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State Fair Faves: Mini Funnel Cakes

It's Day 3 of the State Fair Faves recipe reinterpretation series (say that three times fast, sheesh) that Maddy and I collaborated on, and this might be my favorite recipe of the bunch. I always get a big plate of powdery funnel cake at the fair, and making them miniature makes them a perfect anytime treat. In fact, after I made these, we had them for breakfast. My toddler was like, "I thought you said we were having cake. Where's the cake? Where's the frosting?"

  • Ingredients
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Rounded 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar


  • Heat 1 inch vegetable oil in a deep-sided cast-iron pan to 350 degrees. The funnel cake batter will float and expand as it fries. To ensure the cakes are uniformly round and miniaturized, use the smallest diameter pan you have. I used a 5" pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, brown sugar, and salt. Create a well in center of bowl and pour milk, egg, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and vanilla extract into well. Whisk into dry ingredients until batter is smooth and transfer batter to a squeeze bottle with a 1/4-inch opening at top (or to a wet measuring cup).
  • Holding squeeze bottle 1 inch from oil, carefully squeeze batter into oil in a spiderweb pattern, starting from center, using about 1/4 cup batter per cake. Fry cake, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides, 3-4 minutes total. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Return oil to 350 degrees before frying next cake.
  • Sift confectioners' sugar over cakes just before serving

pics by Maddy Hague, adapted from Martha Stewart

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