Recipe: Make state fair-worthy funnel cake at home

With the summer fair season canceled due to the current health crisis, chef and author George Geary is sharing the flavors of county fairs, like funnel cake, for you to try at home.

funnel cake
Recipe and photo reprinted from “Fair Foods: The Most Popular and Offbeat Recipes from America’s State and County Fairs” by George Geary, Santa Monica Press

In his best-selling cookbook, “Fair Foods: The Most Popular and Offbeat Recipes from America’s State and County Fairs,” Geary celebrates the delicious and strange foods sold at these traveling wonderlands.

Check out one of the recipes for yourself below:

Funnel Cake with Berries

Makes 6-10 funnel cakes


  • Electric mixer
  • Stockpot
  • Medium saucepan
  • Candy/deep fry thermometer
  • Pastry bag
  • Wire rack


Funnel Cakes

  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup of water, cool
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Canola oil
  • Confectioner’s sugar

Berry Topping

Makes 2 cups

  • 1 quart of fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • A pinch of sea salt


For Funnel Cakes:

  1. Combine butter, water, salt and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and quickly stir in the flour.
  2. Return the pan to low heat and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes to cook the flour slightly and rid the mixture of a starchy, floury taste.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and place the dough in the bowl of the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until most of the steam has subsided, then add the eggs and egg whites, one at a time, until each is incorporated and a batter is formed.
  4. Pour 3 inches of oil into a stockpot and heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Place the batter in a pastry bag that is fitted with a round pastry tip no wider than 1/4 inch in diameter.
  6. Holding the pastry bag over the hot oil, push the batter out into the hot oil in a zigzag or spiral shape. Fry no more than 1 large or 2 smaller funnel cakes at a time.
  7. Fry the cakes until puffed up and golden (they will triple in size), 3-5 minutes, flipping every 30 seconds or so.
  8. Drain the cakes on a rack and cool slightly, then sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and Berry Topping.

For Berry Topping:

  1. In a bowl, combine berries, sugar, and salt. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

We want to see your creations if you decide to give this Funnel Cake with Berries recipe a try! Be sure to share photos with us on Twitter at @Attractions.


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