Confession: I have never made donuts at home.
Well, until the week before last when I was gearing up for Cinco de Mayo. I had this idea that I would make gluten free churros and we would dip them in hot chocolate after our massive Cinco de Mayo feast. It seemed like a great idea, but after a few attempts at trying to squeeze the batter out of a piping bag I realized that it just wasn’t in the cards. I still haven’t figured out what went wrong with that recipe, but what I did figure out is that the firmer dough I created is easily manipulated with my hands into rings and they make one heck of a fried donut.
Just like the little tasty donuts you get at the fair, or in our case at the Farmer’s Market on Wednesday evenings, these bad boys get a little bath in a hot tub of bubbling coconut oil. Once they are golden brown and crisped to perfection they are dredged through a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. I wouldn’t suggest these as an every day occurrence, but they are definitely a treat worth keeping in your recipe arsenal. Maybe even a little early morning surprise for your mom this Mother’s Day…(hint, hint to my husband and kids!)
The fruit bandit and I have made these together twice now and they are so much fun I’ll probably do it again with him soon. These cute little donuts cook up perfectly crisp on the exterior while retaining their doughy interior which is exactly what you want from a sinfully sweet fried donut right? There really isn’t anything that can top a fresh hot donut.
Cinnamon Sugar Donuts (Gluten Free)
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 50 mins
- Yield: 18-20 mini donuts 1x
- 1 cup of Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour or ATK flour blend
- 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 rounded tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- *Coconut oil for deep-frying, enough for at least a 2-inch depth.
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a small mixing bowl combine the all purpose gluten free flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, and salt with a whisk. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan bring the water and brown sugar to a boil.Once boiling add the butter and allow to continue boiling until the butter melts. Lower the heat to low, stir in the vanilla, and pour in a little of the flour mixture at a time, mixing constantly with a silicone spatula. In the beginning the mixture will look lumpy and like it isn’t blending with the liquid. Just keep stirring constantly and adding small amounts of the flour mixture at a time until it has all been incorporated. The batter will become very thick and will start to form a ball of sticky dough. Remove from the heat and continue to stir for about 30 seconds to ensure that all of the flour is mixed in and the dough is smooth.
- Turn the ball of dough out onto a plastic cutting board and let it cool for 10 minutes.
- While the dough cools, heat the oil in a cast iron or heavy pot on medium-high heat until you reach 350-360°F . You want there to be enough oil to reach a depth of at least 2 inches so that the donuts can float in the oil as they cook.
- While the oil heats combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small shallow dish and set aside. Then cover a large plate with paper towels for draining the donuts after they cook in the oil.
- At this point the dough should be cool enough to handle. Use a knife to cut off tablespoon size chunks of the dough. (Just guesstimate here..there is no wrong way to do this) Working with one piece of dough at a time begin to roll the dough into a log in between the palms of your hand or on your cutting board. Once you have formed a long rope that is even in thickness all the way across pinch the two ends together to form a ring. Set aside and continue this process with the remaining pieces of dough.
- When the oil has reached 350°F Carefully lower one donut at a time into the hot oil. I fried 3-4 donuts at a time so that the donuts had room to float and the temperature of the oil wouldn’t drop too much. **The donuts will initially sink to the bottom of the oil, but as they cook they will rise to the surface.** Cook for 5 minutes, turning the donut half way through the cooking time.
- When a donut has cooked for 5 minutes carefully remove it from the oil using a slotted spoon or tongs and transfer it to the paper towel lined plate to drain briefly.
- Transfer the still warm donut to the dish with the cinnamon and sugar mixture and gently roll to coat.
- Repeat this process until all of the donuts are complete.
*You can substitute a mild-flavored vegetable oil like canola or sunflower in place of the coconut oil.
**Towards the end of the cooking time you will notice that the oil isn’t bubbling as much around the donut, that is normal.