Who needs to wait for a crowded state fair when you can make these much loved, crispy, powdered sugar covered Funnel Cakes at home!
Whip up fresh Funnel Cakes in a jiffy using simple ingredients for a really easy-to-make sweet treat! The batter is made using pantry staples like flour, sugar and baking powder, mixed with milk and eggs and quickly fried in oil to get the signature swirly design and then covered in delicious powdered sugar for a treat that will make your family think it’s a special occasion!
The Best Part of the Fair
Welp, I’ve gotten to the point in life where the rides at the fair or amusement park sure do look fun but make me feel a whole lot less than ok. I still try to brave a few for the kids because I love them, both the rides and my kids, but I’ve made peace with the fact that the rides just don’t love me back anymore. Thankfully my kids do and all of that delicious fair food does too!
Before I’ve even gotten in line for my first ride I’ve already scoped out the funnel cake vendor and am getting my money together. There are hands down nothing that smells more delectable and mouth-watering than a funnel cake! I will happily sit at a table and scarf down a giant, crispy yet tender funnel cake covered with powdered sugar- sometimes I think it’s the only thing that keeps me going the whole day at the park. Making them at home is a total treat and so fun with my kids, even if we do get powdered sugar everywhere!
Other Recipes to Serve with Funnel Cake
- When you’ve got the “fry bug” and you just want to make all the delicious fried foods you love, don’t forget to make a batch of Fried Scones– they’re like the Fry Bread you also go crazy for at the fair!
- Looking for another fair staple that is a bit sweet and salty? Sweet & Smokey Popcorn has all of the flavors you’re after!
From the Pantry: You will need flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and oil for frying.
From the Fridge: Room temperature eggs and full fat milk are all you need.
Tools: You can use a couple of different items to drizzle these funnel cakes into the oil: A funnel, a piping bag with a 1/4 inch tip, or a gallon sized resealable bag with the bottom corner tip cut off to squeeze the batter through.
How to Make Funnel Cake
STEP ONE: In a large bowl, beat the eggs and milk together. Then whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until there are no lumps.
STEP TWO: In a deep skillet or large pot heat the oil to 375 degrees F. When the oil is hot, add the batter to a funnel and drizzle the batter in a spiral motion into the oil. Fry on each side for 90 seconds to 2 minutes, or until golden brown. (See my tips below!)
STEP THREE: Remove the funnel cake from the oil and place it on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Serve immediately with powdered sugar dusted on top, or your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
Tips for Success
- When piping the batter into the hot oil, hold the funnel relatively close to the oil so that the batter stays better connected, creating a dough string and not small separate pieces of fried dough.
- If you don’t have a funnel on hand, you can use a piping or Ziploc bag with the corner cut off. instead. Just be careful the oil doesn’t touch the bag or it will melt.
- When flipping the funnel cake, use tongs or two large utensils and carefully flip the funnel cake. Do your best to avoid splashing hot oil- it hurts like the dickens and is a potential fire hazard!
- Whichever type of funnel you have access to will work perfectly so if you don’t want to run out and buy a fancy, metal funnel then don’t! If you will be using a resealable bag, just make sure you have it sealed tight because you will be resting the zip lock bag on the resealable seam between funnel cakes, to prevent the batter from running out.
Why is it called funnel cake?
This fair food staple got its name from the tool used to make them- a funnel. By dropping the batter in a swirl-like pattern in hot oil, you get a wonderful fried doughnut-tasting confection in a fun design. You can find funnel cakes at just about any and every state fair, amusement park, and carnival. Funnel cakes are believed to have been invented by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the late 1800s and the cakes gained widespread popularity in the 1960s.
Is funnel cake made from pancake batter?
A traditional funnel cake recipe and a standard pancake recipe are very similar. So yes, funnel cakes can be made using pancake batter. The obvious difference is in how they are cooked, with pancake batter being poured in a filled-in circle and funnel cake batter being piped in strands into the hot oil.
More Fair Inspired Goodies to Enjoy
- Beat the eggs, milk, and vanilla together in a large bowl until well mixed.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture and whisk together until there are no visible lumps.
- Heat the oil to 375 degrees F in a deep cast-iron skillet or a pot. (If you don't have a candy thermometer, a wooden spoon or tooth stick will show bubbles when stuck into the oil when the temperature is hot enough.)
- Cover the spout of a funnel with your finger and pour 1 ladle of batter into it. Remove your finger and move the funnel in a spiral motion over the hot oil until all of the batter is released.*Be careful not to hold the funnel too high above the oil or you might end up with several tiny and too thin dough strings. Hold it relatively close to the oil and try to connect the dough strings with your movements. The dough will start to move outward from the middle toward the rim of the pot. Just keep spreading the dough in a circular motion and the single pieces will come together (most of them).
- Fry for 90 seconds to 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
- Transfer the cooked funnel cake to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to absorb any excess oil. Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Once cooked, dust the funnel cakes with powdered sugar and serve warm.