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Apple Fritters
Apple Fritters

Gluten Free Apple FrittersDo you see what I see?

Gluten Free Apple FrittersThat’s right… It’s Apple Week. Today’s program is brought to you by the Letter “A.”

Seriously, my brothers and my sisters. This whole fritter deal took me 30 minutes FLAT. Then I had to clean up, but that part doesn’t count. ‘Cause whatever I do requires clean-up. Except cleaning. Is it just me, or did things just get all psychedelic and stuff? Trippy.

There is something I should mention right about now, though. I’m a little lazy in the deep frying department. In that I do something between a deep fry and a shallow fry. I fry in the middle of the pool. Not shallow, and not deep. It’s a Goldilocks Fry. It’s just right. That way, I don’t have to wait forever for it to get to temperature and I don’t have to waste a whole bottle of oil (how are you supposed to get rid of all that stuff, short of powering your car with it?). You’re welcome, environment. You’re welcome, my wallet. You’re welcome, my belly.

Something else to get out of the way. There are people, and they walk among us, who think an apple fritter is an apple slice dipped in batter, then fried. These people are bona fide lunatics. If you’re one of them, I’m sorry. About your insanity. That is simply not a fritter. An apple fritter, if you please, is like a yeast-free doughnut thingy with chunks of apple, fried up all frittery. It’s free-form, you see (no, seriously, see above. free-form). When you bite into it, it has a super light crispy layer that gives way to a perfectly soft, warm center. Oh, and this dough has plenty of ground cinnamon mixed in, along with the generous apple chunks. All you need is a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar — or none at all. You read that right. This dough is so very perfect that a confectioner’s sugar dusting is optional!

Gluten Free Apple Fritters

You should know, the dough is thick and very sticky. The apple chunks are here, and we’d better get used to them. When we fry the fritters, those apple pieces will hold their shape just enough — but not too much that you couldn’t gum them if you found yourself without any teeth. See for yourself.

Gluten Free Apple FrittersAnd they shall be perfectly brown. Did you know that frying oil goes through stages, and there’s nothing you can do about it? Brand new oil, when it is first at frying temperature (you’ll know, since you can see a sheen across it, and a tiny bit of dough dropped in will bubble and fry up super quick but without burning), is too clean for a really nice fry. The next batch is perfect. In the final batch, the oil will usually begin to degrade and blacken the dough a bit before your wondering eyes.

It’s okay. It’s like life — it’s best in the middle. I’m good with that. You good with that?

Apple Fritters
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Nicole @ Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.com
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 4
Gluten-free cinnamon-sugar fried dough with chunks of apple.
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk (nondairy is fine, just not nonfat)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 medium-sized apples (choose a firm apple for baking, like Empire or Granny Smith)
  • Neutral oil (like canola) for frying
  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting (optional)
  1. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt, and whisk until well-combined. Add the egg, milk, butter and vanilla, mixing to combine well after each addition. Mix well until there are no lumps, and the dough begins to thicken. Set the dough aside to allow it to thicken as we prepare the apples.
  2. Heat the frying oil over medium high heat. Peel and core the apples, and chop them into a dice that is about 1/4-inch. The total volume of apples should be between 1 and 1 1/2 cups, depending upon how chunky you’d like your fritters to be. I go for the 1 1/2 cups. Fold the apples into the large bowl of batter.
  3. Once the oil has begun to develop a sheen, it should be ready to fry. Drop a very small amount of batter into the oil. If it bubbles and fries quickly, but without burning, the oil is ready. If not, adjust the oil temperature accordingly. If you’d like to use a candy thermometer or a deep fryer, the temperature should be about 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Drop small mounds of dough — using either a small ice cream scoop (about 3/4 inch in diameter) or a small spoon — into the hot oil, and fry about 1 minute per side, or until deep golden brown. Remember that the oil will not fry perfectly until it is a bit “dirty” with batter. Remove the fritters from the oil (I use a spider for such tasks, but a slotted spoon works, too), and place them on paper towels to drain a bit.
  5. When the fritters are still warm, dust with cinnamon and the (optional) confectioner’s sugar. Serve right away. If there are any leftovers (hah), they can be warmed in the toaster oven before serving. My children may or may not have had apple fritters for breakfast this morning. I won’t tell.

