Classic Funnel Cakes

The Starving Chef is supported by Hungry People like you. When you make a purchase through an affiliate link on my site, I may earn a little bit of cash on the side (at no extra cost to you) to help keep my kitchen running. Read our disclosures here.

funnel cakes in baskets

What’s up, hungry people.

So, picture this: you’re at a crazy fun carnival, surrounded by laughter, games, and mouthwatering aromas that make your tummy grumble in anticipation. And what’s that? Ah, yes, the glorious scent of funnel cakes dancing in the air!

Man, those memories from my childhood are hitting me hard right now.

Back in the day, my grade school besties and I would go wild for the annual festival at our elementary school’s parking lot. And let me tell you, nothing brings back those awesome times quite like a plate full of funnel cakes. And hey, guess what? I’ve stumbled upon a recipe that will transport you straight back to your carefree days of eating funnel cakes at carnivals!

Now, get this: if you can whip up some pancakes in your kitchen, you’ve got all the ingredients needed to make these bad boys.

And the best part?

You can take this classic treat to a whole new level by adding cool toppings like juicy strawberries, honey that drips down your chin, or a sprinkle of brown sugar. Trust me, it’s all about making new memories while honoring the old!

ingredients for funnel cakes

Here’s What You Need:

  • Eggs: Provide structure and help bind the batter together.
  • Sugar: Adds sweetness and contributes to the flavor and browning of the funnel cake.
  • Flour: The main dry ingredient that gives structure to the batter.
  • Milk: Adds moisture and richness to the batter.
  • Salt: Enhances the overall flavor and balances the sweetness.
  • Baking Powder: Acts as a leavening agent, helping the batter to rise and become light and fluffy.
  • Vegetable Oil: Used for frying the funnel cakes, providing the necessary medium for achieving a crispy texture

Let’s Get Started

First things first, let’s mix up the batter. Grab a big ol’ bowl and combine the eggs and sugar, whisking them together like a pro. Then, slowly pour in the milk and add the dry ingredients bit by bit, giving it a good stir along the way. We want a smooth, thick batter that’s gonna give us those crispy edges and tender centers we all crave.

eggs in bowl

Here comes my little mishap, though—I realized way too late that I didn’t have an actual funnel…

So, let’s think on our feet and improvise, my friends.

batter next to baggie

Grab a big pastry bag or even a trusty Ziploc bag (snip off a corner, folks!) and let’s just call them “obnoxiously huge pastry baggie cakes” for now.

Hey, it might not be the traditional way, but who needs tradition when you’ve got a craving for some fried deliciousness, am I right?

Alright, now we’re ready to fry these babies up! Fire up that deep fryer or heat up a good couple inches of oil in a pan to a toasty 350°F (175°C). The secret to golden perfection is getting that oil temperature just right, so keep an eye on it.

batter frying

Grab that makeshift funnel (or squeeze the batter out of that baggie like a boss) and gently drizzle it into the hot oil. Go ahead and get creative with your shapes, whether it’s squiggles, spirals, or something wild and wacky.

And don’t stress about achieving perfect symmetry—let’s embrace the charming imperfections that make these funnel cakes truly special.

Oh, and here’s a pro tip: use some tongs to give the batter a little poke under the oil. This way, we’ll make sure it browns evenly and turns into a crunchy masterpiece.

funnel cake in paper towels

Once your funnel cake is cooked to that magical golden brown, carefully fish it out of the oil using those trusty tongs. Set it down on a plate lined with paper towels, so any excess oil can take a breather. We don’t want a greasy mess, do we? Let it cool down completely before we start piling on the good stuff.

Additional Tips & Tricks

  • Oil Temperature: It’s crucial to maintain the right oil temperature while frying the funnel cakes. Too hot, and they will brown too quickly on the outside while remaining raw inside. Too cool, and they will absorb excess oil and become greasy. Keep an eye on the temperature to achieve that perfect golden and crispy texture.
  • Batter Consistency: The batter should be thick enough to hold its shape when poured into the oil but still spread out slightly. If it’s too thin, the funnel cake may end up too flat and lose its signature fluffiness. Adjust the consistency by adding more flour if needed.
  • Funnel or Bag Technique: If you’re using a funnel or a baggie to pour the batter into the oil, start from the center and move in a swirling motion to create that classic spiral shape. This technique ensures even cooking and a uniform appearance.
  • Patience is Key: Allow the funnel cake to cook on one side before attempting to flip or move it. Trying to turn it too early may cause it to break apart. Once it’s properly browned on one side, gently flip it over using tongs to finish frying the other side.

Now, the moment of truth: toppings galore!

This is where you unleash your inner carnival food artist.

funnel cakes from carnival

Drizzle it with honey, sprinkle on some brown sugar – simple, yet incredibly satisfying.

diy funnel cake recipe

Feeling a bit daring? Go for that caramel and chocolate chip combo, with its gooey sweetness and melty indulgence.

funnel cake with chocolate chips

Or how about a dusting of powdered sugar and a generous river of chocolate syrup? It’s a match made in dessert heaven.

funnel cakes with powdered sugar

And of course not to mention my absolute favorite topping – fresh, juicy strawberries! Slice ’em up and arrange them on top of that crispy funnel cake, or maybe give ’em a quick toss in a bit of sugar for that extra oomph of sweetness.

funnel cake with strawberries

Trust me, it’ll take you straight to flavor town.

funnel cakes at home

Alright hungry people, the fun of funnel cakes lies not only in their irresistible crispy exterior but also in the joy of experimenting with toppings that make you grin from ear to ear.

So, grab those ingredients, let your creativity run wild, and get ready to relive those amazing carnival moments, one delectable bite at a time!

funnel cakes recipe

Classic Funnel Cakes

The Starving Chef
Crispy, golden fried cakes with a nostalgic twist, topped with your favorite sweet toppings.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert, Summer
Cuisine American, Fair Food, Finger Food
Servings 4




  • In a large bowl, combine the sugar and eggs. Mix well until the sugar is incorporated into the eggs.
  • Slowly add in the milk, stirring continuously to ensure a smooth mixture.
  • Gradually add the flour, salt, and baking powder into the bowl, one ingredient at a time. Mix well after each addition until all the dry ingredients are fully incorporated into the batter.
  • Preheat your deep fryer or a large pot with vegetable oil to a temperature of 350°F (175°C).
  • Using either a funnel or a baggie with the corner snipped off, pour the batter into the heated oil in a swirling motion, creating the characteristic shape of a funnel cake. Do not let the tip of the funnel or bag touch the oil.
  • Allow the batter to firm up as it fries and then use tongs to gently stir the funnel cake in the oil, ensuring it browns evenly on all sides.
  • Once the funnel cake has reached a golden brown color, carefully remove it from the oil using the tongs.
  • Transfer the cooked funnel cake to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain any excess oil and allow it to dry.
  • While the funnel cake is still hot, move it to a serving plate and get ready for the fun part – topping it with your favorite ingredients. Enjoy!
Keyword deep fried, fair food at home, pancakes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!