Learn how to make your own carnival-worthy Funnel Cakes at home with just a handful of basic ingredients! This is a super simple recipe that can be made in under 20 minutes without a deep fryer. The recipe includes a quick how-to video! Each year when the carnival rolls into town, Zach and I live for funnel cake. When we lived in our old house, we would walk to the carnival every evening at twilight just to hit up the funnel cake stand and walk back home with a giant, greasy plate of fried dough (buried beneath a literal mountain of slowly-melting powdered sugar, of course).
This year, we’re in a new town with a new carnival (that’s not within walking distance) and nightly funnel cake walks are a little less doable. We’ll still venture out (and probably more than once), but until then we’re making funnel cakes at home. And, guess what, it’s actually very easy!
Funnel cakes are made of a simple pancake-Esque batter that’s drizzled into a pot of hot oil. The batter takes literally less than 5 minutes to stir together, and the frying process is also only a few-minute affair. Oh, and if you don’t have an actual funnel, that’s not even a problem, I’ll tell you how to make funnel cake without one.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cups milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter (melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Optional: strawberry syrup
Optional: chocolate syrup
Garnish: fresh fruit
Preheat a deep fryer, electric skillet, or deep-sided open skillet to 365 F.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt; set aside. Then, in a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, water, butter, and vanilla extract. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and lump-free. The consistency should be thin.
Place a finger over the bottom opening of a funnel, and fill the funnel with 1/2 to 2/3 cup of batter. Hold the funnel close to the surface of the oil, making sure not to touch the surface. Then, remove your finger and pour the batter into the oil making continuous circles of different sizes. Fry until light golden brown on one side and then, using tongs, turn the cake over and fry for 45 more seconds.
Pull the cake out of the fryer and place it on a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with sifted confectioners’ sugar and/or drizzle with strawberry or chocolate sauce, if desired. You can also add fresh fruit right before serving if desired.