Mexican Buñuelos | Gluten-free

I think about the days spent at my Amá’s house in Mexico — endless Mexican candy, spicy chips, pan dulce, mangos — and every now and then, if we happened to be visiting her on the perfect day, we’d get fresh buñuelos. Ahh, the sugary, cinnamony goodness of a crispy freshly made buñuelo. I haven’t eaten one in a good while, but my first bite after making these gluten-free ones brought back so many memories.

It sounds easy enough — a tortilla covered in cinnamon sugar, basically. And actually, for once, it was actually that simple. I’d have to say that the most “difficult” part of making these was cutting out circle shapes from the flattened dough. Especially with gluten-free, you NEED to sprinkle flour on the table you’ll be rolling out the dough on, and don’t forget to flour the rolling pin as well. The worst thing is cutting out a perfect circle from your dough but then it’s stuck to the table and you have to ruin its perfect shape in order to get it off. Flour is your friend.

I made the mistake of putting too much oil in the pan. I’d say you need about 3/4 inch of oil in a small pan. And use a non starch-based flour. This will make the buñuelos crispier. I’m so so excited to share this recipe! Let me know if you try it out xx

Ingredients:

• 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour

• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

• 1 large egg

• 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

• 1/2 tablespoon butter, melted

• warm water

• 1 cup canola or vegetable oil

• 1/4 cup granulated sugar

• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.

2. Make a hole in the center of the flour mixture and add in the vanilla, egg, and melted butter. Use a fork to combine the ingredients.

3. Add in warm water a tablespoon at a time until it turns into a dough that’s soft but not sticky. Cover dough and let set at room temperature for 30 minutes.

4. Once dough has set, roll out dough onto floured surface. Roll out as thin as possible. Use the bottom of a plate (or flip upside down depending on the type of plate) to trace out a circle onto the flattened dough. Use a spatula to lift circle from surface. Roll out the circle so that it becomes even thinner. Sprinkle flour as necessary to avoid getting the dough stuck to your surface or rolling pin.

5. In a small pan, heat oil over medium heat. To check if oil is hot enough, drop a small piece of dough into the oil. If it starts forming bubbles then it’s ready.

6. While the oil is heating up, cut out more circles at repeat step 4 until all the dough is used and combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.

7. Once oil is hot enough, carefully slide each dough disk into the oil. Cook each side until both sides are bubbly and golden brown. Each side should take only a minute or two. If you notice it’s taking longer than that, raise your heat a notch.

8. Transfer each buñuelo onto paper towels to let drain and sprinkle cinnamon sugar while they are still hot so that the sugar can stick. This recipe will make about 9 buñuelos. Simply double the recipe to make more. Enjoy!

9 thoughts on “Mexican Buñuelos | Gluten-free

  1. I give this recipe one star. I made the recipe and followed it to the t. It was really disappointing. It kind of taste like cardboard. You have to fry it too much almost borderline burnt to get it to crisp and they end up tasting kind of burnt. If you don’t toast them enough it taste like dry bland dough. This is definitely not like the traditional Mexican buñuelos that I grew up loving. I had to throw them out. What a waste of time.

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    1. So sorry to hear yours didn’t come out like mine did! I’d say maybe your flour probably had a lot to do with it. Make sure it’s not starch-based to avoid the “cardboard” taste you described. Also if you use too much oil they won’t come out crispy. Keep in mind that gluten-free flours work differently from regular so while they don’t look like they’re ready they probably are. Gluten-free flours are made of white grains usually so they tend to not brown as much to indicate that they’re ready. I’ve made this mistake many times. Hope this helps!

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  2. Hi. Just wanted to let you know that this is my 5th recipe I’ve tried to try to make the perfect gluten free bunuelos that taste just like the wonderful Mexican bunuelos I used to make before being diagnosed with celiac. Unfortunately, these bunuelos don’t cut it. I followed your recipe exactly but what I got was very crispy but dry in your mouth kind of texture. I needed to follow each bite with a gulp of milk to make it go down. The taste is good, the instructions for the recipe were easy to follow, but the texture is really bad. I used King Arthur’s all purpose flour so I don’t know if that had anything to do with it. I usually use this flour to bake cakes and cookies that turn out scrumptious. I really wanted this recipe to be the one to use each New Year. Thank you for your time in putting together a bunuelo recipe, but it is certainly not quite right.

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