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Known in the US as funnel cakes, these sugary snacks are often seen at fairgrounds and street carnivals. A dusting with icing sugar is a must!
111 people made this
- 210g plain flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 945ml oil for frying
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 235ml milk
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar for dusting
MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:10min ›Ready in:15min
- In a mixing bowl, beat together egg and milk. Beat in flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and caster sugar until smooth.
- Heat cooking oil in frying pan to 190 degrees C.
- Pour 120ml batter through funnel into oil with a circular motion to form a spiral. Fry until lightly brown; turn over to brown the other side. Cook to golden brown, and remove to drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with icing sugar while still warm.
Snip the corner off a disposable piping bag to use in place of a funnel; fill with a small amount of batter and squeeze gently.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(116)
Reviews in English (92)
This tasted GREAT! However, I'm rating only 4 stars because the recipe requires unnecessary ingredients, namely baking soda and cream of tartar. I thought I would see if there was a noticeable difference in flavor and/or outcome with the combination of baking soda/cream of tartar as opposed to just baking powder.The cream of tartar (acid) is used to activate the baking soda (which requires an acid in order to activate). Baking powder would be easier/quicker to use and just as effective (so long as it's not expired) with equal if not better results(in my opinion). I added a splash of vanilla and a tiny drop of almond emulsion (flavor) to the batter for some extra flavor. Sifted powdered sugar on the entire funnel cake and served with cut strawberries and whipped cream. My family LOVES this quick, easy, yet tasty dessert. I made this for a diabetic friend once too - who loved it because it is made with very little sugar!TIPS: I find that sifting the flour. sugar, salt, and baking powder (or soda/tartar) together - and adding the milk/egg to the flour is best. The batter is very smooth. Also - I recommend using a cast iron skillet to fry as the iron maintains the heat/temp better than other pans when the cold batter is added to the hot oil.-23 May 2008
This really replicated that great "fair ground" taste!! I used an empty squeeze salad dressing bottle to pour the batter into the oil, and that worked really well--could even store my leftovers in it for the next day!-19 May 2002
Very good recipe. However, I did add a splash of vanilla extract to the batter, and it did take a little more milk than 1 cup in order to get it thin enough to pour into the classic funnel cake shape. This is good with the powdered sugar, or sprinkled with a cinnamon/sugar mixture. This recipe says that it serves ten, but it actually makes about 4 large funnel cakes, which in my house serves about 7 or 8 people. Just something to keep in mind when you are figuring how much to make All in all, a good recipe!-06 Sep 2003
Know Your Sweets: Funnel Cake
Funnel Cake (aliases: Dribble Cake, Funny Cake) is a carnival classic that has all the trappings of the perfect fairground food: it's fried, it's doughy, and it's a fantastic vehicle for any number of luxurious, extra-sugary toppings. The snack is created when battered is poured through a funnel directly into hot frying oil, creating the zig-zagging, overlapping circular shape and crunchy, chewy confection we've all come to know and love.
Churros, Rosettes, Strauben (Austrian), Fennel Funnel Pie, Jalebi (Indian), Frybread, Zeppole
Key Tool Spotlight: Funnel
Where would the funnel cake be without a proper funnel through which to pour the batter? The funnel is responsible for the dizzying swirls that make the cake one of the most easily recognizable fair snacks, and perfect for those hot little hands of the kid who has just exited the Tilt-a-Whirl.
The first funnel cakes were made using a simple bowl with a hole cut in the middle through which bakers would pipe the batter into the hot oil. Since the consistency of batter flowing into the hot oil is key, makeshift piping bags also were briefly used to ensure even distribution. Primarily, though, the use of a simple kitchen funnel has been the standby instrument for creating the treat, in addition to calling a floating metal ring into service to create a proper circular shape. In some instances—particularly for mass production—a special pitcher with a built-in funnel is used to quickly make a mess of cakes without the need for batter refill.
Kutztown, Pennsylvania is known as the heartbeat of funnel cake culture in America, largely because it has worked diligently to achieve that title. The Kutztown Folk Festival became well known for and associated with the funnel cakes they served at the fair, propagating the folklore that funnel cakes are of Pennsylvania Dutch origin. While the true heritage of funnel cake is still hotly contested—some feel that the snack was created on the boardwalks of New Jersey—the town remains the epicenter of this state fair gem.
