The classic funnel cake is one of America's favorite carnival treats. The batter for the deep fried dough is poured through the narrow opening of a funnel into deep hot fat while swirling the funnel to make the circular pattern. No two will be alike! It might take a little practice to get the batter just the right consistency, but after a few cakes, you'll be a pro!
I topped these classic funnel cakes with strawberries and whipped cream (pictured), but there are so many ways to serve them. Make them a dessert with powdered sugar, berries, a lemon, Nutella, or chocolate sauce, or serve them as a breakfast treat with maple syrup and fruit or a fruit sauce.
The origin of the funnel cake in the US is unclear, but many attribute the cakes to the Pennsylvania Dutch region. Others believe they were first created on the New Jersey boardwalks.
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups milk
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 quart oil (for deep frying)
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar (sifted; or syrup)
- In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs with the milk.
- Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder; add to eggs and milk. Beat until very smooth.
- Heat oil in deep fryer to 370°. Holding the funnel with one finger keeping the opening closed, fill with batter.
- Hold the funnel over the hot oil. Remove your finger from the end of the funnel and allow the batter to run out in a stream into the hot fat. Move funnel from the center, swirling outward in a circular pattern.
- Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer fried funnel cakes to paper towels to drain. Shake sifted confectioners' sugar over drained funnel cakes.
- Makes 20 to 30 funnel cakes, depending on size.
- Note: You can also use a plastic condiment container or squeeze bottle to drizzle the batter. You might have to cut the top opening to make it large enough to pipe the batter.
- For a doughnut-like flavor, add about 1 teaspoon of grated nutmeg and a pinch of cinnamon along with 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
A Few Deep Fryer Safety Tips
- Always keep a metal lid nearby when deep frying. If oil reaches the smoking point and cooking continues, it could ignite. Quickly put a metal lid over the pot if this happens. Never try to put a grease fire out with water.
- If using an electric deep fryer, keep the fryer and the cord well out of reach of children.