Treat the family to crispy Homemade Funnel Cakes dusted with powdered sugar, drizzled with syrup or topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit for a theme park dessert at home.
What is a Funnel Cake?
While the word "cake" is in the title funnel cakes aren't cake-like at all. They consist of a light batter that's drizzled into hot oil and fried becoming crispy and golden on the exterior. They're popular at street fairs, theme parks and food trucks and are one of those fun-to-eat foods. The name is references how they were originally made by pouring the batter through a funnel into the oil for frying.
Helpful Tips for Making Funnel Cakes at Home
- While classic funnel cakes are made using a funnel, when making them at home you can also use a large funnel, a plastic bottle or a measuring cup with a spout. When using a plastic bottle, snip off more of the tip so more batter will flow easily into the oil.
- If using a funnel, hold a finger over funnel opening while filling.
- When releasing the batter into the oil, move in a spiral motion to create the shape. Remember, no two funnel cakes ever turn out the same way, that's the fun of this sort of dessert.
- I recommend using canola oil for frying, as it's important to fry these at a high temperature and canola oil has a higher smoke point.
- Make an effort to maintain the oil temperature throughout, to prevent the funnel cakes from absorbing too much oil and becoming greasy.
- Funnel cakes are meant to eaten warm so, cook and enjoy.
Toppings Inspiration for Funnel Cakes
Funnel cakes can be topped in a variety of ways. You can serve them simply dusted with powdered sugar which is the classic way. You can also coat them with cinnamon and sugar, or drizzle them with a variety of flavored syrups and go full on ice cream sundae, if you like. Whipped cream and fresh berries, caramel and cream, the sky's the limit. When it comes to suitable toppings, you may like to try my recipes for:
Other Street Fair and Theme Park Recipes to Try
Street and theme park food is meant to be fun to make and eat. A few other popular recipes you may like to try:
- Homemade Corn Dogs
- Peach Shortcake
- Homemade Lemonade
- Loaded Nachos Supreme
- Dole Whip Recipe from Belly Full
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Homemade Funnel Cakes
- 6-8 cups Canola oil
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup water
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- Toppings: powdered sugar, fresh berries, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce or ice cream for serving
- In a deep cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil to 375°F. Have nearby a large baking sheet lined with paper towels.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, use a whisk to sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, water, eggs and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients mixing until fully moistened.
- Ladle a generous ½ cup at a time to a large funnel, plastic bottle with the tip cut off or a measuring cup with a spout. (If using a funnel, hold finger over funnel opening while filling.)
- Holding the funnel (or chosen dispenser) several inches above the oil, release opening and move in a spiral motion until all the batter is released. If using a funnel scrape with a rubber spatula, if needed.
- Fry for 1 ½- 2 minutes per side, using tongs and a spatula to gently flip frying the other side until golden. (The second side may cook more quickly, depending on the temperature of the oil)
- Remove to the paper towel lined pan, immediately dusting both sides with powdered sugar. Repeat until all of the batter is used.
- Serve immediately as is or topped with fresh berries, drizzled with chocolate or caramel sauce, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.