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Gluten Free Corn Dogs + Corn Fritters

February 10, 2021
At a Glance

Summary

These mini gluten free corn dogs are crisp outside, tender inside fried fair or carnival treats. And we even make corn fritters with any leftover batter, so make a double batch!

Prep / Cook Time

20 minutes / 3 minutes

Rating

 5/5 (7 votes)
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Gluten Free Corn Dogs + Corn Fritters

Gluten free corn dogs are carnival or state fair food, but it’s hard to come by them at the actual event. So let’s make them ourselves!

White plate with corn dogs arranged on top of brown paper and white stick in foreground

Making corn dogs at home is a bit of a messy enterprise, but they’re the sort of food that make everyone cheer. Well, everyone who likes hot dogs even a little will cheer.

Part of the reason I prefer baking to cooking is that baking is seen as a gift, since it’s not essential. Your family would likely only notice if you didn’t cook dinner. But everyone takes notice when you bake something.

Deep fried corn dogs are in a middle ground. They’re food, not sweets, but they’re special and memorable.

Hand holding stick of corn dog to dip it in small bowl of mustard

Secrets to gluten free corn dogs success

Making corn dogs isn’t difficult, but like all recipes that use a technique that isn’t done in everyday cooking and baking, there are secrets to success. These are the things I remind myself of every time I make corn dogs.

If you only remember one thing, it’s to follow all the recipe instructions literally. I’m not saying I never make a mistake, but the published mistakes I make on this blog are typos or a turn of phrase.

Especially since you can literally watch me make these recipes in the hundreds of how-to videos on this website (unless you’re using an ad blocker, which will hide the videos so quit it!), you know that the recipe works when made as written. So if it didn’t work, please don’t tell me you “followed the recipe to a T.” If you do, it works. I promise.

Prepare the hot dogs properly

One of the biggest challenges in making corn dogs is getting the batter to stick to the hot dogs. The instructions below tell you to dry the hot dogs. Do that!

Then, coat them in the gum-free flour. The batter is thick, but still slippery when you’re trying to coat a smooth surface.

Prepare and apply the batter properly

The batter should be thick, very well-combined, and chilled. Watch the video to see the consistency you’re seeking.

To ensure a nice, thick layer of batter on each hot dog, dip it, let it drip off, then dip it again and twirl it on the stick. Then, gently place it in the hot oil.

If your batter makes the corn dog stick to the bottom surface of your frying container, it’s okay. Just gently free it when you’re ready to flip. If there’s a bald spot, you’ll only see a nicely fried hot dog poking out.

Be mindful when you insert the sticks

When you insert the stick in each hot dog, try holding the hot dog horizontally. That will help you visualize inserting the stick at the same horizontal angle, so the stick doesn’t pop out of the hot dog skin at an angle.

Oh, and if you have any trouble finding bamboo skewers in the grocery store, check by the meat counter. They’re usually not far from there – and either way, the butcher will always know where they keep them!

I like the look of lollipop sticks, and I happen to have a bag of them made by Wilton. They’re available at most craft stores, and of course also available online.

Don’t use an air fryer

If you were to make this batter thick enough to lay down the raw corn dogs on a rack or in an air fryer basket, the batter would be too thick to get particularly crisp. If you were to use an air fryer with the batter as it is in the recipe now, it would slip off and pool around the bottom.

Remember that an air fryer is a misnomer. It’s not frying food. It’s just a high-powered confection oven.

Five fritters frying in oil in frying basket overhead image

Make good use of any leftover batter.

How to make gluten free corn fritters from the same batter

Whenever I go through the trouble of deep-frying anything, I want to keep using that oil. This recipe for gluten free corn dogs quickly becomes a two-for-one when you thicken any remaining batter and make instant corn fritters.

This is more of an art than a science, though, since there’s no way of knowing precisely how much corn dog batter will be left over. I usually just double the batter recipe, even if I don’t plan to make double the corn dogs, just so I can make fritters.

