Serious Eats: Recipes

Easy Funnel Cake

[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

At state fairs, funnel cakes are enormous, paper plate-sized affairs made by pouring batter from a funnel in a winding circular pattern over hot oil. Traditional recipes call for a fairly standard batter: flour, eggs, sugar, milk, baking soda or baking powder, but I discovered that you can make awesome funnel cakes with "complete" buttermilk pancake mix, which is the kind of mix that only requires water. Easy peasy, though I like to doctor my mix with a touch of sugar and vanilla.

Timing, batter thickness, and funnel spout size are the keys to funnel cake success. If your batter is too thin or watery, you'll have an enormous mess that spreads and won't hold together. If your batter is too gloppy you won't be able to pour it out in a timely enough fashion to avoid an overdone crunchy mess. A 1-cup funnel with a 1/4-inch opening is an ideal size, a squeeze bottle with a 1/4 inch opening is even better—it's easier to control the flow rate.

Note: Look for pancake mix that only requires adding water.

About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered children's book editor by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie and a Midtown Lunch contributor. You can follow her on Twitter at @blondiebrownie.

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