Funnel Cakes

One of the stories in my family-lore includes a Halloween story. On a cold, dark and rainy Halloween night, my 17-year old brother got suckered into taking a 5-year old me trick-or-treating. I’d like to think I wore my tv costume, which was one of my favorites, but that might not be true. Just a few houses into the night, our neighbors invited me in for homemade donuts and cider. Without even a glance back to the end of the driveway (so I’m told), where my brother was posted, I happily got out of the rain. I remember the house being warm and light, but the donuts were definitely the highlight. I’ve never been a fan of candy, but anything homemade? I’m there! Something about these funnel cakes hit me the same way as those donuts of long ago. I hope you enjoy them, too.

Funnel Cakes

These are a riff on the Summer Waffles from American Vegan Kitchen. The recipe is cut in half and it’s a little lighter on the flour. At a vegan meet-up at Hal and Al’s in Columbus, I was talking to Kerry, the manager. She mentioned that the batter should work for funnel cakes. Kerry, you are right! And here’s the proof. Thanks for the inspiration.

1 ½ cups soy milk

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Canola oil

Confectioners’ sugar

Heat the soy milk to lukewarm than transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and yeast. Set aside to bubble and proof, about 5 minutes. Stir in the oil.

In a medium bowl, combine 1 ½ cups flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix well. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. If the mixture is ‘milky’, add the additional ¼ cup flour. Stir in the vanilla and mix well. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and let rise a couple hours at room temperature or longer refrigerated. The batter will thicken some as it sits.

Scoop the mixture into a large, heavy duty ziplock bag. Lighter weight bags may burst. Cut off one of the corners, but be sure to make it a small cut. You can always cut it larger if needed.

Using a small cast iron skillet, fill 1 to 2 inches of canola oil. Heat over medium to medium-high heat. Test the oil by squeezing a small amount of batter into the oil. It should turn golden in about 2 minutes. Adjust the heat if necessary. Working quickly so that the batter can cook evenly, squeeze a thin stream of batter into the hot oil, in a circular motion. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, until golden. If needed, turn over carefully to cook the second side 1 minute, until golden. Transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat until all batter is cooked. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve hot.

Makes 6 to 8 funnel cakes

By the way, my family would think I was remiss if I didn’t mention when I was even younger than 5, I threw a “ducky ducky flap flap” toy at my brother’s chin. I hit it. He got 4 stitches and has never let me forget it.

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  1. Posted October 24, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I love the idea of funnel cake!

  2. Posted October 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Yum! I have never had one before so maybe I will have to whip up a batch for my first!

  3. Posted October 24, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Funnel cake! genius.

  4. Posted October 24, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    ooooooooh! i tried to make funnel cake with alton brown’s pate a choux recipe. it turned out okay. too holey and crunchy though.
    (make sure to click through to the earlier link to see pictures of the completely inedible version that looks like something else entirely.)

  5. Posted October 24, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Carrot, I hate to say it, but that looks awful!

    You guys, these are seriously as easy as making waffles, but with the added bonus of hot oil and a ziplock. So freakin’ easy!

  6. Posted October 25, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Tami, I did NOT need to learn how to make vegan funnel cake! You will be the death of me! God, I can taste the crispy, sugary deliciousness now….

  7. Posted October 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Shannon, major typo in your comment. You said “NOT”. Ooops. :)

  8. celine
    Posted October 26, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never had funnel cake. am I kicked out of the club yet?
    (I still haven’t tried tater tots, either.)

  9. Posted October 26, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    It wouldn’t be a club without you, Celine. You should try funnel cakes…you’d like them!

  10. Posted October 26, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    My sister and I used to make them as kids in my mom’s electric skillet. My sister still has the burn scars to prove it! I’m going to make these for her on Saturday. :)

  11. Posted October 26, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Oh man, an electric skillet would be ideal for these! So cool you are going to share with your sister.

  12. Posted October 31, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    I made the funnel cakes Saturday with my sister for our husbands and kids (7 between the two of us). I really liked that I could make the batter earlier and have it ready to go after dinner. I doubled the recipe and everything went great until my bag popped open at one point (too full), and I plopped batter all over me and the kitchen. We salvaged most of it, and they were terrific and pretty easy to do! I should have taken pictures of the disaster area. Thanks for more fun memories with funnel cakes!!

  13. Posted October 31, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Becky, I’m so excited you tried them! Heavy duty ziplock is the way to go… I had a small sandwich one that popped on me, but at least it was minor. I wish you had taken pictures. :)

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