American Classics: Fried Coke

Alexandra Penfold

I first heard about "Fried Coke" a few years back. Credited as the creation of frying master Abel Gonzales Jr. (this is the same man who brought you deep-fried butter), this over-the-top snack consisting of cinnamon sugar dusted Coca Cola-flavored fritters drenched in Coke syrup and topped with whipped cream and a cherry took the Texas State Fair by storm in 2006. And I've been curious ever since. Alas, a Texas State Fair visit isn't in the cards for me anytime soon, so I was eager to try to recreate the dish at home.

Like my recent experimentation with Funnel Cake, I wanted this dish to be super easy. I'd read that Bisquick was the secret to the fritters, so I dutifully bought a box and got down to experimenting. Having made Long Johns, Pączki, Potato Doughnuts, and Zeppole, I feel like I have some decent dough frying cred. Yet I tip my hat to Mr. Gonzales—Fried Coke nuggets are no easy nut to crack. It's all about making your dough balls just the right size. If you make them too big, the outsides will get overcooked before the middles are done.

While there's Coke in the batter, the biscuit-iness of the Bisquick mix really comes through, so unlike your regular doughnut hole, I wouldn't recommend just popping them in your mouth straight from out of the fryer. They need the dusting of cinnamon sugar and a healthy pour of "Coke syrup". As for the finished product? I asked my fried dough loving younger brother and he said, "It's fried, it's sweet, it has whipped cream and a cherry, it's pretty much just awesome."

What's your favorite fair food?

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