Starbucks-Style Gluten Free Apple Fritters

Starbucks-Style Gluten Free Apple Fritters

These gluten free apple fritters are made with yeasted dough and big chunks of apple, fried to perfection, just like Starbucks.

A close up pf apple fritters on brown paper

Some may differ on the quality and flavor of Starbucks coffee (I’m not usually much of a fan), but their baked goods are across-the-board lovely—or at the very least look and smell that way. Lately, I’ve been dreaming most often about their apple fritters. And it turns out that the dough from the Japanese Milk Bread from page 59 of GFOAS Bakes Bread makes an excellent gluten free apple fritters, in the Starbucks style. Dream realized. Craving? Satisfied.

Starbucks-Style Gluten Free Apple Fritters, Step by Step

There really aren’t very many steps, but I took lots of photos to really spell things out since I think that can be quite helpful. Don’t you agree? And since I’ve made a habit of doing these step-by-step collages, it’s not like you have to painstakingly scroll through a million photos.

I find that dividing the dough into 12 pieces, treating the cooked and diced apples like filling, then scattering more apples on top before frying the fritters to perfection creates the perfect ratio of dough-to-apple in every bite.

Overhead view of apple fritters on brown surface

These apple fritters are everything I dreamed they’d be: lightly sweet (they really do need the glaze, since it’s by far the sweetest part), nice and fluffy and packed with slightly tart cooked apples inside, and just crisp enough outside. The apples in the middle of the dough, along with those on top of each fritter, keep the fritters tasting fresh even the next day (as long as you wrap the fritters up tight and store them at room temperature).

And cooking the apples before frying means that you don’t have to overcook the pastries just to get the apples tender enough without being mushy. Add these gluten free apple fritters to the ever-increasing list of Starbucks copycat recipes here on the blog!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 fritters


1 recipe Gluten Free Japanese Milk Bread dough (I used the recipe on page 59 of GFOAS Bakes Bread, but this older blog recipe for Japanese Milk Bread works as well)

1 tablespoon (14 g) unsalted butter

2 apples, peeled, cored and diced (I used Granny Smith, but any firm apple will do)

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon (12 g) granulated sugar

Oil, for frying (I used a combination of equal parts canola oil and Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening)

1/2 cup (58 g) confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons milk (any kind), plus more by the 1/4 teaspoonful if necessary


  • Prepare the bread dough. If using the Japanese milk bread dough from GFOAS Bakes Bread, prepare the dough through its first rise (See Recipe Notes) and allow it to sit in the refrigerator while you prepare the apples. If using the Japanese milk bread dough from the blogprepare it according to the recipe directions through step 3 of that recipe, then place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and set it aside.

  • Cook the apples. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Placed the diced apples, cinnamon and sugar in the pan, and stir to combine. Sauté the apples, stirring occasionally, until they are just fork tender. Remove from the heat and set the pan aside to allow the apples to cool.

  • Shape the bread dough. If using the bread dough from the book, turn out the chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface and, using the scrape and fold kneading method and a very light touch, sprinkle the dough with more flour and knead it lightly, sprinkling with flour when necessary to prevent it from sticking and scraping the dough off the floured surface with a floured bench scraper, then folding it over on itself. Repeat scraping and folding until the dough has become smoother. Do not overwork the dough or you will incorporate too much flour and it will not rise properly. If using the Japanese milk bread dough from the blog, prepare it according to the recipe directions through step 3 of that recipe. With either dough, line a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and spray the paper with cooking oil. This will make it much easier to lift the fritters into the fryer after they have finished rising. Divide the dough in half, then each half into half again and so on until you have 12 equal pieces (each about 3 ounces). Roll each piece of dough into a round, sprinkling lightly with more flour as necessary to prevent sticking, and then pat into a round about 1/2-inch thick. Scatter about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the cooked diced apples on top and toward the center of each round, and lift the edges of the dough up and over to seal in the apples. Invert each piece of dough and, sprinkling lightly with flour as necessary to prevent sticking, pat it into a round about 1/2-inch thick. Place the pieces of prepared dough about 2 inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap, and set in a warm, draft-free location to rise for 30 minutes, or until puffed but not doubled.

