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Lemon and brown sugar funnel cakes recipe

Lemon and brown sugar funnel cakes recipe

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This version of the sweet fried 'dough' dessert associated with American street fairs and carnivals uses dark brown sugar and zesty lemon extract for added sweet depth and light tartness.

15 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 2L oil for frying
  • 500g plain flour
  • 220g light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 535ml milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:40min

  1. In a heavy frying pan, heat the oil to 190 degrees C. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, light brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, milk and lemon extract. Fold in the flour mixture, stirring until well blended. In a separate bowl, sift together the icing sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
  3. Blocking the spout with your finger, fill the funnel with 175ml of the batter. Place your hand over the hot oil and carefully remove your finger. Scribble and criss-cross the batter into the oil, then fry until golden on both sides. Using a slotted spatula, lift the funnel cake out of the oil and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat this procedure with the remaining batter, and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture while still warm.


Snip the corner off a disposable piping bag to use in place of a funnel; fill with a small amount of batter and squeeze gently.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(14)

Reviews in English (10)


Very delicious! Don't be afraid of the lemon extract, it just adds a delicate touch of flavor to the cakes. I had more batter left over in the fridge and they fried up perfectly the next day. I did not need quite as much oil as the recipe called for.-01 Jan 2003

by Kimberly Kahmann Harvey

Well, I've been searching for a perfect funnel cake recipe, and took me a while to get around to trying this one because it only had 4 stars, but this is the BEST funnel cake I've ever made! I used a clean, empty, pancake syrup bottle to squeeze out the funnel cakes easily into the oil. Saw them use that at Knott's Berry Farm actually. Topped with powdered sugar, strawberries (mixed with white sugar), and whipped cream. AMAZING! I'll never be able to spend money on them at theme parks and fairs again!-03 May 2009


We love this at my house. Kinda messy, but worth it. My kids enjoyed seeing what shapes they could make drizzling the batter, but of course I stayed right there (hot oil!) A fun, old fashioned, economical treat. Think I'll make some spider web shaped ones for Halloween! It's easy if you use a squirt bottle for drizzling the batter. It makes thinner strands that way.-24 Oct 2003

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Mini Funnel Cakes

Adapted from Taylor Mathis | The Southern Tailgating Cookbook | The University of North Carolina Press, 2013

Ever beg your parents for funnel cakes as a kid at the state fair come late summer and after hours of listening to you, they’d buy you a funnel cake and let you scarf down the entire thing and then you made them listen to you moan about your tummyache from all that fried dough bouncing around in your belly while riding the ferris wheel? Neither did we. Anyways, there’s no worry of any of that happening with this recipe for mini funnel cakes. A mere two or three bites each, they’re just the right size…for having several.–Renee Schettler

Funnel Cake

Homemade funnel cake with vanilla bean and orange zest and topped with strawberries. It’s better than the ones at the fair.


  • 8 cups Vegetable Oil
  • 1-½ cup Milk
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste Or Extract
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Medium-sized Orange, Washed Then Zested
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ¾ cups Powdered Sugar For Garnish
  • Strawberries, Washed, Hulled And Quartered, For Garnish
  • Whipped Cream, For Garnish


In a deep-fryer, or heavy skillet, heat the vegetable oil to 375 F.

In a large bowl, beat together the milk, eggs, and vanilla paste or extract. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, orange zest, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the flour mixture into the milk/egg mixture and stir until well incorporated and smooth.

Pour one cup of batter into a funnel, covering the funnel hole with one finger as you fill it. Starting from the center, swirl the batter into the hot oil, making a circle around 6 or 7 inches in diameter. Fry on both sides until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Remove the funnel cake from the oil using a slotted spoon or kitchen spider and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Repeat with the remaining batter. Immediately serve them topped with strawberries and whipped cream.

Related: Chanukah, desserts & sweets, Israel & Middle East, kid-friendly, pareve, vegetarian

Prep time: 20 minutes + 6–24 hours rising

Cook time: 20–30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

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Also known as jalabi, these crisp fritters, or funnel cakes, were adopted by Iraqi Jews centuries ago as the perfect fried food to celebrate the miracle of Chanukah. Traditionally soaked in sugar syrup, they are infinitely more wonderful when infused with a tangy lemon syrup. It takes only a few minutes to whisk together the forgiving batter the night before you want to serve zengoula, and the pastries can be fried early in the day you want to serve them. Or, make the frying a Chanukah party activity. My cousin Elan Garonzik has vivid memories of our grandmother turning out perfect coils, which is how they’re sold at Arab bakeries like Moutran in Nazareth and Jaffa. That takes a bit of practice. Free-form Rorschach-like shapes—sea horses, dolphins, geese—that magically appear as they bubble up in the hot oil are just as delicious. You will need to begin this recipe at least six hours before you want to serve the zengoula.


