These Homemade Funnel Cakes give you all the flavor of the fair without ever leaving the house! Fried golden and ready in minutes, this recipe is just perfect.
I love fried dough, don’t you? Any fried dough is good, but there is something about funnel cakes that makes them extra special.
They are so fun and I can’t help but associate the crispy dough and powdered sugar topping with warm summer nights at the fair.
Homemade funnel cakes can seem intimidating, but they aren’t! This Funnel Cake Recipe Using Pancake Batter eliminates the need for any special ingredients.
If you’ve got pancake mix, water, and oil for frying, you’re all set. Yes – it really is THAT easy!
What Special Equipment Do I Need?
While I recommend a squeeze bottle for dropping dough into the hot oil, you could use a spoon to drizzle or a measuring glass with a spout. You won’t get the exact same “Carnival Funnel Cake” look, but they’ll still taste great. A heavy cast-iron skillet is recommended for frying, but any heavy-bottomed skillet will work.
How Hot Should the Oil Be?
For perfectly golden and crisp Funnel Cakes Made with Pancake Batter, you’ll want to heat your oil to 350. I usually achieve this by heating my oil on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. You’ll know the oil is ready when a small swirl of batter dropped into it instantly sizzles and slowly begins to turn golden.
What Toppings are good on funnel cake?
While powdered sugar is a no-fail classic, we also love drizzling our funnel cakes with chocolate or strawberry syrup. Caramel syrup is another great option.
Try topping them with fresh fruit, candies, crushed cookies, or even whipped cream or ice cream. The possibilities are truly endless!
Use a plastic bottle to squirt out the pancake mix. Make sure the opening is large enough you don’t want to have any issues of it not coming out even when you are placing it into the hot oil.
Swirl the pancake mix around in circles as you squirt it into the oil. I went about 6 circles on this one.
Turn it over carefully. Be sure to cook each side until it’s golden.
Drain on paper towel. Dust with powdered sugar.
How Do I Make Funnel Cake Fries?
Making funnel cake fries is as simple as changing the shape! When drizzling the batter into the hot oil, squirt the batter in a single line (“fry shape”). These will cook faster, so keep an eye on them and turn when nice and golden brown.
What Kind of Oil Should I Use to Make Homemade Funnel Cakes?
For this recipe, I recommend using vegetable oil.
If you love funnel cakes, you’re in luck! Here are a few other fun favorites I think you’ll enjoy.
THIS is the skillet I use and love and I use it so much I have 3 of them and more in other sizes too, it’s a kitchen must-have.
If you’re looking for my completely homemade version of funnel cake click here.
And if you want to make Chocolate Funnel Cake look here.
- 1 cup Pancake Mix ( I used Krusteaz)
- 1 cup water
- 3-4 cups oil ( I used vegetable oil )
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Mix equal parts pancake mix and water.
- Make sure there are no lumps, whisking it I find works well.
- Place mix into a plastic squeeze bottle.
- Cut the tip-off of the bottle so that a smooth and steady stream of the mix can easily come out.
- Heat cast-iron skillet filled with about 2 inches of oil until it reaches 350 degrees. I use a thermometer, that way I can keep an eye on the temperature of the oil as often as I'd like.
- Squirt the pancake mix into the hot oil.
- Cook until golden on each side.
- Drain on paper towel.
- Dust with powdered sugar.
Why do you do with the oil when you’re done frying? Good question, you can reuse it, here is a good post on reusing and storing oil.
I even made smaller funnel cakes and topped them with ice cream, chocolate syrup, and strawberries. Oh yes, there was no holding back on these. Since they are made out of pancake mix, they are perfect for breakfast, don’t you agree?
What would you top your funnel cake with? Tell me. I may just have to give it a try.
Now a Taste of Knott’s:
which is what prompted me to make funnel cake, you’ll see why.
I recently attended “A Taste of Knott’s” featuring some of their latest offering at Knott’s Berry Farm. There was funnel cake….and so much more. I brought my sweet friend Lisa and we were greeted by Chef Snoopy and this lovely lady who had some very funny stories to tell.
All of the food looked wonderful. My first thought was, WOW amusement park food sure has changed, they have Chicken Kabob Sandwiches, Flank Steak Sandwiches, Grilled burger with jalapeño chips on it (I was hoping to have enough room for one of these) everyone was raving about it so much. I certainly haven’t seen Hawaiian Ahi Poke at an amusement park before and it was all delicious.
There was no shortage of home-style favorites. Their Chicken Pot Pie had a wonderfully flaky crust that was a cross between a biscuit and a pie crust, yummy! We enjoyed Knott’s Famous Fried Chicken and Biscuits with boysenberry butter, I may have had two platefuls 🙂
Can you see why I just had to give it a try at home?
