In one of our recipe contests, several years ago, a reader named Fraida submitted her homemade recipe for funnel cakes. One of the ingredients she used (specific to the contest) is no longer available. So we decided to update her post with a new version of dairy-free funnel cakes.
Dairy-Free Funnel Cakes for a Taste of the Fair at Home
You might get lucky, and find some dairy-free funnel cakes at the fair. They aren’t always made with milk. But there’s not need to search when they are so easy and fun to create at home! They make a great base for all types of toppings, and don’t require any special equipment.
Milk Beverage Options
Most dairy-free milk beverages will work fine. But the type you use can slightly affect the thickness of the batter. Feel free to start with 3/4 cup, and add more as needed to get a thick but pourable consistency.
A regular kitchen funnel works great for swirling the batter into the oil. But other options include a squeeze bottle (like ones used for condiments), a glass measuring cup (for those of you with steady hands), a pastry bag with a wide tip, or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off.
Cooking Equipment Options
As noted, you can just use a skillet or pot for frying. But if you do have a deep fryer, feel free to use it to make these dairy-free funnel cakes. A pair of metal tongs is helpful for flipping and removing them.
How to Serve Dairy-Free Funnel Cakes
We use the classic powdered sugar dusting in the recipe below, but you can certainly get more creative. Some delicious toppings include dairy-free whipped cream, chocolate whip, chocolate syrup, strawberry sauce, blueberry sauce, cinnamon sugar, fresh berries, sautéed apples, icing with sprinkles, or a scoop of dairy-free ice cream!
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Funnel Cakes
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian. Just use be sure to select the oil and milk beverage that suit your dietary needs.
For egg-free and vegan funnel cakes, you can substitute 3 tablespoons aquafaba, or see our egg substitute guide for other options. Please note that we have not tested this recipe without egg. These are just suggestions.
- 1 1⁄3 cups flour
- 2 1⁄2 tablespoons sugar
- 3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3⁄4 cup + 2 tablespoons plain or unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- High heat oil, for frying
- Powdered sugar, for serving
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Add the milk beverage and vanilla and beat to combine.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth.
- Fill a medium skillet with 1 inch of oil and heat it to 375°F and lay out some paper towels.
- Cover the hole of a funnel with your finger and fill the funnel with ¼ cup of the batter. (See post above for funnel alternatives.) Hold the funnel over the skillet, remove your finger from the bottom of the funnel and immediately move the funnel around, pouring the batter into the oil in whatever patterns you like. Fry the funnel cake for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the underside is golden. Flip (tongs work great) and fry another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the other side is golden. Remove the funnel cake to the paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Serve the funnel cakes hot and sprinkled with powdered sugar.