Gluten Free Apple Fritters

September 30, 2020
At a Glance


The perfect gluten free apple fritters are fried efficiently and quickly until they’re crisp on the very outside and soft and tender inside—with apple pieces cooked to fork-tender perfection. No yeast needed!

Prep / Cook Time

15 minutes / 20 minutes


 5/5 (26 votes)
Gluten Free Apple Fritters

These gluten free apple fritters are crispy outside, tender inside, and just sweet enough—with a simple cinnamon sugar glaze.

Two apple fritters with glaze on waxed paper one with a bite taken

Why make apple fritters?

Cooking and baking with apples is guaranteed to make your house smell amazing and lift your spirits. How’s that for a promise?

This super simple batter apple fritter batter, fried in the right oil (you only need something with a high smoke-point, like grapeseed oil and/or vegetable shortening), beats any donut, any day. Save the ground cinnamon for the glaze, though, because adding it to the fritter batter turns the inside an unappetizing brown color.

These apple fritters are made with the simplest batter that’s not that different from buttermilk pancakes, just with different proportions, of course with diced apples. And instead of cooking them on a skillet, we’re frying them.

When you fry them in oil held at a consistent temperature of 350°F, the outside of the batter begins to brown rather quickly, which creates a crispness once they cool. It also seals the inside from absorbing more oil, which prevents any sogginess, and allows the inside to cook gently.

If the oil is much hotter than 350°F, you risk burning the outside before the inside is cooked all the way through. Much cooler, and the fritters won’t brown.

Apple fritter batter in a bowl with a mixing spoon

Can I bake this batter instead of frying it?

In a word, no. When I was testing this recipe, I got the proportions wrong quite a few times before I got them right. And when I got them wrong, rather than throwing away the batter, I decided to place it in the wells of a muffin tin and bake.

When the batter was too-thick, baking it as muffins worked somewhat. I mean, we certainly ate the failures since even if the texture is wrong, the results were edible with these sort of ingredients.

For actual gluten free apple fritters, with that classic crisp outside and tender inside with fork tender apples studded throughout, you must fry in a few inches of oil.

I do not recommend making this recipe in an air fryer, either. Air fryers are powerful little convection ovens, but they’re still a form or baking. This batter is quite wet, and doesn’t bake well.

I do think there’s potential for my creating a recipe for baked apple fritter-style muffins. But it will take some doing, and I’m not quite there yet. For the time being, if you’re looking to bake, not fry, I recommend our recipe for gluten free apple cider donuts, a favorite fall recipe every year.

Apple fritters in frying oil, raw and fried

Which apple is best here?

Granny Smith apples are often my choice when I’m making an apple pie, especially one that calls for baking the apples at a high temperature, for a substantial period of time. They’re very firm and rather tart, so they hold their shape during baking like that.

Here, we’re not baking these fritters, but rather frying them. Since these apple fritters are relatively flat, and not super puffy, they don’t fry for that long.

If you do use a very firm apple like Granny Smith, just cut it into a smaller dice. That way it will still become tender during frying.

Almost any other apple, other than something like a golden delicious apple that tends to have very tender flesh, or a red delicious apple that tends to be mealy, will work at a regular dice. I really like Empire and Macintosh apples here.

Apple fritters cooling on a wire rack

What’s the best gluten free flour to use?

There is no need for xanthan gum in this recipe. To make things as simple as possible, the recipe calls for a combination of an all purpose gluten free flour (like Better Batter or my mock Better Batter blend, both discussed at the link) and cornstarch.

The cornstarch serves to lighten the flour so that the batter is properly soft, but not runny. If you’re using a higher starch blend like Cup4Cup or my mock Cup4Cup blend, in place of 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, please use 2 tablespoons more of the blend.

If you’d prefer, you can use my gum-free gluten free flour blend in place of both the all purpose gluten free flour blend and the cornstarch. You’d need 1/2 cup (70 g) of that gum-free blend, which would be made up of 46 grams superfine white rice flour + 15 grams potato starch + 9 grams tapioca starch/flour. If you use this blend, please use 1 tablespoon less buttermilk.

One apple fritter with glaze on waxed paper

Ingredients and substitutions


In place of buttermilk, whether you’re dairy free or you’ve simply run out of buttermilk, my advice is similar. Use half milk (nondairy if you’re dairy free) and half plain yogurt (nondairy if you’re dairy-free).

“Souring” milk (nondairy or not) with a bit of acid like lemon juice or vinegar simply doesn’t make a liquid that resembles the viscosity of actual buttermilk. Resist the urge!


