Bring fair food home with this easy, classic Funnel Cake recipe. There’s truly nothing like a homemade funnel cake: a crispy jumble of vanilla-tinged batter that is deep fried until crisp and golden-brown yet fluffy and airy inside, topped with a generous sprinkle of powdered sugar, and served warm with your favorite toppings.
You’ll love making this summertime treat from scratch. It only takes a few pantry staples and 10 minutes of your time to make — even beginners can master this easy recipe! Amaze your family and friends this summer with fresh funnel cake made in the comfort of your own home. It's a perfect dessert option for summer cookouts, barbecues, birthdays, or casual get-togethers.
Why You'll Love this Funnel Cake
- Crispy and soft texture. Funnel cakes combine the best of both worlds with their crispy, golden-brown exterior and soft, cake-like interior. With a dusting of powdered sugar, these funnel cakes check all the right boxes when it comes to the perfect texture.
- It’s beginner-friendly. Funnel cake might seem intimidating to make, but this recipe is actually beginner-friendly! Just whip up the batter in a few steps, transfer to a piping bag, heat the oil, and pour. See the Recipe Tips and Tricks below to make it even easier to nail these on the first try.
- Perfect snack or dessert for summer. Summertime isn’t just for cold treats! Breezy afternoons are the ideal time to savor the subtly sweet flavor of a fresh, fried funnel cake made from scratch at home. One bite of these treats will transport you to summer days at the fair or at festivals. It's perfect for Memorial Day!
- Serve it however you like. Serve homemade funnel cake the traditional way with a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top or get creative with toppings. Try fresh fruit, caramel sauce, cinnamon sugar, chocolate sauce, or nutella! The options are endless. See our Recipe Variations below for more inspo.
To make this delicious Funnel Cake, you will need the following ingredients (full measurements in recipe card below):
- all-purpose flour - you can try to make these gluten-free by replacing the all-purpose flour with a measure-for-measure gluten-free flour substitute.
- sugar - use your favorite granulated sugar or sugar alternative like coconut sugar, stevia, monk fruit, or Swerve.
- baking powder
- cinnamon - feel free to leave this out if you prefer.
- milk - if you or someone in your family has a dairy sensitivity, you can use a plant-based milk instead.
- eggs - if you need to omit the egg, add one tablespoon of lemon juice and increase the amount of baking powder in this recipe to 1 tablespoon to help the funnel cake rise and stay fluffy.
- vanilla - you can also use a 1:1 substitute of vanilla bean paste for even more intense vanilla flavor.
- powdered sugar - regular powdered sugar or a powdered sugar substitute are both fine to use here, just know that the taste will be affected by the type of sweetener you choose!
- vegetable oil - you will need vegetable oil for deep frying the funnel cakes. We used avocado oil but any vegetable oil will work.
How to Make the Best Funnel Cake
- Combine dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until well combined.
- Combine wet ingredients. In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla, until smooth and well combined.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients. Pour the wet mixture into the dry, then whisk until smooth.
- Transfer batter. Transfer the batter into a large piping bag.
- Heat oil. Fill a large dutch oven or pot with 2-3-inches deep of oil. Heat over medium-high, bringing the oil temperature up to 375°F on a candy thermometer, about 3-4 minutes (the oil will be shimmering hot). Meanwhile, prepare a large baking sheet by lining with paper towels.
- Fry the funnel cakes. When the oil is hot, snip the tip of the piping bag off, then drizzle about ⅓ cup of the batter into the hot oil, in a swirling and criss-crossing motion. Fry for about 90 seconds, or until the cake looks golden, then carefully flip with tongs and fry the other side until golden. Transfer to the paper-towel lined baking sheet.
- Repeat. Continue with remaining batter, ensuring the oil temperature stays within the 350-375°F range.
- Serve. Dust the warm funnel cakes with confectioners sugar and serve warm!
- Make chocolate funnel cakes. Add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder to the batter for a rich chocolate twist. Top with chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and sprinkles to make it extra fun.
- Add fruit. Top your funnel cakes with fresh fruit. Try sliced strawberries, bananas, or peaches and serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of your favorite ice cream on the side.
