Confession: I have never made any recipe for a gluten free donut 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.
It took a few tries, but I finally have a recipe for a gluten free 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.
If you’ve tried this Gluten Free Cinnamon Sugar Donut Recipe, I would be so grateful if you would rate it. Let me know what you think in the comments below. I just love hearing from you, and your reviews and comments really help others that visit This Mess is Ours!Print
Cinnamon Sugar Donuts (Gluten Free)
Don’t forget to rate the recipe, and let me know what you think about these Gluten Free Cinnamon Sugar Donuts in the comments below. I just love hearing from you. Your reviews/comments really help other people that visit This Mess is Ours!
- 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
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 1 rounded tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- *Coconut oil for deep-frying, enough for at least a 2-inch depth.
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ 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.
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What are the health benefits of frying with coconut oil instead of vegetable oil or butter?
Coconut oil contains several rare fatty acids, like lauric acid, that have been shown to raise HDL (or good cholesterol). HDL is known to lower the risk of heart disease. While it is healthier to bake, roast, or grill, frying with coconut oil is much more nutritious than butter, lard, and most other oils.
Click here for more information on the health benefits of coconut oil.
WONDERFUL! i tried them in my air fryer and they came out great. I lightly coated them in oil and had them in for about 7 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius if anybody else wants to save on oil.
Oh my goodness the air fryer idea is BRILLIANT Sharni! I have to try this myself - my kids thank you.
These look tasty and beautiful!
We'd love to make these, but don't have enough coconut oil (and don't use any other oil). Have you tried baking them?
Hi Wendy! I have never tried baking these, but would love to know how they turn out if you give it a try!
Oh my goodness I just made these at the last minute for some guests who were stopping by.....they were amazing! I will definitely be using this recipe again. Thanks so much. If anyone has some suggestions for extra add ins it will be much appreciated
That is so great!! I am so happy that you and your friends liked them. They are one of my favorite donuts ever!
Ava korzeniowski says
OH MY GOD!!!! These are the only good recipe for gf donuts I've found that are actually delicious. This recipe is so easy and I know because I am 12. Although I did have my dad help with frying. A warning- e sure to make the hole in the donuts big because when they puff up the small holes send oil flying everywhere. Thank you so so so much.
Ava, you are the sweetest! My daughter is about the same age as you and she loves these donuts too. I am so glad you came back and shared with us how much you like them. Try them with powdered sugar next time - they are so good that way too!
Ava korzeniowski says
I'll try that next time. Thank you again
HOLY SPAMOLESSSS Meg!!!! I just made these tonight for my husbands birthday and we were drooling! They are amazing!!! Definitely a keeper! I have been gluten free for over 2 years and trying to introduce my in-laws to gluten free and they loved these babies. They didn't miss any gluten!
YYYYEEEESSSS!!! Cheyenne, you just made my day 🙂 I am so, so glad that these donuts were a big hit. Happy birthday to your husband!
is there any use for the leftover coconut oil? I'd hate to throw it out.
Absolutely, you can totally strain it out and keep it in a glass jar for the next time you make donuts 🙂
These are just like churros!!! I think I made my donuts too big, so they are kind of gooey in the middle. So I pulled apart the later batches and rolled them into little logs and cooked them longer on a lower temp. So yummy!
Yay Jillian! I am so glad you like these. I think they taste like churros. My donuts are minis too 😉
Can these amazingly awesome little doughnuts be prepared & shaped, and then frozen?
I'd love to be able to prep them in advance and then thaw / fry at will.
That is a great question! I haven't ever tried to freeze the dough, but would love to know how it turns out if you do. Man, what I wouldn't do for a freezer full of donuts.
I'll definitely let you know 🙂
I'm currently 37 weeks and am looking for things I can prep in advance - hubby doesn't really 'get' GF cooking yet 🙂
Already made these once "fresh" and they're divine! First doughnuts I've had in almost a year.
Awww yay!! Congratulations! I am so happy that you like the donuts. They are totally my favorite treat:)
Awesome easy recipe. Printing it out right now!! Time to make the donuts :0)
Enjoy Andrea!! They are so good.:)
I really was craving cinnamon sugar donuts on this rainy morning in Austin,TX. to go with my cup of coffee. This recipe is great and so easy I also added millet flaxseed to it and use sugar substitute truvia to the cinnamon sugar mix. But I also made a dip of melted butter and maple syrup equal amounts teaspoon of each and dipped the donut in the butter syrup mixture before add the cinnamon sugar mixture. It was great I haven't had a good homemade style donut since New Orleans eating beignets. Thank you!!
That is awesome Sally!! I am so glad you enjoyed them. Comparing them to New Orleans beignets is a HUGE compliment:) Thank you.
Paul Buchanan says
Hi, I cant afford large amounts of coconut oil (I'm a student in a place where its expensive) what would be a good substitute?
Hi Paul, any type of neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point will work. You can try vegetable oil or grapeseed oil.
I'm confused about the flour measurement. The recipes says 1 cup 4 cup...how much flour does it need?
Hi April, the recipe calls for 1 cup Cup 4 Cup flour blend (which is just the brand I used in this particular recipe) or you can use another all-purpose gluten free flour blend.
Mary Gospodarek says
I had the same question about the flour. Thank you for taking the time to answer it.
We tried it with 4 cups flour and that is too much! It took about 3 c water to make a batter.
Karen, Cup 4 Cup is the brand of flour that I used. The recipe calls for 1 cup of Cup 4 Cup gluten free all purpose flour. I hope this helps!
phay lee says
Hi 🙂 what can i substitute for the tapioca flour, cos i cant find any here in japan. 🙂
Cornstarch, arrowroot starch, and potato starch (not potato flour) would all be good substitutes for the tapioca flour.
Annie @Maebells says
Oh my husband would have a fit! We have been gluten free for almost 10 years now, so it has been that long since he has had a donut. Must try!
Oh my gosh Annie! I am so glad you found the recipe they are SO good. I hope you LOVE them too:)
Oh, I love these. Cinnamon donuts are such a primal urge, don't you think?
Thank you Carolyn and I totally agree. There is no stopping the need for cinnamon donuts:)
Kate @ Diethood says
GORGEOUS! I'm printing the recipe as we "speak"!
Thanks so much Kate. I hope you love them as much as we do. Don't freak out when the dough gets weird, I noted it in the recipe, it's supposed too. Haha!