The rule of thumb is to add 1 tablespoon (about 9 grams) of additional corn flour or gum-free gluten free flour for each 1/4 cup of leftover batter. You want to thicken the batter just enough that it pulls away from the side of the container when it’s fully mixed.

If you’d like to make sweeter fritters, add some granulated sugar to the batter first, then add the appropriate amount of corn flour or basic gf flour. They’re delicious with a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

closeup of irregularly shaped fritters on white paper towel

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy

There’s a bit of milk in the batter, and I use cow’s milk. If you’re dairy-free, use your favorite non-dairy milk.

Egg

The egg in the batter is essential to creating a coating that clings to the hot dog and has structure during frying. Even though it’s only one egg, I’m reluctant to recommend trying an egg replacement.

Cornmeal/corn flour

I had always made this recipe with coarsely ground yellow cornmeal. I like the texture in the corn dogs.

Lately, I’ve made the batter with a combination of half corn flour (which is just more finely ground cornmeal, at least that’s what we call it in the U.S.) and half coarsely ground yellow cornmeal. That way, I have the texture I like, and the batter clings to the hot dogs even better.

You cannot make these corn dogs … without corn. That would require a completely different recipe!

Hot dogs

Most commercial hot dogs are gluten free, but please check your labels and make phone calls to companies if you’re unsure. Some companies use wheat-based fillers in their hot dogs.

We often buy Applegate Farms brand, but Hebrew National is also great. If you don’t eat meat, and you have a vegan gluten free “hot dog” you like, use that if it’s strong enough to endure the indignities of this recipe.

hand holding corn dog stick with end bitten off to reveal hot dog inside, over small bowl of mustard

Words gluten free corn dogs with overhead image of overlapping corn dogs and hand holding bitten corn dog

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 corn dogs

Ingredients

For the corn dogs
6 gluten free hot dogs

1/2 cup (70 g) gluten free corn flour or cornmeal (See Recipe Notes)

1/2 cup (70 g) gum-free gluten free flour blend, plus more for sprinkling (See Recipe Notes)

1 tablespoon (12 g) granulated sugar (optional)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

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

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature

Oil, for deep frying (I like a mix of equal parts shortening and vegetable oil)

12 lollipop sticks or bamboo skewers

For fritters
Additional corn flour or gum-free gluten free flour by the tablespoonful (See Recipe Notes)

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions

  • In a small bowl, place the cornmeal or corn flour, flour blend, optional sugar, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the egg and milk, and whisk until very smooth. Place the mixture in a tall, narrow glass or mason jar, and then in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the other ingredients.

  • Remove the hot dogs from the package and pat them dry. Cut each hot dog in half by cross-section to create two evenly-sized short pieces.

  • Place a stick or skewer in the cut end of each hot dog piece, pressing it about halfway up the hot dog. Be careful to insert the stick parallel to the hot dog or the stick will poke out of the hot dog skin.

  • Toss the hot dogs in enough of the gum-free gluten free flour blend to create a thin coating all the way round, including the cut end. Set the hot dogs aside. Line a large plate or platter with disposable paper towels, and set it aside.

  • Place the frying oil in a medium-sized heavy-bottom saucepan, with a candy thermometer on the side (make sure the probe is in the liquid, and not resting on the bottom of the pan, or you will not get an accurate reading). Bring the oil to 350°F over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat enough to maintain the temperature of the oil without allowing it to increase.

  • Remove the cornmeal mixture from the refrigerator, and whisk to ensure it’s still well-combined and loosened. Holding onto the stick, slowly immerse the prepared hot dogs, one at a time, in the batter and remove it slowly to allow the batter to adhere to the hot dog. Allow the excess batter to drip off, and immerse it again in the batter. Remove it slowly from the mixture, and twirl it slowly to help the batter stay on the hot dog without dripping off.

