Funnel Cake Recipe Pancake Mix: Your Ever-crunchy Fair Food

Written by Luisa Davis on . Posted in food

If either after preparing some pancakes and you seem to have some pancake mix left over or you’re dashing off and want to make a quick breakfast, funnel cake with pancake mix is your go-to.

If you’re reminiscing on varieties of deep-fried dough which always marks a carnival and you happen to think of your beloved funnel cake, relax. Perhaps you’re yearning for a fair treat, this is one delicious and yet simple to prepare meal you can’t afford to miss.

It is goodbye to the good old days of boring breakfast meals. Your typical weekend could be filled with carnival-like excitement of food and fun. Instead of an ordinary pancake breakfast, breakfast can be converted to a state fair experience.

How so?

Instead of using your pancake mix for pancakes, you can easily use it for funnel cakes. This can easily be thought of as pancakes in disguise but in a fun and tasty way. This would be a fun way to start the day.

Funnel Cake – The Basics, Key Tool, And A Little Story

Funnel cake is a sweet crunchy food, a carnival treat that is enjoyed by many summers after summers at fairs and festivals. Among the categories of food present are a host of indulgent food temptations including salty, sugary, and smoky and a lot of deep fried foods. Topmost on the list is the funnel cake which is a crispy and crunchy snack and did I forget to mention deep fried?

Funnel cake ingredients is basically pancake mix with a little water, some vanilla extract, sugar and of course your vegetable oil. It is made by pouring batter through a funnel into a pan of hot frying oil in a circular motion creating the zigzagging, overlapping mass of circular shape and crunching confection that everyone loves.

It can be served as a midday snack or as dessert. If you are hoping for a carnival treat or basically thinking of trying out a new recipe, homemade funnel cake is just the perfect meal to try out. It can also be prepared from boxed pancake mix to give funnel cake with pancake mix or prepared afresh in the kitchen.

So what’s the key tool used in making funnel cakes?

A funnel. The fair food gets its name from the major tool used in its preparation – the funnel. Without a proper funnel, we would not have the so finely made funnel cakes we so enjoy. The funnel is used for pouring the batter. It is also responsible for the dizzying circular swirls that make it one of the most recognizable treats in carnivals and fairs.

The first funnel cakes were made by pouring batter through a simple bowl with a hole cut in the middle at the bottom. Consistency in batter is of paramount importance and hence makeshift piping bags were introduced to ensure the even distribution of batter into the hot oil.

Background story?

Early mention of funnel cakes can be traced back to medieval times cooking recipes which used words like mincebek, mistembec or cryspes. The names indicate the fact that the batter was poured through a spout or funnel.

Unlike now, the small fritter cakes were made instead with sourdough or yeast batter poured through a bowl with a small hole at the bottom. They were also salty-sweet treats brought about by syrups doused on the resulting cakes and a combination of sprinkled salt.

Other people lend credence on the origin of this treat to German immigrants who came into Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries. The actual legitimacy of this is unclear but the cakes were made popular in the 1960s with the Kutztown Folk Festival, an annual fair which holds to promote the culture of the Pennsylvania Dutch.

Since then, funnel cakes have been widely spread and are not just found at confection stands only. They can also be found at theme parks, restaurants, bakeries with varieties of tasty toppings like ice cream, fruit sauce and hot fudge.

There are similar desserts to funnel cakes (otherwise referred to as its fried cousins) in other countries and cultures and they include Jalebi (Indian), Churros, Frybread, Rosettes (Sweden), Strauben (Austrian) and Tippaleipä (Finland). But in the United States, variations narrow down to topping choices like the ones mentioned above or the age long traditional powdered sugar.

How To Make Funnel Cake With Pancake Mix

If you’ve been yearning for a recipe that’s super easy to follow and yet will still retain the awesome taste, then this funnel cake recipe pancake mix is for you. Your homemade funnel cakes prepared right there in the comfort of that beautiful kitchen of yours will surely send your taste buds on a jolly ride.

For all ye pancake lovers, you can use the remainder of your pancake mix to come up with your funnel cake. If peradventure, you have no leftover batter, you can get any ready-to-go pancake mix too or you can make one ASAP.

These are available from different manufacturers but I recommend you use Aunt Jemima’s. You can also make use of Bisquick if you have any in your cabinets. Don’t worry, your funnel cakes will come out wonderfully well and tasty.

And for lovers of anything deep fried, this is one meal you can’t afford to pass out on. For a midday treat, you can indulge in funnel cakes. Funnel cakes can also be eaten as desserts using pancake mix.

When it comes to pouring the batter into the oil, to make it easier, if you have no funnel; rummage through your cupboards for a squeeze bottle but before preparation, a visit to the supermarket is advisable if you have no means of pouring your batter into the hot oil.

