Homemade Funnel Cake

Homemade Funnel Cakes are best-loved fried fair food. Create your own at home and top with all of your favorite toppings!

This yummy dessert is simple and delicious, just like our Fried Oreos and Caramel Apples! Serve Homemade Funnel Cake with warm hot fudge sauce and powdered sugar for perfection.

Funnel Cake with chocolate sauce and powdered sugar.

Homemade Fair food

Everyone loves funnel cakes from the carnivals and fairs. Make them at home with this easy Homemade Funnel Cake recipe. Top it with powdered sugar, fruit, Whipped Cream, Chocolate Fudge Sauce, Caramel Sauce or all of the above!

We especially crave this mouth-watering Funnel Cake recipe in the fall when it cools down, but that doesn’t mean we don’t make them all year long – because we do. 😉

We’ve been making Homemade Funnel Cake for as long as I can remember. Half of us like it with powdered sugar while the other half loves it with a homemade Chocolate Fudge Sauce.

Although we don’t go to the fair often to have these guys, we ALWAYS get them when we go to Disneyland, and I’m happy to say we can still enjoy this treat at home.

Funnel Cakes 101

Versions of funnel cakes have been around for ages, but the modern day funnel cakes that we find at the county fair are attributed to the Pennsylvania Dutch.

Even more specifically, a set of 3 friends made the first funnel cakes for the Kutztown Folk Festival and sold them for 25 cents each. (Source)

  • Funnel cakes are made by pouring a pancake-like batter through a funnel in a swirling motion directly into hot oil, which then fries the batter in a fun criss-crossing pattern.
  • Funnel Cakes are a subtype of fried dough, but other fried doughs are not funnel cakes.
Funnel Cake Mix and Batter in bowl with a whisk.

How to Make Funnel Cake

Once the ingredients are gathered, making the funnel cake recipe is fairly simple.

OIL. Pour vegetable oil in a frying page (at least 1 inch high) on medium – high heat.

BATTER. Pour all the ingredients for the funnel cake batter into a bowl and whisk until the batter is smooth. It will look similar to pancake batter.

FUNNEL. Pour the batter into a funnel or squeeze bottle (if using a funnel, block the tip of it with your finger before pouring).

FRY. Position the funnel over the hot oil and slowly pour the batter in circular and criss-cross motions over the oil.

FLIP. Using tongs, flip the funnel cake so each side is browned. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy warm.

Tips for Making homemade Funnel Cake

Here are some of our best tips for making homemade funnel cakes:

  • Hot oil. To cook properly, be sure to use hot oil so that it cooks quickly and starts to make the funnel cake strands we all know and love. The best temperature to fry funnel cakes is 375°F. If the oil is too hot the strands of batter will fry and burn before they can attach together.
  • Squeeze bottles actually work better than funnels. Find an old ketchup bottle or something similar. Clean and fill with the batter. It makes cooking the funnel cakes so much easier.
  • Use tongs and a spatula while cooking. Use the tongs to make sure the batter is submerged in the oil and use both the tongs and metal spatula to flip the cake.
Pouring Funnel Cake Batter Into Hot Oil.

Variations

Pancake mix. Do not use a pancake recipe to make the batter. However, the ingredients are so similar that you can use ⅓ cup dry pancake mix and add 1/4-⅓ water, 1 egg, and 1 tsp vanilla. Mix until combined.

Make Funnel cake fries and bites. Another variation is to make funnel cake fries or bites.

  • For funnel cake  fries: follow the instructions as written except pipe the batter in long straight lines into oil. Fry until golden and remove.
  • For funnel cake bites: Use cookie scooper to drop the batter into the oil. Fry until golden brown and remove.

TOPPINGS

There are so many great toppings to add to your funnel cake. It all depends on what you like, but here are some of our favorites:

Funnel Cake hot fudge sauce in jar.

Our favorite funnel cake sauce – homemade hot fudge sauce!!

Storing info

Make the batter ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

STORE. Like most fried foods, they don’t last long. Having said that, the batter can be made in advance and can last in the fridge (if stored properly) for up to 4-5 days.

Reheat. If you happen to find that you have left over funnel cakes you can store them in an airtight container the fridge for later. For a soft funnel cake, microwave them. For a crispier cake, put them in the oven or the toaster.

FREEZE. Let cakes come to room temperature, then wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. It definitely won’t taste as great as it did fresh, but can be made a little crispy and warm if reheated in the microwave or air fryer.

Funnel Cake Recipe with chocolate drizzled on top.

For more fair food recipes, check out:

Homemade Funnel Cake Recipe

4.87 from 15 votes
Homemade Funnel Cakes are best-loved fried fair food. Create your own at home and top with all of your favorite toppings!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 210 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

Toppings

  • whipped cream, fruit, chocolate fudge sauce, caramel sauce, powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Pour about 1 inch vegetable oil into a frying pan and heat over medium-high heat to 375 degrees F.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, milk and eggs.
  • Pour batter into a funnel, blocking the tip of the funnel with your finger, or use a squeeze bottle. Position funnel over the hot oil and slowly move your finger so batter comes out in a steady stream. Make circular and crisscross motions to form a funnel cake. Fry for 1–2 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Using tongs, flip funnel cake and fry the other side for 1–2 minutes.
  • Remove to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
  • Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve funnel cakes warm with desired toppings.

Video

Notes

Choose Your Tool: Although they’re called “funnel cakes,” squeeze bottles actually work even better than funnels for making these. Clean an old ketchup bottle or something similar and pour the batter into it to make frying easier.
Make Ahead: You can make the batter ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2–3 days before making funnel cakes.
Variations:
o For funnel cake fries: Follow the instructions as written, but pipe batter in long straight lines into oil. Fry until golden and remove. 
o For funnel cake bites: Use a cookie scoop to drop the batter into the oil. Fry until golden brown and remove.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    tHIS FUNNEL CAKE DEFINITELY TAKES ME BACK TO THE FAIR! lOVE THE CHOCOLATE AND POWDERED SUGAR ON TOP. tHE HUBBY LIKES STRAWBERRIES. i LIKE THAT WE BOTH CAN HAVE WHAT WE LOVE 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    We all like funnel cakes. They taste just like the ones at the fair. Warm and crisp with ooey gooey hot fUdge sauce and sometimes a splash of whip cream.

  3. 5 stars
    A fairly eaSy dessert thats just like the stuff you get at the fair. The kids love the warmth of this dessert with goOey hot fudge or powdered sugar.

  4. 3 stars
    TrIed making this recipe with the amount of flour the recipe asks for, but the batter was much too thin. I assume that the measurements here dont match up with the official weight measurement for flour.

  5. 5 stars
    Being able to have a fair staple treat at home is dreamy. I introduced this to my kids this week covered in powdered sugar and it was a hit!

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