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.
See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.
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Kool Aid says:
I just love that you’re using a case iron skillet!! I used to have one but never used it. My dad still has one, though. It’s about 30 years old, I think, because I remember him using it when I was a kid.
I’m going to HAVE to try this recipe. My children do not yet know the joy of funnel cake but then, they’re only 5 and 2. Thanks for posting!!
On July 16, 2008 at 6:12 am
I love funnel cakes too. I haven’t had one in years. Maybe when the grandchildren are here to help me eat them, I could make some. Fill them up on sugar and then send them home. I used to make something similar to these when my kids were young. They had yeast in them and were called Elephant Ears. I like funnel cakes better.
These look really good.
On July 16, 2008 at 7:23 am
The funnel cake place from the Walnut festival..*DROOOOOOOL*
and they always have vanilla coke and stuff too which I dig!
On July 16, 2008 at 7:48 am
OH GIRL! my daughter (15) is gonna LOOOOOOVE you today….the Oklahoma State Fair is in September and she goes for 1 thing….FUNNEL CAKE….I know we will be making this today! Lord, Bless my thighs now that they will rebuke the funnel cake that is about to try to deposit there!
thank you so much for the post….this is great! Hey, the goats are starting to take over the chicks…how are they?! Also was wondering…do you have wild sand plums? I use to pick them with my mom and make jelly…
Tresh in Oklahoma
On July 16, 2008 at 7:55 am
This sheltered country girl is ashamed to admit that I have never tried funnel cake. I’ve always known what it was but never tried it. I’m afraid if I try it now, I will like it too much. And I don’t need any other cravings!
On July 16, 2008 at 8:19 am
You are my hero!
I love funnel cakes. A couple of years ago I was craving them bad. The local fair people let me drive through the fair and pick one up. I drove down to the midway found a parking spot. Got out in the hot June heat and ran over to the funnel cake booth. Once back in my SUV, I turned the truck on and lo and behold…the AC was on high. Powdered sugar went EVERYWHERE. It looked like a tornado hit the crack house.
On July 16, 2008 at 8:21 am
Mary Lou Middleton says:
I love funnel cakes with powdered sugar. Can’t wait to try your recipe. I will be bagging the mix today.(What kind of oil do you use?)
A new oil can, from your local auto parts store, works great for pouring the batter. That’s what the ladies use at our local fairs.
On July 16, 2008 at 8:27 am
Suzanne McMinn says:
Hi, Mary Lou! I just use regular vegetable oil to fry them.
On July 16, 2008 at 8:37 am
Now you’ve done it. I’ll have to make this recipe.
On July 16, 2008 at 8:41 am
It’s so fun to make funnel cake too! all those pretty swirls! :elephant:
On July 16, 2008 at 8:49 am
Fannie M Wiggins says:
I love funnel cakes. :heart: I used to work with an amusement company and traveled with them for over a year. I had to put myself on restriction for funnel cakes. I only allowed myself to have one once a week (except for special occasions). You wouldn’t believe how many special occasions there were. 😆 Yours sound yummy so I’ll have to try them. Have a great day and :hug: to all.
On July 16, 2008 at 8:52 am
Can not comment. Must. Find. Funnel.
On July 16, 2008 at 9:03 am
Shari C says:
Oh, those funnel cakes look so good! I enjoy having them whenever possible. Thank you so much for the recipe.
On July 16, 2008 at 9:48 am
I’m trying to diet!!! How can I do that when you post recipes like this? I’m one of those deprived souls who has never had funnel cake, but this looks fabulous!! And I know if it is deep fried, I’ll love it. As soon as I find a funnel …
On July 16, 2008 at 9:56 am
OMG. Funnel Cake. :hungry:
On July 16, 2008 at 10:14 am
I love Funnel cake – like fried donuts. I recently had one at the Arlington ballpark, in Texas. It was five dollars for one! I know everyone has thier way of doing them..but I have seen some just squirt it out of a bit plastic bottle, with a wide tip, or heck, even a baggie, with a big tip cut out fo the corner – does it matter??? NO, as long as you get your funnel cake. LOL Whatever is easiest for you, I say. I think I am like you Suzanne..just hit me with the powdered sugar, plain and simple, but oohhhh so good!
