Funnel Cake

Total Time:
20 min
10 min
10 min

10 cakes

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup eggs, about 4 large eggs and 2 whites
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Powdered sugar, for topping

Boil water, butter, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan. Add flour and work it in until it is all incorporated and dough forms a ball. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer and let cool for 3 to 4 minutes. With mixer lowest speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, making sure the first egg is completely incorporated before continuing. Once all eggs have been added and mixture is smooth, put dough in a piping bag fitted with a number 12 tip. Heat about 1 1/2 inches of oil in a heavy pan. Pipe dough into oil, making a free-form lattice pattern; cook until browned, flipping once. Remove cake from oil, drain on paper towels, and top with powdered sugar. Continue until all of the batter is used.

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    91 Reviews
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    Great. I made it for me and my roommates in the deep fryer and we all wanted more.
    Very bad! This recipe is definitely missing something important. I made them last night following these instructions closely, they looked great, but when I tasted it, i spit it out in disgust. I keep looking at other funnel cake recipes and they all say to use milk and baking powder. I would not recommend this to anyone!
    Bloody awful!!! Tastes so eggy! It's missing something. It LOOKS like a funnel cake.. but the only part of it that tastes like a funnel cake is the powdered sugar. Don't waste your time!
    this is one of the best recipe EVER i,m only 13. me and my little sister made this together without any help. and shes only 6 years old its fun and easy for the whole family to do together we did it for my moms birthday and she loved it and said it was the best(and i hope thats not just cuase we are her kids;p
    Was amazing. And yes, for people who post bad reviews because they cannot cook, IT COMES OUT PERFECT. especially if you have a deep fryer (I got one for 20 at Wal Mart. The only thing I changed is adding a bit of vanilla and a tad more sugar. But it was really good, my entire family is asking weekly for more. ( I am a guy, if I can cook this without flaw 5-6 times, so can you!
    This does not make the style of funnel cakes that you get at a fair, but I liked them slightly better. This is a creme puff recipe, and like cream puffs, it is very light and airy, but frying it gives it a very crispy texture. There are a few tips that Alton Brown gives on his show that are important to keep in mind while preparing this dish: You should use a protein-rich flour (he uses bread flour. You should weigh your flour, rather than measure it and use 5 3/4 oz. You need to cook the water/butter/salt/sugar/flour until all the moisture has either been absorbed or evaporated. You want to use more egg whites than egg yolks, to make the funnel cake light and crispy. 
    When cooled, these funnel cakes are quite a bit softer and more cakey, if you prefer that texture to the crisp, airy texture they have when hot.
    why waste allllll these ingredients when u could just make funnel cakes out of pancake mix, and it taste EXACTLY like this! (i tried and compared
    Light and fluffy, easy to make. Better than the carnival.
    I used this recipe for my first ever attempt at funnel cake. I have to say it was just as good as any carnival funnel cake i ever had! Next time I make it, however, I will add just a wee bit more sugar to the batter. Other then that, the recipe is perfect!
    II agree with the others who think Alton's recipe is more like the one for popovers or cream puffs. I also think that the original Funnel Cake recipe became popular fair food in the mid 1970s after I called a Youngstown OH radio station called Party Line and gave it to listeners. This one is from Mary Emma Showalter's MENNONITE COMMUNITY COOKBOOK, originally published in 1950. My book was printeed in 1957, page 345 "Plowlines or Funnel Cakes." The recipe was from contributers from Clearspring MD and Lancaster PA. RECIPE: 3 eggs, 2 cups milk, 4 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar (optional), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons baking powder. Beat eggs and add milk and sugar. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together. Add dry ingredients to egg and milk mixture. Beat batter until smooth. This batter should be thin enough to run through a small funnel. Drop from funnel into hot deep fat 375 degrees, holding finger over bottom of funnel to control amount of batter released. Make into one of the following designs: Start at center of pan, swirling batter outward in a gradually enlarging circle, being careful not to touch circles. Or let batter run through funnel into hot fat into any shape you desire, crisscrossing to make an intricate design. Fry until a golden brown and remove from fat and drain. Makes about 30 cakes, depending on size.
    I use this recipe with my 8th grade Family & Consumer Science class and it is awesome. It is the closest thing to a "FAIR" funnel cake I have found. The students in my class love it and we torture the entire school with the delicious smell. It is great "advertisement" for my class.
    i have tried this funnal cake, and let me tell you this is just about one of the most supreme recipies for funnal cake ever. as long as you have the correct fryer, it is most amazing funnel cake. the recipie is not to hard to follow and not to hard to make either. so go on give it a trie.
    I'm 17 and I don't know how to really cook. This recipe was easy, I had fun making it. The only thing I had a problem with was the sugar. I'm a fan of funnel cakes, I absolutely love them. It lacked sugar (to me) so i added about 3/4 cup more. It was great my mom, dad, siblings, friends and my grandmother loved it.
    Had a really fun time making these, the recipe was super easy to follow. I didn't have anything go wrong, like some of the other reviews mentioned. Weather it was a whole cake or an itty bitty broke off piece of Funnel Cake it was all inhalled by the family!! I cooked mine in my fryer at 350 and I didn't have much luck on finding that tip size 12 so I used a 14 which ended up being way to thin, almost shoe string like.. So I ended up using another size tip, basically played it by ear type of thing. Enjoy and always try once!!!
    Ok, after reading a few reviews I tried this recipe and I am very happy with the results as a "first time funnel cake maker" . The egg problem listed prior I solved with cracking the eggs into a measuring cup and found that the "4" eggs I used made just a hair over 1cup of egg I did not add any egg white or anything else... since you have to squeeze the dough into the frying pan, I feel it's just a bit on the messy side and will continue to look for my personal favorit.... but still, I think it deserves 5 stars!!
    The kids loved it!
    this recipe has too much EGG! put in around 2-3 at the most..otherwise it tastes like an omlet
    I was at first nervous about trying this recipe, while even though Alton's recipes are usualy great, this one had a lot of mixed reviews. After trying it I found out that it's one of those recipes where you have to kind of see the episode to get it juuuust right since there are a lot of hints and unmentioned advice in the episode that there aren't in the actually recipe. Such as making sure you get enough of the moisture out of the dough before transfering it to the mixing bowl. It turned out great, and It's once again been proven that when something goes wrong with Alton's recipes.. it's almost always your own fault.
    FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS CORRECTLY this funnel cake is a bit aers backwards but it makes sense it make for my company 6 big funnel cakes mad props alton got it down to basic science
    I was looking for a funnel cake recipe and stumbled on this one. I followed directions to a "T" and it was terrible. Get a recipe for funnel cake somewhere else. Alton, I was very disappointed. I guess science isn't everything.
    Alton Brown has done it again. This delicious funnel cake is sweeter than any i have tasted before
    I Followed The Recipe EXACTLY &nd Got , The Most Disgusting Funnel Cakes EVER . I Wantes To Cry .
    I tried a few, and more complicated, funnel cake recipes over the years, but either they tasted like a pancake or they were doughy inside while to crispy on the outside. I was skeptical about Alton's very easy and simple version, but tried it anyway. Wow! I was so suprised! The funnel cake I made tasted just like the funnel cakes I used to get at the County fair when I was growing up. I made one to take to a friends BBQ and me and my sister ate it before it even got there because it was so yummy (I did happen to make another one though)! Great recipe!
    Dear Alton
    OMG.. this is not a funnel cake.. i made it for my girlfriend on our first date and she spit it back up. NOT A HAPPY CAMPER. please do more scientific research before cooking more food. thank you sir.
    Well after reading all of the reviews i decided to have a science project! I cooked this recipe, the pancake version, and a more traditional recipe! DO NOT USE THE PANCAKE VERSION!!!!!! this was the most disgusting thing ever! This recipe was ok. it is good in taste however very fluffy. take yourself back to the fair. funnel cake should be stringy and crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. This was just not cutting it. If you want funnel cake like the fair go with a more traditional version.
    The batter was perfect! It came nice and fluffy just as if you were at a real carnvel. Usually when you try to immate favorites from fairs and carnvels they just don't come out the same this was near perfect. I followed the instructions exact however I added a little bit of Captain Morgan dark rum! I think any rum will do but it gave it that extra umph.........
    me n my husband made the funnel cakes n we messed up the first time but when we read the directions(we just wanted 2 make the batter n then enjoy) it was realy easy, fun , and fast, but i would say if your pregnant n sensitive to smells make the man do the egg part because it dose kinda smell. but me n my husband both grew up in grant county wisconsin n we both have a tradition wen the fair comes around is to get a funnel cake n chesse curds. and well these are kinda better then the fairs so i hope u all enjoy!
    I'm really not sure what everyone else that submitted reviews has to fuss about with this recipe. Came together so very easily, and it was delicious. I grew up on the East Coast eating funnel cakes at the fairs, and have since moved all across America with the military. And, to be honest, every state's fairs and carnivals have funnel cakes that taste differently. I'm definitely going to be trying the pancake batter frying that was suggested below, just to see what the difference is. But as for this recipe? A definite keeper and something I'll be doing again in the future. Easy + delicious = love.
    Last night I got the munchies and decided to make funnel cake for the first time in my life. I ate a lot of funnel cakes in the past but this one just knocked me out of my socks!

