Funnel cakes are giant lacey
cousins of the doughnut or beignet. A part of the Amish-Mennonite culture, they
probably first appeared in Pennsylvania Dutch country. This is heavy food, fried
dough that would suit a culture doing heavy manual labor.
To make them, a rather liquid
batter is traditionally placed in a funnel, with the cook’s finger over the
hole and allowed to drizzle into hot fat in a cast iron skillet or pot in
overlapping circles and swirls. Nearly any outdoor festival or fair now will
feature one or more booths selling them. Usually, these are huge, the size of an
entire full-sized paper plate and served topped with confectioner’s sugar.
Sometimes fruit toppings are also offered.
Recipes vary but most are
basically milk, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, eggs and flavoring, usually
vanilla, and the oil needed to fry them and the confectioner’s sugar for the
Mixes are also sold that
require adding only water or milk, and may come in a plastic bottle with a
narrow tip, which is less messy than the conventional method and easier
to control. Sometimes a pitcher is used to pour the batter into the fat.
They taste the best when eaten
freshly fried and warm. Nutritionally, they are heavy on fat and
calories, but lacking in many nutrients and low in fiber. Obviously they are
more a special treat food rather than one that would be eaten daily. But if you
have a craving, you need not wait for the next festival, because
they are fairly easy to make at home.
Funnel Cake to the Cakes A to L Page
Go to the Home Page