough as my gluten free eclairs, but with only milk instead of a combination of milk and water and I switched the plain flour for self-raising to make them puff up even more.
1. You can play around with different coating flavours, dipping sauces or glazes.
2. Or add any filling you’d like inside by using a piping bag.
Gluten Free Churro Donut Holes Recipe:
- 85g self-raising gluten free flour (I used Doves Farm)
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 50g unsalted butter
- 150g whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- Optional: 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Caster sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter
- 20ml whole milk
- 320ml whole milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 20g cornstarch
- 80g sugar
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1-2 tsp vanilla extract (or any other flavouring)
Make the choux pastry:
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
- Add the milk and butter in a saucepan and slowly melt the butter on low/medium heat, stirring constantly. Then once you reach a light boil, turn the heat off completely.
- Immediately add the dry ingredients into the sauce pan and stir until the dough comes together. Then transfer it back into the bowl and let it cool down.
- Once the dough has cooled down/is lukewarm, add the eggs and mix with a spoon or an electric hand mixer (with mixing paddle attachments; those ones that look like hooks, not the whisks) on low speed. Af first it will look lumpy, but this is normal. Keep on mixing until smooth. Note: don’t skip the cooling down part or the heat will start cooking the eggs.
Cook the churro donut holes:
- Heat the oil to 190C (375F). If using a pan instead of a deep fryer, add a couple of inches of oil and try to get the temperature to stabilise at 190C using a cooking thermometer (you’ll have to keep turning up the heat and down to keep adjusting it throughout the cooking process).
- Once you reach the right temperature, mould the dough into tiny balls (wet your hands and shake off any excess first to prevent sticking) and drop them into the hot oil one by one. Note: don’t overcrowd the pan and don’t make them too big or you might end up with a raw centre.
- Cook the churro donut holes, turning them over from time to time, for about 2-3 minutes or until they turn golden brown and crispy on the outside.
- Roll the freshly cooked churro donut holes in a mixture of sugar and ground cinnamon.
- Optional: serve with a dipping sauce of your choice. In this case I used a quick and delicious homemade caramel sauce!
For the caramel sauce:
- Put the caramel sauce ingredients into a non-stick pan, turn the heat on to low and stir constantly until the butter has fully melted and the sugar has completely dissolved. This should take 1 or 2 minutes.
For the pastry cream:
- Combine the egg yolks, cornflour, half of the sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl.
- Add the milk and half of the sugar into a sauce pan and bring to a simmer on medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk.
- Pour some of the warm milk in the bowl and whisk until everything has dissolved, then add it back into the sauce pan with the rest of the milk and keep whisking (still on medium heat) until the cream has thickened. This should take about 1 minute. Add the butter and stir until fully melted, then switch off the heat.
- Pour the pastry cream in a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for a few hours before using. Note: to prevent a film from forming on top, press the cling film on the surface of the pastry cream.
- Once ready to use, transfer the pastry cream into a piping bag, and fill your donuts.