I go to fairs and festivals sometimes just for the funnel cake, but you can make funnel cake at home and get the same delicious fried fat fun–without standing in line in the heat. Every once in a while when I mention my funnel cake love, someone will ask what it is, reminding me that not everyone has been to heaven and back with a vat of oil. (Some people are so deprived!) Funnel cake originated as a regional specialty of the Pennsylvania Dutch, but you can find it all across the country at fairs, festivals, etc. It’s basically a sweet batter poured through a funnel in a circular pattern, fried in oil, then covered up with more sugar. And if that description doesn’t make you want some, I don’t know what will.
How to make Funnel Cake:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups milk
Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a medium-size bowl. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet. You want the oil hot, but not too hot. What I call medium-hot. You’re going to need to fry the funnel cake for several minutes without burning it. You want a good bit of oil, too. About an inch at the minimum. (Traditionally it should be deep-fried, but I hate to use that much oil, and about an inch is enough to do it.)
Add eggs and milk to the flour mixture. Blend well and pour or scoop about 1/2 cup of batter into a funnel, holding the tip of the funnel closed with your finger. Move the funnel over the hot oil and let the batter pour out in a circular pattern, starting in the middle and moving out.
Fry approximately three minutes on the first side. Flip and fry about another minute on the second side.
Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar and eat it warm. You can add just about anything for toppings, but the most popular toppings I see at fairs and festivals include strawberries, apples, chocolate syrup, caramel, and whipped cream. Me, I like my funnel cake straight–powdered sugar and lots of it! Make big pans of it for several people to tear off pieces from, or make individual, small funnel cakes for desserts and let everyone top their own.
*Makes four regular-size funnel cakes.
This recipe comes from Georgia, by the way, who makes up her funnel cake as a homemade mix that she keeps on hand all the time. (Did you not just KNOW that Georgia has funnel cake ALL THE TIME? Of course she does.) She takes the recipe above and packs up big batches of it at a time. To make a mix, multiply the basic recipe three or four or more times, using the dry ingredients only, and store in large baggies. Per 1 cup of mix you remove from the baggie, add one egg and 3/4 cup of milk, and have funnel cake anytime you want!
Life is good. Eat more funnel cake.