One of my Facebook friends asked me if I had a gluten free funnel cake recipe. I didn’t, but it intrigued me, as I had never made one, or tasted one before. I headed on over to one of my favorite chef’s, Alton Brown, to see how he made them. You can watch his Funnel Cake video. Either click on the photo with the arrow or the Video tab above the recipe. Funnel cakes are usually served at fairs, carnivals and street vendors. If you’re missing them now that you’re gluten free, try making this recipe at home. I must say, they are very addicting!
Because a high protein flour is needed so that the liquid is absorbed by the flour, I used sorghum flour. It contains double the amount of protein compared to rice flour. I was tempted to use rice flour, as it creates a good crust when fried, but knowing that the high egg amount would brown nicely, I used the sorghum.
I chose Alton’s funnel cake recipe to convert to gluten free because he uses water instead of milk or cream, making it a dairy-free delight when using a dairy-free buttery spread, though I used unsalted butter. If you like a more cake-like texture I suggest using milk. I hope you enjoy these gluten free funnel cakes as much as I did. They’re so fun to make!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
A gluten free funnel cake recipe just like the ones you'd find at a fair - made from a lightly sweetened batter, ready for your sweet toppings!
For the Funnel Cake:
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1 cup + 1-2 tablespoons milk (or water for crispy texture), divided
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- Neutral-flavored oil, for frying
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Cinnamon and sugar
- Chocolate syrup
- Fruit toppings
- Ice cream
- Whipped cream
- Whisk together the flour, starches, and cinnamon, if using; set aside.
- Add 1 cup milk, butter, sugar, and salt to a medium-sized saucepan and cook until milk is hot and steamy.
- Remove the pan from the burner, and add the flour. Stir quickly and constantly until it is thoroughly incorporated. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of your mixer and allow to cool for about 8 minutes.
- Turn the mixer on the lowest speed possible fitted with the paddle attachment. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until dough is thoroughly blended and smooth, scraping bowl as needed. To create a batter thin enough to pour, add an additional teaspoon at a time of milk and mix after each addition until it reaches the proper consistency.
- Place the dough either in a piping bag with a decorating tip that has a 3/8-inch opening such as Ateco #804, or a 1-gallon resealable storage bag with 1/4-inch cut off one of the corners. Preheat a skillet with approximately 1 - 2 inches of oil on medium to medium-high heat, or a deep-fryer heated to 375°F.
- Pipe the dough into the oil, slowly at first, allowing the first piece to rise to the surface before piping much more. Swirl the bag to create a lattice pattern.* Cook until golden brown, about 1-1/2 minutes on each side. (The longer it cooks, the more crisp the center will become.)
- Remove the cake from the oil, allowing excess oil to drip back into the pan/deep-fryer. Drain on paper towels. Allow to cool for a little while if topping with confectioners’ sugar.
- Remove any remaining pieces left in the oil and repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately. Allow leftovers to cool and store covered, at room temperature.
* You want to push the batter out hard enough for the streams to be thick. Thin strings of batter results in crispy cakes, nothing like cake at all. Also, be careful not to over-fry them.
When making funnel cakes freehand, often some of the batter or a large section of a cake will float away in the oil. You can add more batter to combine them, or flip a piece on top of the other, as long as you do so immediately. You can also use a mold especially made for deep-frying funnel cakes which can be used in skillets.
The batter will sink to the bottom of the pan/fryer at first. Don't worry, as it will float to the top in a few seconds. Just continue making your swirling motion no matter where it is. Don't stop the flow of the batter on top of the batter in the oil.
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