There is no denying that I love to cook. Cooking is therapy for me, but only cooking food. Baking stresses me out! Often, I put food in the oven and just forget about it. Not good, I know. Want a seafood gumbo? I can cook it with my eyes closed. Want a cake, muffins, or cookies? I might burn it. So, when I decided to do a carnival theme for date night at home, I knew I wanted to make funnel cakes. I was honestly intimidated by the whole process. But, I successfully cooked funnel cakes. Here’s my best tips on how to make funnel cakes.
What’s easy about cooking funnel cakes?
The funnel cake batter is super simple to make. You can make your own or use a mix like I did. I used McCormick® Fry Easy Funnel Cake Mix to help me out. You just add water and an egg. Be sure to mix until it’s smooth. The recipe was really easy and in less than 5 minutes I was ready to get started. However, the following questions ensued: How much oil should I put in the skillet? How hot should the oil be? The box said 375 degrees, but I need to know medium or medium-high heat. And lastly, how in the world do you get that pretty funnel cake shape? Maybe you’ve had similar questions too.
How much oil should you use? For each funnel cake, you’ll want to add 3/4 cup of oil to a small skillet. The oil should cover the bottom of the skillet and be about a half inch high. I used a small skillet to contain the size of my cakes. I didn’t know what I was doing and felt overwhelmed about using a bigger skillet. (What can I say? I’m not a baker.) In the end, the smaller skillet worked best. Otherwise you would need to add more oil to fry the cakes properly.
What’s the key to cooking the perfect funnel cake?
The right amount of hot oil is necessary for making a really good funnel cake. The oil must be hot enough that when you pour your batter into the pan it starts cooking immediately. You will continue to add the batter via a circular or zig zag motion. Don’t worry about filling in holes because the batter will fill itself in.
What the secret to getting that awesome shape?
Once you’re ready to fry the cakes, you’ll quickly ask – “How in the world do I make that cool shape?” Well, I haven’t perfected that part and actually messed up my first two cakes. Thankfully, my cousin (who is an awesome baker), shared her secret with me. She said “Try a spiral. I start in the middle of the skillet and then move the funnel outward as I spiral the mix in the grease.” That is literally what I did and I finally got somewhere. Just like any food, presentation is everything. If it doesn’t look good no one will want to eat it. My last 3 funnel cakes turned out well.
Let the kids add powdered sugar with a sifter. They will get a kick out of it.
That’s pretty much all you need to know to cook a good funnel cake. It was great learning experience for me. Learning the perfect temperature to fry the cakes in and figuring out how to create that awesome shape were the hardest parts. But, I’m so happy I conquered another baking recipe. I’ll keep working on my technique too.