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Crisp and sweet, gluten-free Funnel Cake Fries are full of classic flavor and texture! Bring the flavors of the fair to your home kitchen with my simple recipe for this nostalgic treat.
Easy Homemade Funnel Cake Fries
Funnel cake is a traditional fair and festival food for a good reason. When you take a lightly sweet batter and fry it into crispy rounds that are topped with loads of soft powdered sugar – and sometimes whipped cream and fruit – it produces a mouth-watering treat that’s hard to resist.
My funnel cake fries recipe takes everything you love about funnel cakes and makes them both gluten-free and handheld. You may not be able to indulge in a beloved fair staple this summer (it’s tough to find gluten-free versions of some of our favorite desserts) but it’s so easy to make it gluten-free at home!
Less than 10 familiar pantry and fridge ingredients will yield the funnel cake flavors you remember. Serve funnel cake fries with powdered sugar or see my ideas below for topping and dipping suggestions!
What Are Funnel Cake Fries?
Funnel cake fries are, well, fries that taste like funnel cake! You’ll take funnel cake batter and fry them into stick-like shapes that resemble french fries. And if you’re not familiar with funnel cakes you’re in for a treat. A funnel cake is a latticed cake of fried dough that’s liberally dusted with powdered sugar. You’ll find them at summer fairs, festivals, and carnivals.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This is such a sentimental recipe for me, and I love to make it during the summer because it reminds me of being a kid wandering through the county fair. Of course, you could make funnel cake fries year-round too! Here’s why you’ll love this funnel cake fries recipe:
- The familiar flavor of funnel cake but made gluten-free. It’s beyond easy to make this recipe for funnel cake fries gluten-free! Simply substitute a one to one gluten-free all-purpose flour mix for the usual all-purpose flour most recipes use.
- Easy to make dairy-free. If you need to make these funnel cake fries dairy-free as well as gluten-free, no problem. You can swap out the milk in the batter for your preferred non-dairy milk.
- No fork necessary. Because the funnel cake batter is cooked into fry shapes, there’s no need to eat them with a fork. My kids especially find it fun to eat sugary fried dough that looks like french fries but is actually a dessert!
- Not too sweet. There’s actually not a lot of sugar in the batter, despite these funnel cake fries being a sweet treat. If you don’t feel like having them be super sweet you can use the powdered sugar finish sparingly, or even leave it off all together and top them with chopped fruit like strawberries or raspberries.
What You’ll Need
Here’s an overview of everything you’ll need to make these funnel cake fries. Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post for the full ingredient amounts and instructions!
- Gluten-Free Flour Blend: I used Bob’s Red Mill in this recipe but you can use your preferred 1:1 blend.
- Sugar: Just enough to lightly sweeten the batter.
- Baking Powder: Baking powder is the leavening agent needed in this recipe to make light and puffy funnel cake fries.
- Milk: I use whole milk in this recipe but you could also use 2% milk with good results.
- Eggs: Eggs are essential to help bind the gluten-free batter.
- Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla extract will give the best flavor.
- Oil: I use a neutral vegetable oil to fry the funnel cakes.
- Powdered Sugar: To dust on the funnel cake fries after cooking.
How to Make Funnel Cake Fries
Follow along with the photos below to guide you through making this recipe. Here’s what you need to know about how to make funnel cake fries:
- Whisk together the dry ingredients. Combine gluten free flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk well.
- Combine the eggs, milk and vanilla. In a second bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla until frothy.
- Fold together the wet and dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold together until a runny batter forms
- Place the batter in a bag or bottle. Transfer the batter to a bag or bottle with an opening between ¼-½-inch I used a ziploc bag with the corner cut off.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet. Add about 1-inch of vegetable oil to a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add fries batter to the oil. Squeeze a few lines about 4 inches in length into the hot oil. Don’t add more than 4-5 fries at a time to keep the oil temperature steady. Cook for about two minutes, then flip and cook until nicely browned for approximately 1 more minute.
- Remove the fries from the oil, drain, and dust with powdered sugar. Remove from the oil and transfer to a wire rack to let the excess oil drain away. Dust immediately with powdered sugar.
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips to help make perfect crispy funnel cake fries every time:
- Make the batter ahead of time. You can make up the batter for funnel cake fries the night before you plan to make them and store it in the fridge in an airtight container. Let the batter sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to take some of the chill off before frying the fries.
- Experiment with different sizes of fries. A ¼-inch opening in your bag will make shoestring size fries while a ½-inch opening will make wider fries like the ones shown in the photos.
- Don’t hold the bag or bottle of batter too high if you want straight fries. To get straighter fry shapes, hold the opening of your batter dispenser about 1 inch above the surface of the oil.
- Do curly fries! On the other hand, if you would like to make curly fries from this funnel cake fries recipe, drop the batter from higher up.
- Use non-dairy milk. As noted earlier, you would like to make this recipe dairy-free, it’s so easy. Simply substitute non-dairy milk for the milk called for in an equal amount.
- Dress them up with sweet sauces. Powdered sugar is wonderful on funnel cake fries, but you can fancy them up a bit if you like. Drizzle your funnel cake fries with hot fudge, caramel, or fruit sauce in addition to the sugar. My Easy Chocolate Glaze would be perfect over homemade funnel cake fries. You could also dip them in the sauces, or serve them with fruit jams like raspberry strawberry for dunking.
Can I Store Extras For Later?
Like most fried foods, funnel cake fries are best the day that they are made, preferably as soon as or soon after they come off the skillet. But if you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the fries in the microwave and heat at 30-second intervals (they will be soft). Or place the leftover funnel cake fries on a baking sheet and place in the oven on low heat until heated and crisp. Dust them again with powdered sugar before serving.
Things You’ll Need
- GLUTEN FREE FLOUR: I like to use Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Flour in this recipe.
- PIPING BAGS: These work well, though you can also use Ziploc bags for piping the batter into the oil.
- COOLING RACKS: Convenient for draining the funnel cake fries.
- DUSTING WAND: This little gadget gives you a nice, even coating of powdered sugar.
Funnel Cake Fries
- Combine gluten free flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk well.
- In a second bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla until frothy.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold together until a runny batter forms
- Transfer the batter to a bag or bottle with an opening between ¼-½-inch. I used a ziploc bag with the corner cut off.
- Add about 1-inch of vegetable oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. Bring the oil to 375℉ degrees.
- Squeeze a few lines about 4 inches in length into the hot oil. Don't add more than 4-5 fries at a time to keep the oil temperature steady. Cook for about two minutes, then flip and cook until nicely browned for approximately 1 more minute
- Remove from the oil and transfer to a wire rack to let the excess oil drain away. Dust immediately with powdered sugar.
- A ¼-inch opening will make shoestring size fries and a ½-inch opening will make wider fries like the ones shown in the photos.
- To get straighter fry shapes, hold the opening of your batter dispenser about 1 inch above the surface of the oil.
- Dropping the batter from higher up will make curly fries.
- Non-dairy milk will work fine in this recipe.
- Serve with hot fudge, fruit sauce or caramel dipping sauce.