Gluten and Dairy Free Fried Elephant Ears

Some dishes instantly put you in a different time and place. Gluten and Dairy Free Fried Elephant Ears instantly brings up happy nostalgia and memories of fairs and festivals.

Gluten and Dairy Free Fried Elephant Ears

Is there anything more classic than funnel cake and elephant ears at the fair? Next to corndogs and hot buttered corn on a stick, these sweet treats are truly iconic. There’s no need to wait for the next fair when you can easily make these at home.


I love food that is interactive. There’s just something so playful about allowing people to pick their own flavors and make something their own. Gluten and Dairy Free Fried Elephant Ears are a true DIY treat.

Gluten and Dairy Free Fried Elephant Ears

If you want something fun to do with family or friends, these elephant ears are truly the perfect sweet confection. Whether you’re looking for the perfect way to cap off a backyard barbecue or want to surprise them with a festive dessert, these crispy and flaky creations will be a total crowd pleaser.

Fried dough comes in so many different forms and variations, from the New Orleans classic beignets to Italian zeppole. This recipe for Gluten and Dairy Free Fried Elephant Ears starts its journey as an easy dough that is then folded and rolled out. When you fold the dough it helps create those irresistible flaky layers.

Unlike some fried dough creations, these elephant ears only require a shallow fry. The best part about these are the toppings. You can have as much fun as you like and pull out all of the stops, letting everyone pick their favorite. The dough is only lightly sweet making the possibilities endless.


Not only are these Gluten and Dairy Free Fried Elephant Ears easy and delicious to make, but they only require a handful of ingredients. The best part, they’re pantry staples you probably already have on hand!

Elephant Ear Ingredients
  • Gluten Free Flour – Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking flour is my go-to flour for both sweet and savory dishes. It makes it easy to measure for recipes that aren’t traditionally written Gluten Free without having to add any additional ingredients.
  • Sugar – This is only a lightly sweet dough, allowing you to add sweetness with your toppings of choice.
  • Oat Milk – Adds richness to this dough while also giving it texture.
  • Dairy Free Butter – Adds richness to this dough.
  • Vegetable Oil – The ideal neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point perfect for frying.
  • Toppings – Have fun with your toppings! Let your friends and family pick their favorites such as apple pie and cherry pie filling, cinnamon sugar, or powdered sugar.

How to Make Gluten and Dairy Free Fried Elephant Ears

With just a little prep at the beginning, these spirited desserts are sure to become a family favorite.

Time needed: 1 hour

Invite your kids into the kitchen and bring this fair favorite from the skillet to the table. With just a few tips and tricks this is a treat the entire family will love!

  1. Mix

    Make your dough. Add the flour, sugar, warm oat milk, and melted butter to a bowl and mix to combine. Elephant Ears

  2. Rest

    Cover your dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest and relax for 20 minutes.

  3. Roll

    Lightly flour your work area. Turn the dough out onto your work surface and gently work it by folding it over about ten times, similar to when you fold biscuit dough. Roll it out into an even thickness. Elephant Ears

  4. Cut

    Divide the dough into 8 equal sized pieces. Gluten and Dairy Free Elephant Ears

  5. Shape

    Roll each piece out into a thin disk. Elephant Ears

  6. Heat

    Heat at least an inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet to 375 degrees.

  7. Fry

    Carefully place the elephant ears into the hot oil. Allow each side to cook for 2-3 minutes before flipping, letting them turn golden brown. Remove them from the hot oil and allow them to drain on paper towel lined plates or a cooling rack.

  8. Serve

    Add your favorite toppings such as cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, and pie fillings. Gluten and Dairy Free Elephant Ears


Gluten and Dairy Free Fried Elephant Ears

This recipe is completely Dairy Free and Gluten Free. However, the same elephant ears can be made with regular all-purpose flour and full dairy butter and milk. The measurements will be the same.

Top Tip for Gluten and Dairy Free Fried Elephant Ears

Gluten and dairy Free Elephant Ears

Always allow your dough to rest before beginning to work it. This not only will make it easier to work with, but also give you the best texture.

Are you looking for more fun and festive treats? Make sure you check out my recipe for Gluten Free White Chocolate Blueberry Rice Krispie Treats. Now let’s get frying!

