Air Fryer Funnel Cake

air fryer funnel cake

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 16 mins
Total: 26 mins
Servings: 4
Yield: 24 bites
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
357 Calories
5g Fat
63g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 357
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 99mg 33%
Sodium 317mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 63g 23%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 161mg 12%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 192mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Funnel cake is a sweet, crunchy, and delicious pastry that's a summer staple at the fair. This air fryer funnel cake delivers all the fluff with a slight crunch to the outside, but there’s no fussy pot of oil involved. 

So, what's the difference between fried dough and funnel cake? Funnel cakes are technically a type of fried dough much like doughnuts, fritters, and elephant ears. However, funnel cake typically uses baking powder as a leavener versus active yeast. The dough is poured through a funnel—hence the name funnel cake—in into hot oil in a swirling shape, but you can utilize a piping bag or resealable plastic bag like we do here.

To hold up in the basket of the air fryer, we created a thicker dough than traditional recipes. For a mess-free cleanup, we use a basket liner to ensure the best possible product.

Serve it with marshmallow fluff, Nutella, or strawberry sauce to make it a full party. Alternatively, it's just as delicious with a shower of confectioners' sugar or cinnamon sugar.

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Cooking spray, for frying

  • Confectioners' sugar, optional

  • Strawberry sauce, optional

  • Marshmallow fluff, optional

  • Nutella, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    air fryer funnel cake ingredients
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until foamy and pale yellow.

    eggs whisked in a bowl
  3. Whisk in the whole milk and vanilla extract to the mixture.

    milk and eggs whisked in a bowl
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then gradually add it to the wet mixture—be careful not to overmix, but just until there are no lumps or pockets of dry ingredients.

    funnel cake batter
  5. Add the batter to a large piping bag or plastic ziplock bag. Cut off the end of the bag to create a medium-sized hole, about 1-inch in diameter.

    funnel cake batter in a piping bag
  6. Preheat the air fryer to 400 F.

  7. Line the basket of the air fryer with an appropriate sized liner. You can also hole punch a piece of parchment paper if you can’t get liners. 

    Pipe about 12 (1-inch) rounds of batter onto the liner. Cut the thick batter with kitchen shears as you pipe if you’re having trouble releasing the batter from the plastic bag. Spray the tops of the batter with cooking spray.

    air fryer funnel cake
  8. Heat for 8 minutes at 400F until golden brown, risen, and crisp.

    air fryer funnel cake bites
  9. Remove the bites and top with confectioners' sugar. Continue cooking in batches until you use all of the batter.

    Serve with strawberry sauce, marshmallow fluff, or nutella, if desired.

    funnel cake bites

How to Store

The funnel cake bites can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for three days. 

To reheat, pop them back in the air fryer for 1-2 minutes at 400 F.



Recipe Tips

  • This recipe looks and tastes best when piped into bite-sized pieces as they preserve their crisp in smaller pieces; however, you can pipe them into the traditional funnel cake shape, if desired.
  • You can keep the funnel cake bites warm in a 200 F oven while you make the additional batches.
  • Whole milk gives a good ratio of fat and acid to the recipe for that nice fluffy interior, but you can substitute 1:1 other milks, including non-dairy.


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