Funnel cake

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Funnel cake
Funnel Cake With no Toppings.jpeg
Funnel cake with no toppings
Alternative names Funnel cake
Type Doughnut
Place of origin United States
Region or state Pennsylvania
Main ingredients Batter, cooking oil
Cookbook: Funnel cake  Media: Funnel cake

Funnel cake (Drechderkuche in Pennsylvania German) is a regional food popular in North America at carnivals, fairs, sporting events, and seaside resorts.


The concept of the funnel cake dates back to the early medieval Persian world, where similar yeast-risen dishes were first prepared and later spread to Europe. [1] Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants brought the yeast dish, known as Drechderkuche, to America and around 1879 developed the baking powder version along with its new name, funnel cake.[1]


Funnel cakes are made by pouring batter into hot cooking oil in a circular pattern and deep frying the overlapping mass until golden-brown. The batter is commonly poured through a funnel creating its texture and giving its name. When made at concession stands, a pitcher with an integral funnel spout is employed. Alton Brown recommends they be baked with choux pastry, which expands from steam produced by its high water content.

Funnel cakes are typically served plain with powdered sugar, but can also be served with jam/jelly, cinnamon, chocolate, fresh fruit, or other toppings.

They are similar in recipe to angel wings, the difference being the density of the mix. The dough for angel wings is viscous enough to be cut into shapes and dropped into the oil by hand.

By location[edit]

A funnel cake topped with custard and whipped cream


In south German cuisine the equivalent is called Strauben or Strieble and is made and served similarly. In Finnish cuisine the analogous tippaleipä is traditionally served at May Day (Vappu) celebrations. In Lithuania it is called skruzdėlynas, which literal translation is the ant nest, normally it is made at early spring to empty stock of last year honey and make more space for the new one and at the first harvest of honey.


In the Indian subcontinent a similar dessert, with a crystallized sugary exterior coating, is called jalebi; in Iran this is known as zulbia and is a popular dessert. These differ from funnel cake in using no baking powder, which results in a somewhat chewy texture.

It is called "shakoy" in the Southern Philippines where it is shaped into twisted strips covered in sugar after frying.

North America[edit]

In North America, funnel cakes were originally associated with Pennsylvania Dutch Country. It is one of the first North American fried foods, which is associated with the Pennsylvania Dutch, German immigrants who came to Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Pennsylvania Dutch called the first funnel cakes drechter kuche. The name “funnel” later came from the technique used to make the cakes, in which the pancake-like batter is poured into hot oil through a funnel.[2]

See also[edit]


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