The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Funnel Cakes!

Posted by in Step-by-Step Recipes

Republished from May 2010.

Mmm…funnel cakes. There’s nothing like them in the world. And when I found this funnel cake recipe (submitted by HeatherD) on Tasty Kitchen not long ago, I immediately printed it out and put it on the top of the stack of Tasty Kitchen recipes to try before I croak.

It’s becoming a rather large stack.

Funnel Cakes, for those of you who aren’t familiar, are a standard carnival treat. A thin batter is poured through—get ready—a FUNNEL directly into hot oil and fried until golden, then topped with plenty of powdered sugar…

And then the world becomes a sweeter place.

Here’s what you need: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, vanilla, and milk. I use whole milk whenever I can in desserts and baked (and fried) goods, but any milk you have should be fine.


Start by throwing the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt) into a bowl.


Whisk them together to combine.


Add eggs, milk, and vanilla.


Whisk it together until everything’s all combined.


Check the consistency…


And splash in more milk if you need it. NOTE: The recipe called for 2 1/4 cups of milk, but I probably wound up adding an additional 1/2 cup of milk to get the thinness I thought it might need.


That’s better. And watch…


You can drizzle it around in the bowl a little…


And practice your funnel cake making skills.


When you’re ready (and the oil is hot), throw some of the batter into a…

Are you ready?…


Now, first I’m going to show you the wrong way to make a funnel cake.


If you hold the funnel to far away from the surface of the oil…


The batter can scatter in little pieces and not form into a cohesive, neat funnel cake.


But if you hold the funnel close to the oil (though obviously not IN the oil), you can make sure it stays together.


Just move the funnel around in a circle until it gets to the size you want. Let it brown on one side, then carefully flip it over to the other.


When it’s finished cooking, remove it and set it on a stack of paper towels.


Break out the powdered sugar and the sifter, and sprinkle it on thick.




I love funnel cakes!


Then just pull it apart and chow down! Eat it while it’s warm and crispy. Delicious.

These are really easy to make, and so delicious. The only thing that’s a little tricky is just getting the hang of drizzling the batter into the oil, and making sure the oil is hot enough to cook and crisp the funnel cakes, but not so hot that the cake will immediately burn.

Also, HOT OIL: Keep the pan on one of the back burners if you have little kids.

Enjoy! THANK YOU to HeatherD for sharing this great recipe. I loved it.


Comments are closed for this recipe.

frances mahan on 3.9.2010

Don’t know if they still have them, I bought a funnel cake mix and it came with a dispenser. Have made them several times, we like them with plain powdered sugar on them.

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soufflebombay on 3.9.2010

Yes…Yes…Yes, love funnel cakes! Growing up some of the best days were full of swimming in our pool all day long and Mom or Dad cooking up funnel cakes and cheese steaks poolside in the electric skillet!! Those were the days!
These days funnel cake are one of my childrens favorite occasional treats! Life comes full circle :)

Thanks for sharing Heather and highlighting Ree!!!

Roni on 3.9.2010

Looks yummy…thanks! I have always seen these served with strawberries and whipped cream.

Lana on 3.9.2010

Ooooh, I love funnel cakes! I haven’t made any for a while… and now here you are tempting us with these photos!

Rebecca on 3.9.2010

Re oil disposal:
What I do is reuse the oil. Put a coffee filter in the funnel you used to make the cakes (wash it first) and pour the oil through it into a container. Unless your oil burns (lots smoke coming from the oil itself) or you fried a lot of fish or garlic or others stinky things, you can reuse oil several times before it starts to break down from the heat. Just be sure to strain out any particles left from prior uses.

I wanna make these wiht itty bitty bits of bacon in them and dunk’em in maple syrup.

Yvonne! on 3.9.2010

omgosh. this is dangerous. funnel cakes are what forces me to go to horrible constructed and over priced carnivals (well, those and horribly constructed over priced ferris wheels, you don’t know how to make those do you?!).
now that i know how to make them they’re all i’m going to eat.

Lauren on 3.9.2010

I would like to print this recipe but don’t see the print button anywhere. Am I missing something?