Since there is only one egg in this recipe, you should be able to use a “chia egg.” In a small bowl, place one tablespoon ground white chia seeds and 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, then mix and allow it to gel.


In place of cornstarch, you can try using arrowroot. If you are corn-free, you’ll also need a confectioners’ sugar that doesn’t contain cornstarch.


One glazed apple fritter on waxed paper with a bite

Gluten Free Apple Fritters one whole one with a bite taken

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 6 to 8 fritters, depending upon size


For the fritters
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (53 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter) (See Recipe Notes)

2 tablespoons (18 g) cornstarch

1/4 cup (50) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Neutral oil, for frying (I like a combination of equal parts grapeseed oil and Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening)

1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons (3 1/2 fluid ounces) buttermilk, at room temperature

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell), at room temperature

1 large, firm apple, peeled, cored and diced (see Recipe Notes)

For the glaze
1 cup (115 g) confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon lukewarm water, plus more as necessary


  • In a large bowl, place the flour, cornstarch, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to combine well. Set the bowl aside.

  • Peel, core, and dice the apple into pieces that are about the size of a thumbnail. If they’re too large, they won’t become tender during frying. If they’re too small, they’ll disappear into the batter. Add the diced apple to the large bowl of dry ingredients, and toss to coat. Set the bowl aside again.

  • Place about 3-inches of frying oil in a medium-size, heavy-bottom pot or fryer. Clip a deep-fry/candy thermometer to the side of the pot or fryer, and bring the oil to a consistent temperature of 350°F over medium-high heat.

  • While the oil is coming to temperature, finish making the fritter batter. Place the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl and whisk to combine well, then add the mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and diced apples. Mix until just combined.
    Once the oil has reached temperature, scoop the fritter batter in 1/4-cup portions into the hot oil, taking care not to crowd the oil. Working quickly and taking care not to press the batter into the bottom of the fryer pot or basket, flatten the dough a bit. Fry until very lightly golden brown on the underside, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip the fritters, and continue to fry for another 2 minutes or until golden brown on the second side. Flip once more as necessary to brown the fritters evenly. Remove the finished fritters from the frying oil, and place on a wire rack placed over paper towels to drain and cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter.

  • In a small bowl, place the confectioners’ sugar and ground cinnamon, and mix to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of water and mix well, until a very thick paste forms. Add more water by the drop, mixing to combine well, until the glaze drizzles off the spoon. Using a fork, drizzle the glaze over the cooled fritters. Allow the glaze to set at room temperature before serving.


Comments are closed.

  • Julie L
    December 9, 2020 at 1:41 AM

    Hi Nicole, quick question- I’ve got a birthday menu with apple fritters as the star of the show. Between this version and the Starbucks copycat version which would be more like a donut shop type, or is the difference negligible? I haven’t had one in over a decade and don’t really remember the details…

    Thank you!

    • Nicole Hunn
      December 9, 2020 at 3:29 PM

      One is made with a batter, and the other is yeasted, Julie. They’re pretty different!

  • Sandy Cobb
    November 27, 2020 at 4:45 PM

    These are so good and easy! I made a double batch this morning and before we had each eaten 2, we had come up with about a dozen variations to try! My husband and dad are not gf, and they are very accommodating, which means they don’t eat donuts often. This will change now! Thank you!

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 28, 2020 at 2:17 PM

      That’s so great to hear, Sandy! Thank you so much for letting me know. Cheers to their not feeling like they are doing you a favor by eating what you eat! :)

  • Janet
    November 22, 2020 at 12:31 PM

    Delish., thank you lost a couple of apples but those were the samples while awaiting the fritters . Good thing we only made twelve the entire batch was eaten in a day,

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 22, 2020 at 1:54 PM

      Haha samples are very important—especially for the cook, Janet!

  • Nicki
    November 19, 2020 at 4:54 PM

    I tried these today with the substitutions to leave corn starch out and to “make” buttermilk with df yogurt and milk. The batter was so runny the fritters didn’t hold together well. I ended up adding more flour (your recommended custom blend) and then they started sticking a bit better. I read the comments and can’t figure out what went wrong here.
    The taste was good though! I may try again but perhaps just use the corn starch.
    Next up is your yeast donuts. I’m hoping I have better luck there.

    • Nicole Hunn
      November 19, 2020 at 7:14 PM

      It sounds like you may have overmeasured the liquid, Nicki.