Funnel cake is one of my favourite carnival treats. Funnel cake is made with either pancake batter, or choux paste, poured through a funnel into hot oil. That’s why it’s called funnel cake. It’s not because it’s funnel-flavoured. While using pancake batter is definitely quicker, and far more efficient if you run a restaurant (you could make pancakes, waffles, and funnel cakes all from the same batter) choux paste is the tastier alternative that results in a fluffier and lighter funnel cake. While choux paste can be a bit harder to make, if you’re looking for a gourmet carnival treat, it’s the way to go. If you’re looking for a less delicious option, feel free to use pancake batter.

I’m a big fan of funnel cake. Whenever I go to the local amusement park (which also happens to be the largest in Canada) I always spend time standing behind a glass wall that lets park visitors see how the funnel cakes are made. First, the batter is cooked in hot oil until it turns golden brown. Then, the funnel cake is dusted with icing sugar, topped with strawberries, and served with soft-serve ice cream. I’ve stood behind that window countless times. Well, not countless, but let’s just say I didn’t count.

These funnel cakes are pretty amazing and are totally worth the effort of making choux paste. If you haven’t used or made choux paste before, it’s the same dough that’s used to make éclairs, profiteroles, and churros.

These funnel cakes have a light and fluffy center that is protected by a thin, crispy coating. They only need to cook for a few minutes per side until they turn golden brown and are ready to be dusted with a bit of icing sugar (or more) and topped with a heaping spoonful (or more) of fresh, warm Canadian strawberries and strawberry sauce. Add ice cream for an extra special treat!

Or you could just eat them plain. You shouldn’t – you really should eat them with something.

Creating the classic funnel cake shape might look difficult, but the beauty of funnel cake is that it isn’t difficult at all. You can fill up a funnel, while holding the bottom to prevent batter leaking out, and then remove your finger while moving the funnel over the pan.

You could also fill up a plastic bag with choux paste, snip off the end, and press on it while moving the bag over the pan. Of course, you could always use a piping bag with a large round tip too.

Regardless of which option you choose, pour the batter as close to the hot oil as possible so that it doesn’t splatter and burn you. Although the burns may be worth a fresh funnel cake, it’s still best to avoid them.

Don’t they just look delicious? Yes, yes they do. That’s why you’re going to run to the kitchen and make them right now. I don’t care if you don’t have strawberries or if you have a doctor’s appointment. There is no excuse not to make these right now. Unless of course you’re – nope, none. Chop, chop.

Note (2017/08/10): If you want to make the best possible funnel cake, you may wish to view my tutorial on making the perfect éclairs. Follow the recipe there to prepare the choux dough, but fry it according to the instructions below. The recipe here still works quite well! The detailed steps/added complexity in the tutorial are most applicable for baking choux pastry, not frying it. However, they do make the funnel cake just slightly better.

Homemade Funnel Cakes

And then I added sprinkles! Good glory can every week start like this.

I figured homemade funnel cakes are the perfect treat for Memorial Day weekend festivities. Or any summer fun because they’re the epitome of boardwalk food, aren’t they? I’m all for super cool food trucks serving up fried cookie dough potato chip stuffed macaroni and cheese concoctions, but I’ll always have a sweet spot for the classics. Preferably anything served on a stick (caramel apples!!) and most definitely warm funnel cakes with a snowfall of confectioners’ sugar on top.

Last weekend, my friend and I were talking about a beach weekend this summer and she asked me if it’s possible to make funnel cake at home– like the kind we used to eat on the boardwalk together. Is it possible?! Anything’s possible with batter and a quart of oil! Because that’s really all that funnel cake is– batter and hot oil.

And you know what? Much to all of our surprise, this nostalgic treat is easier than you ever imagined:

The recipes started out from All Recipes, but I found a few ways to change it up after I tried it the first time. I wanted the cakes to have a bit more flavor so I added some brown sugar and vanilla extract. I left out the cinnamon on the first try, but added it back in the 2nd time. I loved the cinnamon flavor, so I kept that in the recipe below– you can leave it out if you’d like but it makes the funnel cakes taste a little extra special. I found the batter was a little too thin, so I added a little extra flour. And with that, baking powder. There’s no yeast involved here. Just baking powder. You don’t have to wait around for dough to rise, punch it down, knead it, and all that razzmatazz.

Told you, funnel cakes are so easy.

I ended up loving the batter after these changes and it produced some of the best funnel cakes I’ve ever tasted. You’ll have a batter comparable to pancake batter. In fact, I’ve heard you can make funnel cake out of boxed pancake mix but I’ve never given it a go. This homemade version is too simple!

