The most popular treat at the fair or carnival is funnel cake–the crisp and sweet fried treat covered in powdered sugar and syrup that we crave. With this homemade funnel cake recipe, you can make funnel cakes like those at the state fair. It’s easier to make than you might think, but we’ll give you some tricks to make it even easier.

What Actually is Funnel Cake?

As mentioned before, funnel cake is easier to make than you might think. It’s really just a thin batter drizzled into hot oil and fried. It’s nothing difficult. You could even make it from a basic buttermilk pancake mix, though the outcome might be just slightly different from your typical funnel cake.

Click here to try one of our pancake mixes as a funnel cake.

The Best “Funnel” for Funnel Cake

The concept for making funnel cake is simple: Drizzle a thin cake batter into hot oil to cook much like you would donuts—but with a batter that is much wetter.  

You will need a funnel or other container for the batter.  It needs to be easy to control so that you can pour a steady, continuous stream of batter into the hot oil.  We’ll give you three alternatives:

  • Funnel.  A large funnel is the traditional tool.  Put your finger over the nozzle to control the flow into the hot oil.  For us, this is a little messy and takes a bit to get used to.
  • A large pastry bag.  Again this is a little messy but easy to control.
  • A pitcher.  If you have a pitcher with a lid and the right-sized opening, this is a great solution. 

Our Choice of Funnel

We use a funnel pitcher and wrap the top with plastic wrap to create a lid and it works perfectly.  We can control the size of the opening to about 3/4 inch with the plastic wrap.

Homemade Funnel Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the baking powder together.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, salt, and milk together. Add the flour and baking powder mixture and stir until smooth. Stir in more of the remaining flour until you have achieved the desired consistency—a batter thin enough to run through a funnel, but thicker than pancake batter.
  3. In a deep fryer or heavy skillet, heat the oil to 375 degrees. Place your finger over the hole in the bottom of the funnel and add one-half to 2/3’s cup batter. Hold the funnel close to the oil, remove your finger, and release the batter into the hot oil while making a circular motion.
  4. Fry until golden brown turning the cake once. Remove the cake and place it on paper towels to drain.
  5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve hot.  Toppings can include:
    • Jam
    • Syrup
    • Pastry fillings
    • Dessert sauce

(Updated from May 26, 2014)

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