Make an easy funnel cake bites recipe using pancake mix! You don't have to wait to go to the fair to enjoy this indulgent treat. It is such a simple recipe! In just a few minutes you can be covered in powdered sugar, enjoying these light and crispy bites!
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When I was a kid, the one reason that I wanted to go to the Texas State Fair every year was so that I could get a funnel cake! I loved to break away pieces of the crispy treat, and getting powdered sugar everywhere just added to the fun!
Now I can give my kids those same memories, without even taking a trip to the fair! Their eyes light up when I tell them I am making funnel cake bites!
It is so easy! This is something that you can do too, even if you don't have a lot of experience with frying.
While I prefer to make my pancakes from scratch, I want things to be easy when making funnel cake bites, so I use buttermilk pancake mix.
There are a couple of different types of pancake mix on the market. Some require the addition of milk, oil, and eggs. You don't have to get the brand I use, but you do want to select one that only requires the mix and water.
In addition to some water, this recipe uses vanilla extract and a little extra sugar, to get the classic funnel cake flavor that you remember.
Make sure you have some powdered sugar ready to top the bites! I think that's the best part!
How to Make Funnel Cake Batter
Making the batter takes no time at all! Just mix in the sugar with the pancake mix, then stir in the water and vanilla extract.
The batter will be a little bit thicker than your normal pancake batter.
Portioning Into the Oil
It is important that your oil is at the right temperature in order to cook your bites all of the way through. It should be at 375°F and you will want to use a candy/frying thermometer to monitor the temperature.
Scoop one tablespoon of batter at a time, and gently drop it into the oil. I use a #50 stainless scoop, but you could also use two regular tablespoons. One to scoop the batter and the other to scrape the batter off into the oil.
Drop the batter from just a couple of inches from the oil surface so that you don't get a big oil splash.
I use a 10-inch diameter stockpan and cook 7-8 bites at a time. The amount you are able to cook will depend on the diameter of your pan.
You want to leave enough space so that they do not stick together.
Take a look at the color in this photo. After about a minute of cooking, flip one of your bites and check out the color. If it is golden brown then the other side is ready to cook
It's okay to flip it back over to continue cooking, if it is not yet ready.
Once they are golden brown on all sides, scoop out the bites and let them cool for a minute on a paper towel-lined plate.
Every time we fry something my husband tells me how glad he is that we got these stainless skimmers. They make removing the food so easy!
If you put powdered sugar on these right away then the sugar will melt into the bites. Wait about one minute after you remove them from the oil, then add the sugar.
These are best served warm, so as soon as they are cool enough to handle go right ahead and enjoy them!
How to Make a Full-Sized Funnel Cake
This recipe also works for making a regular funnel cake!
Just prepare as directed, then use a mixing bowl or cup with a spout (or a funnel) and swirl about ¼ cup of batter into the oil.
Cook for 1-2 minute on each side.
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Frequently Asked Questions
It can! The batter can be made up to 48 hours in advance and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
Because the batter is thin it would turn into a mess in the air fryer. These need to be cooked in oil.
I have tried reheating these funnel cake bites in both the oven as well as the air fryer, and both were fantastic! Heat them at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with a little extra powdered sugar before serving.
Funnel Cake Bites Recipe Using Pancake Mix
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk pancake mix (The kind that is "just add water)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¾ cups water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups oil (for frying)
- confectioners' sugar for topping
- In a large stock pan or Dutch oven, heat oil to 375F degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and pancake mix, then add the water and vanilla. Whisk until there is no visible dry mix.
- Working in batches so that the bites are not crowded, carefully drop the batter into the heated oil, one tablespoon at a time.
- Fry until the bottom is golden brown, about 1 minute, and then flip each bite over and fry an additional minute, or until golden.
- Use a metal strainer to remove the bites to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool for 1 minute, then sift powdered sugar over the top.
- Cook remaining batter. Serve while warm.