Mix together just a few simple ingredients to create this easy recipe for state fair-style funnel cakes that will make any ordinary weekend special for the whole family.It’s state fair time here in Utah. I grew up in California, and if we had a state fair, I certainly didn’t know about it and it wasn’t anywhere near where I lived. But, now that I live near Utah’s capital, the state fair is only a 20 minute drive away, and we’ve gone for the past several years.
If there’s one thing that seems oh so quintessential state fair…it’s funnel cakes. Although, while we’re on the topic of state fairs, can someone please explain to me why everything at a state fair has to be deep fried?
Deep fried pickles? Okay. Ice cream? Creative. But candy bars? Overkill. Mac ‘n cheese?…Isn’t it already bad enough for you? I find it amusing (and kind of gross) that the goal of these food vendors seems to be to see how unhealthy of a food they can possibly make.
Still, despite my lack of enthusiasm toward deep fried bacon cheeseburgers, I do appreciate a good funnel cake.Ironically, my association with funnel cakes didn’t actually have any connection to state fairs until a few years ago. For me, they were a fun family treat that I learned how to make at home with my mom. During my pre-teen years, my best friend and I regularly got out our big frying pan and whipped up this simple recipe during sleepovers.
We’re not going to make it to the state fair this year with a newborn in the house, so I decided to make them at home. My boys thought it was amazing to watch the batter turn into swirly bubbles of deep-fried dough. Little Man especially liked eating the little extra bits that we fished out of the pot. He said they looked like dinosaurs. 🙂 Spoken like a true five-year-old boy.
They’re super simple, and they made a great treat for a fun family night. Give them a try!
- 1 beaten egg
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Oil for deep frying
- powdered sugar (or other toppings of your choice)
- In a large bowl, beat egg, milk, and vanilla until well blended.
- In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; combine the two mixtures, beating until smooth.
- In a deep skillet or deep fat fryer, heat oil to 375 degrees (think medium high). Note: You can test your oil to see if it’s ready for frying by dropping a small bit of batter into the oil. When it bubbles and comes to the surface quickly, it’s ready!
- Cover the bottom of a funnel spout with your finger; ladle 1/3 cup batter into the funnel. Holding the funnel several inches above the oil, release your finger and move the funnel in a spiral motion until the batter is gone. Don’t worry about making the perfect shape…just try to fill in any large gaps to create the general idea of a funnel cake.
- Fry two minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Adjust the cooking temperature if your cakes get dark too quickly. Drain on paper towels.
- Dust with confectioners’ sugar, or add your own concoction of toppings; serve warm.
The traditional topping for funnel cakes is just a dusting of powdered sugar, but feel free to let your imagination run wild. Fresh berries? Drizzled Nutella? Honey butter? All of the above? (clearly the best answer.) The endless possibilities make this simple treat so much fun!
Like this recipe? Here are some more simple desserts you’ll love: