Vegan Funnel Cakes
It's carnival season! Usually, we'd prepare ourselves to hop into our costumes, throw some confetti, and watch lots and lots of people in front of colorful carnival parades. This year, however, we'll have to pass on any get-togethers due to Corona, so we'll celebrate our own tiny carnival at home. We'll make the best of it and today, we show you how to bring the feeling of carnival home. Food, of course, is the best (and easiest) way to do so! If you already have jelly doughnuts and black and white cookies on your list, here's another essential recipe for your stay-at-home carnival buffet. We're talking about funnel cakes!
But first things first: what are funnel cakes anyway? Funnel cakes are usually made with flour, butter, milk, eggs, and sugar – a classic pancake batter. This batter is poured in spiral motion into hot fat using a funnel, a piping bag, or a small pitcher, then baked until it's golden brown. Even if it sounds like it, funnel cakes are by no means an American invention, but were brought to Europe from Persia in the Middle Ages and only arrived in America afterwards. The original recipe called for yeast, but the preparation with baking powder became more popular, which is, of course, much faster and more comfortable (source). In Germany, they are also called "Strauben," "Strübli," or "Striebele" and are especially common in southern Germany, Austria, and South Tyrol, where you can buy them at folk festivals and fairs. Funnel Cakes are served with lots of confectioners sugar, cranberry jam, melted chocolate, or berry sauce for dipping. They are such a great snack to have on hand or to share with your roommates.
We added baking oil exquisite by Byodo to the batter of the funnel cakes instead of butter. Byodo is a food company from Bavaria, which produces organic products only and pays attention to a sustainable and environmentally conscious production of products. To deep-fry the funnel cakes, we used the classic frying oil because it's ideal for frying and deep-frying, plus mild in flavor. It's made from 100% organic sunflower oil and suitable for sautéing or marinating. You can find Byodo products in organic markets and in their online store.
Vegan Funnel Cakes
For the batter:
- 300 g (2.5 cups) wheat flour
- 60 g (2 oz) sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 8 g (1 tsp) baking powder
- 8 g (1 tsp) vanilla sugar
- 60 ml (0.25 cup) vegetable oil (e.g. "Back-Öl Exquisit" by Byodo)
- 450 ml (2 cups) plant-based milk
- 0.75 l (3.25 cups) vegetable oil for frying (e.g. "Bratöl Klassik" by Byodo)
- confectioners sugar for dusting
- berry sauce for serving
Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and vanilla sugar in a bowl. Add plant-based milk and baking oil, then stir to combine. Transfer the dough to a piping bag or a small pitcher.
Heat vegetable oil in a deep frying pan or pot. The oil should be about 180°C/355°F. You can test whether the oil is hot enough by holding a wooden stick into the oil. If small bubbles form around the wooden stick, the oil is hot enough.
Now, add some of the batter in spiral motion right into the hot oil. If you're not using a piping bag, use a small pitcher with a funnel to carefully pour the batter into the oil. Whatever you're using, do not hold the utensils right inside the deep oil but hold them several inches above the oil. Deep-fry funnel cakes for approx. 2 minutes per each side, until they're golden brown. Once they are done, remove them from the hot oil and transfer them to paper towels to drain. Test the first funnel cake to see if it cooked through completely and to adjust the deep-frying time if needed. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
Serve funnel cakes still warm. Dust with confectioners sugar and serve them with berry sauce, if desired.