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Root Beer Funnel Cakes

Yield: Yields 4 medium funnel cakes

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.

This recipe is excerpted from Heartland. Read our review.


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.


Rate or Review

Reviews (1 review)

  • halex002 | 03/12/2012

    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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