The funnel cake has one of the most diverse international families of any dessert, with fried cousins spanning multiple countries and cultures. In India, jalebi is a sticky, fried dough piped in concentric circles sweetened with rose water and saffron. The rosettes of Sweden are as if a funnel cake was forced to don a lace dress for a tea party: fried dough shaped in the mold of an elegant flower. No May Day in Finland would be complete without a tippaleipä, a smaller, more compact funnel cake eaten in celebration of the holiday. The funnel cake's family tree has many diverse, and delicious, branches.
In the United States, the variation comes down largely to topping choices, which include Nutella, fruit, chocolate drizzle, or the old stand-by, powdered sugar. The argument over whether to use the traditional, unleavened pancake-like batter or an (arguably better tasting) yeasty, choux base continues to serve as a source of contention for some funnel cake purists.
While a recipe for a funnel cake ancestor, mincebek, likely made out of a sourdough batter, can be traced back to the Middle Ages, Kutztown, Pennsylvania is mostly to thank for the funnel cake's massive national spread to every roadside stand, fair, and outdoor sporting event imaginable.
Funnel cakes were originally associated with holidays and special events, having ties to both Christmas and the New Year in the Pennsylvania Dutch community, a group of German immigrants who settled in the area in the late 1700s. (The group obviously has good taste: they also brought us Shoofly Pie.) The first mention of a funnel cake in a German cookbook seems to have appeared in 1879, with an English recipe not materializing until the 1930s. However, after they made their shining debut at the Kutztown Folk Festival, which began in 1950, the sugary treat soon sold by the thousands and became the signature dish of the annual event.
In 2009, professional eaters Joey Chestnut and Pat Bertoletti both consumed a world record 5.9 pounds of funnel cake in Doswell, VA. The tiebreaker? More eating, of course. Chestnut emerged victorious from the battle, downing an additional 1.45 pounds of the sweet treat.
A County Fair Classic
When I was growing up, my family had a tradition of visiting the county fair every year. I loved riding the ferris wheel and viewing all of the livestock, but what I looked forward to the most was all of the fair food! I loved the deep fried Oreos, corn dogs, kettle corn, and best of all, the funnel cakes! There really is nothing better than a hot funnel cake, dusted with powdered sugar.
I recently learned how to make my own funnel cakes at home, and I have to report, they are just as good as the ones I remember from the county fair! The best part is that they&rsquore super easy to make, so I can enjoy hot and delicious funnel cakes whenever the craving strikes!
Why Are They Called Funnel Cakes? The reason they&rsquore called funnel cakes is because when you cook it, you pour the batter into the oil using a funnel. Pouring the batter this way is what gives this tasty treat it&rsquos fun and unique shape.
Gather your ingredients to make these sweet treats
Minus the optional toppings, this incredible tasting funnel cake bites recipe requires only nine ingredients, most of which you already have sitting in your pantry and the refrigerator. You'll need an egg, milk, vanilla extract, butter, vegetable oil, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Traditional funnel cakes are covered in sweet powdered sugar, but you can also try warm caramel or chocolate sauce for dipping. Make sure to have plenty of powdered sugar on hand for this recipe, since you can never have too much when it comes to funnel cake. The same holds true for these special funnel cake bites.
A Funnel Cake Recipe That Brings the State Fair Right into Your Home
The summer season is peppered with beach days and melting popsicles, grilled burgers with charcoal-dusted plumes of smoke, and sticky afternoons clogged with humidity. But what’s perhaps more synonymous with summers in the U.S. is the blooming of state fairs scattered around the country, where deep-fried butter is thrust onto sticks and browned corn dogs stamped with a curl of mustard are a paradigm of Americana.
But summer this year is going to look different. Fairs in many states have already been canceled due to COVID-19, which means you may not be able to get your fix of the best part of state fairs: the food.
Fair Foods: The Most Popular and Offbeat Recipes from America's State and County Fairs, $16.49 on Amazon
Luckily, you can still replicate some of those staples this season, armed with Walt Disney Company’s former pastry chef George Geary’s cookbook “ Fair Foods .” Here, he walks fairgoers through some of the most classic snacks, like bacon-wrapped tater tots, barbecue turkey legs, and frozen cheesecake on a stick. Sure, the scent of fried foods and smoke unspooling from stands won’t set the mood, but once you pull that first deep-fried Twinkie out of the fryer, all will be forgiven.
