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Gluten-Free Churros Recipe (Dairy-Free, Vegan)

Learn how to make gluten-free churros con chocolate at home – in just 30 minutes! Crunchy churros coated with a delicious cinnamon-sugar mixture, and dipped in melted chocolate. These are the perfect breakfast, sweet snack or dessert for your Cinco de Mayo party or anytime! Dairy-free and vegan too.

Gluten-free churros and a bowl of melted chocolate on wooden board.

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What are Churros?

For those of you who haven’t tried this delicious pastry before, you’re in for a delicious treat!

Churros are basically fried dough pastries with origins in Portuguese or Spanish cuisine, although they are also very common in Latin America as well as countries with migrants from Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries.

Making churros involve using a pastry piping bag with a star-shaped tip, and then piping the dough straight into hot oil, until the dough is cooked and crispy and gloriously golden brown (very similar to a funnel cake in terms of cooking).

Churros can either be sprinkled with sugar or powdered sugar, eaten alone or dipped in chocolate or dulce de leche.

cornbread in a cast iron skillet
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Top down view of gluten-free vegan churros on wooden board.

In Spain, churros can be thin and knotted occasionally, or long and thick, and are often enjoyed as breakfast alongside hot chocolate, or café con leche, with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar on the side.

In other countries such Argentina (where I currently live), churros are often filled with dulce de leche inside, and can be eaten as a sweet snack or dessert.

And in Mexico and the US, churros are eaten in celebration of Cinco de Mayo.

As you can imagine, there are many countless variations of churros, which is expected, as different cultures and cuisines adapt the way of cooking and serving churros accordingly.

A churro dipped in melted chocolate.

Are Churros Gluten-Free? Are Churros Dairy-Free?

Traditionally, churros are made with wheat flour (which contains gluten), which means that churros sold in fairs or stores are usually not safe for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerances or allergies, unless they are specifically said to be gluten-free.

The other ingredients are usually dairy-free, and plain churros are generally considered vegan-friendly.

However, today we’re making gluten-free and vegan churros…so let’s dive right in!

Why This Recipe Works:

  • Simple Ingredients: You only need a handful of ingredients for these homemade churros recipe, all of which are easily accessible at the local grocery store.
  • Totally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free & Vegan: The best part is that these eggless churros are 100% gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, which means that even those with Celiac disease or those with gluten or dairy intolerances, or those simply on a gluten-free diet or vegan diet can enjoy them without issues!
Top down view of gluten-free vegan churros on wooden board.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

Here’s a visual overview of the ingredients required for this easy gluten-free churros recipe.

(For exact measurements, please scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.)

Ingredients required for gluten-free churros recipe laid out on marble board.

Recipe Notes + Substitutions

  • Sunflower Oil: I like using sunflower oil because I always have a bottle of it on hand. Alternatively, you may use another type of neutral vegetable oil (such as canola oilcorn oil, etc). Also, make sure that the oil is heated to the correct temperature before frying the churros to ensure that the churros cook evenly.
  • Sugar: I used white sugar, but you can also use light brown sugar if you prefer. If you are diabetic or insulin-resistant, I highly recommend using granulated monkfruit sweetener (a 1:1 sugar substitute that is zero glycemic index and will not raise your blood sugar).
  • Water: I used filtered water. You can also use mineral water if you prefer.
  • Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour: I recommend using a good-quality gluten-free all-purpose flour blend made up of lighter flours/starches (such as rice flour, tapioca starch, corn starch or potato starch). I do NOT recommend a gluten-free flour blend made up of heavier flours (such as garbanzo bean flour).
  • Xanthan Gum: Xanthan gum is the replacement for gluten in gluten-free flours, so make sure to add it in if your gluten-free flour blend does not already include it.
  • Ground Cinnamon: I like adding ground cinnamon for extra flavor in the sugar coating. If you don’t like the taste of cinnamon, feel free to leave it out instead.
  • Chocolate: I used semi-sweet vegan chocolate to keep this recipe dairy-free and vegan. Alternatively, if you are not lactose-intolerant, go ahead and use normal chocolate instead. Make sure to chop the chocolate into small pieces so that they melt evenly.

How to Make Gluten-Free Churros (Step by Step):

1. Combine Oil, Sugar and Water

In a deep saucepan, combine the vegetable or canola oil, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and water. Place the pan on the stove and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar.

Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for a minute or two.

Pouring a spoonful of sugar into a pot of water.

