This easy homemade funnel cake recipe tastes just like the classic fair favorite. Top these with some powdered sugar or your favorite topping for a simple treat that everyone will love!
Aside from all of the rides, one of my favorite things about the fair is the huge funnel cakes. Since the fair only comes around once a year, I decided to recreate this classic fair favorite right at home. And let me tell you, these are SO easy to make and they taste just like the ones at the fair!
So what is a funnel cake? Funnel cakes are made by pouring batter through a funnel into hot oil and swirling in a circular motion. The batter is fried until it’s lightly golden brown then topped with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or your favorite topping.
These funnel cakes also taste kind of similar to donuts, but the batter is thinner and crispier. This recipe will make 10-12 funnel cakes, but you can easily cut the recipe in half to just make 5-6!
How To Make This Funnel Cake Recipe
To make these funnel cakes, you’ll start out by heating some oil in a large skillet or pot. I suggest sticking with a neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil to fry these funnel cakes, I used canola oil in this recipe since it’s what I always have on hand.
Then, whisk together your dry ingredients:
- All-purpose flour: Be sure to spoon your flour into your measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife. If there’s too much flour in your funnel cake batter it can be too thick to pour through a funnel (or whatever you prefer to use).
- Baking Powder & Salt: These are two common ingredients for funnel cakes, the baking powder helps them puff up a little as they’re frying.
- Cinnamon & Nutmeg: These two spices are optional, but I suggest using them. They both add a little spice to these cakes that make them taste just like the fair version.
Then, you’ll whisk together the wet ingredients:
- Milk: I use whole milk in this recipe, but 2%, 1%, or even skim milk would be fine.
- Granulated Sugar: Since these are topped with powdered sugar, they’re just lightly sweetened with 1/4 cup of sugar.
- Eggs & Vanilla: You’ll also be using two large eggs and some pure vanilla extract.
Once you’ve mixed up the dry and wet ingredients, you’ll whisk them together until just combined. The batter will be a little thin, but this is exactly what you want!
The next step is to carefully pour about 1/4-1/3 cup of the batter into some hot oil. You’ll want to heat the oil to about 350°F (177°C) before you pour in the batter. If the oil is not hot enough then the funnel cakes can absorb too much of the oil and turn out a little greasy. I suggest using a thermometer if you have one, this is the one that I like to use.
Traditionally funnel cake batter is also poured through a funnel into the oil, but you can use a squeeze bottle or just pour it into a liquid measuring cup and pour it into the oil that way. As you’re pouring it, you’ll want to make circular motions to get that classic funnel cake look. These don’t have to be perfect either, which is the beauty of this recipe!
Make sure to keep an eye on the funnel cakes and carefully flip them with tongs or a flat spatula once they’re lightly golden brown on the bottom. This could take anywhere from 1-2 minutes depending on the temperature of the oil. I also suggest transferring them to a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
Then, just top them with your favorite toppings! For these funnel cakes, I sifted some powdered sugar on top then added some sliced strawberries and homemade whipped cream.
Baking Tips For Funnel Cakes
- When measuring your flour, avoid scooping it from the container. Instead, stir the flour around, spoon it into your measuring cup, and level it off with the back of a knife.
- I suggest using a thermometer to make sure the oil is heated to the correct temperature. If the oil is too hot it can overcook the batter and if it’s not hot enough the cakes can turn out greasy.
- Funnel cakes are traditionally made by pouring the batter through a funnel into the oil. If you don’t have a funnel, then you can use a plastic squeeze bottle or a liquid measuring cup to carefully pour the batter into the hot oil.
- Once you remove the funnel cakes from the oil, I suggest placing them on a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels. This will help absorb any excess oil and keep them from becoming soggy.
Homemade Funnel Cake Recipe
- Canola or vegetable oil for frying
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour spooned & leveled
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 cups (360 ml) milk
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Place a large skillet or large pot over medium heat and fill halfway with oil. Allow oil to heat to 350°F (177°C) while you prepare the funnel cake batter.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until fully combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Once the oil has reached 350°F (177°C) pour the funnel cake batter into a funnel, using your finger to close off the end of the funnel, (or pour the batter into a plastic squeeze bottle or liquid measuring cup).
- Carefully pour about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of the batter into the oil in a circular motion overlapping itself. Allow to cook until lightly golden brown on the bottom (about 1-2 minutes), then carefully flip with tongs or a flat spatula and allow to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until cooked through.
- Carefully remove the cooked funnel cakes with tongs or a flat spatula and transfer to a baking sheet or plate lined with paper towels. Allow to cool slightly, then top with powdered sugar or your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
*Please use caution when working with hot oil.