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I have to admit, I absolutely do not like any sort of dipping sauce with my churros yet I included photos of churros served with chocolate sauce. It’s not that I think it’s gross or anything. I just feel like it takes away from the churro rather than adding to it if that makes any sense. I mean, it’s fried dough coated in cinnamon sugar. What more could you ask for? If your answer is chocolate, I just did a super basic chocolate sauce you could try. Just melt together equal parts dark chocolate and full fat coconut milk.
I’ve also seen churros served with caramel dipping sauce. I’ve been making a really good dairy free caramel sauce using the caramel from my caramel stuffed crispy rice treats but you can scale down the recipe by melting together 2 oz (9-10 pieces) of Cocomels candy with 1/4 C sweetened condensed coconut milk.
Did you know cream puffs and churros can be made with the same dough? I just learned that after making my cream puff recipe so I decided churros would be fun. Besides, how else am I going to get a fresh, still warm churro that also happens to be gluten free and dairy free? It’s probably not going to happen unless I do it myself.
No issues there of course! Am I the only one crazy enough to love frying foods? I can’t stand cleaning up the mess after but these weren’t messy. They don’t seem to splatter much and since they’re fried in a deep pot, everything is pretty well contained. You can also use a deep fryer if you have one. I know air fryers are super popular these days and I love the idea of saving money on cooking oil but can stuff like this be made in an air fryer? I don’t think they can but I’ve seen some air fryer recipes that really surprised me. I think I still want to buy a deep fryer. Am I allowed to have both?
This was actually my first time ever making churros. If you’ve never made them before either, here are a few helpful tips:
- Measure carefully when making the dough. You are looking for a very specific texture/thickness and don’t want to run into any issues while piping it into the oil.
- Use a wide, deep pot. Each churro is about 6 inches long and you need the diameter of the pot to allow you to pipe that length. A deep pot also prevents oil splatters and allows you to attach a candy thermometer to the side.
- Make sure the candy thermometer doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot or you will get an inaccurate temperature reading. Having an accurate thermometer is very important – see my next tip.
- Keep a very close eye on the temperature of the oil. If you let the oil get too cold it will soak into the dough and make it soggy and greasy. Too hot and the dough will burn. I’ve found that if the temperature is even a little too low the churro is basically inedible and gross but you can go a few degrees over without it getting hot enough to burn so if anything, stay on the hotter side.
- Use a large closed star tip instead of an open one. This will make the shape a little more defined. I know it seems like they will be too skinny but they puff up a lot when they cook. I used a Wilton 2D tip.
- Fry one churro at a time until you get the hang of it. Once you are consistently getting them right, add a few more to the pot at at time but make sure there is enough space so they don’t stick together and you can flip them over easily. I stuck with three at a time.
- Another reason you might end up with a soggy churro other than low oil temperature is if they are undercooked. The outside will be a light golden brown and crisp and the inside should be soft and fluffy, almost like a light donut. If you’ve tested your thermometer, the thermometer isn’t touching the bottom of the pot, and are sure the oil is hot enough yet still have a soggy churro, try leaving them in a little longer.
- You want the churro to be warm when you coat it in the cinnamon sugar mixture, otherwise the sugar won’t stick as well. I just quickly dabbed the excess oil onto a paper towel then coated them in sugar immediately.
- Even more reasons for soggy churros: When the churros are finished, they should be in a single layer and not stacked on top of each other. If you serve them in a paper cone, they should be cooled completely. They should also be eaten fresh as they do not keep and will (you guessed it) turn soggy.
Before we get to the recipe, I wanted to share something really neat with you guys. Every year we get tons of monarch butterflies in our back yard. Yesterday, I think I saw the most I’ve ever seen at a time. Every tree and bush out there were absolutely covered in these things. I wish I had gotten better photos but they all fly off when you get even a little close. Does anyone know if there’s anything different about them this year that we would have so many? I’m pretty sure this is more than we’ve had in previous years.
Churros made from gluten free, dairy free pâte à choux which is fried until crisp and dusted in cinnamon sugar.
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 C + 1/2 Tbsp sugar, divided
- coconut oil or other fat for frying (quantity varies depending on the size of your saucepan, you only need about 1 1/2 inches.)
- 1/2 C water
- 2 1/2 Tbsp dairy free butter, I used Earth Balance soy free baking sticks
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 C gluten free one to one baking flour (xanthan gum containing), I strongly recommend using Bob’s Red Mill GF flour
- 2 eggs
- Line a plate with paper towels then mix cinnamon and 1/2 C of sugar together in a shallow dish. Set both of these items aside for now.
- In a pot (preferably a large diameter and deep enough to attach a candy thermometer to the side), add 1 1/2 inches of coconut oil or other fat of choice. Alternatively, you can use a deep fryer and add fat according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Heat the pot of oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 360ºF. Use a candy thermometer and keep a close eye on the temperature. Too cool and the churros will absorb the oil and get soggy. Too hot and they will burn.
- While the oil heats up, add water and dairy free butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, stir in 1/2 Tbsp sugar and a pinch of salt then bring to a boil.
- Dump all the flour into the boiling mixture at once and stir until it forms a ball of dough. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes or so.
- Transfer dough to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat in one egg and make sure everything is well incorporated before adding a second egg. Note that traditionally this mixture should be smooth but it’s near-impossible with the gluten free flour. As smooth as possible will work just fine.
- Scoop the dough into a piping bag with a large closed star tip (I used a Wilton 2D tip). Make sure your paper towel lined plate and cinnamon sugar mixture are nearby.
- Once the oil is hot, pipe about 6 inches of dough directly into the oil using kitchen shears to cut the lengths of dough off of the piping bag. (If you’ve never made churros before, start with just one length of dough until you get the hang of it. I only did 3 at at time because I didn’t want to overcrowd the pot.) Allow the dough to cook about 2 minutes then flip it over and cook another 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remember to carefully watch the temperature.
- As each churro finishes cooking, use tongs to remove from the oil and gently blot each side on the paper towel. Only leave it on the towel for a few seconds then roll it in the cinnamon sugar mixture (use a spoon to help coat it evenly). Shake off the excess sugar.
- Serve your finished churros while fresh and eat up – the leftovers don’t keep!
Coconut oil, palm oil, duck fat, and lard are all great options for frying these in. All of these fats hold up well while frying and have a high smoke point. I like to use coconut oil because it’s the most affordable option for me since I get it at Costco. If you want a neutral tasting oil, refined coconut oil or palm oil will be best.
You probably won’t use all of the sugar in this recipe but having a little extra makes it easier to coat the churros evenly. If you want, you can save the excess to use on things like oatmeal, apple slices, or more dessert recipes.
Since I don’t enjoy chocolate sauce on my churros, I’m not really an expert on what type of chocolate sauce to use and didn’t want to provide a chocolate recipe you guys won’t enjoy. Therefore, I omitted a recipe for chocolate sauce but my basic chocolate sauce that I used in the photos is equal parts chocolate and full fat coconut milk melted down together if you guys want to try it. There are also recipes online that look a little richer because they include butter/dairy free butter but I haven’t tried any of them.
I also have a basic dairy free caramel sauce recipe that can be used for dipping. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt together 2 oz (9-10 pieces) of Cocomels candy with 1/4 C sweetened condensed coconut milk.
If this is your first time making churros, see bullet points in the blog post above for additional tips.