    It was easy to prepare and it all came together nicely thanks to Alton's great gift of making complicated dishes so darn easy.

    The dough was done in no time and the funnel cakes were done shortly thereafter. The great fluffiness and great taste was greatly appreciated. The entire family, wife, kids and even grandma were blown away by your great recipe.

    Thank you for sharing!!!

    --Kai and Family
    This recipe isn't very easy. I'd rate it a 6 out of 10 for difficulty. And it IS NOT funnel cake. This dough is used to make eclairs, cream puffs, crullers, and beignets. The true funnel cake batter is virtually identical to pancake batter. And as most of us know, pancake batter is very easy to make. Not sure why Alton diverted from his normal adherence to proper cooking and recipes. Even a friend of mine told me "you're wrong" when I explained how funnel cakes are made. He cited this episode. Of course, this isn't the only screw up Alton has made. I could cite at least a dozen more. But that's for another review. Bake your Choux pastry for eclairs and cream puffs. Fry your Choux pastry for crullers and beignets. Fry your pancake batter for funnel cakes.
    Anyone who's coming to this recipe from a search needs to look at the title of this episode: Choux Shine. This recipe is for deep fried choux. It's tasty (think French crullers) but it is not the funnel cake you get at a fair or carnival. That's a basic unleavened batter, much thinner so you can actually pour it through a funnel.
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    4th of July