  • Sonjia
    October 26, 2020 at 9:40 PM

    These are awesome! Will definitely be making again soon!

  • Molly G
    October 22, 2020 at 2:51 PM

    Can the batter be made a day ahead and then fried the next day? Also, what is your opinion on namaste perfect GF flour blend?

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 22, 2020 at 3:13 PM

      No, I’m afraid you can’t make the batter ahead of time, no. And, no you cannot use Namaste flour blends in my recipes. It’s not a well-balanced blend, I’m afraid. I discuss flour blends fully on the all purpose gluten free flour blends page, which is linked every time a recipe calls for that.

  • zebe
    October 15, 2020 at 5:00 PM

    I made it using this: “If you prefer to use my gum-free gluten free flour blend in place of both the all purpose gluten free flour blend and the cornstarch, you’ll need 46 grams superfine white rice flour + 15 grams potato starch + 9 grams tapioca starch/flour. If you use this blend, please use 1 tablespoon less buttermilk.” and it was SOOO runny that all the apples just split apart and fried separately. I ended up adding almost double the flours before it stood a chance of holding shape at all when it went in the oil (which was temping plenty hot enough). Are those numbers correct? I understand being a pancake batter type consistency or something, but this was even wetter.

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 15, 2020 at 5:15 PM

      The numbers are correct, yes, Zebe. I’m afraid I don’t know why your batter was very runny, unless you undermeasured any of the component flours or overmeasured the buttermilk. If you used a rice flour that isn’t superfine, it won’t combine properly. That’s the only other thing I can think of!

  • Bobbie
    October 13, 2020 at 1:19 PM

    Thanks for this recipe! It was easier than I expected and all of my non-gf friends loved them.

    I did find that the batter was way too runny on my practice batch, and I ended up using about half of the wet ingredients, which turned out great. I went by weight for all of the dry ingredients, and the flour blend I used was balanced, so I’m really not sure what went wrong. Any ideas?

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 13, 2020 at 2:20 PM

      It sounds like maybe you didn’t use one of my recommended flour blends, Bobbie, but instead one you consider well-balanced. That’s my guess!

  • Lynn
    October 9, 2020 at 8:40 AM

    Oh yum! I had planned on making your apple cider donuts this week, but it looks like I’m making these instead. Or maybe both! Thanks for including the substitutions, I always scroll to those first to see if your recipe will work with our diet. It has saved me a ton of time and failed recipes, and I appreciate it.

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 9, 2020 at 9:17 AM

      I think you should make both. But that’s really none of my business. ?
      I’m so glad the Ingredients and Substitutions section is helpful to you, Lynn. I started doing that a number of years ago, mostly because readers would make tons of substitutions and then declare the recipe a disaster without sharing what they changed! I only wish I had started doing it sooner.

  • Kelly
    October 9, 2020 at 7:36 AM

    Thank you so much nicole!
    My family are huge fans. The fair we usually go to in the fall was cancelled. We were so bummed. As we were making these I pointed out that our house smelled like the fair and this time we can EAT the fritters! Next year I might have to make these and sneak them into the fair :)

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 9, 2020 at 9:19 AM

      Well it would be hard for me to think of anything better in this world than that, Kelly! You absolutely should take them to the fair next year, when we can once again move about. Thank you for letting me know that you and your family enjoyed them so much. It means everything to me!

  • Lisa Tracy
    October 8, 2020 at 12:29 PM

    Oh. My. Gawd. These are so warm and tender and sweet and taste like the best of fall. The batter came together easily (I used a Macintosh apple), and fried up quickly. Turned out perfectly on my first try. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear there’s no way they’re gluten free. Thank you, Nicole, for a new fall fave! ?

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 8, 2020 at 12:49 PM

      That’s so great to hear, Lisa! Well done reading the directions carefully, and executing like a pro! ?

  • Lemlem
    October 6, 2020 at 10:12 AM

    Hello, can I use corn flour instade of corn starch and brown rice flour?
    Thank you for the recipe

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 6, 2020 at 10:45 AM

      No, you definitely can’t, Lemlem. That’s not an appropriate substitute at all.

  • Stella Gresham
    October 4, 2020 at 9:50 PM

    First time making fritters. Maybe the first time I ever tried fritters. OMG. Love…ly…?

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 5, 2020 at 7:42 AM

      Hahaha, Stella, that’s awesome. I sang “lovely” in my head. ?

  • Sandra Hudec
    October 4, 2020 at 8:23 PM

    Too many political ads. Very disappointing.

