Super Easy Funnel Cakes!

Easy funnel cake (click through for recipe)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. 

Easiest ever homemade funnel cakes 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.

How to make funnel cake at homeI 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.

How to make funnel cakesYou 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.

Easiest ever homemade funnel cakes 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?

  • 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:
    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

  • 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!

  • Thanks for sharing this recipe! Can’t wait to make this


  • 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 🙂


  • Yes! This is SO perfect! I’ve got a feeling that these will be eaten rather quickly over at my house!

  • Yum…! Haven’t tried one yet, but i might soon, this looks irresistible..


  • 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!

  • 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. 🙂

  • This looks sooo yummy! I definitely want some! I am super hungry now! 🙂

  • Wow, I cannot believe how easy these are! The smell of funnel cakes always gets me at fairs and festivals, but I almost never splurge the $8-$10 for them (I live in an expensive city, haha). This is so much better!


  • This is PERFECT!! The Texas State Fair starts up again soon which means that everyone in Dallas/Fort Worth starts craving fried food and ESPECIALLY funnel cake! Can’t wait to try and make this from home and actually be able to eat it year round! 🙂

    Neha //

  • You know, I bought the candy thermometer you see in this post a couple years ago. I think from either Target or Walmart. I want to say it was around $15-$20. I use it often and it’s been good. The numbers toward the bottom are *starting* to wear off, but they aren’t ones that I need often so I won’t be buying a new one anytime soon.

    Honestly you don’t need a candy thermometer for deep frying as you can just test the oil with a little extra batter or a small piece of bread. But, if you aren’t experienced with frying and you get your oil too hot it can start a grease fire, which is super scary/dangerous. So I like to use just because I feel it’s a safe practice and I would encourage others to do so.

    Good luck!

  • Hmmm….I’m not sure what sounds worst: drinking pancake batter through a straw or fried guacamole! But these funnel cakes look amazing. Always one of my favorite fair foods too. Glad to know they can be made with store bought mix. So cool!

  • My mom used to make homemade funnel cakes for us growing up in Texas. This post just took me on a trip down memory lane. Thanks! 🙂 And fried guacamole sounds gross. Like fried snot. OK that’s super disgusting…sorry. Anyway – do you mind sharing what brand candy/frying thermometer you have/use? I have been wanting to buy one and prices, as well as ratings, are across the board. I’ve also read a lot of reviews that are highly rated, but warn against the painted temperatures rubbing off over time. So I’m sort of scared to commit to one right now. Haha. Figured I’d ask a pro who has been using one for a while. Thanks, tons!

  • These look so amazing, perfect for Autumn! I’ve never heard of funnel cakes before, so I’ll definitely need to give these a go soon, thank you for the inspiration!! 🙂

    Emma xo Wallflower Wardrobe

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