Is A Funnel Cake A Donut?

Last updated on August 24th, 2022 at 09:07 pm

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Do you remember going to the fair as a kid? There were so many fun things to choose from. You could go and see animals in the petting zoo, you could ride the Ferris Wheel, or other rides that were set up to enjoy. You could play games and try to win prizes. 

Some fairs have animal races, rodeos, or even music shows to enjoy too. However, there is still another sense that was engaged when you went to the fair: smell. 

Every time you went to the fair, you could smell all the delicious food that was offered at the various booths scattered throughout the fairground. Everyone has their must-eat-at booth at the fair. 

For some people, it’s the deep-fried everything booth. For others, their go-to booth is the shaved ice booth. And then there’s the funnel cake booth. You can get a funnel cake that’s much bigger than the plate, tastes amazing, and end up covering yourself in powdered sugar. 

As an adult, the whole reason to go to the fair now is to relive those childhood memories of the fair. Now that you’re older, you also know a little bit more about what all is in the food and how it’s made. 

Funnel cakes are made of a dough like batter and donuts are made of dough and both go through a frying process. Does this mean that funnel cakes and donuts are essentially the same food? 

Funnel cakes and donuts are slightly different in that the funnel cake batter is made differently than the dough that is used to make donuts. Although both of these delicious desserts are fried they are not exactly the same and use different ingredients. 

The reason that they taste so different is how they are made. Funnel cakes are made with thin batter that is put into the fryer while a donut is more like a cake. Another difference is that when funnel cakes are fried, they puff up with air. A donut when fried will rise because of the yeast making it taste a little different as well.  

Can You Make Funnel Cake At Home? 

Often, when you go to the fair or amusement parks, you usually have a certain ride that you go to. What about a certain treat? Is there a certain food stand that you prefer to eat at or a drink that you get every time you go? 

What if you could enjoy one of your favorite special treats at home and make it yourself? If you are a fan of funnel cakes, is there a way that you can make them at home? 

Can you have your favorite fair food for dessert any night you want? 

You can make your own funnel cakes at home if you wish. Many stores will sell a funnel cake mix that allows you to easily create funnel cakes that will taste just like the ones at the fair. 

You can also make your own funnel cake from scratch if you wish. Just use this recipe next time you crave a funnel cake for dessert. Here are the ingredients that you’ll need. 

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ c milk
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp powdered sugar
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ c all-purpose flour

You will want to mix the ingredients together in a measuring cup or a bowl that has a “spout” to pour from. In a large measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, water, and vanilla. Add the granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt to the liquid mixture. 

In a deep-sided pan, heat an inch of oil to 375ºF. When you place a wooden spoon in the pot and bubbles form around the spoon, this is an indicator that the oil is ready. 

Reduce your heat to medium and pour a thick line of batter into the pan in a swirling, circular pattern. Cook for about two minutes or until it’s light golden brown. Flip the funnel cake and cook the other side. Dust the finished funnel cake with powdered sugar, cinnamon, chocolate chips, or whatever other sweet treat you feel like trying. 

How Do You Pour Funnel Cake Without A Funnel? 

The funnel cake is named appropriately. You get the thin lines that make a funnel cake by pouring the batter mixture through a funnel. What if you’ve started to make your funnel cake batter and then realize that you don’t have a funnel to create that thin line? 

Are there other items that you can use to create that thin line that funnel cakes are known for?

There are plenty of different objects that you might have around the house that you can use as a funnel for your funnel cake if you don’t have a clean funnel handy. Some of the best funnel substitutes for making your funnel cake are: 

Disposable Cups

The opening of a disposable cup is quite large, so the cup by itself may not be a great substitute for a funnel. However, you can alter the disposable cup and turn it into a funnel that will work for your funnel cake needs. 

You’ll need to cut a slit down on the side and cut off the bottom of the cup. Roll the cup into a funnel shape and then tape it together. You can keep twisting the cup into a funnel shape until you have the desired thinness of the funnel as well. 

Milk Cartons

Again, the opening of the milk carton is rather large, so there will need to be some modifications. Take the milk carton and cut off the bottom. This is where you will pour in the funnel cake mixture. Instead of taking off the cap, you can cut open a hole as big or small as you desire. 

You can also place a straw in the hole to control just how thin the funnel is as well. 

Squirt Bottle

These are handy utensils to have in the kitchen. You can use squirt bottles for so many different things while you are cooking. If you are making pancakes and want to create shapes, pour the batter in a squeeze bottle and create away. You can use them for ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, etc. as well. 

If you have any old squeeze bottles or ones that you use on a regular basis; you can use these for your funnel cake batter as well. If you plan on having funnel cake on a regular basis, it might be worth it to invest in a few squeeze bottles for your kitchen just to make funnel cake with. 

Final Thoughts

Funnel cakes and donuts are very similar and yet have a few differences. They are both made by frying but one becomes fluffy with air while the other becomes dense with yeast. 

The next time you are in the mood for funnel cakes but the fair is out of town, you can make your own at home using the recipe mentioned above or one of the popular funnel cake mixes that you can find online or at a local store. 

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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