Dessert Recipes, Intermediate, Spring and Summer

Homemade Funnel Cakes

You don’t have to wait until the state fair rolls into your town to enjoy homemade funnel cakes piled high with powdered sugar.

funnel cakes covered in powdered sugar on a red napkin

Mmm, funnel cakes. The taste and smell spur memories of county fairs and football games. I mean, is there anything better than fried dough topped with a mountain of powdered sugar? Let me answer that for you … no, there is not.

Did you know that funnel cakes are super easy to make at home? Yep! All you need is some batter, a frying pan, and your choice of topping.

Why is it called a funnel cake?

Like the name implies, funnel cakes got their name because they are made by pouring raw batter through a funnel into hot grease. The technique creates the swirly pattern synonymous with this delicious fried treat.

How to make funnel cakes at home.

You’ll want to start by heating 2-3 cups of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. I prefer to use cast iron because it heats the oil evenly and quickly. For my 11-inch skillet, I found 2.5 cups of oil was just enough to let the dough float on the top of the grease.

funnel cake ingredients

While the oil is heating, combine 1 large egg and 2/3 cup of milk in a medium mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine 1-1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, two tablespoons of granulated sugar, one teaspoon of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The batter will be thick, but that’s okay. Thick batter is easier to work with than batter than runs all over the place.

Pour batter into a funnel (with your finger over the tip). You could spoon the batter into a large plastic bag with a tip cut off. I also like to use this cake decorator gun.

Pipe a little of the batter into the hot oil, making a squiggly design from the center out. Fry the funnel cake for two minutes, the carefully flip the can and fry on the other side for two more minutes or until the cake is golden brown and crisp.

Remove the funnel cake from oil and set onto paper towels to drain. Serve warm

Ideas for funnel cake toppings

sprinkling powdered sugar over the funnel cakes

How to store funnel cakes

Leftover funnel cakes can be store at room temperature for two days in an airtight container. I like to layer a sheet of waxed paper between the funnel cakes to absorb and residual grease. Crisp them up by heating them at 350 degrees in the oven for a few minutes.

funnel cakes draining on newspaper

Can you freeze funnel cake batter?

Yes! Funnel cake batter is a lot like pancake batter. You can freeze and thaw it with no problems. I recommend spooning batter in a plastic freezer bag. Leave some room for expansion at the top. Fold out the air, seal, then lay the contents out flat. Freeze the dough flat that way you can stack it later and it won’t take up as much room.

Thaw the dough in some warm water or overnight in the refrigerator. You don’t even have to pour the batter into a funnel. Simply snip a top off the bag and drizzle the dough into the hot batter. Easy cleanup!

Can you freeze cooked funnel cakes?

You can freeze cooked funnel cakes. I recommend freezing them individually, then placing them into a freezer bag to keep them from sticking together. Crisp them up by heating them at 350 degrees in the oven for a few minutes.

Related Recipes

funnel cakes covered in powdered sugar on a red napkin

 

funnel cakes covered in powdered sugar on a red napkin
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4.5 from 2 votes

Funnel Cakes

You don't have to wait until the state fair rolls into your town to enjoy homemade funnel cakes piled high with powdered sugar.
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 760kcal
Author Lisa B.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oil for frying
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees. Reduce heat to medium to maintain the heat.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine egg and milk.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  • Pour batter into a funnel (with your finger over the tip), or spoon batter into a large plastic bag with a tip cut off.
  • Pipe batter into the hot oil making a squiggly design and working from the center out. Fry funnel cake for two minutes on each side.
  • Remove from oil onto paper towels to drain.
  • Sprinkle powdered sugar over hot cakes.

Notes

From A Southerly Course by Martha Hall Foose

Nutrition

Serving: 1cake | Calories: 760kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 23g

19 Comments

  1. Made these last night, my family loved them. They even asked for them 4 tonight

  2. Do you think you could use a deep fryer for this!?
    Thank you!

    • Yes, I think you could. You would probably need to adjust the cooking time. I can’t help you there, though. I wouldn’t know what to suggest. You would just need to keep a close eye on the first few until you get an idea.

  3. I want to make these for fourth of July, but many members of my family are very “sugar-conscious”. Do you think substituting sugar with Splenda or another sugar substitute would still work?

    • You could probably get away with using Splenda to sweeten the actual funnel cakes. But I don’t know how well it would work for the confectioner’s sugar sprinkled over the top. You could give it a try, but if they are very sugar conscious I would consider forgoing the confectioner’s sugar.

  4. How deep is your cast iron skillet?

  5. Thank you for allowing me to make carnival food at home!!! These were fabulous!!

  6. Whats the best option of oil to use?

  7. Me and my boyfriend love making funnel cake and cuddling up in front of the tv and eat and watch eat some more and some more tell the sun comes up. Its also lots of fun working off the funnel cakes after the movie…thanx

  8. I’m wanting to make these for our booth at a HS fair. Can bigger batches be made up at once? Suggestions?

  9. agathe raymond

    hello!! i want to know ,if i double the batch can it be freezed.thank you

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