Bean flour blends are not true all-purpose flours, and will not behave properly without having allowances made for them.
Pamela’s baking mix and Pamela’s bread mix are not intended to be all-purpose gluten-free flours. They are multi-ingredient baking mixes.
There was something else I needed to tell you, but for the life of me I cannot remember it. I will come back with an update if I get my wits about me. I think it was important. I can’t remember. I hate that. Don’t you hate that? *UPDATE: I remember. This recipe can be EASILY DOUBLED. And I think you should double it.*


P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of My Cookbooks! I can’t keep the blog going without your support!

  • http://www.facebook.com/slwat7 Stacey Watson on Facebook

    Can’t wait to try these this weekend for breakfast. Mmmmmmm!

  • Marian

    I am so excited to try these, I know they will be a hit! By the way, your blog has changed our lives! I always cook from scratch, but my son’s celiac really threw me and I’ve gotten bogged down in trying to balance the fact that I want all of us to eat the same thing together with the facts that our food has to be homemade, cheap, and quick. (Two working parents, two toddlers in school, no extra money, no time). I appreciate that everything you post is easy and cheap and fun — and kid friendly (though maybe your kids are like my kids, who will try and eat just about anything). There’s no better single blog/site where I can get that! Plus, you interact with your users quickly and positively, and so it feels personal. Thanks for being there!

    • Nicole

      Wow, Marian, I’m so honored to have been able to help, and I’m truly grateful for your kind words.
      Trying to strike a balance that allows everyone in the family to eat the same food, and still have it be affordable is what I set out to do with this blog and the book. It means more to me than you know when you tell me that I have hit the mark. And the interaction is key. You talk to me, and I talk back. Otherwise, there are other ways to impart information. A blog should be give and take, or everyone misses out. Thank you for helping with that. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Daisy

    Recipe looks great! Can’t wait to make it! Was wondering: Can either the dough and/or the fritters be frozen for future use? Thanks!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Daisy,
      Good question. I haven’t tried freezing these, but I think either the dough or the finished fritters could be frozen since the batter is yeast-free (you don’t ever really want to freeze unbaked yeasted dough). If you freeze the batter, make sure you do it in a container that is tightly sealed and has as little air as possible. I like those new freezer containers from Ball, or a ziploc freezer bag would work, too. Defrost in the refrigerator, if possible, and they should be just as good. Freezing the fritters once they are fried will yield results that are not quite as good, but you can defrost in a warm toaster oven, so they crisp back up. I hope that helps!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Pamela G

    NUMMMMM! I want some…now…with my sweet coffee. Now the coffee doesn’t taste right…anticipating a warm apple fritter. :( guess that has to be tonight’s project – some apples waiting patiently in a bowl on the table…..
    Last night we had chicken & dumplin’s for the FIRST time since Scott was diagnosed. He was famished (worked a 14 hr day) and proclaimed it was delish THREE times whilst eating the first bowlful. Thanks, Nicole! xoxoxo

    • Nicole

      Hi, Pamela,
      You’re so welcome. So glad you enjoyed the chicken & dumplings. Cooking is so much more gratifying as the weather begins to turn! I’m so glad Scott had a good stick-to-your-ribs meal after a long day of work. Lucky him.
      Your poor lonely coffee. :)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Pamela G

        He and the GF dog finished them for breakfast this morning….she approves, too! :)

        • Nicole

          I was kind of wondering about Molly. ;)

  • Kat Azevedo on Facebook

    This will be perfect for a morning potluck we are having next week! Of course, I’ll have to try it on the fam this weekend. They love being test subjects!