  • Place the coated hot dog in the frying oil gently. It should float, but if it doesn’t, shake the pan a bit to help prevent it from adhering to the bottom of the pot or frying basket. Fry for about 2 minutes, and then rotate it, so it cooks evenly on all sides. If the batter has stuck to anything, pry it loose gently before you attempt to rotate it. Allow the hot dog to finish frying until the coating is uniformly deep golden brown. Remove the hot dog from the frying oil, and place on the prepared paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining hot dogs.

  • Serve immediately, or, crisp in a 300°F oven for about 5 minutes before serving.

  • If there is any leftover batter, add about an additional 1 tablespoon of corn flour to each 1/4-cup of remaining batter to thicken it to a scoopable consistency. Using a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop (a #50 works well), place mounds of the thickened batter into the frying oil and fry, turning once, until uniformly golden brown (about 4 minutes total). Remove from the oil and place on paper towel-lined plates to drain. Sprinkle lightly with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2013. Video, photos, extras all new. Core recipe unchanged.

Love,
Nicole

Comments are closed.

  • David Watkins
    May 23, 2021 at 8:57 PM

    This was great. We used the Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer and it worked well. Thanks for the recipe. So you have a cook book?

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 24, 2021 at 8:47 AM

      Glad your egg replacer worked, David. Yes, I have 5 traditionally-published cookbooks. Please click the link in the top navigation bar that says “Books” if you’d like more information.

  • Janette Hallmark
    February 19, 2021 at 9:46 PM

    Have you ever made this recipe into corn dog nuggets? maybe cutting the hotdog into 4 or 5 pieces and no sticks? Just wondering before I try them…

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 20, 2021 at 10:11 AM

      I haven’t, but I think that sounds pretty cool.

  • Julie
    February 14, 2021 at 2:15 PM

    Do you have a deep fryer that you recommend?

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 14, 2021 at 4:02 PM

      I always hesitate to mention specific products when I haven’t done an exhaustive search of alternatives, Julie, but I can say that I’ve had the same mini fryer for years, and it still works great. It’s made by Cuisinart and seems to be called a “compact deep fryer.” There has been some wear and tear, but overall it’s great. Shop around, though!

  • Allie
    February 11, 2021 at 1:21 PM

    If I wanted to make corn fritters with corn kernels in it… any suggestions? I’m guessing the kernels would need to be very dry before going into the batter. Other than that, maybe it’s trial and error?

    Thanks in advance if you have any tips!

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 11, 2021 at 1:31 PM

      I have a separate recipe for corn cakes that is made with corn kernels. Maybe you’d prefer those (just use the search function). I wouldn’t add corn kernels to these fritters as that would add a fair amount of moisture which isn’t welcome in deep frying!

  • Julie L
    February 10, 2021 at 3:44 PM

    Just for the corn-free folks out there- we do them with pancake batter. In fact, just celebrated our 5y.o.’s birthday using Nicole’s “perfect gluten free pancakes” recipe with the methods listed in this recipe. Golden perfection.

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 10, 2021 at 3:57 PM

      Hi, Julie, I can’t see how that would be thick enough to stick, but I’m glad you’re happy with the results!

  • Lily
    February 10, 2021 at 10:53 AM

    These look amazing! Is there a way to adapt them for pancakes on a stick?

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 10, 2021 at 10:55 AM

      That would be a totally different recipe, Lily! This is already a two-in-one. 🤣

  • Amy
    June 3, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Delicious! And works great in a corn dog maker…and who doesn’t have a corn dog maker on hand- (think waffle iron but with wells for corn dogs).

  • Lysa
    May 29, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    My son was just begging for some corn dogs. How did you know?

  • Denise Ferguson Kennedy
    May 29, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    OH! My children are very grateful as well! :) These corn dogs will now be our after the baseball game meal this coming weekend ! Along with some of your black bean hummus for dipping our veggies in and your chocolate pudding for dessert!

  • May 29, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    My children thank you from the very bottom of their hearts for this one! You’re on a roll – don’t stop!!!! :)

    • gfshoestring
      May 29, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      Thanks, Jennifer! My kids were pretty excited, too. :)
      xoxo Nicole

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