gluten-free corn pups

Calling all kids!!  Big kids included …but really, calling all kids!  Here’s a miniature version of that big ole’ corn dog that we all remember.  And they’re gluten-free!  I think the last corn dog I ate was at Busch Gardens in Virginia many moons ago …it has to be more than twenty-five years.  Whew.  How can that be?  We were frequent Busch Gardens visitors when our kids were growing up.

We would arrive at the park sometime around mid-morning and the first stop on the kids’ list was Heatherdowns, home of the hand-dipped corn dog at Pigs In A Kilt.  We’d convince them to ride the Loch Ness Monster and visit the Clydesdale’s for a while, just so we could hold them off until lunchtime.  From what I remember, those corn dogs were a bit on the heavy side with quite a bit of coating and they were huge!  So …let’s lighten this up with some miniature all-beef hot dogs and just a thin layer of cornmeal batter.

gluten-free corn pupsgluten-free corn pups

I’ve been planning to try making these for quite some time now, with the grandkids in mind.  The original recipe, that I tore out and filed away, is from a July 2016 Woman’s Day issue.  It was buried under the rest of my “must try’s.”  Until now.  In this version, I’ve used ingredients that are specifically free of wheat.  If you are not personally concerned about gluten, feel free to use regular all-purpose flour and whatever beer you may have on hand.  I just had to be sure that my gluten-free granddaughter could enjoy these cuties.

gluten-free corn pupsgluten-free corn pupsgluten-free corn pups

Once the batter is mixed, the process goes really fast.  And I do mean fast.  Be sure to have everything in place.  Mini-dogs should be completely dry.  Place a metal rack on a cookie sheet and set it up on the stovetop, right next to the pot of cooking oil.  You’ll need several long wooden or metal skewers for dipping the dogs.  And a slotted spoon or spider strainer for quick removal when they are done.

gluten-free corn pupsgluten-free corn pupsgluten-free corn pups

If you’ve had corn dogs in the past, I think you’ll find these to be quite a bit lighter …and because of their size and thinner coating, a bit healthier.

gluten-free corn pupsgluten-free corn pups

These can be served as an appetizer with your favorite dipping sauce.  But, if you want to impress the kids in your family, poke them with a stick and present them with the standard options of mustard and ketchup.  My granddaughters arrived just as these guys were cooling on the rack.

gluten-free corn pupsgluten-free corn pupsgluten-free corn pups

Without saying a word, they gave me their thumbs up.  I’m pretty sure they’ll be requesting a repeat performance on their next visit or two or three.  And, of course, it will be my pleasure.  Every time.

gluten-free corn pups

Adapted from "Corn Pups" recipe featured in Woman's Day, July 2016

Servings 30 corn pups


  • refined coconut oil, for frying (or any neutral oil)
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free beer
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 12-ounce package cocktail franks (about 30)
  • lollipop or cake pop sticks, for serving


  1. Add enough oil to a small saucepan or dutch oven to come 2" up the sides and heat to 350°F.  Place a metal cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet and place it on the stovetop.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and cayenne.

  3. In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk together the milk, beer and egg.  Add that mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Transfer the batter back to the measuring cup or to a coffee mug (it makes for easier dipping).
  4. Working in batches (about 3-4 franks per batch), insert a skewer about 1⁄4" to 1⁄2" into one end of a frank and dip in the batter, twirling the skewer to coat the frank completely.  Transfer to the oil, using a fork or second skewer to slide it off the skewer. Cook until golden brown on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider strainer, transfer to the prepared rack.  Repeat with the remaining franks and batter.
  5. Insert a lollipop or cake pop stick into the end of each cooked frank.  Serve immediately with mustard & ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce.

Recipe Notes

NOTE: I use Sabrett All Beef Skinless Cocktail Franks for this recipe.

gluten-free corn pups

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