Types of Gluten Free Flour

My go to for baking is Bob’s Red Mill 1:1. It is a blend of several different gluten free ingredients and I find it just works consistently well for what I need. I could blend flour myself but I choose to spend my time other ways and the 1:1 is a really good product.

Oat Flour can give you a chewier, more moist product. It can lend a nice sweet flavor to baked foods and is a flour I tend to mix with others if I want a lighter or fluffy result. I am always very careful to buy organic gluten free oats because they can be sprayed with nasty stuff and be processed in a way that they are no longer gluten free.

Almond Flour has a nice nutty flavor but can tend to dry out what you are preparing. I like to balance it with an extra egg if I am adding it to meatloaf for example and add banana or egg if it is in a sweet treat. Your end product could be a bit denser if you are using straight almond flour as well. I do like using almond flour as bread crumbs or a crunchy topping on savory dishes. 

Arrowroot  is my normal choice for a thickener in sauce or gravy. It is great for things you want a good crunch on that would normally be dredged in flour. Arrowroot can also be used to temper other gluten free flours for sweets and baked goods.

Brown Rice Flour can also be used in combination with other gluten free flours for baked goods. I like to use it when making a roux and brown rice noodles are a favorite.

More Flours

Brown Rice Flour can also be used in combination with other gluten free flours for baked goods. I like to use it when making a roux and brown rice noodles are a favorite.

Amaranth is another gluten free flour that works well when blended. It has a nice nutty flavor that makes it good for crusts, tortillas and breads.

Coconut Flour has a bit of a sweet coconut flavor. It tends to absorb liquid so you will need to adjust your recipe but it does give a nice light texture.

Corn Flour is a great thickener, makes delicious tortillas and one of my favorites, corn bread. Just make sure the corn flour you are buying was proceed in a gluten free environment and from a clean source.

Cassava Flour is the most similar to white or all purpose flour but can be expensive if you are using it often and is high in carbohydrates.

Tapioca is a great thickener as well for soups, pies and sauces and works well when combined with other flours.

Chickpea or garbanzo is used often in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine… Think hummus, falafel, flatbreads. It has lots of healthy benefits and a mild nutty flavor. You can also use the water from the beans, called aquafaba, as an egg replacer or instead of cream for whipped cream. Crazy, I know, but it works so stop dumping it down the drain. 

Gluten Free Grains

The gluten free grains we grab for most often are…

Quinoa- easy to make and flavor and is high in fiber and protein. It is actually one of the plant proteins that is a complete protein. 

Oats are also good for fiber and a bit of protein but make sure they are clean and gluten free.

Buckwheat actually has no wheat in it but does have fiber, protein and trace minerals. I love buckwheat noodles. I also add them to salads and soups for texture and a bit of “chew”.

Gluten and Dairy Free Fried Elephant Ears

Gluten and Dairy Free Fried Elephant Ears

An easy dough is fried up and served with a variety of toppings.
3 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 1 Mixing Bowl
  • 1 Large skillet


  • 2 1/4 cups Gluten Free 1.1 flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup oat milk, warm
  • 3 tbsp Dairy Free butter, melted
  • 1-2 cups vegetable oil
  • Favorite toppings such as pie filling, powdered sugar, cinnamon and sugar


  • Add the flour, sugar, melted butter, and oat milk to a bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest.
  • Lightly flour your work surface before turning your dough out.
  • Work the dough by gently folding it over about 10 times. The dough should come together more. If the dough begins to stick sprinkle a little extra flour.
  • Divide the dough into 8 pieces.
  • Roll each piece out until it is thin.
  • Heat vegetable in a large skillet to 375. You want the oil to be about 1" deep so the dough doesn't stick.
  • Gently lower the dough into the skillet. Allow the first side to fry for 2-3 minutes before flipping.
  • Allow the second side to fry 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  • Transfer the elephant ears to a paper towel lined plate or cooling rack and allow them to drain.
  • Top with your favorite toppings.
  • Enjoy!
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  1. 3 stars
    This looks really good but oat milk isn’t gluten free. Please be aware of this if you’ll be serving celiacs

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