What better way to celebrate Mardi Gras than with these Gluten Free Beignets? They're fried little puffs of dough covered liberally with powdered sugar!
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If you've never had beignets, think of them as a little square donut covered (and I mean covered) in powdered sugar. They're a typical New Orleans breakfast treat, but I think any time of day is a great time to have beignets. I've made these gluten free so we can all enjoy them!
What You'll Need to Make Beignets
Making beignets is no harder than making donuts. We've already proven that donuts can be made gluten free and they can also be absolutely amazing! These beignets are no different, and are actually easier. There's no need for a donut cutter, biscuit cutter, or anything like that. If you can use a knife or pastry wheel, you can easily cut squares of dough. The dough is what I like to call my CRAZY DOUGH because so many things can be made with it:
- Kim's gluten free bread flour blend -- there is no substitute for my gluten free bread flour blend. For substitutions within the blend itself, see the flour blends page.
- Granulated sugar
- Psyllium husks -- you can leave these out, but you won't get the same stretch.
- Instant yeast -- you can substitute active dry yeast, but you'll need to "bloom" it in the milk (that's been warmed) before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
- Baking powder
- Kosher salt
- Milk -- for dairy free, substitute dairy-free milk, such as almond, soy, coconut, cashew, etc.
- Butter -- for dairy free, substitute vegan butter, coconut oil (unrefined or refined), or shortening.
- Eggs -- there is no substitution (that I know of) for the eggs in this dough, although you could attempt chia eggs, flax eggs, or an egg replacer (I haven't tried it and I have my doubts as to whether it would work).
- Nutmeg -- the tiniest dash adds just a hint of spice without being overpowering. You can leave it out, but it makes the beignets taste a little different than a donut.
- Powdered sugar -- New Orleans serves beignets with lots and lots of powdered sugar.
- Oil for frying -- I use canola oil, but you can also use vegetable oil or melted shortening. Cafe du Monde in New Orleans uses cottonseed oil.
Shaping the Beignets
If you don't want to fiddle with making donuts but you want a fried pastry, just make beignets. They're so easy, you can shape them literally in under a minute. Roll the dough to about ¼ to ½-inch thickness, or somewhere in between. Take a pastry wheel (affiliate link) or sharp knife and cut them into small squares. It's up to you how big or small you want the squares to be. For this post, I chose to make bite size beignets that were about 2 inches each. Just remember, they're going to puff up considerably so whatever size you make them, figure that same size but in 3D!!
Coffee -- beignets are traditionally served with coffee, black or au lait (with hot milk), often combined with chicory root.
Chocolate ganache -- a thin chocolate ganache, even one with chicory coffee added, is something similar to what Disney World serves their beignets with. Chop 6 ounces of semi-sweet or dark chocolate and place in a bowl. Heat ¼ cup of heavy cream in the microwave or a small saucepan and pour over the chocolate. Add a teaspoon or so of instant espresso powder or instant chicory root (affiliate link) and stir to blend.
Chili strawberry sauce -- I made this sauce to go with churros, but it's so good you could eat it on a flipflop, haha!
YES!!!! Air fryers are the BEST, aren't they? When you want something fried, but don't want to break out all that oil, an air fryer makes the best substitute. Plus, it's much healthier. Every air fryer is different, so check your air fryer owner's manual. I preheated mine to 350 degrees F and fried them for 4 minutes.
Beignets are like any other donuts, gluten free or not. They are best eaten fresh.
These gluten free beignets are so addictive, I won't even say I bet you can't eat just one because I already know that you can't, haha!
Gluten Free Beignets
- ½ recipe cinnamon roll dough
- oil for frying (I use canola oil, but any neutral oil will work)
- powdered sugar for coating, as much or as little as desired
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and knead it briefly on a lightly floured surface until smooth and cohesive.
- Roll dough out to roughly ¼-inch thickness. Cut squares or rectangles using a pastry wheel or sharp knife. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
- Let rise in a warm, draft-free area for 45 minutes to an hour, or until almost doubled in size.
- Preheat oil in a fryer, Dutch oven, cast iron skillet, or electric skillet to 325-330° F. Carefully add several squares of dough into the oil at a time (6-8), maintaining temperature of oil. Fry for about 1 minute per side and then remove with a slotted spoon or spider to a wire rack to drain.
- Place warm beignets on a serving platter and use a sieve to generously sprinkle powdered sugar over beignets. Serve immediately. They are best served fresh.
This recipe was originally posted in October 2018 and has been updated with new tips and tricks, refreshed photos, and a new video.