About This Homemade Funnel Cake Recipe
The funnel cake is one of America’s favorite fair and carnival foods — and for good reason! The satisfying aromas of the deep-fried pancake batter wafting around is enough to attract large crowds, with everyone diving in to grab a bite.
At outdoor festivals, funnel cakes are often served in huge sizes, the size of paper plates. They are slightly sweet, airy, crispy, and served dusted with icing sugar. It’s a drool-worthy treat that’s hard to resist.
While it’s not clear where exactly the funnel cake originated, many consider the Pennsylvania Dutch to be the creators of these sweets. This treat gets its name “funnel” from the method involved to make them — squeezing the cake batter in a circular pattern through a funnel.
Though they’re traditionally festival and carnival treats, making funnel cakes at home is beyond easy!
You only need a few staple ingredients — buttermilk pancake mix, water, and a little bit of vanilla extract.
Whisk everything together until you get the right consistency. Then transfer the batter into a pastry bag with a corner cut off (creating a funnel), or you can use a squeeze bottle. Pour the batter into the hot oil in a circular motion and fry until golden brown. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and you’re done! It’s that simple!
You can even take these funnel cakes to the next level by using a wide variety of delicious toppings like chocolate or caramel sauce, whipped cream, fruits, or ice cream — there’s really no limit here!
Rediscover the joy of fair foods right in your kitchen with these crispy fried sweet cakes!
What You Need for This Funnel Cake Recipe
- Pancake Mix: I like to use the buttermilk pancake mix, which makes the batter lighter and fluffier. But you can use the regular one, too; just make sure you use a good quality pancake mix, so check the ingredients and make sure there are no strange ingredients. A good pancake mix should contain flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter (or oil), milk (or buttermilk), and eggs.
- Vanilla Extract: It adds a lovely taste with a light floral hint.
- Oil: I have used sunflower oil to fry the funnel cakes.
- Powdered Sugar: I have used powdered sugar to dust my funnel cakes.
- Pancake Mix: I like to use pancake mix in this recipe, but you can also prepare your own batter using flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter (or oil), milk (or buttermilk), and eggs.
- Flavors: I like to use just a splash of vanilla extract, but for a doughnut-like flavor, you may also add nutmeg and cinnamon if you wish.
- Toppings: I like to use powdered sugar, but you can top your funnel cakes with chocolate or caramel sauce, whipped cream, fruits, or ice cream.
How can I store these funnel cakes?
Funnel cakes taste the best when they’re fresh and hot; because they are fried, they don’t keep too well. But you can prepare and refrigerate the batter for about 24 hours.
Why is the funnel cake not holding its shape?
If you find your funnel cake falls apart in the pan, you need to overlap the drizzle as you pour it into the hot oil.
Funnel Cake with Pancake Mix
With this easy, quick, and delicious funnel cake recipe using pancake mix, you can recreate a favorite fair food at home in less than 10 minutes!
Yield: 4-5 pieces, depending on the size
How To Make Funnel Cake with Pancake Mix Step By Step
In a bowl, whisk the pancake mix and vanilla extract, and gradually start adding the water until you reach the right consistency. The texture and consistency should be like that of cake batter, falling from the whisk like ribbons, not too thick and not too runny.
Pour the batter into a squeeze bottle or into a pastry bag with the tip of a corner cut off.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a dutch oven, heavy-bottomed frypan, or cast iron pan. To test if the oil is ready, drop a small dot of batter in it. If the batter is quickly floating and bubbling around the edges, the oil’s ready. Next, squeeze the batter into the hot oil in a circular motion, forming a disk or spiral.
Let it cook for about 30-40 seconds, then flip it over to let the other side, cook until it looks crisp and golden-brown.
Remove from the oil with a large spatula or a slotted spoon and transfer onto a plate lined with a paper towel to drain off the excess oil.
Dust with powdered sugar, add the toppings if you wish, and serve while warm.
- Before pouring the batter into the oil, test the oil and see if it’s ready. If the oil is too cold, the batter will end up absorbing the oil and sink to the bottom, and if it’s too hot, it will burn the cake.
- A squeeze bottle is easier to control, but the results will be the same even if you’re using a pastry bag.