This traditional Pennsylvania Dutch treat is a favourite at county fairs, amusement parks and any other large gathering of people you care to think of. During his concert stop in Hershey, Pennsylvania in support of his 'You're the One' album, Paul Simon halted his show to sample a funnel cake offered from the crowd. He was so impressed he promised to name his next album 'Funnel Cakes and Other Love Songs'1.
But that's just how delicious this sweet deep-fried cake can be.
Funnel cakes can be served with a number of toppings, from strawberries and whipped cream to chocolate syrup to apples and cinnamon. But without a doubt the best, and most common serving, is one with powdered confectioner's sugar (also known as icing sugar) liberally sprinkled over the top.
A funnel cake at an amusement park or county fair served with powdered sugar will cost no more than $7. And eating one out-of-doors with the sights, sounds and smells of a carnival no doubt enhances the experience.
However, it is equally possible to make a funnel cake at home as a special treat.
This particular recipe is one a Researcher learned while working at a local amusement park. It will yield about six good-sized funnel cakes. While there may be other recipes out there, and even pre-mixed funnel cake dough to which only a bit of water need be added, this one is the best.
- 1 cup of flour
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup of milk
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients together. Then gradually add in the beaten egg and milk until well blended - there should be no lumps. Let the batter stand for about 15 minutes.
In a deep skillet or pan, heat one-third to one-half inch of vegetable oil to about 400 degrees.
When the oil is hot, pour the batter through a funnel, swirling a thin stream into the centre of the skillet and circling outward until the pan is filled. Do not stop pouring until the you are finished. Stopping and starting again will likely result in raw dough somewhere in the cake.
Fry on each side until the cake is golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve with powdered confectioner's sugar over the top.