Diane on 3.9.2010

You haven’t been to the fair until you have had a funnel cake. Once you have had one (or two) then it is okay to go home. :)

Miss Tish on 3.9.2010

Funnel cakes are the best, I remember going to Six Flags and getting them during the summer! YUMMM!!! I finally tried to make them on the 4th of July last year – soooo cool to make them at home!!!

I did wonder why some of my funnel cakes turned into a million pieces! I will try to funnel them closer to the surface…makes total sense! Thanks for the tip!

Bernice on 3.9.2010

I love funnel cake with some vanilla ice cream. Oh man you’ve got me craving it now!

Stephanie on 3.9.2010

I am a funnel cake chow hound, if there is one, I must have it. And now I must make them. Thank you so muuuuch for this recipe.

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Bren on 3.9.2010

I just made these and omg!! I’m going to have to do double time on the treadmill tonight. Awesome…and a hit with the kids.

Lyndie on 3.9.2010

Our family always gets a funnel cake to share whenever we go to Knott’s Berry Farm…and we always get their famous Boysenberry Topping on them-it’s just so yummy! I’ve made them at home before…and after seeing this recipe, I will be making them again…Soon!

[email protected]*happy on 3.9.2010

OK, let me get this straight. This tastes about the same as a doughnut, gets all puffy like a doughnut, but doesn’t use any yeast so I don’t have to wait for 2 hrs to eat it?? Sign me up. I’m making these babies as soon as I can!

Jan on 3.9.2010

Ohhhhh. You are Trouble PW!!! Trouble, I tell you!

Lisa on 3.9.2010

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Funnel cakes are the ONLY reason you can drag me to a fair/festival of any kind. And I start a ridiculous “eating plan” tomorrow that won’t let me eat this. Sigh.

Why? Why is this posted today? Why not last week? Or never.



Lundy911 on 3.9.2010

Ree, if you paired this with a Corn Dog recipe, you would make me the happiest girl on the planet.

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Rhonda on 3.9.2010

Now my son will love me if I’d make some. Maybe surprise him on Spring break. So you found Penzey’s Spices, do you like the vanilla? There is a store in Dallas I visit whenever I’m in the area.

Married to an Aussie in OK on 3.9.2010

I’m now contemplating making these and adding syrup and/or peanut butter to the powdered sugar on top. I see nothing wrong with this theory… in theory.

Cherie Hufford on 3.9.2010

My nephews are visiting and so we made these this afternoon. YUM! Thank you!

Michelle Gehrett on 3.9.2010

This looks like a great recipe, thanks for sharing HeatherD. I find it easier to control the shape of the cake when using a pastry bag. Also, one of my favorite ways to eat it is after you sprinkle on your powdered sugar break out the hershey’s syrup. That’s how I have them at our local amusement park.

Abby @ They Lend Me Their Hearts on 3.9.2010

Yummy yummy!! I look forward to carnival funnel cakes and mini-donuts all year long! As soon as I get a funnel, I’m making these bad boys!!!

Sally on 3.9.2010

Awww, reminds me of running rampid through Six Flags as a 12 year old!

K. Rock on 3.9.2010

Didn’t know it was so easy. I think I’m gonna try it.

susan on 3.9.2010

love funnel cakes…..will try this recipe today as this is ‘baking day’, so while the pies are baking i’ll be frying some funnel cakes. oh, my….should be illegal,,,lol

Heather D. on 3.9.2010

Glad you liked it, PW!!

laura k on 3.9.2010

I have seriously childhood nostalgia for funnel cakes. I probably haven’t had one since I was 5, but I dream of them often. My Grandma used to make them when I was little. I’ve been thinking about trying it for awhile, but have been put off by messy hot oil. It might be a fun thing to do soon, though. Thanks for sharing.

Jackflash on 3.9.2010

They are also served with fruit toppings such as cheeries and apples (here in the south). Good anyway you top it.

Dedra on 3.9.2010

In addition to the powdered sugar, drizzle Hersheys “Special Dark” syrup over it. I take my own bottle of this to the fair each year for my annual funnel cake!

