Homemade Funnel Cake | Recipe from Lauren Morrill’s “Better Than the Best Plan”

Homemade Funnel Cake | Recipe from Lauren Morrill’s “Better Than the Best Plan”


Yes, I think deep frying at home is generally
a bad idea. See: this burn. But I do sometimes make funnel cake at home for three reasons.
One: Lauren loves it. Two: Unless the fair is in town, I can’t buy it anywhere. And
three: You can do this in a pretty small pan of oil. The batter is just pancake batter with extra
sugar. I melt a tablespoon of butter in a one-quart
jug. A third of a cup of sugar goes in, and then
one egg, and beat it up. If your butter got really hot in the microwave, the sugar will
keep it from curdling the egg. Then about a cup of milk goes in. I’m just looking
for one-and-a-half cups total in there. A splash of vanilla, half a teaspoon of salt,
two teaspoons of baking powder and we’ll start with a cup of flour. Some people put
in cinnamon; you could do that. I’m just stirring it up with a fork, and like with
pancakes, you want to be careful to not over-mix. Just bring it together. Over-mixing makes
the texture tough. Now I’m gonna add more flour until I get
the same texture that I like for pancakes, which is liquidous but thick. There, I think
that’s what you’re looking for. That was a cup and a half of flour. Just like with
pancakes, a few lumps are OK. They will cook out, but you want to be careful about getting
any big lumps — like that one. Big lumps could clog the funnel. That needs a little
more stirring. Now, like most batters for frying, the texture
really will be better if you just let it sit for a while before you use it. So, I mix this
up, and then I start heating up my oil Absolutely, frying works better in a giant
dutch oven full of oil, but I don’t want to waste all that or clean it up, so I’m
just gonna take my 10-inch skillet and give it maybe 3/4 an inch of vegetable oil. Heat
control will be a challenge, but we’ll make it work. Heat goes on high. While you’re waiting, get a draining rig
ready to go. I’d recommend a plate with a couple paper towels for each funnel cake
that you’re planning to make. This recipe will make at least four. You want to have
those ready to go. You also need to get your funnel ready to
go. Yeah, I think you really do need a funnel to make funnel cake. I’ve tried other things,
but nothing else delivers the unbroken, steady and wide stream you need. Clearly got this
one at the auto parts store; only place we could find one. Oh, the other thing that does work is one
of these gravy separators-slash-pancake-batter-dispensers that has a spring-loaded valve on the bottom.
That’s even better. Gonna get Lauren to help at this stage, because
this is tricky. You pour some batter into the funnel, covering the opening with your
finger, and you wait for the oil to get hot enough. 375 F is the magic temperature for batter
frying. But with this amount of oil, you gotta overshoot the mark, because the temperature
will drop as soon as you put in the batter. You just take your finger off the opening
and whoaaa, we could immediately tell that was not gonna work. Oil was too hot, a flour
lump stopped up the funnel so we didn’t get an unbroken stream. That’s fine. Because
with batter frying, the first one usually isn’t very good anyway. I just think of
it as a sacrifice to the kitchen gods. Used oil fries better, and now we’ve got
the heat right where we want it, like 390. That’ll drop right to 375 when the batter
goes in. You just spin it around in a tight circle over the middle of the pan. It will
naturally spread outward. We’ll show you that again, in slow motion this time. She’s good at that. Look at how the temperature
dropped. I’m constantly turning the burner up and down to hold this oil at 375. It’s
tricky, but luckily this over quickly. 30 seconds after it went in, and you can see
the bottom is just golden. Any darker than this will taste burned. Give it another 30
seconds. That’s it. You will think these are undercooked, because they’re so floppy
as you lift them out. They’re not crispy, not yet, but let it cool on the paper towel
for like another 30 seconds, and it stiffens right up. See? Now, here is how to dust on powdered sugar
if you don’t have one of those shaker thingies. A pinch of sugar goes in a sieve, and then
you just tap the sieve. There you go. Funnel cake. Crispy on the outside,
fluffy on the inside. Though that was apparently not nearly enough powdered sugar for Lauren. “That’s what you should look like when
you’re eating a funnel cake.” Like I said, this is one of Lauren’s favorite
desserts, and it plays a big role in her fifth YA novel, which comes out today. A characteristically
zany romantic romp called “Better Than the Best Plan.” “My characters are escaping a particularly
bad day, and they end up at a parking lot carnival. And they eat funnel cakes, because
probably when I was writing that scene I really wanted a funnel cake.” You obviously have no choice but to get yourself
a copy of “Better Than the Best Plan,” by Lauren Morrill, which hits stores today.
There’s an Amazon link the description, it’s at Barnes & Noble or your local independent
bookseller. Speaking of which, we’ll both be at Little Shop of Stories just outside
Atlanta on Saturday, June 29th for Lauren’s launch party. If you’re in the American
southeast, come and say hi. It all starts at 5 p.m. and Lauren will be interviewed by
our friend Jackson Pearce, another great YA author, who also took these videos of the
store. That’s Little Shop of Stories, Decatur,
Georgia, this Saturday at 5. Bring your funnel cakes. Or don’t. They’re greasy. You don’t
want to get grease on your new book, do you?

