If you’re a Disney fan, you know that snacks are almost as well known as the attractions, making cravings for them inconvenient when you’re back at home. But don’t worry, we’re making dreams come true today with an easy funnel cake recipe that gives Disney World’s Sleepy Hollow a run for their money!
While we all dream of being at Disney 24/7, what about when you’re back home and can’t get that delicious fried cake batter goodness out of your mind? You make one at home, of course!
To celebrate autumn, this pumpkin funnel cake recipe is just what you need when you’re dreaming of fall flavors. I think you’ll find that the flavors of this homemade funnel cake made with pancake batter is much lighter than the pre-made funnel cakes and mixes you find.
What is a Funnel Cake?
If you’ve ever been to a festival, carnival, theme park, or state fair- chances are you’ve had a bite of funnel cake. The light, sweet dessert is made of batter that’s lightly fried. Funnel cakes are often found sprinkled with powdered sugar and topped with chocolate sauce, fruit compote, or even ice cream!
How to Make a Funnel Cake at Home
While there are many ways to make funnel cakes at home, this quick and easy recipe uses pancake mix as a shortcut.
There’s no need to mess with the main ingredients in most funnel cake recipes like all-purpose flour, baking powder, or other typical dry ingredients. You can also make this right on your stovetop, so you don’t need to spend money for extra equipment like a funnel cake maker, slow cooker, or deep fryer.
Chances are you have everything you need right in your kitchen already!
- Whisk- Any cheap whisk will do, but I’m pretty sure it tastes better if you use this adorable Minnie Mouse whisk!
- Squeeze bottle- You can find a squeeze bottle online or in most grocery stores.
- Skillet- Cast iron skillets work best, but any skillet will work.
- Sifter- This tool is for sprinkling all that sweet powdered sugar over your finished funnel cake.
- Pumpkin puree
- Pancake mix- My go to is Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix, but any kind you have in the pantry will do.
- Large eggs
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Powdered sugar- Also commonly called icing sugar or confectioner’s sugar, this is for topping your funnel cake.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pancake mix, milk, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and egg. Mix the pancake batter well until it’s smooth and there are no lumps.
Add the vegetable oil into your cast-iron or regular skillet, covering the bottom of the pan. Set the heat to medium high, heating the oil to 350 degrees F. Check the temperature with a fry thermometer, if possible.
While the oil is heating, pour the dough mixture into a squeeze bottle.
To test the readiness of the oil temperature, place a small amount of dough in the pan. If it browns quickly, the dough is ready to go.
Squeeze the pancake dough mixture into the skillet, making lines, rings, and squiggles that overlap to make a classic funnel cake shape.
Cook for 90 seconds. The dough should be lightly golden brown. Flip the funnel cake over with tongs. Cook for another 90 seconds on the second side, until it’s lightly browned.
Remove the funnel cake and place it on a paper towel lined plate to soak up or absorb the extra oil. Use the sift to sprinkle the top with confectioner’s sugar and enjoy!
Ways to Make a Funnel Cake
There are several ways to cook a funnel cake including in a deep fryer or air fryer, but cooking it in a skillet is by far the easiest. But if you’re watching your waistline, using an air fryer is the better option.
Funnel Cake Topping Ideas
The choice of syrup for serving your funnel cake with is entirely up to you! Try topping this pumpkin funnel cake with vanilla ice cream or with a drizzle of maple syrup for something different.
Here are a few more delicious ways to dress up you funnel cake:
- Add cinnamon to the powdered sugar for a pumpkin churro funnel cake
- Top with apple pie filling for a fall flavor that’s hard to resist
- Drizzle caramel sauce over the top and add some chocolate chips.
- You can never go wrong with a Mickey head shaped dollop of whipped cream!
Get creative and come up with your own flavor ideas or use a combo of these for your perfect afternoon snack!
All Your Homemade Funnel Cake Questions Answered
What does funnel cake taste like?
Funnel cakes taste similar to deep fried doughnuts, but are fluffier. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
How is funnel cake made?
Funnel cakes are prepared with a special device to create rings of batter that resemble flower petals when fried in hot oil at high temperatures. The result is a crispy exterior covered by ‘petals’ that quickly give way to a softer, lighter interior.
Can I Use Funnel Cake Batter Mix?
Yes, since the recipe for funnel cake is so simple, you could easily substitute Funnel Cake Batter Mix for the ingredients.
Can I Make funnel cake without milk? Without eggs?
Yes, according to the directions of several funnel cake batter mixes, there are no required ingredients for this mix other than water. So you could skip adding milk and eggs to your mix if you wished.
Where to Find Funnel Cakes in Walt Disney World
While you can get a traditional funnel cake at the Disney Parks, every year, Disney World & Disneyland put out seasonal funnel cake pictures that look so yummy looking I find myself visiting this recipe again to make my own Disney copycat recipes at home! One of our favorites is the Mickey Mouse Oreo funnel cake recipe.
But if you’re heading to Orlando or Anaheim soon, plan a visit to these snack carts or quick counter service restaurants to grab one from Mickey’s kitchen!
- Magic Kingdom’s Sleepy Hollow Refreshments in Liberty Square
- Epcot’s American pavilion
- The funnel cakes stand near Festival of the Lion King show in Animal Kingdom
- Oasis Canteen at Hollywood Studios
- Funnel Cake kiosk at the Boardwalk Resort
- Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach
Where to Find Funnel Cakes in Disneyland
- Stage Door Café in Disneyland’s Fronteirland
- Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country
- Award Wieners in Disney California Adventure- Try the funnel cake fries!
A pumpkin funnel cake is a delicious way to enjoy the fall season. Make your own at home with this easy recipe, or stop by one of these Disney World eateries for some inspiration! Your family will love them either way. Just remember that everyone’s favorite topping is different so be sure to experiment and find what you like best!
More Disney Recipes You’ll Love
Can’t get enough Disney? Join our Facebook group, Everyday Disney Ideas by The Everyday Mouse for more creative and fun Disney ideas for your family.
Pumpkin Funnel Cake
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1 tablespoon Pumpkin puree
- 1 cup Pancake mix
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 Egg
- Vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup Powdered sugar
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pancake mix, milk, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and egg. Mix the pancake batter well until it’s smooth and there are no lumps.
- Add the vegetable oil into your cast-iron or regular skillet, covering the bottom of the pan. Set the heat to medium high, heating the oil to 350 degrees F. Check the temperature with a fry thermometer, if possible.
- While the oil is heating, pour the dough mixture into a squeeze bottle.
- To test the readiness of the oil temperature, place a small amount of dough in the pan. If it browns quickly, the dough is ready to go.
- Squeeze the pancake dough mixture into the skillet, making lines, rings, and squiggles that overlap to make a classic funnel cake shape.
- Cook for 90 seconds. The dough should be lightly golden brown. Flip the funnel cake over with tongs. Cook for another 90 seconds on the second side, until it’s lightly browned.
- Remove the funnel cake and place it on a paper towel lined plate to soak up or absorb the extra oil. Use the sift to sprinkle the top with confectioner’s sugar and enjoy!