Answer: It depends. The best thing about funnel cakes is that both vegans and non-vegans can enjoy them. There are recipes for dessert with dairy and without dairy.
The delicious deep-fried dessert, funnel cake, is a guilty pleasure for people all around North America. Mainly found in carnivals and fairs, funnel cakes have now made their way to other events as well.
The name was derived from its preparation method, squeezing the batter out of a funnel in a circular motion into the hot oil to get a fried dough zig-zag pattern.
Table of Contents
Is Funnel Cake Vegan?
The good news is that now even vegans can enjoy the lip-smacking dessert in the comfort of their homes. Yes! Funnel cakes can be made dairy-free.
This iconic dessert’s history dates back to the early medieval Persian times, when a similar dish with yeast was prepared, which traveled to Europe. Dutch immigrants brought a similar type of yeast dish to America, shortly after which the Americans developed the baking powder version and called it the Funnel Cake.
The Americans loved the recipe, and the cake was initially served during harvest festivals, holidays, and carnivals. It is one of the first North American fried foods. Being in the game for so long, funnel cakes have so much more to them. They require a simple preparation by pouring the batter through a funnel into oil, usually like a spiral, dusted with powdered sugar on top. Easy, tasty, and traditional!
The best part about this super sweet and forgiving dish is that both vegans and non-vegans can relish it. There exist recipes for dessert with dairy and without dairy, so no matter what diet you follow, you can count on funnel cakes as your guilty indulgence.
Funnel cakes are also considered a low-calorie dessert compared to other sweet dishes, as a normal-sized funnel cake would have less than 300 calories. Originating in Germany, and inhabited in America, funnel cakes are now loved worldwide and have truly become a global delight.
It is not easy to resist a crispy, golden brown, deep-fried dessert with a light bed of powdered sugar on top, served hot!
How to Prepare a Funnel Cake
Funnel cakes are pretty easy to make, and you do not have to be a chef to create one. Even a 15-year-old can easily make funnel cakes at home, but a parent’s supervision is always suggested. We don’t want the entire house smelling of burnt batter, do we?
Coming back to business, how do we prepare a VEGAN funnel cake?
You need all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, powdered sugar, non-dairy plain milk, vanilla extract, oil, and about 20 handy minutes. You can even top your funnel cakes with basically anything and everything you want. From ice cream to Nutella to exotic fruits, funnel cakes make everything better.
Anyway, let’s get cooking!
Take a heavy bottom pot, add about 3 inches of oil, and heat it to 375F over medium heat. Meanwhile, prepare the batter by mixing the dry ingredients.
Get a large bowl, add 1 ¼ cup flour, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and ½ teaspoon salt, and mix them well.
Then take another bowl and add 1.5 cups of non-dairy milk along with ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, now stir.
Combine the dry mixture with the liquid one and whisk for a few good minutes. When the batter’s consistency is smooth, take a large zip bag, pour the batter in it, and cut its corner to create your very own piping bag.
Bring the creative in you out and squeeze out the better in any shape you like, in overlapping circles in the frying pan. Fry until it is golden brown, for about a minute. Flip, and cook again.
Once both sides of the batter are crisp and golden, take it out and serve it on a plate. Dust some powdered sugar on top and any other topping of your choice (optional), and serve immediately.
The measuring mentioned above is for a serving of 4 people, so change the quantity accordingly. However, one can never get enough of these delicious easy-to-make sweet nibbles, and a serving for 4 might not be enough even for a single person if you have a sweet tooth.
Is Using a Funnel to Prepare Funnel Cakes Mandatory?
Absolutely not. Even though traditionally, a funnel is the best way to make the perfect spirals for a funnel cake, there are other alternatives. You can use a zip lock bag that we used in our recipe above or even a container with a sharp pouring spout.
Types of Funnel Cakes
No matter what you do with this dish, it never disappoints. The best thing about a funnel cake is that it is highly experimental, and you can try everything with them, bringing the hidden cook in you out.
A few very interesting and yummy funnel cake ideas include:
- Churro Funnel Cake with Dulce De Leche
- Ready To Go Mini Funnel Cakes
- Funnel Cake Cupcakes
- Funnel Cake On The Stick
- Funnel Cake Burgers
- Red Velvet Funnel Cake
- Funnel Cake Drenched in Nutella
- Caramel Apple Funnel Cakes
- Funnel Cake Fries
Your Calorie Intake From Funnel Cakes
Neither any dessert is guilty free, nor the calories that we gain from each bite of it. Though, a good plate of funnel cake once in a while hurt nobody. Plus, it is easy to have a healthier version of it by scraping out the sugar and adding fruits instead.
A serving of a funnel cake of approximately 500g includes 55g of fat, 100mg of cholesterol, 1140mg of sodium, and 176g of carbs. The ingredients also contain vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron.
Can You Prepare a Funnel Cake to Be Consumed Later?
Well, we suggest that you consume funnel cakes immediately, as they taste best when fresh. However, if you still want to stack them up for a party or a get-together, it’s recommended to preheat them in an air fryer at 400 degrees F for a couple of minutes.
You can prepare the batter ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge till the day of the event. The batter might get thickened, for which you will have to add a little extra non-dairy milk to get the consistency back.
Alternative Way to Make Vegan Funnel Cakes Oil-Free
It is challenging to prepare oil-free vegan funnel cakes as the air fryer doesn’t work too well with the batter. The batter gets accumulated in a single place and turns into the form of a pancake, so if you wish to eat an oil-free funnel cake pancake, this might be your savior!
Another alternative to preparing funnel cakes if you do not wish to invest so much time preparing the batter is through a boxed vegan pancake batter. As the funnel cake batter is pretty similar to the pancake batter, you can technically prepare funnel cakes with a pancake mix.
Delicious Toppings to Have On Your Vegan Funnel Cake
- Top your vegan funnel cake with a cinnamon dash and have a flavorful dessert with a cup of black tea.
- Fruits, fruits, and lots of fruits. Top your funnel cake with the fruit of your choice or a mixture of different fruits to enjoy the sweet dish healthily.
- Vegan whipped cream topping is undoubtedly a winner too. Top your funnel cake with some dairy-free whipped cream and add some vegan chocolate chips on top to relish the perfect plate of dessert.
- Flavored syrups are a great way to add some hint of flavor to your funnel cake. Be it raspberry, strawberry, pineapple, or even vegan chocolate syrup; the list is endless.
- Vegan caramel sauce is our all-time favorite topping for our funnel cakes, give it a try, and you might fall in love too.
- Last but not least, vegan chocolate hazelnut spread has been making its way to the top of the charts of vegan toppings on your vegan funnel cake.
Why Opt for a Vegan Funnel Cake
Because it tastes the same and is PETA verified. Because our animals deserve better and vegan food has a ton of health benefits.
Similarly, a vegan funnel cake is a guilt-free indulgence since it has comparatively fewer calories and promotes weight loss.
It also reduces your risk of heart disease. But beware, sugar is not everybody’s best friend.
Vegan food also lowers your chances of certain types of cancers, such as colon cancer.
So, choose vegan, and promote vegan!