2. Add Gluten-Free Flour to Sugar Mixture

Whisk the gluten-free all-purpose flour with the xanthan gum. Remove the pan from the heat and add the gluten-free flour.

Flour mixture in pot of syrup.

3. Stir Until Dough Forms

Stir vigorously with a mixing spoon or spatula until a smooth dough forms. It may take some effort to fully incorporate the flour, but keep stirring until there are no lumps and the dough is uniform.

Churro dough in pot.

4. Transfer Dough to Piping Bag

Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Using the star-shaped tip is essential as it will give the churros their classic ridged shape.

Alternatively, you can also use a plastic bag or ziplock bag with a corner snipped off, but you won’t get the classic churros ridges on the side.

Piping churro dough from a piping bag.

5. Heat Oil Until Ready

Pour enough oil in a deep fryer or a heavy-bottomed pot until you get about 3 inches of oil. Then, heat the oil until the oil temperature reaches 375°F (190°C).

To test if the oil is ready, use a candy thermometer to check the temperature of the oil. If you don’t have a thermometer, drop a small piece of dough into the oil – it should sizzle and start to turn golden brown in a few seconds.

A pot of boiling oil.

6. Pipe Dough into Oil

Carefully pipe the gluten-free churro dough into the hot oil, using scissors or a knife to cut it into 4-inch (10 cm) pieces. Be very careful when handling the hot oil to prevent getting burnt by any splatters.

IMPORTANT: Avoid overcrowding the pot (maximum 3-4 churros should be cooking at each time) so the churros have space to be evenly fried on all sides.

Piping churro dough into a pot of hot oil.

7. Fry Until Golden and Crispy

Fry the gluten-free vegan churros until they are golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes per batch.

While the churros are cooking, line a plate with paper towels.

Once the first batch of churros are cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the oil and transfer them to the prepared paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.

Freshly cooked vegan churro in pot of hot oil.

8. Repeat Until Dough is Finished

Repeat the previous steps until all the churro dough is used up.

9. Prepare Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture

In a plate, mix together the remaining 1 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoon of cinnamon. This mixture will be used to coat the cooked gluten-free vegan churros.

A baking dish with cinnamon sugar.

10. Coat Churros in Cinnamon Sugar Mixture

While the fried churros are still warm from cooking, coat them in the prepared cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Rolling freshly cooked churro in cinnamon sugar mixture.

11. Make Chocolate Dipping Sauce

In a microwave-safe bowl or a double boiler, melt the chopped chocolate until smooth.

You can use a microwave or a stove-top method to melt the chocolate, whichever you prefer.

12. Serve and Enjoy

Enjoy your delicious gluten-free vegan churros with the warm chocolate sauce!

A bowl of chocolate sauce and homemade churros.

Dish by Dish Tips/Tricks:

  • Make Churro Bites: Instead of long churros, you can also make bite-sized churros. Simply pipe 1-1.5 inch long dough pieces into the hot oil.
  • For Extra Flavor: If you like the taste of vanilla, feel free to add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • Storing: In my opinion, these gluten-free churros are best served fresh and warm, but if you have any leftover churros, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  • Freezing: To freeze, make sure the gluten free churros are fully cooled (without sugar coating or chocolate) before placing them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freezing for a few hours until frozen. Then transfer the frozen churros to a freezer-safe container or freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat the frozen churros in the oven or air fryer at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes until crispy and hot. You may also reheat them in the microwave, but the churros will be soft instead of crispy. Coat the reheated churros in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and serve with melted chocolate sauce.

Recipe FAQs:

Do Churros Contain Gluten?

Traditionally, churros are made with wheat flour (which contains gluten). This means that most churros sold in fairs or stores are usually not safe for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerances or allergies, unless they are specifically said to be gluten-free.

Top down view of homemade churros on wooden board.

P.S. If you try this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating below, and/or a review in the comment section further down the page. I always appreciate your feedback. Be sure to check out my entire Recipe Index for all the recipes on the blog. You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram! Sign up for my Email List to get fresh recipes in your inbox each week!

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Up close view of gluten-free churros and melted chocolate.

