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.
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.