How to Use Pancake Mix to Make Funnel Cakes

Livestrong may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Fresh, hot funnel cakes are one of the many delights found at carnivals, fairs and swap meets. However, unlike cotton candy and other midway treats, it's not hard to make funnel cakes at home, especially since the technique is simple and no special equipment is needed. If you don't have a funnel, you can create funnel cakes with a pastry bag or a plastic zipper bag with one corner cut off. Making funnel cakes out of pancake batter is the quickest and simplest way to enjoy the hot, sweet treat without leaving home.

A dish filled with funnel cakes covered in powdered sugar.
Image Credit: Dar1930/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Fill a frying pan with 2 to 3 inches of canola or vegetable oil and set it over medium-high heat.

Step 2

Prepare the pancake mix and water in a large bowl according to the instructions on the mix's package. The mix doesn't have to be altered for use with funnel cakes, so just follow the directions.

Step 3

Ladle the pancake batter into a pastry bag if you are using one. Alternatively, position the funnel over the frying pan when the oil is hot enough to send a drop of water sizzling and skipping across its surface and ladle the pancake batter into it.

Step 4

Squeeze or funnel the pancake batter into the hot oil in long, thin, snaky shapes; create a casual circular pattern with the shapes.

Step 5

Let the funnel cake batter cook until it starts to brown on the bottom.

Step 6

Flip the dough carefully with a pancake turner to cook the opposite side.

Step 7

Remove the funnel cake to a plate lined with a paper towel and sprinkle it with confectioner's sugar.

Things You'll Need

  • Deep frying pan

  • Canola or vegetable oil

  • Pancake mix

  • Water

  • Bowl

  • Wooden spoon

  • Large ladle

  • Pastry bag or funnel

  • Pancake turner

  • Plate

  • Paper towels

  • Confectioner’s sugar


Add nuts and minced dried fruit to your pancake mix for a more complex funnel cake.

For healthier pancakes, use whole wheat flour. You can also reduce the amount of sugar in the pancakes by using mashed ripe banana or other fruits.


Never leave hot oil unattended on the stove.

references & resources
Load Comments