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How to Make Funnel Cake and Fried Dough

Fried dough is just delicious, that's all I can say. Whether frying it for desserts, a snack, or filling it with a meat mixture, you just can't beat the taste.

Of course, I got hooked on fried dough at carnivals. You can imagine my delight when I found the recipe for funnel cake. The recipes for Funnel Cake are near the bottom of the page.

Indian Fry Bread recipes

How to Make Indian Fry Bread

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Add water until mixture forms as a stiff dough.
  • Knead until dough is thick and elastic.
  • Form into very thin round patties.
  • Fry in 1/2 inch oil until light brown on both sides.

Pima Indian Bread

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. lard
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 c. warm milk or water

-Mix and make 6 balls. Let stand for 30 minutes. (Cover with cloth.)
-Make the ball flat by stretching it in a round circle, thin as possible.
-Make one at a time and fry in hot oil, (real hot oil) until golden brown. Very good with beans.

Fry Bread

  • 4 cups sifted flour
  • 6 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup water

-Mix dry ingredients well. Add water all at once. Dough should be somewhat sticky.
-Flatten into disk-like shape.
-Deep fry at 350°F until golden brown or each side or heat about 1” of oil until a small amount of dough rises to top of oil as soon as you put it in. Makes 16 pieces.

My Note: When I make fry bread, this is the recipe I use. But I put the mix in a jar, and then use what I need, generally a cup of mix at a time. See what I use my fry bread for: Indian Tacos

Indian Fry Bread

  • 3 cups flour, either all white or 1/2 whole wheat
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

-Mix flour, baking powder and salt.
-Add warm water and knead until dough is soft, but not sticky.
-Stretch and pat dough until thin.
-Tear off one piece at a time, poke a hole through the middle and drop onto a kettle of sizzling hot lard or cooking oil. Brown both sides. Serve hot.
Recipe from 1978 cooking magazine

Tip: Sliced in two, fry bread makes delicious hamburger buns, or later toasted, very good with honey or jam. A lot of people also put refried beans or powdered sugar on fry bread.

Fried Dough

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 pint milk, warm
  • 1 stick butter soft
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 pkg. yeast

-Pour yeast in 1 cup warm milk and 1 Tablespoon of sugar, stir.
-Sift together flour, salt, and sugar and make a well in mixture.
-Add eggs and milk a little at a time. Add butter. Stir well.
-When thoroughly mixed, grease a large bowl and place dough in bowl. Cover and let rise for about 11/2 to 2 hours.
-When dough rises and appears light in texture, cut off some of the dough and stretch it with your hands.
-Drop into hot fat and fry until golden brown.

Tip: Add anything you would like to the fried dough, such as powdered sugar, cinnamon and sugar.


  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 c. cream
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. sugar
  • Flour (enough to make a stiff dough)

Mix all ingredients. Roll out dough, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 1 1/2 x 3 inch slices. Deep fry. Eat plain or with jelly.
Recipe from a 1998 Platt SD recipe book

Easy Elephant Ears Recipe

  • 1 16 oz loaf frozen white bread dough
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • cooking oil for shallow fat frying

-Thaw dough according to directions. Cut into 12 pieces.
-In a small bowl, mix together the sugar & cinnamon & set aside.
-On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough to form a small thick oval.
-In heavy skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.
-Cook bread ovals, 1 or 2 at a time, in shallow hot oil (about 1/2 in.) until lightly browned. Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels.
-Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the fried bread. You can keep them warm in oven while frying the remainder. Great recipe.

Time to make some Funnel Cakes!

Funnel Cake Batter Recipe

  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

-Beat the egg in a bowl, add the milk, Mix all the dry ingredients, then add to egg and milk. Mix until lump free.
-Fill an iron skillet with 2 inches of corn oil. Hold your finger over the small end of a 3/8 inch funnel. Pour batter into the large end.
-Now remove your finger from the small end while holding the funnel 2 inches above the hot oil and let batter drop in a swirling motion.
-Start in the center and work your way out to an 8 inch diameter.
-Fry on each side about 1 1/2 minutes using tongs to flip.
-Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Eat warm
Recipe from my own file box

Tip: What if you don't have a funnel? Try pouring the batter in a steady stream from a measuring cup with a spout.

Funnel Cakes

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk

-Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add eggs and milk. Beat mixture until smooth.
-Heat 1/4 inch vegetable oil to 375°F in a skillet.
-Cover bottom opening of a funnel with your finger. A funnel with at least a 3/8 inch opening works best.
-Pour 1/4 cup batter into funnel. Hold the funnel over the center of the skillet.
-Remove finger from funnel end to release the batter into the hot oil.
-Move funnel in a slow circular motion to form a spiral or other design.
-Fry two minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels.
-Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve hot with syrup or fruit.
Recipe from 1983 church cookbook

Homemade Banana Funnel cake

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Puree the bananas in blender or food processor or mash them real good with a fork, add sugar, eggs, then milk.
Mix together flour and spices and add to banana mixture.

Other old recipes for Fried Dough

Fried Drop Cakes

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter

Beat egg until light; add milk, dry ingredients mixed and sifted, and melted butter.
Drop by spoonfuls in hot, new, deep fat; fry until light brown and cooked through, which must at first be determined by piercing with a skewer, or breaking apart.
Remove with a skimmer, and drain on brown paper.
Fanny Farmer Recipe 1893

Fritter Beans

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup flour

Beat egg until light, add milk, salt, and flour.
Put through colander or pastry tube into deep fat, and fry until brown; drain on brown paper.
Fanny Farmer Recipe 1893


  • 8 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

-Rice or mash hot boiled potatoes.
-Add all other ingredients except flour.
-Cool. (Set in fridge several hours or overnight.)
-Add flour to cooled potato mixture. (Mix in with your hands works best.)
-Form Lefse dough into golf ball size (or larger) portions.
-Roll out thin.
-Use flour as needed on rolling pin and pastry cloth.
-Cook on hot, dry Lefse griddle or nonstick pan, cooking once each side.
Recipe from Kathryn, ND

More Easy Snack recipes

Food for Thought:
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