Funnel Cake Bites Recipe That'll Satisfy A Festival Food Craving

One of the best things to do in summer is to walk into a fair or festival and seek out a footlong corndog or a warm and sugary funnel cake. Carnival-worthy funnel cakes can't be beat, but unless you plan to drive around and check out all the special events in order to satisfy your funnel cake craving, you might be in for disappointment. That is, until now.

Recipe developer Jessica Morone of Jess Loves Cooking has whipped up an amazing funnel cake recipe that you can make right at home. It's quite easy and only takes just ten minutes to prep and ten minutes to cook. What's better than pancake-like fried dough buried under a mound of powdered sugar? Not much! Even if you don't have a funnel to feed the dough through, you can still prepare funnel cake — especially with this recipe that breaks the dough down into funnel cake bites. They're easier to manage and perfect for sharing if you're so inclined. But, after just one bite, we're pretty sure you'll want to keep the first batch all to yourself.

"I think they taste just like a fair funnel cake. They are light and fluffy and crispy. But usually, when I eat funnel cake, I end up getting powdered sugar all over my clothes from trying to break it into smaller pieces, so I found these much easier and less messy to eat," Morone says.

How did funnel cakes come about?

Who can be credited and, quite frankly, praised with creating this incredible delicacy known as the funnel cake? Supposedly, funnel cakes were enjoyed during the medieval times and, strangely enough, topped off with salt instead of just powdered sugar (via AirFun Games). The funnel cake we know and love today has been linked to German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania best known as the Pennsylvania Dutch. Funnel cakes have been traced back to the Kutztown Folk Festival, where these scrumptious delights could be purchased at fairs for only 25 cents (via AirFun Games). This is certainly one invention we can't get enough of.

Gather your ingredients to make these sweet treats

Minus the optional toppings, this incredible tasting funnel cake bites recipe requires only nine ingredients, most of which you already have sitting in your pantry and the refrigerator. You'll need an egg, milk, vanilla extract, butter, vegetable oil, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Traditional funnel cakes are covered in sweet powdered sugar, but you can also try warm caramel or chocolate sauce for dipping. Make sure to have plenty of powdered sugar on hand for this recipe, since you can never have too much when it comes to funnel cake. The same holds true for these special funnel cake bites.

Prepare the batter

Take a large bowl and vigorously whisk together 1 large egg, ½ cup of milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once thoroughly blended, add in 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and ½ teaspoon of baking powder. Be sure to combine all the ingredients thoroughly, and don't be alarmed as the batter will be thick. 

Morone notes that any type of milk could be used, so if you're lactose intolerant or follow a dairy-free diet, you can even use plant-based milk. If you need to be gluten-free or avoid wheat, you likely could swap out the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free flour, she says.

Fry the funnel cake bites

Pour enough oil in a large skillet to equal approximately 1 inch deep of oil. Heat on high until the oil is between 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don't have a thermometer, test the oil's heat by dropping a small bit of batter into the oil, Morone explains. If it starts frying immediately, it is ready. Lower the heat level to medium, scoop up the batter with a small cookie scoop or tablespoon, then gently drop it into the hot oil. Keep doing this until several funnel cake bites are frying at the same time but aren't crowding the skillet. Fry the bites until they turn golden on one side. Flip them over and fry the other side to a golden brown. Remove them from the oil, and place on a paper towel-lined plate to help soak up some of the oil.

Add the finishing touches

As soon as the bites are safely nestled on the paper towel-lined plate, dust them with powdered sugar and enjoy immediately. Use the chocolate or caramel dipping sauce for an extra kick of flavor. This recipe yields 15 funnel cake bites, but if that's not enough for you, your family or guests, you can easily double or triple the recipe.

"Just double the amounts," Morone says. "They taste great with just powdered sugar or just with the dipping sauces, but powdered sugar plus dipping sauces just makes them even more delicious. But really, you could eat them without the powdered sugar or dipping sauce and they would be good."

Tips for whipping up a batch of funnel cake bites

To flip the funnel cake bites safely, Morone uses tongs. This helps to keep the hot oil away from her hands. If the oil is spitting at you, it's too hot and you'll need to turn the temperature down a bit more, she notes.

"My suggestion is just to make sure the oil is at the right temperature for frying. Too hot, and the outsides will burn before the insides cook, and if the oil is too cold, they will take forever to cook. Also make sure to eat these pretty quickly after you make them. Fried foods are never good if you leave them sitting around for a few hours before eating them," she says.

Funnel Cake Bites Recipe That'll Satisfy A Festival Food Craving
5 from 33 ratings
Carnival-worthy funnel cakes can't be beat, and this sweet recipe for funnel cake bites will be your new favorite.
Prep Time
Cook Time
basket of funnel cake bites
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Optional Ingredients
  • powdered sugar
  • chocolate or caramel sauce for dipping
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, vanilla extract, melted butter, and vegetable oil.
  2. Mix in the all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined. The batter will be a bit thick.
  3. Pour enough oil in a large skillet to have about 1 inch of oil. Heat on high until oil is between 350 to 375 F. If you don't have a thermometer, test the oil heat by dropping a small bit of batter into the oil. If it starts frying immediately, it is ready.
  4. Lower heat to medium. Scoop batter with a small cookie scoop or tablespoon, and drop it into the hot oil. Repeat until several bites are frying at the same time, without overcrowding the pan.
  5. Fry until golden on one side, flip, and continue frying until both sides are golden.
  6. Remove bites from oil, and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat the frying process with remaining batter.
  7. Sprinkle bites with powdered sugar. Eat immediately with dipping sauce of your choice, if desired.
Calories per Serving 194
Total Fat 10.2 g
Saturated Fat 3.4 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 43.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.3 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Total Sugars 5.4 g
Sodium 148.8 mg
Protein 3.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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