Gluten-free, vegan Apple Fritters

Glorious apple fritters with powdered sugar snow
Glorious apple fritters with powdered sugar snow

I have to admit, I spend a lot of fall jealous of people eating cider doughnuts and apple treats of all sorts. It’s part of a day out in the fall — stop at an orchard, get some fried appley things, eat bliss. Nowadays, I get cider, which is great, but somehow not as filling. Lucky for me, I think apple crisp is the pinnacle of baked apple dishes, as that’s super easy to take the gluten out of — it’s not meant to hold together. It’s meant to go in a bowl with ice cream and just be brilliant. But it’s not a fried apple treat of any kind, and I missed those.

So when Denise and I decided to have another day of frying everything, apple fritters were on my mind. I think it’s been years and years since I had one, so I’m not entirely sure these are “traditional,” but they were tasty, and they kept well in the oven (set down at 170ºF) while we made the rest of the fried things. I’d love to tell you how they did a day later or frozen, but I can’t. We ate them all. I’m not big on food guilt anyway, but I can say that if you fry things maybe three times a year, you can’t really feel bad about eating everything.

How many fritters you get will depend on how big you make them, and there’s really not a lot of measuring the mess into the oil. Just try to make them similar sizes so that they can be done about the same time. I’m not sure an exact count would be possible anyway — you’ll be eating them as soon as they are cool enough, way too fast to count, anyway, unless you have inhuman strength. The recipe is loosely based on the Chai-Spiced Pancakes recipe on The Canary Files, which is my go-to pancake recipe (my favorite thing about it is that you need to make it the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I LOVE that. I don’t really do mornings so much as mornings happen to me.) For a fritter batter, though, I’ve altered it quite a bit, and then dunked it in hot oil; I’m just saying don’t expect health food.

Batter, Frying, Draining (and absorbing sugar)
Batter, Frying, Draining (and absorbing sugar)

Gluten-free, Vegan Apple Fritters

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour, blend of your choice (THIS is my go-to)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder (corn-free, if you need it)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 cups rice milk, DIVIDED (if you make this by hand, add slightly less water than called for, about a 1:1 ratio of cooked rice to water, and strain it really well for a thicker texture that is so much better for baking)
  • 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds, ground, mixed with 3 Tablespoons warm water to form a chia egg
  • 1 scraped vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
  • 2 Tablespoons light olive oil (regular will be fine, you just might taste it a bit)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground psyllium husk
  • 4 medium apples, peeled, cored, and shredded (medium=baseball-sized)
  • powdered sugar for dusting. Really, don’t even bother to mention this, just sift or sprinkle it on.

Mix the dry ingredients (AP flour to nutmeg) together well. Add 1 1/2 cups rice milk, chia egg, vanilla bean, olive oil, and psyllium. Mix well, adding more rice milk if needed. Then put in the fridge for an hour. It will thicken considerably. Add the rest of the rice milk and stir in the apples. You want a thick dough, sort of like regular gluten-containing muffin batter would be, so pay attention as you add the liquids.

Heat a pot of oil to 370ºF. Drop the fritter batter in by spoonfuls, making sure not to crowd the fritters. If you use two spoons, you can sort of flatten or spread the fritters as you form them, making them more UFO saucer shape than rounds, and this will mean the insides cook better. They WILL stick together or stick to the sides of the pot, so bounce them around enough to make sure they don’t. Flip a few times, and see how they brown. You may have to test a few — I’m not giving you a cooking time as it varies widely based on how thick each fritter is, but after 3 or 4, you’ll have the hang of it.

When they are nicely golden brown, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate or tray to drain. Let the oil return to 370ºF, if need be, before doing the next batch. An oven turned down as low as it goes (170ºF on my oven) will keep them nicely warm until you’ve finished all of them.

Dust liberally with powdered sugar and no longer feel left out.


      1. Maybe Mary Kate will chime in on her thoughts since she’s not allergic to coconut and I can’t use coconut sugar because of my allergy to coconut. But if you generally use a 1 to 1 replacement ratio for regular sugar and it works for you, I don’t know why not. If you try it, please let us know how it goes.

        1. I haven’t tried coconut sugar either, so I don’t know. But if you generally use it as a replacer, yeah, I’d agree with Denise — let us know how it goes.

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