Funnel Cakes (Gluten Free)

Do you feel a tiny bit sorry for yourself in the fall when you are at fall festivals and the air is full of the scent of fried dough?  You see the funnel cake line stretched long with people excited to pay $5 for a small plate of funnel cake bliss.  If you are like me, you wish you could have just a bite. Of course, you know that one bite would not be worth the price paid in stomach pain and misery later. But still… You remember the old days before you were diagnosed as gluten intolerant when you could partake in that classic fall festival yumminess.

Well, I know it is not fall but the idea to make these was very random. I was sifting through some of my favorite online blogs and landed for a bit on The Pioneer Woman. Such a fun blog to read. Her recipes are wonderful and her humor always gets me laughing. She had a post about funnel cakes. As I was reading she commented that funnel cake batter is really sweetened, thin pancake batter that is fried. Hmmmm… I can make gluten free pancake batter. Could I fry it and have a funnel cake?? You see where this is going.

I did some funnel cake research online. It seems that most recipes are basically pancake batter and a lot of people recommended adding an extra egg white.  I don’t really know why, but I decided to go with it. For simplicity and to easily see if I was onto something, I whipped up a batch of pancake batter using Pamelas Pancake and Baking Mix. I followed the directions but added the extra egg white, 2 TBSP sugar, and a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon because that sounded yummy to me. I also added an extra tsp of baking powder for a boost of leavening. *I found after a few test runs, that it worked better to add two extra TBSP of pamelas mix in order to have a little thicker batter.

I heated the oil, put all my pancake batter into a ziploc bag, snipped the corner, and did my best to drizzle the batter into the oil in a funnel cake shape.  I don’t have to tell you what happened because you already saw the picture. Yep, deliciousness. My kids gobbled up the first and second one I made before I even got to taste it. But when the third one came out and it had cooled beyond scorching my mouth, you better believe I had my taste. Seriously, good. Really good. I was immediately taken back to those long lines at the festival.

I know frying stuff is messy. But these really are easy. You should whip some up soon.  Have fun playing with shapes and toppings. I was thinking I could have tried funnel cake hearts or mickey mouse heads for my kids. They would have loved that.  Might be harder than I think though and they were more than happy with the regular round funnel cake.

I dusted ours with powdered sugar because that is how I have always had them. But in reading online, lots of people dust with cinnamon/sugar, drizzle chocolate sauce on them, or top with strawberry sauce and whipped cream. I don’t think you can go wrong.  I just love them the old fashioned way.

You could probably use any pancake recipe that you have and like. Like I said, I used a mix and it worked great and therefore that is what I’ll use for this “Recipe”.

Funnel Cakes (Gluten Free).

*Makes 5-7 funnel cakes, depending on how big you make yours


1 Cup + 2 TBSP Pamelas Baking and Pancake Mix

3/4 cup water

1 TBSP oil

1 large egg + 1 egg white

2 TBSP granulated sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon


Make pancake batter by combining all ingredients and mixing well.

Heat about 1 1/2 inches of oil in a heavy pan until it reaches about 370 degrees. Pour your batter into a piping bag with a wide tip or you can improvise like I did and put it in a large ziploc bag and snip the corner off. Pipe the batter into oil, making a free-form lattice pattern; cook until browned, flipping once.  Mine needed about 1 1/2 minutes per side, but keep an eye on them because they can brown quickly.

If you see they are getting too brown too quickly, lower your oil temp a bit. Remove your funnel cake from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels.  Wait about two or three minutes for it to drain off some of the excess oil and then top with powdered sugar.

Continue until all of the batter is used.

Enjoy!! And please let me hear your feedback if you try them. 🙂


6 responses to “Funnel Cakes (Gluten Free)

  1. I just went to a theme park and got a good whiff of a funnel cake. I was thinking the same thing as you about making them with pancake batter as I had done this before in my previous gluten filled life! Will try soon!!! Thx!

    • We live and FL and my family is thinking about buying a consession stand. I’m needing input on gluten free things that people would want and is it worth for us to do something like this.

  2. My family is thinking about purchasing a consession trailer. Does anyone think that these items would be purchased that are gluten free. I am thinking about funnal cakes, snow cones, fries and corn dogs. All of course would be gluten free. What is everyone’s thoughts on this. Just wondering in case we do start this next year.

  3. I would buy any one of those gluten free items listed and be soooo excited to have choices where I normally have none. In fact, I would probably try everything and take a snack bag home with me. I’m in Los Angeles so if you make it my way send me an email and i will be first in line.

  4. We recently bought a deep frier and I am printing the recipe to try this weekend!!! I LOVE funnel cakes and am beyond excited to try this. Will let you know how it works out. 😉

  5. This recipe was great! A fabulous taste. I followed it to the T except the cinnamon. Wanted to try it regular for the first time. I used a gluten free kinnikinnick batter instead and it worked fine. The only problem was we used a large deep fryer and the first time the batter stuck to the basket. So the next time we did it without the basket but they didn’t adhere to each other so it came out as snakey strings instead of an attached lattice like yours. But they tasted great! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

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