Red velvet funnel cakes are a delicious and indulgent treat that's perfect for holidays like Valentine's Day or Christmas, but also perfect for when you just want something "different."
We really enjoy fair foods now and then but aren't big on actually going to the fair. With the crowds, overpriced everything, and two kids who get tired of walking easily, it's not as much fun as you see on tv, haha.
The biggest fair in the state happens to be just a few miles down the road, and despite that, we often find ourselves driving by feeling thankful we aren't stuck in the long lines and horrible parking options.
Of course, fair foods are a totally different subject. I love fair food and often find myself trying to recreate it at home, from the scones to the funnel cakes and corndogs. I even used to own a cotton candy machine until I lost some pieces.
But this red velvet funnel cake is unlike any fair food I've had. In a GOOD way! It's a delicious funnel cake, but with the red velvet flavor twist, that's absolutely perfect.
Adding a drizzle of cream cheese frosting or powdered sugar just makes it feel so indulgent and incredible that you find yourself eating two or three before realizing it.
Why This Recipe Works
- Minimal ingredients. This red velvet funnel cake recipe is only 4 simple ingredients (plus oil for frying).
- They're quick to make. Making the funnel cake batter takes almost no time at all, which is perfect because that means it's ready to eat that much sooner. It would have taken you longer to stand in line and place an order if you were at an actual fair.
- It's a great treat. While I don't expect you to eat one of these every day, having a funnel cake now and then is a great way to bring a little fun into your home.
Buttermilk pancake mix- Any "just add water" pancake mix will work just fine, but buttermilk flavored pancake mix is preferred because it will give us a better red velvet flavor. (Red velvet is a buttermilk chocolate cake that's dyed red, so you can see the reasoning here).
Cocoa powder- Add in some cocoa powder for added chocolate flavor and deeper color.
Water- This is needed to get the batter to the right consistency.
Red food coloring- I recommend using gel food coloring as it is much more vibrant, and you'll need less to achieve your desired hues.
Canola oil- You will want to use canola oil or vegetable oil in the pan to fry these funnel cakes.
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
🍽 Equipment Needed
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Check out how to make red velvet funnel cake with these simple step-by-step instructions:
Heat about 2-3 inches of oil in a skillet until bubbly (about medium heat).
In a bowl, sift together the pancake mix and cocoa powder until no lumps remain.
Add the water to the bowl and whisk until smooth.
Mix in red food coloring until you achieve your desired color.
Pour the batter into a pastry bag or a sandwich bag with the corner cut off.
Pipe your design into the heated oil and cook until it looks mostly dried and the edges look crisp.
Flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Remove the funnel cake and place it on a paper towel lined plate to drain while you cook the remaining funnel cakes.
Top with a dusting of powdered sugar and serve warm.
🍴 Recipe Tips
Now, you might see the list of ingredients and be wondering, "Where does the red velvet flavor come from?" I'll tell you.
Red velvet flavor is a combination of acidic flavors (usually buttermilk or vinegar) with chocolate. So this recipe requests buttermilk pancakes mix (giving you the acid) with cocoa powder, which together makes the red velvet flavor. The red gel coloring just makes it more "true to name."
You could use liquid food coloring instead of gel in this pancake mix funnel cake, but the colors are much more vibrant with gel.
⏲️ Make Ahead Instructions
You can make and store your funnel cake batter in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Perfect for prepping before a party!
You can save leftover funnel cakes in the fridge and reheat them for a few seconds in the microwave before eating. For best tasting results, I recommend eating them fresh instead, but reheated isn't too bad unless you overcook them then they can become pretty chewy.
Yes. Making your own funnel cake at home is very simple and easy to do. The hardest part is getting the oil to the perfect temperature before dropping the batter in. You can test it by simply adding a small drop of batter into the pan and watching the reaction. You want it to bubble, sizzle and look like it's cooking. Underheated oil will not give such a result.
Yes. You can use regular pancake mix, buttermilk pancake mix, or even Bisquick and get a similar result every time.
To make funnel cake fries at home with this simple recipe all you need to do is change the shape that you are pouring into the hot oil. While you'd normally pipe spirals and circles, for fries you would do short (or long) straight lines.
More great dessert recipes to try
Red Velvet Funnel Cake
- Frosting bags or sandwich bags
- 2 cups Buttermilk pancake mix ($0.40)
- 2 Tablespoons Cocoa powder ($0.20)
- 1 cup Water ($0.00)
- ⅛ teaspoon Red Food Coloring ($0.02)
- Canola oil for frying ($2.00)
- In a large skillet, heat about 2-3 inches of oil until bubbly.
- Sift together the pancake mix and cocoa powder in a bowl to remove all large lumps. This makes the funnel cakes smoother and speeds up the whisking process.
- Add the water to the bowl and whisk until no lumps remain.
- Add in the red food coloring until you achieve the color desired.
- Pour the batter into a pastry piping bag or in a Ziploc sandwich bag with a corner snipped off.
- Pipe circular designs into the oil, or pipe straight lines for funnel cake fries.
- When the batter looks mostly dried and the edges look crisp, flip it over and cook the other side for an additional minute or two.
- Remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate.
- Dust with powdered sugar if desired and serve warm.