What Is The Best Oil To Use When Making Funnel Cakes?

Have you tried eating funnel cakes at carnivals or theme parks? Making them at home is easy and much tastier. But, are you wondering which is the best oil to use? To help you, we researched what food enthusiasts say about this matter, and here's what we found.

The best oil to cook funnel cakes or fries is a neutral oil. This includes vegetable oil, canola oil, and peanut oil, to name a few. Deep frying the batter using these options creates a crispy funnel cake without giving a sharp aftertaste and burning it quickly.

While several countries have distinct versions, funnel cakes are popular deep-fried desserts in North America. Thus, this article will cover the best oil options for making this sweet carnival treat. We'll also discuss cooking tips, topping ideas, and other related questions. Continue reading as you whet your appetite.

easy way to make funnel cakes, What Is The Best Oil To Use When Making Funnel Cakes?

What Is The Best Oil To Use To Fry Funnel Cakes?

Crispy Jalebi Desert - Street Food

Neutral oils are suitable for deep frying a wide variety of food. They have higher smoke or heating points than flavorful ones, making them perfect for cooking funnel cakes, which are usually deep-fried.

Likewise, this oil category will not clash with the sweetness of funnel cakes, since it does not have a savory taste. For this reason, oils under this group are staples in the fast-food industry.

Here are a few neutral cooking oils ideal for funnel cakes:

Vegetable Oil

This versatile oil is a mixture of different cooking grease. Thus, it becomes a generic term for certain types. It includes corn oil, cottonseed oil, palm oil, and soybean oil.

It has a broad range of smoking points, varying from 400 to 450 degrees. With this in mind, you must check the label of your vegetable oil to determine its heat capacity.

You can get a 38-pound jug of vegetable oil for less than $40 when bought in bulk.

Click here to see this light-flavored vegetable oil on Amazon.

Canola Oil

Canola or rapeseed oil is your kitchen ally from baking to frying. Besides being rich in omega-3 acids and vitamins, this grease has the lowest saturated fat content. You can toast several batches of funnel cakes since canola can handle heat below 475 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is also an affordable option with a price of around $42 per 5-gallon bucket for high-volume users.

Click here to see this bottle of canola oil on Amazon.

 Peanut Oil

Peanut oil has a hint of a nutty and buttery profile. Its smoke point is over 400 degrees Fahrenheit. For $70 per several dozen of containers, you can start a small stand and toast a ton of carnival snacks.

Click here to see this jug of peanut oil on Amazon.

Can You Use Olive Oil To Fry Funnel Cakes?

Instead of extra virgin olive oil, you can use the light or refined version with a yellow color. Despite the high price tag, it is a hearty alternative to reduce the disadvantages of the deep frying process.

It is not a neutral oil, but it has a subtler flavor and a high smoke point. These conditions prevent it from going rancid quickly.

Can You Fry Funnel Cakes In Coconut Oil?

You can find some recipes for funnel cakes using melted, refined coconut oil.

But remember that it will become smoky at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Likewise, you will burn your funnel cakes quickly and taste their unique character.

While you can reap several health benefits from this, it is better to skip coconut oil. It is prone to producing unpleasant outcomes when deep frying. These situations might prevent you from enjoying this sweet delicacy. And you can also experience these with unrefined and flaxseed oils.

How Much Oil Do You Need For Funnel Cakes?

How they make funnel cakes

The amount of oil you need to fill the saucepan or fryer depends on its size. It ranges from 4 to 6 cups to reach the ideal level for 5-inch deep cookware. As a rule of thumb, the pan should not overflow when you squirt the mixture.

To gain more insight into the oil quantity, view this article: How Much Oil Do You Put In A Deep Fryer?

How Hot Should Oil Be For Funnel Cake?

Like other deep frying tasks, you should warm your pan between 370 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit to toast a funnel cake. The temperature plays a crucial role in achieving the golden color and crunchiness in a few minutes.

Thus, your preferred cooking oil must have a higher smoke than the said range. You don't need to know all the numbers. Instead, observe the appearance of the oil. The lighter the shade, the higher the temperature limit before it will smoke and go rancid.

Dip the food thermometer with a long probe and adjustable clip to measure the heated oil.

To cook funnel cakes like a pro, check this guide to estimate the heating time: How Long Does Oil Take To Heat Up?

