Classic Funnel Cake

Close-up of a funnel cake
Foap AB/Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
178 Calories
9g Fat
19g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 178
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 84mg 28%
Sodium 362mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 5g
Calcium 136mg 10%
*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.)

Fair foods--like deep-fried twinkies--can be as fleeting and mysterious as the events themselves. Unfortunately, the mystery of funnel cake, the quintessential fair food, is often enough to send the home cook running for the hills. But this summer, why not throw your own fair-themed party?

Deep-fried until crunchy and golden brown, funnel cakes can be topped with anything: sugar, syrup, fresh fruit, you name it! Popularized by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 1950s, they’ve become a staple at amusement parks and boardwalks across the country.

Rediscover this fair food in your home kitchen in four easy steps. 


  • Oil (for frying)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Optional: strawberry syrup
  • Optional: chocolate syrup
  • Garnish: fresh fruit

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat a deep fryer, electric skillet, or deep-sided open skillet to 365 F.

  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt; set aside.

  4. Then, in a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, water, butter, and vanilla extract.

  5. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and lump-free. The consistency should be thin.

  6. Place a finger over the bottom opening of a funnel, and fill the funnel with 1/2 to 2/3 cup of batter. Hold the funnel close to the surface of the oil, making sure not to touch the surface. Then, remove your finger and pour the batter into the oil making continuous circles of different sizes.

  7. Fry until light golden brown on one side and then, using tongs, turn the cake over and fry for 45 more seconds.

  8. Pull the cake out of the fryer and place it on a paper towel-lined plate.

  9. Sprinkle with sifted confectioners' sugar and/or drizzle with strawberry or chocolate sauce, if desired. You can also add fresh fruit right before serving if desired.


  • Funnel cakes should be served immediately after frying, so they maintain a crisp, yet light-and-airy texture.
  • If using a deep fryer, consider starting with new oil to make this dessert. Otherwise, your funnel cake may taste a little like last week’s fish and chips.