  • Fry the fritters. As the fritters are nearing the end of their rise, 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 place the oil over medium-high heat to bring the oil temperature to a steady 325°F. Remove the plastic wrap, scatter a few more cooked diced apples on top of each raised fritter and press down gently to help them adhere. Carefully place the fritters a few at a time in the hot oil, taking care not to crowd the oil. Fry until very lightly golden brown all over (about 1 1/2 minutes per side). As soon as each batch is removed from the fryer, place on a wire rack placed over paper towels to drain and cool completely.

  • Glaze the cooled fritters. While the fritters are cooling, make the glaze. In a small bowl, place the confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon and 1 1/2 teaspoons of milk. Mix well, until a thick paste forms. Add more milk by the 1/4-teaspoon, mixing to combine well, until the glaze falls off the spoon slowly, in a thick but pourable glaze. Add milk very slowly, as it is much easier to thin, than to thicken, the glaze. If you do thin the glaze too much, add more confectioners’ sugar a teaspoon at a time to thicken it. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled fritters and serve.


Comments are closed.

  • Jennifer S.
    October 13, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    fantastically delicious once again. I have to get my fryer out again!!!

  • jill
    October 13, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    i had to smile at this as last night i was thinking i need to find an apple fritter recipe! done!

  • Frog58
    October 13, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    I have two questions about this bread 1) I cannot do regular mik..can soy or almond milk be used 2) I usually use my oven to rise my dough….after the dough has risen, will it fall if I take it out of the oven and set on counter until oven preheats to baking temp? What are some other methods for rising the dough (if you look at my handle you’ll understand I am not able to purchase anything not a necessity)


    • Rachel Moore Hendrickson
      October 20, 2014 at 6:00 PM

      In the recipe she does say any milk can be used. So I’m sure soy, rice, almond, or coconut milk will be OK :-)

  • anna
    October 13, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    These look amazing. Ive made your apple fritter popper balls, and those are really good, but i like how these are bigger and more pastry-style. Do you think they would freeze okay?

  • Mare Masterson
    October 13, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    Oh Nicole you have truly done it again! We are traveling by car to Laughlin, NV at the end of the month and I am making easy breakfasts and other foods for that weekend. This will most definitely top the breakfast list! I am going to use Macintosh apples for the inside and another type for the outside. Do they really need the glaze though? I don’t want sticky hands.

    • October 13, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      Go for the glaze, Mare! I actually took them on our 4-hour softball road trip this past weekend and it worked fine. I wrapped each individually in plastic wrap, and everyone just peeled away the plastic as they ate. Clean as a whistle. :)

  • Lucy
    October 13, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Nicole these look amazing!
    I can’t wait to try them out…HUGS!

    • October 13, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      Thanks, Lucy! :)

  • Donia Robinson
    October 13, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    I’m just hoping they’re such a big company that they don’t bother you with nasty emails. I know you could totally lawyer their butts, but those types of things are just annoying!

    P.S. My oldest is in marching band. This old body is not made to be on a bus until 2:15 am.

    • October 13, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      Aw, thanks, Donia! I’ve done tons of Starbucks clones here on the blog, and never heard a peep out of them. Like you said, they’re too big to notice. :)
      Oh I don’t go on a bus! With private travel sports there is no bus. And when she plays school sports, she goes on a bus … and I go by car. :)

      • Donia Robinson
        October 13, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        It was a coach bus, but still. I was trying to do my duty and be a chaperone. My bedtime is in the PMs, not the AMs. ;)

      • Martha Barr Horne
        October 13, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        I’m with you on the travel sport thing. We traveled all over this summer with my grand daughter’s 9-10 yr old softball travel team. (That’s her in my profile pic.) Also, now doing it again for grand son’s varsity football team. My problem was/is trying to find gluten-free concession-stand food. I eat granola bars a lot because I didn’t plan ahead and make something. These would have been divine!

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