How To Fry Funnel Cake?

making Funnel Cake or Strauben in Tirol

Although we call it "funnel cake," we don't bake them in the oven. Deep frying with a little swirling is the way to go for this snack.

Things You'll Need

Here is a list of materials to fry funnel cakes:

  • Oil
  • Saucepan
  • Food thermometer
  • Funnel
  • Tongs
  • Cooling rack
  • Paper towel
  • Toppings


Follow these six easy steps to make funnel cakes that are crispy outside yet tender inside:

  1. Heat the pan with oil until it reaches the optimal temperature.
  2. Transfer the mixture into the funnel or alternative vessel.
  3. Swirl the batter as you pour it. Overlap the thin strips to close.
  4. Flip to the other side using tongs when one side turns golden brown.
  5. Lay the cooked ones on a cooling rack or plate with paper towels to drain excess grease.
  6. Coat them with powdered sugar while they are hot, and add extra toppings to your liking.

How Do You Make Funnel Cakes Without A Funnel?

Crispy Jalebi Desert - Street Food

Funnel cake got its name because of the material used in cooking it. We've got your back if you do not have a funnel in your kitchen. We collected a handful of alternative tools you can maximize to complete this task.

Measuring Cup

A measuring cup with a spout is handy for pouring the batter in circular motions. Because it is designed to transfer liquids, there will be no spilling. Nonetheless, it will require extra effort to control the cake's appearance.

Click here to see this angled measuring cup on Amazon.

Piping Bag

Put the mixture into a piping bag for a controlled maneuver. Like making churros, you can form a funnel cake into different shapes and sizes, depending on the tip you attach.

Click here to see this piping bag set on Amazon.

Plastic Bag

If you have a small clean plastic bag, you can repurpose it like a piping bag. Cut the tip to allow the batter to flow into your pan.

Squeeze Bottle

Squeeze bottles are not only helpful for storing sauce and condiments. They can also work as a durable medium when filled with your cake mixture. Another advantage is that it can be a container for leftover batter since you can reseal it.

Click here to see this leak-proof squirt bottle on Amazon.

Why Are My Funnel Cakes Soggy?

delicious strawberries and gooey icing drips down on the decadent deep fried funnel cakes, a summer fair favorite.

Low oil temperature lengthens your cooking time. As a result, your funnel cakes soak up the oil and become greasy. Later on, they will be soggy.

If you deep fry at the right temperature, the submerged funnel cakes produce a sealing effect. According to a nutrition expert, this will hinder oil absorption yet allow the steam to flow inside.

To solve this problem, use a food thermometer or test a few drops of the batter. This will allow you to know whether it is ready for frying.

Another reason is you did not consume them right away after cooling. Thus, cook only the same hour you eat them to avoid stacking up a dozen.

What Toppings Are Good On Funnel Cakes?

Funnel Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream

Sprinkling powdered or confectioner's sugar completes the classic signature of funnel cakes. Nonetheless, you can personalize your eating experience by tossing a topping or two into your toasted treat:
  • Caramel sauce
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Chocolate chips
  • Fresh fruit
  • Fruit jam or jelly
  • Hot fudge
  • Ice cream
  • Maple syrup
  • Sprinkle mix
  • Whipped cream

How Do You Keep Funnel Cakes Crisp?

Eventually, funnel cakes will lose their crispiness after being exposed to air. Reheat the leftovers, so you can re-create their enticing texture.

Warm them for a few minutes using an air fryer, conventional oven, toaster, or stove. For instance, the stovetop method requires only a minute or two, whereas other approaches take up to 10 minutes. Otherwise, the cake will dry out or burn.

Final Thoughts

The best oil for deep frying funnel cakes or fries is a neutral oil, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, and peanut oil, to name a few. Opt for the grease that fits well with your preferences and budget. Using these oils, you will enjoy a crispy funnel cake without competing with your desired taste.

Remember to heat your pan with oil within the optimal temperature range. It can make or break this snack. Likewise, consider other cooking tools enabling you to create the spiral shape in a breeze.

Consider other mouthwatering toppings aside from the usual powdered sugar. They will level up the classic recipe as you satisfy your sweet tooth once in a while.

If you enjoyed this post, explore these articles about frying:

Can You Use Avocado Oil For Frying

How Often Should You Wash A Frying Pan?

Does Frying Oil Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

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