  • Melissa

    I just made these for my daughter and I and they were fabulous! Due to my daughter’s allergy, I substituted ground flax seed meal for the egg and it worked great in this recipe. I was out of milk so I decided to use freshly juiced apple juice and a tablespoon of Greek yogurt. Amazing! Thank you!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Melissa,
      I love that you’ve already made these! Thank you so much for including your successful substitutions. It is really helpful for us to hear about what worked and what didn’t. You will have no doubt helped others. And you had some great fritters! :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Peggy

    I’m so excited. I’m making a double batch so I can share some with my son & his family Thursday evening & I’ll take the rest with me this weekend to my quilting retreat…just for “me”! I will divide them & hid mine before sharing. lol Otherwise, I am sure there won’t be any left! I LOVE apple fritters!!! You’ve done it again, Nicole! Love the love!!!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Peggy,
      Apple fritters are definitely worth squirreling away. I have zero guilt in hiding some of the good stuff for myself. So glad to see that you don’t either! You love the love? I love that you love the love! ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Claire

    Looks delicious! Love apples, love fritters, and you’re awesome…always brighten my day with your wit and delicious recipes

    • Nicole

      Hi, Claire,
      I’m so glad you’re having fun. Then I get to have fun. And then it’s all friendly and happy. The fritters are just the excuse to chat, and have a little snack while we’re chatting. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Janet Johnson on Facebook

    Time for me to get some better batter….

  • Darlene N Joe Tako on Facebook

    OMGosh! Yer killin’ me!

  • Kat

    Hi, 2 quick technical questions:
    1) what is a serving size (6 for me 2 for everyone else -because I made them)?
    2) how do I get them from the stove to the table?
    I can’t stop eating them as they drain (-but in my defense I’m all about quality control and I know in my heart you wouldn’t want me serving substandard fritters).

    They are so good :)

    • Nicole

      Hey, Kat,
      You really made me snort-laugh. And that’s not easy to do.
      Your heart does not lie. Substandard fritters are the devil’s workshop.
      Love it!
      xoxo NIcole

  • Peggy

    Just finished making the apple fritter! I’m so in love!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Going to get some vanilla ice cream to go with them this evening! Looking forward to trying them with my morning coffee! Really hope there are a few left to take with me to my quilt retreat! lol

    • Nicole

      Hi, Peggy,
      So glad they were a success! Ooooh vanilla ice cream. One of life’s great pleasures. Enjoy the retreat!

      • Peggy

        Thanks Nicole. The apple fritters were a big hit! Good thing I hid some away! lol Daughter called from Denver, CO while I was in the middle of making them! She remined me of how I used to make apple fritters for her & her brother when they were kids! So I promised I would make them again when she is here for Christmas!

        • Nicole

          Hi, Peggy,
          What a great discovery! So everything old is new again. Long live tradition!
          xoxo Nicole

  • http://deliberatelycreative.blogspot.com/ Stephanie B

    Oh baby! these are so good! I had some buttermilk and used that instead of regular milk. The only different thing I did was mix the cinnamon and powdered sugar together and put it in a fine mesh strainer so I could “sift” the cloud of cinnamony powdered sugar over the golden brown cooked fritters. My hubby loved them and I’m the one who has to eat gluten free! It’s a hit!!

    have a great weekend!

  • http://deliberatelycreative.blogspot.com/ Stephanie B

    Second comment Sorry!

    I loved how in my little deep fryer these would roll over all by them selves when they were cooked on the bottom side. It looks like the oil temp and depth were perfect for my little 1 inch cookie scoop sized fritters. Magic happens and If I trust them they are perrfect! If I get impatient and flip them my self…it can be hit or miss….

    Just thought you’d like to know…:)

    • Nicole

      Hi, Stephanie,
      So glad you enjoyed the fritters. Deep frying in an actual deep fryer is easiest and best in many ways. I just rarely pull mine out any more because of all the oil, and my not knowing what to do with it once the frying is done. So I usually take the lazy way out. During the frying stage, though, the actual deep fryer is by far easiest and best.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Jenny W


    You should come over, enjoy the changing trees and bright sunshine.
    Fall and I made these for breakfast when you get here – they’re lovely.

    Though they are going pretty quick – despite the very good advice, I did not double the recipe, thinking that little old me, by myself, could not decimate a single recipe.

    I was probably correct, but for some reason the scent of frying apples and dough permeates the walls around here and my neighbors keep showing up. Its okay – they’re all amazed at the gluten free aspect.