100 thoughts on “Homemade Funnel Cake | Recipe from Lauren Morrill’s “Better Than the Best Plan”

  1. Q: If I like YA fiction and/or romantic comedies, and/or I know someone who does, should I buy your wife's latest novel, which came out today?
    A: You sure should! At your local independent bookseller, or Barnes & Noble, or Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Better-Than-Best-Lauren-Morrill/dp/0374306192

    Q: Didn't you just upload a video yesterday?
    A: Yes, this is a special bonus recipe I did to support Lauren and her book launch. Hope you like it!

    Q: Didn't you just say that deep frying is bad?
    A: Yes. I think I addressed this pretty directly in the video. The proximity of these two videos is not an accident!

    Q: Where is the oven fry recipe you promised?
    A: Coming on my normal recipe release day, which is Thursday!

    Q: Could I dispense the batter into the oil with a piping bag?
    A: Maybe you'd have better luck, but I've tried that many times and it went badly. Either the batter came out with too much force, or it didn't come out in an unbroken stream, or I couldn't get a wide enough flow. I'm sure other things could work beyond a funnel, but I can guarantee that a funnel works, and it's a very cheap piece of plastic that is useful to have around anyway.

  2. God damn he just barely started his YouTube career and he’s already on the grind! This channel’s definitely gonna blow up even more than it already has.

  3. I remember working at Jack in the Box and my boss tells me to up sell our funnel cakes. Every time a customer says their order, i used to say "Would you like to add a funnel cake for a dollar?" I said this phrase hundreds of times a day, everyday, for about 6 months. It was so tedious that it became an inside joke with me and my friends. So after work, my friend would say "Hey, do you wanna go watch a movie later?" and I'll be like "Sure, would like to add funnel cake for a dollar?"

  4. i'm sure this earned him plenty of brownie points (or funnel cake points i suppose) promoting his wife's book while giving her a dessert she loves. Good Adam

  5. I think using a wok to deep fry is the way to go. Filling the bottom and sliding stuff in along the curved deep sides is way easier that dropping stuff into a pot of hot oil.

    Done it a bunch of times and never burned myself once.

  6. Sa poile est très mal placée, c'est comme ça qu'on se brûle…
    Ça me fait penser aux beignets africains

  7. Hey Adam, first of all I love your videos! I’m a restaurant owner in Athens, Ga and I really enjoy using your recipes at home. Quick recommendation for funnel cakes, try using a condiment bottle and just cut the nipple down as far as it can go on the lid to open it up wider.

  8. Been getting into cooking and saw a few of your videos on my recommended. You’re videos are amazing, short and simple, and always looking delicious. Subbed

  9. Cool, but it's not really the same without the aroma of corn dogs, cotton candy and poor people in the air.

  10. Am I the only one who misread the title as Homemade Funeral Cake? I thought “that’s a thing now? Maybe it’s just in America…”

  11. Yeah, vegetable oil sucks. Worthwhile substitutions? Considering how bad it is for you, especially fried, something has to work better than vegetable oil (or canola which stinks)?

  12. I did it and the first one was the best the rest was good but broken so I ate it all by my self

  13. That book sounds like a massive amalgam of pretension and ridiculousness. Maybe I'm just not a fan of the name, the cover, what was described, or the person who wrote it, but I think I'm just fine judging this particular book by its cover.

  14. this is an Argentinian tradition, that's known as "gotta frita" and yesterday was Argentinian's independence day and we eat torta frita and other Argentinian pastry

  15. So you're a professor whose wife, Lauren, is a YA novelist. My former advisor is a professor whose wife, Lauren, is a YA novelist. I don't know what else to do with this fact.

  16. Weird, one minute I'm watching how to make funnel cake, then the next thing I know, I'm watching an advertisement for some lady's book. Wonder if this vid is sponsored 🤔

  17. The first time I made funnel cake, I didn't even know that I had made it. I was trying to make crepes and poured the mixture in a plastic bottle (cause I thought I would have more control over the thickness of my crepes) but used too much oil (cause everything remained stuck to the frying pan, so I figured that more oil would help to prevent that) in the end, it was a fried crepe(?) with the shape of a funnel cake, but I liked it so much that I kept doing it. Because it was the result of an accident, the recipe would change everytime lol.

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