Frying is the next step. Don’t get nervous! The process is really quick. For this batch, I was so concerned with making a fun swirly shape, that I didn’t snap the best picture of the frying part. I’m thinking of making a video for this recipe if you’re interested? I can try to work on it soon!

Everyone says a funnel is best for pouring the batter into the oil (duh) but I most certainly don’t have one in my kitchen drawers. Is this a normal kitchen tool to keep on hand? Maybe I’m missing out and should get a funnel?? Anyway. A liquid measuring cup will do. And hey! It worked. I use about 1/3 cup of batter per cake– so I really like using a measuring cup to pour because it doubles as the actual way I’m measuring the batter. Make sense?

Other things that’ll work: empty squeeze bottle, empty salad dressing bottle, empty sport water bottle, ketchup bottle… empty that sucker too. You can also pour the batter into a large plastic zipped-top bag and cut 1/4 inch off one of the corners to make a small opening.

When you pour the batter into the oil, make a big swirl starting from either the center or outside. Then you can zig zag your way all throughout the swirl shape, connecting some of the swirl layers. I’ve also read that you should pour the batter in a spider web shape, but that didn’t work for me because it was taking too long to make an intricate web pattern. Impatience? Check.

There is no special artistry to this, as evidenced by my misshaped and discombobulated funnel cakes, so don’t stress out about how to pour or how they look. There’s charm in the haphazardness! At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Just fry for a minute or so on each side, then you’re done. Time to get CA-RAZY. Confectioners’ sugar, chocolate syrup, caramel, sprinkles, ice cream, jam, apple pie filling, lemon curd, I don’t know, melted peanut butter, whipped cream, berries, a smear of Nutella? Dude, just do it all. I was thinking it would be so fun to have these served at a party where everyone can top their own. So a funnel cake bar of sorts!

So fun to have for a special treat one night and, as you can see, there’s not much work involved at all. One more thing: how the heck do I categorize these? Under cakes? Thinking of starting a new category called damn good fried food. I’ll add the donuts.

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Funnel cake bites are a perfect choice for parties, family gatherings, and kids&rsquo birthdays. Also, these small puffs are great snack options for your movie night menu or can be a perfect To-go dessert.

If you are looking for a quick and easy recipe, then you are in the right place. You can easily make funnel cake bites at home in just 20 minutes.

Of course, you can try them plain or sprinkled with powdered sugar.

But I assure you without any doubt, that funnel cake bites become even more mouthwatering when you serve these puffs with some delicious dipping sauce.

How to make funnel cake bites from scratch:

  • Step 1 Prepare a large bowl. To the bowl add an egg, milk, vegetable oil, melted butter, sugar, and pure vanilla extract. Beat together until homogeneous.

  • Step 2 Sift the flour. Sifting will aerate your flour. Sifted flour is much lighter than unsifted and it will be easier to mix it with other ingredients when making the batter. Make sure to eliminate any lumps, solids, or impurities it may contain. Gradually add sifted flour to the bowl with wet ingredients. Add baking powder and salt as well. Whisk well until the batter becomes smooth and has no clumps.

  • Step 3 Pour vegetable oil into a pot or a skillet, add enough oil to make it roughly 1-inch deep. Heat it over medium heat until oil reaches 350 F. Scoop the batter out with mini ice cream scoop and drop into the oil. You can also use a cream syringe, or piping bag, or ziplock with cut out the tip or funnel to pour the batter. Fry bites for a minute on each side, or until lightly golden. Continue with the remaining batter.

  • Step 4 Line a plate with paper towels. When the bites are cooked, remove them from a pan and transfer them to a lined plate. Let paper towels absorb the excess oil from your bites.

  • Step 5 Place your funnel cake bites on a serving plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately with your favorite dip.

  • Step 6 (optional) If you want to serve your funnel cake bites with some dipping sauces, all you need is to combine all ingredients for the desired dip in a bowl and mix until smooth.

What are funnel cake bites?

Do you know how traditional funnel cake tastes like? Funnel cake bites are bite-sized funnel cakes. They are made of the same batter as the funnel cake.

But the batter for funnel cake bites is frying in small batches and not piping into the oil in a circular motion. So, funnel cake bites are a super tasty twist from the regular funnel cake recipe.

I assure you that these small puffs are as delicious as well-known funnel cake.

How do you keep a funnel cake warm?

The best way to enjoy the perfect funnel cake is to eat it immediately. But if you want to share this delicious dessert with someone else, you may want to keep fried funnel cakes warm while you are finishing cooking.

Heat the warming drawer, if you have one, or oven to 200 F and transfer your finished funnel cakes there to keep the batches warm until ready to serve.

What toppings can you put on funnel cakes?

