Funnel Cake Bites

funnel cake bites

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 5 bites
Yield: 30 bites
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
483 Calories
19g Fat
69g Carbs
10g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5
Amount per serving
Calories 483
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 81mg 27%
Sodium 259mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 69g 25%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 30g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 142mg 11%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 164mg 3%
*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 bites are crunchy sweet bites of fried dough that are so much easier and less messy to make and to eat than traditional large funnel cakes. Funnel cakes as we know them are believed to have been created by a group of German immigrants called the Pennsylvania Dutch; today they are common State fair snacks. The deep-fried dough is typically covered in powdered sugar, sometimes with a yummy dipping sauce alongside. They’re crunchy on the outside and a little chewy and soft on the inside.

The batter for these funnel cake bites is super simple to make and only requires a few ingredients. But the only way to make them is in a deep fryer. As long as you have a deep fry thermometer, they're still easy to create. 

Funnel cake bites make a fun snack for the weekend, especially for backyard BBQs and cook outs. They're best served hot, so make sure you make them right when you’re ready to eat them.

If you want to go beyond the powdered sugar, try these funnel cake bites with a caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce, or a strawberry jam.

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 4 cups vegetable oil, or enough to fill 4 inches of the pan

  • Powdered sugar, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until foamy and pale yellow, approximately 2 minutes.

  3. Whisk in the whole milk and vanilla extract to the egg mixture.

  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate medium bowl.

  5. Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients into the wet mixture until there are no lumps or pockets of dry ingredients; be careful not to overmix.

  6. Fill a heavy-bottomed pot with approximately 4 inches of oil and heat the oil to 375 F over medium-high heat.

  7. Using a cookie scoop, fill about 1/3 of the scoop with batter. If you fill it with too much batter, it will not fry well and will be raw in the center.

  8. Cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip about half-way through, frying to make sure both sides are golden brown.

  9. Strain the funnel cake bites out of the oil and onto a paper towel-lined plate.

  10. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Funnel Cake Bite Tips

  • You will need at least 4 inches of a neutral oil to fry these funnel cake bites, such as vegetable or canola oil. Make sure the oil reaches 375 F before frying and keep an eye on the temperature as you are frying. 
  • When you add the batter it will lower the temperature of the oil. 
  • Use a deep fry thermometer to help you monitor the temperature. 
  • It’s very important to scoop the batter with a cookie scoop so you can keep your hands away from the oil. 
  • You only need a very small amount of batter in the cookie scoop. Do not fill the scoop completely. Too much will cause the center of the bite to be raw. 
  • Alternatively, you can put the batter in a piping bag and pipe the traditional wiggly funnel cake shape, but smaller so that it is still bite sized. Fry as instructed above.

Is Fried Dough the Same as Funnel Cake?

Funnel cake and fried dough are both fried in oil and topped with delicious sweet toppings. However, the base of the recipe is quite different. Fried dough is made with a bread dough that uses yeast for leavening.  Funnel cake has a more pancake-like batter, which is much thinner than bread dough, and it uses baking powder as leavening rather than yeast.

Why Do They Call It Funnel Cake?

Funnel cake gets its name from the way it is drizzled into the hot oil. Traditionally, a funnel is used to hold the batter; the bottom of the funnel is released and the batter is drizzled into the hot oil. Then, the bottom of the funnel is covered again when enough batter is in the oil.

How to Store Funnel Cake Bites

Funnel cake bites are definitely best eaten hot and fresh. If you do want to store them, allow them to cool and store them in an air-tight container. Reheat in an air fryer set to 400 F for a few minutes. This is sure to re-crisp them better than any other re-heating method.

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