OMG, right off the top of my head, I almost said “Nutmeg and Honey are so adorable”…when I voted for Clarence and Clarabelle! LOL
On July 16, 2008 at 10:14 am
Oh, I forgot..your funnel cake came out beautifully! I bet it tasted BETTER than the fair! They have them at the fairs here too…anything that has food, they serve it.
On July 16, 2008 at 10:18 am
Robin G. says:
You’re trying to kill me, aren’t you? Admit it, you’re trying to kill me.
So… delicious… looking…
On July 16, 2008 at 10:22 am
Debbie in Memphis says:
It looks YUMMY! I haven’t had funnel cake in years. I know the kids will love it, not to mention my hubby ;-). Thank Georgia for us!!
On July 16, 2008 at 10:33 am
Shimmy Mom says:
I haven’t had a funnel cake in years. We may just have to make some tonight.
On July 16, 2008 at 12:35 pm
Oh my aching arteries. No, I will not attempt this at home, once a year at a street fair is plenty. I will have expired by the end of the month if this becomes a home product…..but can I think of a better way to go? NO….
You are the best…..Oh, I think doe and buckiling shoud be Ricky and Lucy. I know tooo late…..or maybe Fred and Ethel, after my mini doxies…..Thanks for the fab daily entertainment, you make me happy (and fat).
On July 16, 2008 at 12:43 pm
Anyone who hasn’t had Funnel cake is missing out! Your recipe is the same as the one we use. :thumbsup: I love the photo of your two babies, they are adorable! :heart:
On July 16, 2008 at 12:47 pm
Oh, how I do love funnel cake! My kitchen is a total disaster today already (it is pickled beets day around here), so I think these would be perfect for about four o’clock when I am finished with the umpity pints of beets!
On July 16, 2008 at 12:48 pm
Crystal B. says:
Yum! I am drooling just thinking about it. Thanks for the recipe. 🙂
On July 16, 2008 at 1:04 pm
Oh to be young and extremely active so I could eat all these scrumptious foods. I have a dress to fit into for my daughter’s wedding in less than two weeks (YIKES) so quit tempting me :wall:
On July 16, 2008 at 1:16 pm
catslady, congratulations on your daughter’s wedding! You know, it isn’t at all to late to insist on funnel cakes at the reception.
On July 16, 2008 at 2:27 pm
Carolyn A. says:
Because I am diabetic, I can only have this once in a while. But when I do … look out! Love me some funnel! Thanks Suzanne, for sharing the recipe. You go Georgia! Making it and keeping it on hand. Love that you do that! xxoo
On July 16, 2008 at 2:40 pm
Veggie Mom says:
I DO love funnel cakes! Always make sure to snag a couple when we go to the beach! Now I can eat them in the comfort of my very own home–thanks for sharing!
On July 16, 2008 at 2:43 pm
Oh Lordy I need me some funnel cakes!!! :yes:
On July 16, 2008 at 3:17 pm
Kim W says:
OH…MY…GOODNESS!!! Funnel cakes AT HOME!!! You’ve just made one of my fantisies come true! (I don’t ask for much!) :hungry: :snoopy: ‘
Blessings from Ohio…
On July 16, 2008 at 3:41 pm
I love funnell cakes, but my Dr. says they are a NO! NO! for me.
On July 16, 2008 at 3:46 pm
There is happiness and joy in the world just picturing
laying on the couch eating that!!!!! :flying:
On July 16, 2008 at 3:49 pm
We made funnel cakes the other evening. Might have been the same night you posted about them. *G*
On July 16, 2008 at 4:35 pm
My recipe is smaller (I am going to try yours though) and I drop in thin apple slices into the batter and pull them out with a slotted spoon over and into the frying pan.
On July 16, 2008 at 4:59 pm
Jennifer Robin says:
yours look so much better than the ones at the fair, and I bet they taste better too! :elephant: Yum!
On July 16, 2008 at 5:57 pm
Ooooooooh, That’s why it’s called Funnel Cake! lol So, it’s like a donut pancake. . ::drool::
On July 16, 2008 at 7:41 pm
I cant wait to try it.
Oh and thanks by the way for helping make my butt bigger!
On July 16, 2008 at 10:50 pm
OMG now I want a funnel cake! Haven’t had one in way too long! :hungry:
On July 17, 2008 at 1:54 pm
YOu are now my new best friend! Mmmm…funnel cakes!