I had their fully loaded funnel cake with boysenberry topping and vanilla ice cream. It was so delicious…
and so was their Cookiewich! Yes, I ate the whole thing.
I felt like a little kid enjoying all this fun food. It’s not every day I have fried chicken and biscuits, funnel cake and a cookie which. I know the next time I take my family to Knott’s we will arrive hungry as there are so many great choices we won’t want to miss out on them.
We even caught the All Wheels Extreme Show and got to talk to my kid’s friend who was in the show. Very fun! On the way to the car, we even stopped in the shop and couldn’t get over all the CUTE items they had. I spotted some really fun cupcakes dishes and cake plates along with
If you are looking for another fun treat try:
I try to stay away from this stuff but it looks delicious! I have to save this recipe.
Oh boy, this looks amazing!! And I love Knott’s!! So happy you shared those photos on instagram. I haven’t been since I was a kid visiting my grandparents in SoCal.
Brian @ A Thought For Food says
OH MY GOODNESS! OH MY GOODNESS! Stop the madness! This brings me back to my childhood… when we’d go to the fair and get funnel cake. Love this Diane!
I love funnel cakes!! My mom used to do this for us as a treat. Takes me way back!
Becca from It's Yummilicious says
Oh my goodness…. I probably didn’t need to see how easy that is to make, Diane!
I remember going to Knott’s Berry Farm WAYYYY back in the stone ages… umm, early 80’s. Camp Snoopy was a blast for young and old alike! The food has DEFINITELY upscaled since then. WOW, that’s some good lookin’ grub! 🙂
Oh this time of year, I love it! Can’t wait, our county fair starts in a couple weeks!
[email protected] says
WHAT FUN!!! My kids would go crazy if I made these.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a funnel cake. That needs to change!
jani lebaron says
You are seriously going to make me fatter!!! I love your posts. My family we.t to Knotts the year Disneyland opened. Somewhere there’s a blk & white pic of me on this cool ride motored by a donkeys!
Shawn @ I Wash...You Dry says
Oh my heck Jani, you seriously crack me up! Love ya! 🙂
Shawn @ I Wash...You Dry says
I didn’t realize you could use pancake batter for funnel cakes! Genius! You are too cute Diane, I can’t wait to come visit you later this year! 🙂
I just vacationed at the Jersey Shore and I could not stay away from The Funnel Cakes………Love these images.
yes they are hard to stay away from. Did you know I’m from Jersey. Just saw your post about your trip 🙂 not far at all from where I’m from 🙂
I’m honestly not sure I’ve ever had funnel cakes. But leave it to you to make a homemade version!
When i think of funnel cakes, I think of county fairs and a local farm that I used to take my kids to where they sold funnel cakes. What fun!
Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel says
I LOVE funnel cakes! My favorite fair food for sure. And Knott’s is so fun–that amusement park food looks seriously gourmet! Definitely beats the usual hot dogs and chicken strips fare everywhere else. And I am DYING over that adorable cake stand! Want!
Holy funnel cake!! We’re huge fans!!
I was late to a strawberry festival up here and “ran” to get a funnel cake, but they were closing up:( Needless to say, I have still never had one. Now, I can make my ow:) Thanks, Diane!
alison @ Ingredients, Inc. says
oh my kids LOVE this
shelly (cookies and cups) says
My kids love funnel cake! Would have never thought to try it at home 🙂
Russell at Chasing Delicious says
So cool! I’ve always wanted to make funnel cake. Totally trying this!
Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says
Oh my your fully loaded ice cream and chocolate sauce funnel cake looks amazing as does that cookiewich!
Laura @ Family Spice says
LOL! Oh no you didn’t?!! What a great way to make funnel cake – and super easy!
Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles says
I haven’t had a funnel cake in years – yum!!!
Lisa | With Style and Grace says
oh goodness, never thought about making homemade funnel cake!
Never heard of funnel cake… but they sound and look a bit like the churros I used to enjoy dipping into thick hot chocolate when I lived in Spain! Only skinnier and swirlier! Fiesta food!!!!!
It is fried dough, but churros are chewier and crispier. Funnel cake is softer and has a donut quality to it.
Barb | Creative Culinary says
Craving. BAD. Thanks for sharing how to do this on my own, in my home and allow me to eat them to my hearts content. Wait, maybe that’s bad? 🙂
Yes, I’m sure eating them all the time would be. But I’m sure there is a good time for them once in a while 🙂
It’s very delightful to watch your recipes, good blogging, keep doing the great work!
What do you do with the leftover oil?
You can reuse it or discard it properly. Here is an article or storing to reuse oil you might like https://food52.com/blog/15155-how-many-times-can-you-reuse-your-frying-oil