IMUSA USA Blue 6-Quart Speckled Enamel Stock Pot with Lid, $9.97 on Amazon
Below, chef George shares a recipe for funnel cake, the epitome of fair foods. His version calls for plenty of butter, sugar, and eggs (warning: this isn’t for the faint of heart), along with a big stock pot filled with canola oil. You’ll pour the batter into a pastry bag, then pipe curly logs into the hot oil, flipping each piece over every 30 seconds until puffed and golden. You could ahead and eat these plain—they’re that good—or pile the cakes together into one large mountain, crowned with a splattering of whipped cream and sugary berries. That is, after all, what a slice of Americana tastes like.
Churro Funnel Cakes
Inspired by Disneyland's delicious Churro Funnel Cakes, this is an easy and decadent dessert. Spiral churro goodness topped with freshly whipped cream and drizzled with caramel sauce. When I saw that Disneyland started serving up churro funnel cakes I knew.
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Inspired by Disneyland’s delicious Churro Funnel Cakes, this is an easy and decadent dessert. Spiral churro goodness topped with freshly whipped cream and drizzled with caramel sauce.
When I saw that Disneyland started serving up churro funnel cakes I knew that this was the kind of goodness I needed to make at home. Instead of just making a regular funnel cake and dipping it in cinnamon-sugar, I’ve taken a traditional funnel cake batter and swirled it up, topping it with the same deliciousness served at Disneyland: whipped cream and caramel. This decadent treat is super easy to make and makes such a fun dessert. This should hold me over until I make my next trip to Disneyland. We had annual passes and went almost every week for two years. Now it’s been almost that long since we’ve been! Yikes! I’m already gearing up for a trip this fall.
Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.
At the start, take a medium sized bowl and put pancake mix into it. Then you can add one or two tablespoons of sugar and vanilla into it.
Then, add about half cups of water and you have to whisk the mixture well together, until all the ingredients are well mixed. Once you feel like the mixture is falling off your whisk like little drippy delicious ribbons, you can stop the whisking.
After that, you have to fill up a squeeze bottle with your mixture. If you do not have a squeeze bottle, then you can use a plastic bag and trim off the edge about quarter inch.
(Get ready with a plate lined with a paper towel and keep it aside, because the cake is going to come out speedily out of the oil)
Okay, then you want to have a pan of oil heated to about 360 degrees fill it about halfway.
(Put a very little drop of the mixture and you just want it to bubble up to the surface and have little bubbles around it)
Then, you can deep-fry your cake by starting in the center of the pan. Squeeze your squeeze bottle slowly and just start swirling around in like a half of a disk.
After that, turn another side very carefully and you just have it to be golden brown color.
Then you have to give it like a minute or two minutes to fry on each side.
When the cake comes with dark golden color, then you can grab it. Drip it, and keep it on the paper towel lined plate for decorations.
Then you can spread a little bit of powdered sugar on the surface of the delicious hot funnel cake.
Finally, this is the time to taste your warm sugary and crispy funnel cake!
Easy Funnel Cake Recipe
Funnel Cake has been a popular fair dessert since the early 1950s. Though its roots trace back to Anglo-Norman medieval times, this dish was popularized in the Kutztown Folk Festival which started in 1950. This festival was meant to celebrate Pennsylvania Dutch culture and it is in this festival where thousands of funnel cakes were sold!
What used to be a winter holiday food became a favorite country fair food since then. This cake is so delightful to eat while roaming around. And in this easy recipe, we will show you how it is prepared, from the batter to dousing the powdered sugar on top!
What is a funnel cake?
Named after the handy kitchen tool, this dessert is made by pouring a batter in a funnel with the hole blocked at first. And then, when ready, the batter is made to flow into a pan of hot oil to fry, swirling around the funnel to make a curly layer.
What is funnel cake made of?
This recipe calls for the following ingredients for the batter:
- Vanilla extract
- Baking powder
You would also need the vegetable oil for frying and your choice of toppings. We love it with powdered sugar and strawberries!
Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)
Enjoy Homemade Deep Fried Funnel Cakes
Batter Ingredients: 3 eggs, 2 cups milk, 1/4 cup white sugar, 4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Beat the eggs and add the milk and sugar. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add about 3 cups flour into the egg mixture and beat until the batter is smooth and lump free and thin enough to pour freely through a kitchen funnel. Add only enough remaining flour as needed to reach the right pouring consistency.
Heat cooking oil to 375°F and using a kitchen funnel, slowly pour the batter into the hot oil while holding your finger over the bottom of the funnel to control the flow.
Keep moving the funnel to create swirls and circular shapes with the stream of batter flowing into the hot oil.
Once the funnel cakes are fried a golden brown, carefully remove them from the hot oil with tongs or a metal sieve, drain on a wire rack, and generously sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Serve while still warm.
