Make this easy Funnel Cake Recipe and surprise your family with fair food at home! Just add your favorite toppings to these sweet, crispy funnel cakes.
Funnel cakes are a staple that can be found at every county fair, festival, and carnival as well as food trucks and theme parks. But now you don’t even have to visit one of those places because you can make your own funnel cakes at home!
Deep Frying Food
Before we get to the recipe, I want to talk a little about deep frying food. There are a couple of options when it comes to deep frying food at home. You can use a deep fryer or use a large heavy bottomed pot on the stovetop with a thermometer.
We decided to purchase a deep fryer to use when deep frying food. The one we picked can hold 8 cups of food and up to 12 cups of oil. You can find our exact deep fryer here. Here are some of the reasons we chose to use a deep fryer:
- Temperature: The deep fryer heats the oil and maintains the temperature. You choose the temperature you would like the oil to be and a green light comes on when it is ready.
- Thermometer: The thermometer is built into the deep fryer. There is no need for an external one unless you want to double check the temperature.
- Wire Basket: There is a wire frying basket for lowering and raising food in the fryer.
- Cover: There is a vented, removable cover with a view window.
Our deep fryer did limit the size of our funnel cakes to about 4 1/2 – 5 inches across. It also has a max temperature of 375˚ and we had to purchase it rather than use what we already had on hand.
Always keep in mind that you need to be cautious when frying food. Keep the oil at a steady temperature and always stay close by.
Now let’s get started with the funnel cake recipe! First, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
Add the milk, eggs, and vanilla. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
Heat oil in a deep fryer or heavy pot to 365˚F. Carefully drizzle the batter in a swirling circular motion into the hot oil.
Why is it called funnel cake?
It is called funnel cake because the batter is poured into the hot oil from a funnel. But that isn’t the only way to do it. There are several methods you can use when making this funnel cake recipe.
- Funnel: Measure 1/4-1/2 cup of batter (depending on the size of your fryer) into a funnel while holding your finger over the hole in the funnel. Position the funnel over the hot oil, remove your finger and the funnel cake batter will flow out.
- Batter Dispenser: Put the funnel cake batter into the dispenser, squeeze the handle and the batter will flow out of the bottom into the hot oil.
- Squeeze Bottle: Cut off some of the tip of the squeeze bottle to make a larger hole. Fill the bottle with batter, add the lid and squeeze it into the hot oil. This ended up being our favorite method.
- Pastry Bag: Transfer the batter into a pastry bag (or use a separate bag for each funnel cake). Cut the tip of the pastry bag and squeeze the batter into the hot oil.
Fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and cooked though. Flip the funnel cake halfway through.
Drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy.
What toppings go on a funnel cake?
Ohhh the toppings!!! There are so many delicious options! If it is sweet, it can go on a funnel cake! Here are a few to try:
- Plain: powdered sugar
- Strawberries and Cream: powdered sugar, strawberries, whipped cream
- Cookies and Cream: powdered sugar, crushed oreos, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate sauce
- Caramel Apple: powdered sugar, caramel, apple pie filling, and whipped cream
- Churro: cinnamon sugar, caramel syrup, and whipped cream
Can you make this funnel cake recipe ahead of time?
Yes, there are a couple of ways you can make this funnel cake recipe ahead of time.
- Refrigerate the Batter: Like most deep fried foods, funnel cakes are best right after they are fried. You can prepare the batter and store in in the refrigerator overnight.
- Reheat the Funnel Cakes: If you need to reheat your funnel cake, you can do so in an oven at 350˚ for 10 minutes. You could also try using a toaster oven, an air fryer or even the microwave.
Want to make more fair food? Try this next:
This Corn Fritter recipe makes tender little fried balls of dough with bits of sweet corn inside. Serve them warm with maple syrup and honey drizzled on top.
Fried Cheese Curds are so easy to make. These deep fried white cheddar cheese curds are the BEST appetizer and the perfect comfort food!
This deep Fried Pickles recipe is a fun way to eat fair food at home! Serve the crispy fried pickles on a stick as an appetizer with dipping sauce.
Funnel Cake Recipe
- 3 cups flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 Quart of vegetable oil for frying
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Add milk, eggs, and vanilla. Stir until smooth.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer (or heavy pot) to 365˚F.
- Carefully drizzle ½ cup of batter (for each funnel cake) into the hot oil in a swirling, circular motion. Fry 2-3 minutes, until golden brown, flipping halfway through. (We were able to fit two funnel cakes at once in our fryer.)
- Drain on a paper towel lined plate.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!
Janet M Krug says
I make these just using Krusteaz pancake mix. Give it a try. I can make just one for myself without over doing it.
Love it! Thanks for sharing!
Janice Whitlock says
Hi, tried this recipe in a deep fryer. But the batter sunk to the bottom of the fryer basket and stuck to the basket. What am I doing wrong?
What a bummer! The batter needs to be the right consistency: not too thick (too heavy and it will sink more) and not too thin (it won’t stick together). Don’t add too much batter (our funnel cakes were on the smaller size) and you want to drizzle it in slowly close to the hot oil (we wear silicone oven mitts for added protection). Plus, be sure that there is enough oil and it is important to maintain the right temperature (if it isn’t hot enough it will sink and not cook quickly).
Our funnel cakes did sink right down to the basket when first poured in (as most deep-fried things do) but quickly released (within 4-6 seconds) on their own. You can use tongs to gently release them from the basket shortly after pouring the batter in. If one does end up sticking, remove the basket after it is done cooking and flip it over onto paper towels and use metal tongs to bang on the bottom to try to release it.
Oil not hot enough.
Hi Tonia! This recipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it! I have a question tho; can I use a skillet pan instead of a heavy pot or deep fryer? Thanks for the recipe! 🙂
I would not suggest doing it in a skillet pan since the sides aren’t tall enough.