Gluten-Free Churros Recipe (Dairy-Free, Vegan)


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Felicia Lim
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 20 churros 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Learn how to make gluten-free churros con chocolate at home – in just 30 minutes! Crunchy churros coated with a delicious cinnamon-sugar mixture, and dipped in melted chocolate. These are the perfect breakfast, sweet snack or dessert for celebrating Cinco de Mayo or anytime! Dairy-free and vegan too.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Churros:

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Coating:

For the Chocolate Dipping Sauce:


Instructions

  1. Combine Oil, Sugar and Water: In a deep saucepan, combine the vegetable or canola oil, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and water. Place the pan on the stove and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for a minute or two.
  2. Add Gluten-Free Flour to Sugar Mixture: Whisk the gluten-free all-purpose flour with the xanthan gum. Remove the pan from the heat and add the gluten-free flour.
  3. Stir Until Dough Forms: Stir vigorously with a mixing spoon or spatula until a smooth dough forms. It may take some effort to fully incorporate the flour, but keep stirring until there are no lumps and the dough is uniform.
  4. Transfer Dough to Piping Bag: Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a star tip. This will help give the churros their classic ridged shape. Alternatively, you can also use a plastic bag or ziplock bag with a corner snipped off, but you won’t get the classic churros shape.
  5. Heat Oil Until Ready: Pour sunflower oil in a deep fryer or a heavy-bottomed pot until 3-inches deep, and heat the oil until it reaches 375°F (190°C). To test if the oil is ready, use a candy thermometer to check the temperature or if you don’t have a thermometer, drop a small piece of dough into the oil – it should sizzle and start to turn golden brown in a few seconds.
  6. Pipe Dough into Oil: Carefully pipe the dough into the hot oil, using scissors or a knife to cut it into 4-inch (10 cm) pieces. Be very careful when handling the hot oil to prevent getting burnt by any splatters. Avoid overcrowding the pot (maximum 3-4 churros should be cooking at each time) so the churros have space to be evenly fried on all sides.
  7. Fry Until Golden and Crispy: Fry the gluten-free vegan churros until they are golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the churros from the oil and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
  8. Repeat: Repeat the previous steps until all the churro dough is used up.
  9. Prepare Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture: In a plate, mix together the remaining 1 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoon of cinnamon. This mixture will be used to coat the churros.
  10. Coat Churros in Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture: Coat the still-warm fried churros in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  11. Melt Chocolate Until Smooth: In a microwave-safe bowl or a double boiler, melt the chopped chocolate until smooth. You can use a microwave or a stove-top method to melt the chocolate, whichever you prefer.
  12. Serve and Enjoy: Enjoy your delicious gluten-free vegan churros with the chocolate dipping sauce!

Notes

Sunflower Oil: I like using sunflower oil because I always have a bottle of it on hand. Alternatively, you may use other types of neutral vegetable oils (such as canola oil, corn oil, etc). Also, make sure that the oil is heated to the correct temperature before frying the churros to ensure that the churros cook evenly.

Sugar: I used white sugar, but you can also use light brown sugar if you prefer. If you are diabetic or insulin-resistant, I highly recommend using granulated monkfruit sweetener (a 1:1 sugar substitute that is zero glycemic index and will not raise your blood sugar).

Water: I used filtered water. You can also use mineral water if you prefer.

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour: I recommend using a good-quality gluten-free all-purpose flour blend made up of lighter flours/starches (such as rice flour, tapioca starch, corn starch or potato starch). I do NOT recommend a gluten-free flour blend made up of heavier flours (such as garbanzo bean flour).

Xanthan Gum: Xanthan gum is the replacement for gluten in gluten-free flours, so make sure to add it in if your gluten-free flour blend does not already include it.

Ground Cinnamon: I like adding ground cinnamon for extra flavor in the sugar coating. If you don’t like the taste of cinnamon, feel free to leave it out instead.

Chocolate: I used semi-sweet vegan chocolate to keep this recipe dairy-free and vegan. Alternatively, if you are not lactose-intolerant, go ahead and use normal chocolate instead. Make sure to chop the chocolate into small pieces so that they melt evenly.

Storing: In my opinion, these gluten-free churros are best served fresh and warm, but if you have any leftover churros, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Freezing: To freeze, make sure the churros are fully cooled (without sugar coating or chocolate) before placing them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freezing for a few hours until frozen. Then transfer the frozen churros to a freezer-safe container or freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat the frozen churros in the oven or air fryer at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes until crispy and hot. You may also reheat them in the microwave, but the churros will be soft instead of crispy. Coat the reheated churros in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and serve with melted chocolate sauce.

Adapted from: A Big Man’s World

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Spanish

2 Comments

  1. Good morning Felicia!
    These churros greatly reminded me of the plain “you tiao” here in SG.
    The churros are sweetened and are more flavorful with cinnamon and also a chocolate dip. I like them best to enjoy with a hot cup of coffee anytime of the day. 🙂

    Cheers!
    Mum






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