I feel like there are so many little festivals and craft fairs that pop up this time of year. Cute events with names like “Apple Butter Makin’ Days.” Oh yes, my corner of the world (the Ozarks) is rad like that. 🙂
Anyway, it’s gotten me in the mood for fair food. You know, everything fried and delicious. I am a massive fan of funnel cake. It’s probably my favorite of all fair foods.
Least favorite? Fried guacamole. Tried that one time at the Texas state fair. It was… interesting. And that’s about the nicest thing I have to say about it.
Making funnel cake from scratch is easy enough. It’s very similar to pancake batter. Which got me thinking, I wonder if you could use store-bought pancake mix to make a decent funnel cake? So I did some testing.
I tried three different store bought pancake mixes. The one that worked best was Bisquick. In the process of testing a few mixes, I learned that it’s all about batter texture. If your batter is super runny, like so liquidy you could drink it through a straw (gross,I know! I’m just trying to help you understand the consistency I’m talking about), then it won’t hold together well when you go to deep fry it.
What you want is a thick paste consistency. You want the batter to ooze but still be too thick to drink with a straw (I said it again-double gross!).
Second, it works best if you pour the batter through a squeeze bottle (like the one pictured above) or through a funnel into the oil. I prefer the squeeze bottle as I feel it gives me a little more control as I work, and the more control the better when working around hot oil.
You want your oil (vegetable or canola work well) to be right around 350°F or a little less when you pour the batter in. Give it 20-30 seconds, flip, then remove to a bed of paper towels after another 15-20 seconds.
I sort of like making smaller, two to three bite-sized funnel cakes as they are easier to maneuver in the oil. But I feel like at the fair they are usually giant. So if you want it to feel more authentic, then go for that.
And you absolutely must sprinkle the tops with copious amounts of powdered sugar. That makes all the difference!
If you feel like you don’t want any guess work with your batter, then I recommend you go ahead and make your batter from scratch. I can’t really decide which one I like better. Might need to do more testing. 🙂 xo. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the Complete Collection.
Have you ever heard of someone using a creamer bottle, instead of a funnel?
Awesome – thanks so much!! 🙂
Emma! I saw this article on NPR this morning about the Ozarks and thought you might like it (if you haven’t seen it yet)
I used to make homemade funnel cakes all the time as a kid! Even if you use a soup ladle and slowly drizzle the batter in, it turns out great!
Have you heard of the Indian sweet called ‘Jalebi’? That is my kind of funnel cake 🙂 read about it on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jalebi
In Hindi, we have an idiom that describes tough people or situations as ‘straight as a Jalebi’ 😉
These look delicious! x I love funnel cakes, they remind me so much of summer fairs and carnivals! YUM.
-Emily x http://emilysbees.blogspopt.com
Fried guac sounds gross, but the worst fried (fair) food I’ve ever had was fried Coca Cola. I’m in NC and we have a big (not Texas big, but big!) state fair, and on the local news they talk for *weeks* leading up to it what’s going to be the new fried fad. Oreos – yum, mac & cheese – yum, pickles – (nbd now, but weird when they first came out!) –yummmm. Coca Cola… “interesting.” Maybe I’ll try some funnel cakes myself this year!
Yum! Funnel cakes for the win!
Thanks for sharing this recipe! Can’t wait to make this
Looks so yum!
These are so much easier to make than I thought. I even have pancake batter on hand, so this might work for a weekend treat 🙂
What a fun treat! Thanks for sharing Emma!
Yes! This is SO perfect! I’ve got a feeling that these will be eaten rather quickly over at my house!
Any tips for keeping the smell of the oil to a minimum? The few times I’ve tried to fry something it smells so bad that I have to wait a year minimum to try again!
Looks delicious! Great photography too!
Yum…! Haven’t tried one yet, but i might soon, this looks irresistible..
how about funnel cake using pumpkin pancake mix! yes!!!
Oh! I love love love funnel cake! I would never have thought to try and make it at home though. I am definitely going to have to try this out. 🙂
yum!! so easy!
This looks sooo yummy! I definitely want some! I am super hungry now! 🙂