The most popular way to serve funnel cakes is to sift them with powdered sugar. But you can step away from traditions and sprinkle your treat with cinnamon, drizzle with melted chocolate or caramel sauce.

A good idea is to accomplish your funnel cake bites with dipping sauce. Choose your most favorite dip and enjoy it.

Here are some ideas for dips: marshmallow dip, whipped cream or yogurt dip, Nutella dip, lemon glaze dip, chocolate fudge sauce, or honey. Don&rsquot be afraid of experiments!

Way to make funnel cake bites

The funnel cake bites recipe is a super easy dessert for any home cook. You&rsquoll need all-purpose flour, milk, butter, sugar, egg, baking powder, vanilla extract, salt, and vegetable oil.

Make the batter, heat the oil, scoop the batter, and drop it into the hot oil. Fry and enjoy it! By the way, you may use a pancake mix to cook funnel cake bites. Make the batter according to package instructions and fry it in the same way as homemade funnel cake bites batter.

Recipe tips

  1. You may use part-skim milk, almond, or soya milk if you want to prepare funnel cake bites.
  2. You can choose any dip you love. It may be the mix of pureed fruits or berries with yogurt, whipped cream or cream cheese, melted chocolate, caramel sauce, condensed milk, maple syrup, or golden cane syrup. Just choose what you love most.

Can funnel cake batter be refrigerated?

Yes! You may prepare the batter ahead and fry just before serving. Funnel cake batter can be refrigerated and will survive in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Remember that you can refrigerate only the batter, but not fried funnel cake bites themselves. These bites are best eaten right away after cooking!

Recipe: Indiana State Fair Funnel Cake

If you didn’t have a funnel cake, did you even go to the Indiana State Fair?

It’s possible you did, but unlikely you had as much fun as those who treated themselves to a giant plate of winding, puffy, crispy fried dough topped with a polar vortex–style blizzard of powdered sugar.

Jessica Kartawich knows a thing or two about delicious, doughy treats. She is one of the owners and founders of Leviathan Bakehouse, the new downtown spot that has so many gorgeous pastries to choose from that scrolling through its Instagram feed feels like a virtual visit to an art museum. But even this creator of high-end baked goods has a soft spot for the humble funnel cake. “Funnel cake was always my dad’s favorite fair food,” says Kartawich. “And like father, like daughter. It’s the one fair food I always feel compelled to get.”

People have been eating fried dough since medieval times, but the modern funnel cake is attributed to the Pennsylvania Dutch of the mid-20th century, when German immigrants ate them for breakfast. Historians generally agree that funnel cakes made their first public appearance at the Kutztown Folk Festival in 1950, with a recipe by Emma Miller. Today, with optional toppings like Nutella, ice cream, or pie filling, funnel cakes are a modern symbol of the decadence and fun to be found at state fair food stands.

Funnel cakes get their name from the method used to make them, which typically includes putting the batter into a funnel, then pouring it into hot oil in small, quick circles. The batter itself is very similar to a pancake mixture, so expect it to be runny. Too thick, and it won’t pour quickly enough to give you those familiar squiggles.

Before you get started, it’s time for some straight talk. Yes, you will find recipes online that say you don’t need a funnel. They’ll say you can pour it slowly from a measuring cup, or use a squeeze bottle. And, technically, that is true. But we don’t recommend it, especially if you’re not skilled at frying dough in oil. The best way to get the shape, consistency, and density you see at fairs and festivals is to use a funnel with a half-inch opening.

Some quick advice about shape and form—be cool. It’s not supposed to look like anything in particular. It’s narrow lines of dough circling and crisscrossing each other. Move your hands around in a circle, let the dough flow smoothly, and pull it out of the oil before it burns. If you do all that, you’ll have yourself a delicious funnel cake. Congratulate yourself on a job well done, and don’t forget to wipe the powdered sugar off your chin before your next Zoom meeting.

Read through the entire recipe before you get started, including the notes at the end. And we’d love to see your funnel cake creations. Post your pictures on social media and tag us at @IndyMonthly or use #INStateFairAtHome.

Beer Funnel Cake


  • 2 bottles beer
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar


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Lemon Sweet Rolls

I know you may be wondering where all of the St. Patrick’s Day stuff is. The truth of the matter is, we really don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The extent of our “celebration” is we may have corned beef and cabbage for dinner … maybe. This year, we probably won’t.

I’ve kinda skipped onto Easter and Spring type dishes. I hope y’all don’t mind. After I made my Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing, I knew I wanted to make a Lemon version of those rolls for Spring.

Since these Lemon Sweet Rolls start with a box of cake mix, they’re super easy to make! You can whip these up in no time! They go with just about everything, so if you like lemon, you’ll love these! Enjoy!

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