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 5, 2020 at 7:44 AM

      I make no apology for the ads, Sandra. They have nothing to do with my own personal views, one way or another. I (begrudgingly) keep those to myself. But they will keep coming for the next month, though, since that is where the ad spend is.

  • Cathy Thelen
    October 4, 2020 at 7:23 PM

    What brand is your fryer in the video? Christmas is coming—-yep.

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 5, 2020 at 7:45 AM

      I love that little fryer, Cathy! Highly recommend. It really keeps the whole deal contained and simple. It’s made by Cuisinart, and I think it’s called the “compact deep fryer” or something similar. I’ve had it for years and it still works like new!

  • Christina Lo
    October 4, 2020 at 3:20 PM

    Can I use light olive oil for frying?

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 4, 2020 at 3:25 PM

      No, Christina, you need an oil with a higher smoke point, since your oil is not likely to stay at precisely 350°F.

  • Lynda
    October 4, 2020 at 1:01 PM

    I have never made a fried pastry item before, so this was a first. They came out perfectly! The frying oil temperature note was important, as well as flattening them slightly. I used the recommended sub for buttermilk with yogurt and milk. Absolutely delicious and the family devoured them. Frightfully easy and fast also!

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 4, 2020 at 1:28 PM

      Thanks so much for sharing your success, Lynda! I’m very glad you read through everything in detail so you were able to have success right away. I wish everyone did that! Thanks again for the kind note.

  • Stella Gresham
    October 4, 2020 at 9:45 AM

    Sorry to be Off topic but need an expert to give a clear answer to one starting out trying to make bread…In general GF bread baking, can I substitute corn starch for tapioca starch?
    Thank you so much.

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 4, 2020 at 1:23 PM

      No, you can’t, Stella. I provide substitution information wherever possible. Please always refer to that.

  • Misty Pope
    October 4, 2020 at 7:40 AM

    Doubled the batch last night and my family devoured them. Amazing and so easy to make, thank you for sharing.

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 4, 2020 at 8:48 AM

      I’m so glad, Misty! This doubles easily, as you saw for yourself. Thanks for sharing that!

  • Elaine
    October 3, 2020 at 2:00 PM

    Can you use this batter in a waffle iron? Or, do you have a recipe that can be? It sounds great.

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 3, 2020 at 2:03 PM

      You need a waffle recipe for that, Elaine. Please use the search function!

  • Sophie
    October 2, 2020 at 7:09 PM

    I am really looking forward to trying these. I’ll have to find some friends to come and eat them with me though! I’d happily eat a whole batch in one sitting—oops!

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 3, 2020 at 10:24 AM

      Well, to be fair, Sophie, it’s a really small batch!

  • Leigh
    October 1, 2020 at 2:59 AM

    Would home made powdered sugar work here?

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 1, 2020 at 8:06 AM

      I don’t see why not, Leigh. The only concern is that it might be a bit gritty?

  • Terese
    October 1, 2020 at 12:14 AM

    This recipe looks great! I have King Arthur’s gluten free flour blend, should I make any adjustments?

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 1, 2020 at 8:06 AM

      You cannot use King Arthur’s blends in my recipes, Terese. Please click through the link for my page all about all purpose gluten free flour blends.

  • Jennifer Abouzeid
    September 30, 2020 at 10:37 PM

    Nicole, you are an angel. Thank you so much for everything you do. I no longer miss the treats that I could have pre-celiac diagnosis at all. I find that it’s so much more fun having the experience of creating all this deliciousness at home.

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 1, 2020 at 8:12 AM

      Hi, Jennifer, thank you so much for going through the trouble to make this comment. The last few days there have been a ton of complaints about things I can’t or won’t control (like advertisements on the site), and my goal is to make things more fun, and make sure you don’t miss anything. Thank you for letting me know that together you and I have achieved that! ❤️

  • Cheryl Jean Dowler
    September 30, 2020 at 11:16 AM

    Hello, I hope you can help me as my body dose not do well with corn. The confectioners’ sugar, i find either has flower or corn starch in it is there one you have found that dose not? If so what brand & when can I get it? Thank you so much for your help.
    Best wishes to you

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 30, 2020 at 12:32 PM

      Hi, Cheryl, There are a few brands of confectioners’ sugar that are corn-free, actually. I can only recall one (Better Batter, the gluten free flour company, sells one), but other readers have jumped in with suggestions before. Trader Joe’s confectioners’ sugar might also be corn-free? Hopefully someone else will remind me! And in place of cornstarch in the recipe, you can try using arrowroot.

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