Jessie on 3.9.2010

Oh my heavens.

Cottage Dreamers on 3.9.2010

Mmmm. We love to get these at Silver Dollar City. They’re so good. I’ll have to try making them myself.

Andrea Arnold on 3.9.2010

My husband and I used to love going to the fair to get a “Big Boy”. We were always embarrassed to order one “Big Boy Please” but they are so delicious. It is a funnel cake with pudding or fruit then ice cream and then whip cream and nuts on top of that. We love them but definately have to share they are BIG.

Colleen F. on 3.9.2010

On top of that place a nice big scoop or two of vanilla ice cream and fresh peaches. The amusement park in my state serves them that way. Total heaven if you ask me.

Michael Q on 3.9.2010

Thanks for the tip re: the oil, Jessica. I’ll have to try that idea for reusing/restoring the oil.

Jen S on 3.9.2010

Funnel cakes were always the best part of going to the state fair. That and fried cheese curds. Thinking about them makes me add 5 pounds!!!!

Michael Q on 3.9.2010

Oh my, I love funnel cakes. I can’t stop by a fair without getting funnel cakes. My favorites are at the Texas State fair, which I say is the best state fair anywhere.

The only “problem” I have with this recipe is that deep frying is never a great option for me. You have to fry lots of other things (otherwise the oil is wasted) and disposing of all that oil is such a pain.

Any tips or suggestions? or should I just give up?

Krista lou on 3.9.2010

Makes me want to head to the local fair!

Jessica H on 3.9.2010

Re: the oil. Save the oil if you have room in your fridge. Let it cool, poor it through a fine mesh sieve into a glass mason jar or back into the bottle the oil came from. I deep fry once in a awhile as a treat and reuse the oil until it gets too dark or takes on too much food flavor. I keep oil for fish separate from oil for fritters and things like this.

Lois on 3.9.2010

Ooh—wonder if I can make these gluten free. Will have to ponder that as I eat pumpkin pie for breakfast.

The Crazy Suburban Mom on 3.9.2010

Its just wrong to know how to make these at home. just wrong!

Kari Griffin on 3.9.2010

Not sure if anyone has posted this alternative yet, but you can put the batter in a squeeze bottle and cut the tip to make a slightly bigger area for the batter to come out of. You can get these for around a dollar at pretty much any grocery store that carries cooking supplies. I put homemade bbq sauce, dressings and even my oils in these. Just cut the tip as desired. I always try to find the bottles that have the attached tops for sealing. This makes it SUPER easy to make funnel cakes…and you can make fun designs really easily.

Sandy on 3.9.2010

Ah, funnel cakes, the pornography of food — no redeeming social value. Better when they’re fresh and hot; there’s nothing worse than a cold stale one!

PreludeCouple on 3.9.2010

Drizzle some honey or maple syrup on them, yum!

Mel on 3.9.2010

You mean I don’t have to wait for the carnival to come to town to have a funnel cake?? I think I just gained 10 pounds thinking about it. YUM!!

Katybeth Jensen on 3.9.2010

MMM….is it possible that I can make this? Just a few ingridents, very clear step by step directions….very little chance of the batter ending up in the ceiling, this time. OK! I am going for…..because I love funnel cake.

Thank you!

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AMC on 3.9.2010

These are incredible!!!!!!!! These are really good with butterscotch ice cream topping drizzeled over it. Also cinnamon and sugar.

Paula in Colorado on 3.9.2010

You can also put the batter into a teapot (which I have found much easier to handle than a funnel). I wonder if you then have to call them teapot cakes? That doesn’t sound as fun, but it is much easier – for me anyway.

Carla RC on 3.9.2010

The best I’ve tried are the ones they sell at Magic Mountain… yummy!! :)

Bob on 3.9.2010

I’ve never actually had funnel cakes, but they look wicked good!

Amy on 3.9.2010

Oh man! You had me at funnel cakes! Waaaay better than elephant ears. These are really good topped with strawberries macerated in sugar. I am so making this!