- Cinnamon sugar flavor. Instead of dusting your funnel cake with confectioners' sugar, mix cinnamon and sugar together and generously sprinkle it over the freshly fried funnel cake.
- Add matcha. Add 1-2 tablespoons of matcha green tea powder to the batter for a vibrant color and earthy flavor. Top with a dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of white chocolate to make it even better.
- Citrus flavor. Incorporate the zest of oranges, lemons, or limes into the batter for a refreshing and tangy flavor. Squeeze some fresh citrus juice over the fried funnel cake and dust it with powdered sugar for a burst of citrusy goodness.
How to Serve
Enjoy immediately. Funnel cake is best enjoyed fresh and hot. Serve it immediately after frying for the ultimate crispy and indulgent experience.
Funnel Cake is delicious serve fresh and hot with a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top. Serve it as a fun dessert as is, or pair it with some of our favorites such as:
- No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream
- Summer Fruit Salad
- Blackberry Milkshake
- Whipped Cream
- Salted Caramel Sauce or Chocolate Sauce
- White Hot Chocolate
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Dress them up. You can customize this homemade funnel cake by adding whatever toppings you want! Nutella, ice cream, fresh fruit, flavored syurps — there’s no wrong way to eat a funnel cake.
- Proper oil depth. Make sure the oil depth is sufficient for the funnel cake to float and cook evenly. A depth of at least 2 inches (5 cm) allows the batter to expand and ensures the funnel cake cooks through without becoming greasy.
- Be patient. Patience is key when making funnel cakes. It’s absolutely essential that you wait until the oil is heated up to the right temperature before adding the batter, and allowing the batter to turn golden brown before flipping or removing the cakes.
- Use an oil thermometer. Speaking of temperature, using an oil thermometer (or candy thermometer) to make sure your oil stays at the right temperature can make or break your funnel cakes! Prevent them from falling apart by keeping the temperature around 375℉.
- Consistent pouring technique. When pouring the funnel cake batter into the hot oil, maintain a steady and consistent flow to create even and uniform spirals. This ensures that the funnel cake cooks evenly and achieves the desired crispy texture.
- Drain excess oil. After frying, place the funnel cake on a paper towel lined baking sheet or plate to drain excess oil. This helps to maintain the desired crispiness and prevents the funnel cake from becoming soggy.
Storing and Freezing Instructions
How to Store
How to Reheat
Reheat in the oven at 350℉ for 10-15 minutes, or in the air fryer for 5-10 minutes until heated through and crisp.
How to Freeze
Transfer individual funnel cakes into freezer bags or wrap them individually in plastic cling wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
More Dessert Recipes
- 40 Best Summer Desserts
- Banana Pudding
- Rice Krispies Treats
- Blueberry Pie
- Peach Cobbler
- Fresh Strawberry Pie
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.
- 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons (38 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ⅓ cups (320 grams) whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- vegetable oil (for deep frying)
- ¾ cup confectioners sugar (for dusting)
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until well combined.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla, until smooth and well combined.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry, then whisk until smooth. Transfer the batter into a large piping bag.
- Fill a large dutch oven or pot with 2-3-inches deep of oil. Heat over medium-high, bringing the oil temperature up to 375°F on a candy thermometer, about 3-4 minutes (the oil will be shimmering hot). Meanwhile, prepare a large baking sheet by lining with paper towels.
- When the oil is hot, snip the tip of the piping bag off, then drizzle about ⅓ cup of the batter into the hot oil, in a swirling and criss-crossing motion. Fry for about 90 seconds, or until the cake looks golden, then carefully flip with tongs and fry the other side until golden. Transfer to the paper-towel lined baking sheet.
- Continue with remaining batter, ensuring the oil temperature stays within the 350-375°F range.
- Dust the warm funnel cakes with confectioners sugar and serve warm!
How to reheat: Reheat in the oven at 350℉ for 10-15 minutes, or in the air fryer for 5-10 minutes until heated through and crisp.
How to freeze: Transfer individual funnel cakes into freezer bags or wrap them individually in plastic cling wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Deep Fry
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: funnel cake, homemade funnel cake