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Retro Rad Approved

Funnel Cake Cupcakes

Chef Emily Ellyn is putting the FUN back into funnel cakes! It’s like being a kid again at the state fair in every bite!

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Cook Time:  15 minutes

Yield: 15 classic-sized cupcakes or 1; 6-inch cake



Funnel Cake Cupcake:

  • 1 ¼ cups cake flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup soybean oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk

Spiced Vanilla Frosting (yield: 5 cups frosting):

  • 1 cup solid vegetable (soybean) shortening
  • 1 cup (2 stick) butter or margarine softened
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 cups (2 pounds) sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 4 tablespoons milk

Funnel Cakes:

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • High Oleic Soybean Oil for Frying
  • Powdered Sugar for garnish


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. Add vanilla, cinnamon, and oil and beat until thoroughly incorporated.

Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Stop and scrape the bowl. Then, add half of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the buttermilk. Beat until just combined. Scrap down the side of the bowl.

The batter will be thin.   Pour batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners. Fill liners about 2/3 full. Bake for about 13-15 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched in the center. Cool in pan for 2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan (carefully) and finish cooling on a wire rack.


In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.

Gradually add vanilla, milk and cinnamon; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Funnel Cakes:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream milk, sugar and eggs. Add the flour mixture and beat until smooth. The batter should resemble thick pancake batter — pourable, but thick enough to hold it’s shape when poured into hot oil. If it’s too thick, add a bit of milk. If it’s too thin, add a bit more flour until you get the right consistency.

Pour oil into a table-top fryer and heat until it reaches 375°F, or batter sizzles when you drop a bit in.

Using a funnel or a squirt bottle full of batter, pour batter in the pan in a circular motion. Do about 3 circles, then fill in with crisscrosses of batter. This will hold it all together. Cook in the oil until the bottom turns a dark golden, then flip over and do the same. Drain funnel cakes on paper towels. Cut into pieces.

Frost prepared cupcakes, then top with pieces of funnel cake. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar and serve.