funnel cake with pancake mix

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.

pancake mix funnel cake

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.

funnel cake with pancake mix

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.

Print Recipe
4.86 from 7 votes

Perfect Funnel Cake at Home

a simple recipe for homemade funnel cake using pancake mix, the result is just as delicious as a funnel cake you'd get at the boardwalk or fair, bring summer to your home any time of year.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings


  • 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.


this recipe can be adjusted to make any amount of funnel cakes you'd like. Make them big or small to accommodate your needs.


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:

Fried Oreos

How to make perfect funnel cake at home @createdbydiane #easy #recipe

pancake mix funnel cake recipe and instructions at

EASY Funnel Cake @createdbydiane


  1. 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.

  2. 4 stars
    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! 🙂

  3. 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!

    1. 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 🙂

  4. 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!

  5. 5 stars
    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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!!!!!

    1. It is fried dough, but churros are chewier and crispier. Funnel cake is softer and has a donut quality to it.

    1. 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 🙂

  8. My kids were in a Show Choir and to make money for bc their trips we we have a funnel cake stand at various summer fun events. I would suggest making the hole bigger on the bottle top. You can also use a funnel, but you have to have someone pouring the mix into the funnel when it gets low, but you put your finger at the bottom of the funnel to stop the mix coming out. Same thing for the funnel cake fries. You can add a teaspoon or a little more for a better flavor!

  9. 5 stars
    I don’t like crowds and love funnel cake, so glad I don’t ahve to go anywhere to enjoy funnel cake now.Thanks for sharing this recipe!!!

  10. 5 stars
    OMG, I’m so glad I found this recipe and made it, now I can have funnel cake ready in minutes. Thanks

  11. 5 stars
    This is so great, I made it for Mother’s day and everyone just loved it, so simple and I love that it uses pancake mix, it could not have been more simple! I love all your recipes Diane!

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