Funnel Cake Serving Suggestions
Delicious no matter how they are served, funnel cakes are often enjoyed with a topping of powdered sugar, jam, fresh fruit, or ice cream, with powdered sugar being the most popular. You'll need to forget about the calories for one day!
Homemade funnel cakes are lots of fun to make too. People love to create their own so involve your friends and family, but do be extra CAREFUL around the hot oil. Be sure to make plenty of batter, though, since everybody loves eating them!
About the Old Fashioned Funnel Cake Recipe
I don't know what rock I was living under for much of my life, but it wasn't until 1996 that I first saw these cakes being made at Canada's Wonderland amusement park located north of Toronto in Vaughan, Ontario.
It was fascinating to watch how the lady used an ordinary tin funnel to swirl and pour the cake batter into the hot oil where it turned a golden brown within the space of a few minutes.
But, the moment she lifted that delicate, lattice-like, golden cake out of the hot oil and onto a wire rack to dry, and then proceeded to generously dust it with white confectioner's sugar, I knew I wanted to try it — I HAD to have it!
I quickly handed her a $10 bill and said to keep the change. I couldn't wait to bite into it.
And it tasted so GOOD! So UNBELIEVABLY GOOD!
Therefore, you can imagine my thrill to find an old fashioned funnel cake recipe in Mom's scrapbook.
And now, you can make your very own funnel cakes any time you want! It's one dessert that's definitely worth trying!
Classic Funnel Cake
Adapted from the Canada's Wonderland Recipe (2020)
Girls Enjoying Classic Funnel Cake with Strawberry Sauce
The recipe that follows is very similar to the old fashioned funnel cake recipe, and it makes a classic funnel cake like the iconic ones served at Canada's Wonderland amusement park.
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Oil enough to cover cakes while frying
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Vanilla ice cream (optional)
Strawberry sundae sauce (optional)
Mix all wet ingredients in a large bowl. Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly add mixed dry ingredients into bowl with wet ingredients and stir until smooth and without lumps, yet not over mixed.
Funnel cake batter should be thick and slightly runny like pancake batter. Pour batter into pitcher for pouring.
Heat oil in pot until a spoonful of batter rises to surface after being dropped in hot oil, about 375°F.
Carefully pour about 3/4 cup of batter into hot oil in a swirling pattern while holding pitcher 3 inches above the oil. Fry both sides of fennel cake until golden brown, then remove and allow to dry on a wire rack.
For serving, generously dust cakes with powdered confectioners' sugar. Serve as is, or optionally top with strawberry sauce and either vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Yummy!
Great America unveils recipe for beloved funnel cake
We really love riding Gold Striker and the other big coasters at California’s Great America. But if we’re being totally honest, the No. 1 attraction is all the sugary treats. Not surprisingly, we’re really missing the popular Santa Clara theme park, which has been shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic.
And it appears we’re not the only ones with over-active sweet tooths — sweet teeth? — in need of a Great America fix. Now Great America is sharing its recipe for — oh, yum! — its famous Funnel Cake with Bananas Foster Sauce, which takes about 30 minutes. The website has a video demo, too.
Bananas Foster Sauce
1 tablespoon spiced rum (or whatever rum you have on hand)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Melt the butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add rum and stir. Then add brown sugar to mixture and continue to stir until it’s dissolved. Continue to heat until the mix begins to simmer around the edge of pot. Stir in the cream, stirring until it’s well combined. Stir in the sliced bananas. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, while you make the funnel cake.
2 cups prepared pancake mix (If your mix does not include a fresh egg, add one to the batter)
For serving: Powdered sugar, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream
In a bowl, prepare the pancake mix according to the package directions. (If your mix does not include a fresh egg, mix one into the batter.) Whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture into a pitcher or squeeze bottle.
In a heavy-bottomed pot, pour in oil to a depth of 3 to 4 inches. Heat oil to 375 degrees. (To test oil without a thermometer, drop in a small spoonful of batter. If it rises to the surface quickly, the oil is ready.)
Wearing an oven mitt for safety, hold the pitcher or squeeze bottle 3 to 4 inches above the oil. Pour about 1 cup of the funnel cake mixture into the hot oil in a spiral and then crisscross motion. Carefully fry each side for about 2 minutes, until golden brown, using a slotted spoon to turn it. (Be careful not to splash the hot oil.) Remove funnel cake and drain excess oil on paper towels. Repeat with remaining batter.
To serve, place each warm funnel cake on a plate. Pour Pour Bananas Foster Sauce on funnel cakes, as desired. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.