On August 9, 2008 at 2:21 pm
They really taste good. I’ve never had one in my life before. Thank you for the recipe.
Greetings from Holland.
On August 23, 2008 at 8:25 am
this is a good recipe!
On August 31, 2008 at 3:51 pm
DENISE M. says:
HI IM A NEWBY 2 THIS SITE I WENT 2 WORLDS OF FUN YESTERDAY W/ MY (13)YR. OLD SON AND HAD SO MUCH FUN AND AT THE NIGHTS END ALL I COULD THINK OF WAS A FUNNEL CAKE YUM YUM :clap: AND S WE :flying: FLEW OVER 2 THE STAND AND COULDEN’T HELP THE 🙂 THAT CAME OVER ME SO I : :shimmy: ON DOWN THE ROAD SO I COULD GET IT HOME AND SHARE IT :hungry: I DON’T KNOW MABY I WAS :sick: AND FELT THE NEED 2 B NICE SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO THANKS SOOO MUCH 4 THE FUNNEL CAKE RECIPE I CAN’T WAIT 2 TRY IT OUT YUMMMMMMMM YUMMMM
On September 2, 2008 at 3:26 am
thanks hopes it taste good (:)
On December 21, 2008 at 5:37 pm
josh shoenfeld says:
This is great. I took this recipe to my friends house for Hanukah instead of the usual doughnuts and everyone loved it. The only thing I liked better was when a friend who worked at a hot dog and funnel cake stand in Philadelphia as a kid poured the batter in straight from the pitcher it was softer and not as crunchy as the little funnel I used. it is worth experimenting.
On December 21, 2008 at 10:40 pm
It makes 5 servings not 4, but it is VERY VERY GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!! :snoopy: :shimmy: :rockon: :bananadance:
On December 27, 2008 at 1:26 am
Elizabeth R. says:
I just made funnel cake for the first time using your recipe. My roommates are happily munching away and I couldn’t be happier! Thanks for the excellent guidance!
On January 18, 2009 at 4:18 pm
Thank you soo much for this i love funnel cakes and wanted to learn how to make them ! Thanks again :eating:
On March 21, 2009 at 10:06 am
I came for the funnel cake recipe, and now i can’t stop looking up your recipes. In two words, you rock. This weekend, I’m gonna cook my brains out. :sheep:
On September 24, 2009 at 10:35 pm
OMG I am 9 months pregnant and the fair isn’t until next month!!! I would of had to go ALLL the way to tennesse to get one of these!! Thank you sooo much I have been CRAVING this for sooo long! My sister is out getting the stuff as I type! lol I can’t wait to cook one when she gets back!! Im super excited!!! :hungry: My little girl may gain a few extra pounds before arriving!!!! I freaking LOVE YOU! :hug:
On August 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm
Koolio Kidd says:
Is there a specific temperature to heat the oil. If not can you just give me a general temperature.
On July 19, 2011 at 9:12 am
Suzanne McMinn says:
Hi, no, not a specific temperature, just hot enough to fry quickly. You can do a small test batch to adjust your temp.
On July 19, 2011 at 9:17 am
I just found your website yesterday when I was looking for directions on how to make funnel cake. My three year old daughter and I made this today (well, she did the measuring and mixing and i did the frying). We were in total heaven! This was SOOOOO easy-I couldn’t believe people pay $5 for this when you can make it at home for pennies! It tasted better than at a fair in my opinion. I was surprised how quickly they cooked. The first one was dark brown in seconds, but i turned the temperature down to about med-hi and let the oil cool a bit. The next ones turned out perfect. They literally were golden in about 15 seconds. We ended up eating funnel cake for lunch. I hope no one calls child protective services! Thank you so much for a fun and delicious recipe! It made about 7 (we must have made ours smaller than everyone else).
On July 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm
OOOOHHHH MYYYYYYY GOOOODness. This is my first time making funnel cake and not my last. A friend of mines had posted a picture of the line at an even to get funnel cakes and it was long. And I have heard so much about them but never in my life tried them. So I told my friend I will see if I can make them and I ran to the store and bought a funnel seein that I had all the ingredients at home. And low and behold if they are not the greatest thing I have ever tasted. The texture and everything got me. Thank you so much for posting this, me and my family are now funnel cake lovers. :sheep: :fairy: :wave:
On August 22, 2012 at 10:07 am