But I recommend using the squeeze bottle as it will give you a great deal of control when trying to squirt the batter into the oil. But if you have none, your homemade funnel cakes can still be created with a pastry bag or plastic zipper bag with one end cut. Tada!

Funnel cake ingredients

To create the most delectable funnel cakes, the following ingredients will be required:

  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 ½ cups “complete” buttermilk pancake mix
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  • Powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar for topping.

What else would you need to get started? Simple, just some basic tools and equipments that should be lying around right there in your kitchen.

Your whisk, heat resistant tongs or spatula, funnel (1 cup funnel with a ¼ inch opening will do the trick) or a plastic squeeze bottle with the same opening, bowl, paper towels, frying pan or a deep fryer, Dutch oven or any other type.

This recipe is for a serving of 4 persons.


  • Pour vegetable oil or canola about 2 to 3 inches deep in a large stock pot or dutch oven and set it over medium-low heat until it reads 350 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer. If you have a deep fryer, just set it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large bowl, pour pancake mix, vanilla extract and water and whisk together until you get all the lumps out. The thickness of the batter should be the same as cake batter, not too thin or too gloppy (thick paste consistency). To be sure you have the right texture, lift the whisk from the batter. Formation of ribbons which fall back to the surface means you are on the right path.
  • Next, pour batter into funnel or pastry bag or squeeze bottle and position over the center of the pot or deep fryer. Allow the batter to flow quickly swirling it in a circular pattern to make a 4 to 5 inch large disk.
  • Fry the funnel cake for 30 to 45 seconds until the underside is golden brown. Using a spatula or tongs, carefully flip to the other side and let fry for another 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Remove cake and let it cool on a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar as desired.
  • Continue cooking until batter is used up.


  • To make your homemade funnel cakes a bit complex and yet delightful with tasty flavors, you can add a teaspoon of a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ground ginger or allspice to your batter.
  • For healthier funnel cakes, use whole wheat pancake mix.
  • If you want to be extra creative, you can go all out to make your funnel cake as a sundae topped with chocolate syrup, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry.

The agelong be careful advice should not be taken for granted when making this dish. When deep frying, it isn’t really that difficult to get hot oil splashed all over your body. All you have to do is get a little careless and boom, hot oil is on you and that stings. Be especially careful when dropping the funnel cake batter in the oil lest you get oiled.

The oil should be kept at 350 degrees for optimum results. You may also need to allow sometime between funnel cakes for it to heat up.

Funnel cake with Bisquick

After all and sundry, perhaps you finally rummage through the kitchen cabinets and you happen to not find any pancake mix, then not to worry. Your pack of Bisquick is there to save the day. With the ingredients you probably have at home already, you can still make a delightful treat of funnel cakes.

With your Bisquick original baking mix, your funnel cake recipe pancake mix remains the same with a little alteration. Under step two in the directions to prepare your funnel cakes, instead of whisking pancake mix, vanilla extract and water, you whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla extract and your Bisquick Original baking mix.

Your funnel cakes will still come out perfectly adorable.

I bet you just found a new use for your Bisquick aside making scones and other recipes. Also you don’t have to run out of pancake mix before using that pack of Bisquick. You can use it now, you know, to know how it will taste.

Funnel cake with Aunt Jemima

Aunt Jemima is one of the brands of pancake mixes available in the market nowadays. Store bought pancake mixes like Aunt Jemima’s have different varieties.

When it comes to making funnel cakes, aunt jemima pancake mix can be used. To obtain funnel cakes, any can be used from the host of pancake mixes available. For the complete buttermilk pancake mix, there will be no need to add eggs or milk to the batter, just water.

This is where saving of time comes to play in the preparation of the meal: using a pancake mix that just needs an addition of water and nothing else.

After making your funnel cakes, don’t forget to choose from the different topping options that can make this fair food perfect. Creativity has a role to play here and it is left for you to explore the world of toppings and see what goes for you.

Aside powdered sugar, there are a number of topping ideas to incorporate in your carnival treat and they include whipped cream, syrups, chocolate sauces, strawberries, blueberries, sprinkles and cherries. Apple or cherry pie filling with ice cream topping would also make for a more decadent dessert.

If taking funnel cakes as a breakfast, especially for kids (who would love a little excitement), you can shower with powdered sugar, a drizzle of syrup and a dash of sprinkles. This funnel cake recipe pancake mix will make the funnel cakes a sure fun meal to dig in.

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Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis is a frelance writer and foodie based in Portland, California. Though raised on her mother's homestyle Italian cooking, she has spent most of the last five years traveling and immersing herself in other countries' cuisines. Her work have been published in various publications, both online and offline.

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