Funnel cakes are my all time favorite fair food. Growing up in New York, I would look forward to the summer carnivals to eat it’s not-so-distant cousin, zeppoles (also called fried dough). Here in Minnesota, they prefer the funnel cake format, which is just as tasty. Shauna made these adorable mini versions adapted from Martha Stewart to fit into the State Fair series, and they’re perfect for portion controlled snacking (a very important thing when there’s so many things you want to taste!).
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- rounded 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra for frying
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Create a well in center of bowl and pour milk, egg, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and vanilla extract into well. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until batter is smooth. Transfer the batter to a squeeze bottle with a 1/4-inch opening at top (or to a wet measuring cup).
Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a pan to 350ºF. The funnel cake batter will float and expand as it fries. To ensure the cakes are uniformly round and miniaturized, use the smallest diameter pan you have (we used a 5″ round pan). Holding squeeze bottle 1 inch from oil, carefully squeeze batter into oil in a spiderweb pattern, starting from center, using about 1/4 cup batter per cake. Fry the cake until golden brown on both sides, flipping once. Transfer the funnel cake to a paper towel-lined plate to allow it to drain. Let the oil to 350ºF before frying next cake.
Sift confectioners’ sugar over cakes just before serving.