You’ll be surprised how easy it is to whip up a batch of these grain free and keto churros! And (most importantly!) how akin they are to the original version… at only 1g net carbs a pop!
Grain Free & Keto Churros
The Real Deal
I’m very (veeeery!) excited to share this recipe for keto churros with y’all. First, you must know that I’m half Mexican (Paola here!!), so getting churros properly right was a challenge. And second, that they’re actually suuuuper easy to make (for real).
The one thing is that they aren’t as crispy as traditional churros. As many of you may’ve noticed, the keto grain free flours generally stay on the softer side. So since the recipe was first published in 2018, I’ve played around with quite a few different variants (all yielding similar results).
My suggestion? If you really want them to be super crisp, just throw in a tiny bit of cheese. Yup, for real! I got this hack from our cheese puffs, which turn out beautifully crisp. You’ll be adding much less though, and with all the toppings you won’t bat an eye lash!
Oh! And if you don’t want to get into frying, feel free to check out the churro donuts!
This recipe is very akin to traditional Mexican churros, with the batter essentially being a choux pastry (used to make anything from eclairs to gougeres). But this is just a fancy way of saying that you first boil together water with sugar, butter and salt. Adding in the flour and cooking it until it forms into a ball. And step three, mixing in the eggs off the stove.
After some experimenting, it turned out that making a proper choux pastry keto is totally doable, and with excellent results. As in the keto churros could’ve fooled anyone (and they did). Again, for real.
Now when you mix in the eggs the dough will be very stiff and take a few minutes to incorporate fully. The final dough will also be rather stiff and form into a ball easily, but also very elastic (courtesy of the eggs and xanthan gum). You can also always use a hand mixer here, but we don’t think it merits getting an extra appliance dirty.
For the shaping you’ll need a pastry bag (disposable ones are terrific) and a star tip (think Ateco #824). We also piped out the churros 6 to 7 inches long (Mexican-style!). But you can of course also do miniature ones.
Now for the frying. I did coconut oil (couldn’t really taste it with all the cinnamon on top), but you can also use anything from lard to refined coconut oil (if you’re very bothered by the taste). You also don’t need a lot of it, think 1/2 to 1 inch-deep. So start small and add more if needed. The trick to saving a truck-load of oil is to pipe the dough towards you across the length of the pot, rather than dropping it it. The churros float anyways, so no need to have a pot-full of it.
The one detail to note is that these take longer to fry, and you want to give them the time to get nice and golden as they’ll crisp up more after cooling for a few minutes.
Oh and you can always refrigerate the dough overnight (fully covered so it doesn’t get crusty). Just be sure to bring the dough back to room temperature before using again.
And don’t skip the psyllium husk. It helps retain moisture, create structure (i.e. it’s highly responsible for the killer crumb). And it just so happens to be a killer source of fiber.
Borrowed from molecular cooking, xanthan gum is the binding agent which makes your toothpaste jelly-like (and your cream cheese, well cream cheese-like). And it’s also the most common gluten-replacer in gluten free baking. And there’s absolutely no skipping it here!
In all honesty, no substituting anything here. You really do need the full combo of grain free flours to get the choux just right.
The choux pastry to make churros is always very lightly sweetened (and fairly bland solo), think just a couple tablespoons. But this is really to accommodate for a generous cinnamon sugar dusting. So to sweeten the keto choux pastry itself you can use anything from sugar alcohols (erythritol and xylitol) and allulose.
Now for the cinnamon ‘sugar’ coating, allulose or xylitol are probably your best bet for the most sugar-like result. Having said that, if you’re not too bothered by the cooling aftertaste of erythritol (which gets greatly diminished by the cinnamon), it works great too.
And if just grain free, coconut sugar is your best bet here. And of course, raw sugar works great too.
And if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys! 🐕
Gluten Free, Grain Free & Keto Churros
Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion.
For the keto churros
- 64 g almond flour
- 28 g coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon psyllium husk ground
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 240 ml water
- 57 g grass-fed butter
- 2 tablespoons erythritol or xylitol*
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 30 g mozzarella for extra crispness, see notes**
- coconut oil or lard for frying
- Please see video for reference! Same methodology as the churro donuts, simply fried rather than baked.
- Whisk together in a medium bowl almond flour, coconut flour, psyllium husk and xanthan gum. Set aside.
- Heat up water, butter, sweetener and salt in medium pot (or Dutch oven) until it just begins to simmer. Lower heat to low and add in flour mixture, mixing constantly to incorporate. Continue to cook and stir until the dough pulls away from the pan and forms into a ball, 1-3 minutes.
- Transfer dough back to the bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes. The dough should still be warm, but not hot enough to scramble the eggs.
- Add in one egg at a time, mixing until fully incorporated. The dough will be very stiff, but keep going until fully mixed in. Mix in vanilla extract. The final dough should still be stiff and form into a ball easily, but will also be very elastic. You can use a hand mixer here, but we prefer not to get another appliance dirty here. NOTE: If you want your churros extra crisp, feel free to mix in a touch of a neutral cheese (think mozzarella, see notes).
- Allow the dough to rest until it comes to room temperature (10-15 minutes), prepping your frying station in the meantime. We found that with as little as 3/4 to 1-inch deep oil these guys fry great. So we suggest you start with a little oil and add in more if need be. Just be sure to use a pot with high-sides for safety and that your oil is nice and hot (350°F if we're being precise).
- Spoon dough into a piping bag with a star tip (say #824 works great). Pipe out a strip of dough into the hot oil, snipping off the end with kitchen shears (or clean scissors!). Pipe out however many fit comfortably in your pot (we did 4 x 7-inch long ones at a time). Fry until deeply golden 2-5 minutes (really depends on your temperature, pot etc here so just keep an eye out for the first ones). Flip them over and continue to fry until deep golden all over.
- Transfer churros to a paper towel-lined plate, and toss in the sweetener and cinnamon coating mix while still warm.
- Like any type of churro, these are best enjoyed just-fried! But, they're also surprisingly good the day after a quick warm up in your oven (or electric oven!). Oh, and you can always refrigerate the dough overnight (fully covered in the pastry bag so it doesn't get crusty). Just be sure to bring the dough back to room temperature before using again.