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Root Beer Funnel Cakes

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Yields 4 medium funnel cakes

  • by from Heartland

At Lb. Brewing Company/Gella's Diner in Hayes, Kansas, my eye was drawn to a root beer funnel cake on their menu. How fun! When I got home, I began to experiment with the recipe and found that the best flavor combination is bottled root beer in the batter and root beer extract in the glaze. This is not a recipe to serve a crowd at home--despite the funnel cake's popularity at county fairs--as you can only fry one at a time. You can find root beer extract at cake decorating shops.

For the funnel cakes
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup root beer
For the glaze
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 tsp. root beer extract
  • 1 Tbs. half-and-half or whole milk
  • Fresh berries of your choice, for garnish
Make the funnel cakes:

In a large, deep skillet, pour in enough vegetable oil to reach 1 inch. Heat to 375°F over medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar, and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk the egg and root beer together in a cup, then whisk this mixture into the dry ingredients until smooth.

When the oil has reached the correct temperature, hold your finger over the bottom of a large kitchen funnel with a 1/2-inch diameter spout and pour ¾ cup batter into the funnel. Hold the funnel over the center of the skillet, remove your finger, and with a circular motion starting from a center point, let the batter create either a tight or freeform spiral in the hot oil. Fry until the funnel cake is light brown on one side, then carefully flip with a pancake turner and fry on the other side until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Let the oil come back to the correct temperature and repeat the process with the remaining batter.

Glaze the funnel cakes

Whisk the confectioners' sugar, root beer extract, and half-and-half together in a small bowl. Drizzle over each funnel cake, then dust with more confectioners' sugar and garnish with fresh berries.

These were so fluffy and moist. Not crispy like at the fair, though. I didn't make the glaze, I just covered them in powdered sugar. The root beer gave them a nice flavor. I will definitely make these again.

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