Total: 45 min
Active: 45 min
Yield: 8 large funnel cakes
Canola oil, for deep-frying
2 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour (see Cook's Note)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Sweetened whipped cream, for serving
To make the funnel cakes, add enough oil into a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot to come 2 inches up the sides of the pot. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 360 degrees F on a deep-frying thermometer.
Using a metal cooling rack or a couple layers of paper towels, line a baking sheet. Meanwhile, in a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, vanilla, and eggs.
Using a mesh strainer, sift together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing basin (to break up any lumps in the brown sugar). Just until smooth and mixed, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture.
When the oil is hot, cover the opening at the bottom of a 1- to 2-cup funnel (with at least a 1/2-inch hole) with your finger and fill it to the brim with about 3/4 cup of the batter.
Remove your finger from the funnel and place it over the saucepan of hot oil to release the batter.
Allow the batter to flow into the oil in thick squiggles, moving the funnel inside an 8-inch-diameter circular shape.
Fry on the first side until golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, then use a spider or tongs to carefully flip to the second side and fry for an additional 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Remove to a wire rack or paper towels to drain and cool slightly. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Topping: Before serving, generously dust the funnel cakes with confectioners' sugar, sprinkle with cinnamon, and dollop with whipped cream.
We measure flour by spooning it into a dry measuring cup and leveling off the excess. (Scooping flour directly from the bag compacts it, resulting in dry baked items.)
In a well-chilled bowl or over ice, combine 1 pint cream, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to make homemade sweetened whipped cream.
Mix on medium-high speed with an electric hand mixer until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes..
a 1- or 2-cup funnel with a 1/2-inch opening at bottom ; a deep-frying or candy thermometer