    Also – this dough smells very similar to the dough they used to make funnel-cakes in the amusement parks back home – is it similar? could you modify it to make it funnel cake dough? (I was thinking add a bit more milk to make it more fluid, and leave out the apples, which may be unfeasible. I wonder if it would be fluid enough if you used applesauce instead of the apples and then still have the flavor…. hmmmm)

    Anyway, thank you. I’ll try not to eat them all in one sitting.

    Maybe a day and a half.

    • Nicole

      Hi, Jenny,
      You and Fall are such good friends, so thoughtful.
      It is a similar dough to funnel cake dough. You could try thinning it out and leaving out the apples. Or better yet puree the apples and use them to thin out the batter. Rather than using an actual funnel, it’s easiest if you use a squeeze bottle (they’re usually $1 at kitchen supply stores), and cut the tip a bit further back to widen the opening. Let me know it you give it a try!
      Oh, and not for nothing, but the fritters really are best the day they’re made. You can re-crisp them in a warm, not hot, oven (about 300+ degrees F) for a few minutes. Or a toaster oven works, too.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Latia

    Nicole, I made these fritters last night and they were super easy and super delicious! Thanks so much for the many fantastic recipes! My boys all loved these and ate about six each! I thought I’d put a few in their lunches today but they thought they couldn’t wait until today to eat them all. They wanted them now! I will definitely make them again. I wish I’d found your site sooner but am glad I’ve found it now. Best to you!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Latia,
      I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed the fritters! They really are best eaten straight out of the pan.
      I’m glad you found the blog, and I hope you’ll keep coming back. I’m not going anywhere. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Nicoly

    After sitting with my Supper Club Saturday night and listening them debate which local bakery had the best Apple Fritters I was so relieved to see this recipe…cannot WAIT to try them! We’re doing a 5K Thanksgiving morning with a follow up donut fest and I will making THESE little babies!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Nicoly,
      That’s a great feeling, isn’t it, knowing that you don’t have to miss out?
      Good luck on that 5K. Years ago I did that couch-to-5K program, did a 5K, and then went back to the couch a couple years later when I lost my running partner. Good for you!!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Julia H

    Nicole, we LOVE these! They are so easy, and with apple cider season here in Upstate NY, I thought I’d DIE without donuts to go with! Now we’re in heaven!! I have an autistic son so we used 1c applesauce instead so there were no “Chunky things” in them! LOL! Definitely have to make double batches! I have 4 kids and myself all on GF diet! Your blog is now my cooking go-to spot!!!! The Chocolate Breakfast Muffins are awesome too!! I think I love you!!!


    • Nicole

      Hi, Julie,
      So glad you enjoyed them! I’m really glad you were able to modify the recipe to eliminate the chunks so that everyone could join in. You shouldn’t miss out on anything at all, just because you’re GF. The only thing you can’t have is gluten. Everything else is fair game. Well done! Oh, and I love those chocolate breakfast muffins. I have to keep making new recipes, so I don’t get to make those nearly as often as I’d like.
      Oh, and I love you, too. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Sherry L

    Hi Nicole,

    I’ve been wanting to comment on these ever since I made them, last Monday, the day after our trip to a local orchard! I had never made apple fritters before(I’m not sure why, I guess I was always content w/ Apple crisp and baked apples), and these will definately be a seasonal favorite! They were everything your post promised, crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, loved those sweet & tender apple chunks in there MMMMMM!! I did double the recipe, and had some leftover to go w/ our coffee the next morning(I warmed them in the toaster oven as you suggested). We have dairy sensitivities, so I subbed unsweetened almond milk and non-dairy margarine with great results. Thanks for the inspiration and the wonderful recipe!

    • Nicole

      Hi, Sherry,
      I’m so glad you took the plunge and made apple fritters! They are such a nice alternative to the other apple desserts you mentioned – not that I don’t love those other apple dishes! So glad you doubled the recipe, and got to enjoy the rest with your coffee. Thank you for letting me know about your successful substitutions. That is always so helpful to know.
      xoxo Nicole

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