This recipe for Easy Funnel Cake Fries (sometimes called funnel cake sticks) is sure to be a fun and delicious sweet treat. It’s much easier to enjoy than a traditional funnel cake, and you don’t have to wait to go to the fair to have it! They’re nice and crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
A Taste of the Fair at Home
Even as an adult, I love going to the county fairs in our area. My kids love the rides and activities, but I’m all about the food. The traditional funnel cakes were always my favorite and I’ve wanted a way to recreate them at home. This recipe is made using pancake mix, which keeps it simple while still giving you the texture of funnel cake. They are much easier to enjoy in fry form and it’s also easier to dip them in caramel or chocolate sauce.
Watch The Recipe Video!
Another fun version of Funnel Cakes are these Funnel Cake Bites, they are a mini version of the favorite fair food, dusted with powdered sugar served warm.
In 15 minutes you will have crispy and fluffy funnel cake fries which also make a nice indulgent dessert. You can even save the leftovers and reheat them! If there are any, that is. We gobble them all up on the same day in our house.
What You’ll Need to Make This Funnel Cake Fries Recipe
These are the most important ingredients for these funnel cake fries, see the recipe for the complete list of ingredients, including optional toppings. They’re inexpensive and very easy to find!
- Buttermilk pancake mix – You can use any brand you prefer. If too thick, add a little bit of water.
- Cold water
- White sugar – This sweetens up the funnel cake fries a little more.
- Salt – I always use a little salt when baking, it enhances the other flavors.
- Vanilla extract – Funnel cake has a slight vanilla flavor. You can use imitation but I recommend pure vanilla extract for the best results.
- Vegetable oil – Any oil with a high smoke point for frying like vegetable or canola oil work best.
- Powdered sugar – You don’t have funnel cake without a dusting of powder sugar!
How to Make Funnel Cake Fries
Making these funnel cake fries is quicker and easier than you think. It takes around 1 minute to cook each batch!
- Step 1. Whisk together the pancake mix, cold water, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a medium bowl. It should be a cake batter consistency. Add 1-2 tbsp of cold water if it’s too thick. This usually will vary depending on the brand of pancake mix that you use.
- Step 2. Pour the funnel cake batter either into a pipping bag with a round tip or a zip-top bag with the corner cut off. This will give you control over the size and shape of the funnel cake sticks. Use a tall glass for the bag to rest in so it doesn’t make a mess.
- Step 3. In a large pan, heat at least 3 inches of oil at medium-high heat. You can use a dutch oven or any pan that’s at least 4 inches deep. Use a thermometer to make sure the temperature is 340-350 degrees F before you start frying.
- Step 4. Pipe strips into the oil, no more than 6 inches long. You should be able to fit 3-4 at a time without overcrowding the pan. Flip the fries after about 20-30 seconds and cook for 20-30 more seconds or until golden.
- Step 5. Remove the browned funnel cake fries from the oil and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat step 4 until all the batter is fried.
- Step 6. Dust the fries while warm with powdered sugar using a mesh strainer.
Wondering what else you can use to dip or drizzle on these funnel cake fries? Here are some of our favorite options.
- Cinnamon sugar – This can be a replacement for powdered sugar.
- Caramel sauce – Homemade or store-bought
- Whipped cream
- Strawberries – Fresh or strawberry sauce
- Chocolate syrup
- Maraschino cherries
- Sliced bananas
- Maple syrup
How to Store Leftovers
Any extra funnel cake sticks can be stored in a zip-top bag or airtight container at room temperature. Be sure to remove as much air from the containers as you can before sealing. Eat or discard within 2 days.
More Fried Treat Recipes
Funnel Cake Fries
- 1 Cup Buttermilk Pancake Mix
- 1/4 Cup Cold Water Pulse 1-2 Tablespoons If Needed
- 1 Tbsp Granulated White Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Vegetable or Canola Oil For Frying
- Powdered Sugar For Dusting
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the pancake mix, water, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract until just combined. The batter should be a cake like consistency, if it is too thick add one tablespoon of water at a time until the correct consistency is achieved.
- Add the batter to a piping bag with a circle tip or a zip top bag with a small piece of the corner cut off. Rest the bag in a tall glass or in a bowl while the oil heats, this makes for easier clean up if any drips out.
- In a dutch oven or 4 inch deep pan, add oil so that it is at least 3 inches deep. Heat the oil over medium high until the oil reaches a temperature of 340℉-350℉, adjust the heat as needed to keep the oil at this temperature. Prepare a plate lined with paper towels.
- Pipe 3-4 strips of the batter into the hot oil, about 5-6 inches long, working quickly as they fry fast. Flip the “fries” over after about 20-30 seconds and fry for another 20-30 seconds or until golden brown. Transfer the “fries” to a paper towel lined plate to soak up any excess oil. Repeat until all the batter has been used. (Remember to adjust the heat as needed to keep the temperature around 340℉-350℉)
- Dust the funnel cake fries with the powdered sugar using a fine mesh strainer and enjoy! Best served right away!
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- Other optional toppings: Caramel sauce, whipped cream, strawberries, chocolate sauce, maraschino cherries, sprinkles, blueberries, raspberries, sliced bananas, maple syrup.
- You can toss the funnel cake fries in cinnamon and sugar instead of using powdered sugar or do both.
- Any brand of buttermilk pancake mix can be used, the amount of water may have to be adjusted depending on the brand.
- Store in a zip-top bag with all excess air removed at room temperature for up to 2 days, reheat in the oven or air fryer at 375℉ until hot and crispy.
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