County Fair Funnel Cakes

Funnel cakes are a beloved treat at county fairs and carnivals, known for their crispy exterior and soft, doughy interior. This classic dessert can be easily made at home with a few simple ingredients. Follow this recipe to create your own delicious county fair funnel cakes and bring the festive atmosphere to your kitchen.


To make these delectable funnel cakes, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar for dusting


Combine the Wet Ingredients:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the lightly beaten eggs, milk, and packed brown sugar. Whisk these ingredients together until they are well incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

Mix the Dry Ingredients:

In a separate bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Ensure that these dry ingredients are thoroughly combined to avoid any lumps in the batter.

Create the Batter:

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Beat the combined ingredients until the batter is smooth and has no lumps. The consistency should be similar to pancake batter.

Heat the Oil:

Pour enough vegetable oil into an electric skillet or deep fryer to reach a depth of about 4 inches. It’s crucial to have an extra two inches of oil to allow the funnel cake to cook evenly and avoid any overflow.

Fry the Funnel Cakes:

Once the oil has reached the proper temperature (about 375°F or 190°C), pour the batter through a funnel, swirling it in a circular motion to form a spiral shape in the hot oil. Fry the funnel cake until it is golden brown on both sides, flipping it halfway through to ensure even cooking.

Drain and Dust with Sugar:

Remove the funnel cake from the oil and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. While it is still warm, dust the top with powdered sugar for a sweet finishing touch.

Serve and Enjoy:

Your homemade county fair funnel cakes are now ready to be enjoyed. Serve them warm and watch as they disappear quickly, just like they would at a real fair.

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

  • Serve Warm

Funnel cakes are best enjoyed warm, right after they are made. The contrast between the crispy exterior and the soft interior is most pronounced when the cakes are fresh from the fryer.

  • Dust with Powdered Sugar

Generously dust the funnel cakes with powdered sugar while they are still warm. This will ensure the sugar sticks well, providing a sweet finish.

  • Add Toppings

Enhance the flavor and presentation of your funnel cakes with various toppings. Consider adding:

  • Fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, or banana slices.
  • Whipped cream for a creamy, decadent touch.
  • Chocolate syrup or caramel sauce drizzled on top.
  • Sprinkles for a colorful, festive appearance.
  • Serve with Ice Cream

Pair your funnel cakes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful contrast of warm and cold.

Storage Tips:

  • Store at Room Temperature

If you have leftover funnel cakes, let them cool completely before storing them. Place the cooled funnel cakes in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in aluminum foil. They can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

  • Reheat Before Serving

To enjoy your leftover funnel cakes, reheat them in the oven or toaster oven to restore their crispiness. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and heat the funnel cakes for about 5-10 minutes, or until they are warmed through and crispy again. Avoid using a microwave, as it can make the cakes soggy.

  • Freeze for Longer Storage

For longer storage, you can freeze the funnel cakes. Place the cooled funnel cakes in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer them to a resealable plastic bag or airtight container, separating each cake with a piece of parchment paper to prevent sticking. Funnel cakes can be frozen for up to 2 months.

  • Reheat from Frozen

When ready to enjoy, reheat the frozen funnel cakes in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake the cakes on a baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are hot and crispy.

  • Avoid Refrigeration

Refrigeration can cause funnel cakes to become soggy and lose their desirable texture. It’s best to store them at room temperature or in the freezer, depending on how soon you plan to eat them.


Funnel cakes are a versatile treat that can be customized in many delicious ways. Here are some fun and creative variations to try:

Classic Funnel Cake

Stick with the traditional recipe for a classic taste. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy the simple, sweet flavor.

Chocolate Funnel Cake

Add a chocolatey twist by incorporating cocoa powder into the batter. Replace 1/4 cup of flour with 1/4 cup of cocoa powder. Serve with a drizzle of chocolate syrup and a sprinkle of chocolate chips.

Cinnamon Sugar Funnel Cake

For a warm, spiced flavor, add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the dry ingredients. After frying, toss the funnel cake in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

Apple Cinnamon Funnel Cake

Incorporate diced apples and a hint of cinnamon for a fruity variation. Add 1/2 cup of finely chopped apples and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the batter. Serve with a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Pumpkin Spice Funnel Cake

Perfect for autumn, add pumpkin puree and spices to the batter. Mix 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, and reduce the milk to 1 cup. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Red Velvet Funnel Cake

For a colorful and rich variation, add a few drops of red food coloring and 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder to the batter. Serve with cream cheese frosting or powdered sugar.

Berry Funnel Cake

Add fresh or frozen berries to the batter for a burst of fruity flavor. Gently fold in 1/2 cup of blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries before frying. Top with more berries and whipped cream.

Savory Funnel Cake

For a unique twist, make a savory version by omitting the sugar and adding savory ingredients. Mix in 1/2 cup of shredded cheese, 1/4 cup of chopped cooked bacon, and a pinch of garlic powder. Serve with a side of ranch dressing or sour cream.

S’mores Funnel Cake

Bring the campfire treat to your funnel cake. Add mini chocolate chips to the batter. After frying, top with mini marshmallows, crushed graham crackers, and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Funnel Cake

Swirl in some classic flavors by adding a few spoonfuls of peanut butter to the batter. Top the fried cake with a dollop of your favorite jelly or jam.

Matcha Green Tea Funnel Cake

For a unique and trendy flavor, add 1 tablespoon of matcha green tea powder to the dry ingredients. Dust the finished funnel cake with powdered sugar and a bit more matcha powder.

Nutella Funnel Cake

Indulge in the rich, hazelnut spread by drizzling Nutella over the warm funnel cake. Add sliced bananas or strawberries for an extra treat.

Banana Foster Funnel Cake

For a decadent dessert, top your funnel cake with a banana foster sauce. Sauté sliced bananas in butter, brown sugar, and a splash of rum until caramelized, then pour over the cake.


1. Can I make funnel cakes without a deep fryer?

Yes, you can make funnel cakes without a deep fryer. Use a large, deep skillet or a heavy-bottomed pot to heat the oil. Ensure the oil is deep enough to fully submerge the batter for even cooking.

2. What is the best oil to use for frying funnel cakes?

Vegetable oil is commonly used for frying funnel cakes due to its high smoke point and neutral flavor. Other good options include canola oil or peanut oil.

3. How do I know when the oil is hot enough for frying?

The oil should be heated to 375°F (190°C). If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the oil by dropping a small amount of batter into it. If the batter sizzles and rises to the surface, the oil is ready.

4. Can I make the batter ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the batter ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Stir the batter well before using it, as some separation may occur.

5. How do I prevent my funnel cakes from becoming greasy?

Ensure the oil is at the correct temperature before frying. If the oil is too cool, the batter will absorb more oil and become greasy. Also, avoid overcrowding the skillet, which can lower the oil temperature.

Making county fair funnel cakes at home is a fun and rewarding experience. With simple ingredients and a few easy steps, you can bring the joy of fairground treats into your own kitchen. Whether for a special occasion or just a delightful snack, these funnel cakes are sure to be a hit with family and friends. Enjoy!