Gluten-free Churros with Rum & Coconut Caramel Sauce

Susan, AKA Kiwicook
Susan, AKA Kiwicook

Susan, AKA Kiwicook

In her days as a recipe developer, Susan has created over 450 recipes. Her Dutch and New Zealander roots serve as a basis for her culinary inspiration.

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GLUTEN-FREE CHURROS WITH RUM & COCONUT CARAMEL SAUCE

Churros – the deep-fried choux pastry snacks popular in many parts of the world – are pretty unfamiliar in my neck of the woods. So I’ve been dead keen to give them a try and see what all the fuss is about.

And wow, I’m glad I did – they’re the bomb! I LOVE how they puff up in the oil to create a delicately crispy exterior, with a light as air interior. Dredged in cinnamon sugar they’re good enough to eat as is, but paired with a kick-ass coconut sugar/coconut cream caramel sauce spiked with dark rum (which actually tastes like Bailey’s Irish Creme, only better), they’re insanely good!

What I’m super-pumped about is that these babies are gluten-free. The original recipe thanks to Claire Aldous of New Zealand’s Dish magazine suggested a gluten-free flour blend. However, I opted for a blend of buckwheat, brown rice and corn flours which worked incredibly well – you’d never know these churros are gluten-free when you devour them.

I made the pastry dough several hours ahead of time, piled it into a large pastry bag, and refrigerated it until needed. I took it out of the fridge about half an hour before I needed it, to let it come to room temperature. I chose to pipe the batter directly into the hot oil, although if you’re concerned about doing that (there’s always a risk, especially if there’s any air bubbles in the pastry bag, that they’ll plop into the oil and splash you), you can pipe the churros onto oil-sprayed lined baking trays, refrigerate them for about 30 minutes to set firm, and then transfer them into the hot oil from there.

By the way, I kept some left-over batter in the fridge for about 24 hours and it was still perfectly good. And, as I discovered, the caramel sauce is WAAAY better the next day too – a lot thicker and far more flavoursome. So, I’d definitely suggest making it a day ahead.

If, like me, you’re a complete newbie to the world of churros, or if you’ve been looking for a gluten-free option, I can wholeheartedly recommend this recipe. As a sumptuous brunch, an afternoon treat, or a decadent dessert with ice cream on the side, you’re gonna love it!

GLUTEN-FREE CHURROS WITH RUM & COCONUT CARAMEL SAUCE 2
GLUTEN-FREE CHURROS WITH RUM & COCONUT CARAMEL SAUCE

GLUTEN-FREE CHURROS WITH RUM & COCONUT CARAMEL SAUCE

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Servings 20 Servings

Equipment

  • 1 Stand mixer

Ingredients
  

For the caramel sauce:

  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp dark rum

For the churros:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3.5 oz butter, diced
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup self-raising gluten-free flour (I used 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 cup buckwheat flour and 1/4 cup cornflour, plus 1 teaspoon baking powder)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs

To cook

  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

For the caramel sauce: (Make this a day ahead)

  • Put the sugar and water in a saucepan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 6 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the coconut cream and rum. Return to the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Pour into a bowl and cool then chill in the fridge. It will thicken overnight.

For the churros:

  • Put the milk, butter and salt in a medium saucepan and slowly bring to the boil to melt the butter. Turn the heat to low and tip in the flour (or flour mix) and cinnamon, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon until a thick dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the saucepan (this will happen quickly).
  • Tip the dough into the bowl of a standing mixer and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly between each addition. The dough should be thick, shiny and smooth. (It may be necessary to add more egg yolk, or a dash of milk if the dough is too thick – the batter should fall very slowly from a spatula when lifted).

To cook:

  • Fit a large pastry bag with a large star nozzle and fill with some of the dough. Do this in batches if necessary.
  • Use a deep-fryer, or heat 3cm of vegetable oil in a deep medium-sized frypan or saucepan to 190°C (375°F) or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden in 30 seconds.
  • Pipe lengths of dough directly into the oil (use scissors to cut each length – it helps to have someone else cut while you pipe!) but don’t overcrowd the saucepan as the churros need room to puff up during cooking.
  • Cook for a few minutes, turning carefully from time to time, until golden and crisp. Lift out of the oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to soak up extra oil. Then roll in the cinnamon sugar.
  • Serve warm with the chilled caramel sauce for dipping. NB: These won’t keep well – they deflate and go limp after a while, so best to serve as soon as they’re made.

Notes

If you pipe the batter into the hot oil straight after making it, the batter is soft and will fall naturally into curvy shapes. However, if you pipe the batter cold from the fridge, the batter is much firmer and will create straighter lines.
Keyword ChurrosRum Coconut Caramel Sauce, Gluten-Free
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Susan, AKA Kiwicook
About The Author
Susan, also known as the Kiwi Cook, hails from Levin, New Zealand, and has a unique Kiwi-Dutch-British heritage that influenced her culinary upbringing. As an artist, tutor, writer, and editor, Susan dedicates her weekends to creating delectable dishes. Her food philosophy embraces moderation and listening to her body's needs.

Comments

  1. Avatar

    Hellooo from across the miles. Not done much cooking lately; been making soap. I have never made churros – it’s a Spanish thing so we are lucky to have the very best any time we feel like a walk across the border. My daughter has gone gluten free for her thyroid and she loves churros. I gave them a bash. They were (notice past tense) not as pretty as yours, and they never got to my daughter’s house either. Not bad at all (for a Kiwi haha), Bloomin’ well done.

    Reply
    • Hi Jaqueline! Sending a big hello from way over (and down) here! Glad you gave them a bash and who cares how pretty they look anyway! Just so long as they taste good! Hope your daughter gets to taste them at some stage!!

      Reply

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