When you walk into a state or county fair, there is a plethora of different foods to try, from the most sugary of sweets to deep-fried goodies. Perhaps one of the more renowned fair foods is the funnel cake, a fried dough and powdered sugar combination. Read below to learn more about this simple yet delicious treat, as well as how to make it at home.

The History Of Funnel Cakes

funnel cake with powdered sugar

Funnel cakes have been rocking fair-goers' worlds for a long time, dating back to the Middle Ages. More modern funnel cake appearances are connected to the Pennsylvania Dutch and specifically the first Kutztown Folk Festival in 1950. Funnel cakes were being sold for 25 cents apiece, and they allegedly sold thousands, solidifying the sweet treat as a staple for fairs and festivals.

Of course, fairs don't run all year long and a funnel cake craving might need to be attended to. Worry not -- we've got a recipe to make this deep-fried sugary snack right in the comfort of your own home.

How To Make Homemade Funnel Cake

funnel cakes being made in a deep fryer

Ingredients:

  • Two eggs
  • One cup 2% milk
  • A third of a cup of brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • One tablespoon baking powder
  • One teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Two cups of all-purpose flour
  • Oil for deep-frying
  • Powdered sugar to finish
  • Ladle
  • Funnel
  • Measuring cup (if no ladle or funnel are available)

Instructions:

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, milk and brown sugar until creamy
  • In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon together.
  • Slowly pour in the flour mixture into the egg mixture and beat until a smooth batter is formed.
  • Fill a deep skillet with oil and heat to 375 degrees.
  • Using the ladle and funnel, pour about a half of cup of batter into the funnel, holding the funnel several inches above the oil mixture. You don't want to be too close to risk touching the hot oil or too high up in case the oil splashes.
  • Move your funnel in a spiraling motion, starting from the inside and spiraling outwards to create one big swirl. If you don't have a ladle or funnel, use a measuring cup to slowly pour the batter in a swirl -- it won't be as precise, but it will still do the trick.
  • Fry both sides of the swirl for two minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oil and let sit on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Place on a dinner plate and dust with powdered sugar, and you're set to eat.

More Toppings

funnel cake with strawberries

Powdered sugar is a simple way to do the trick, but you can go expand your horizons if you want to make your funnel cakes really stand out. Garnishing with fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries add a natural sweetness that complements the deep-fried dough nicely. If you really want to hit that sweet tooth, adding chocolate chips, peanut butter or a caramel drizzle on top will elevate this to a wonderful dessert. Topping the funnel cake with ice cream gives it a hot-and-cold combination that will taste fantastic.

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