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Dairy Free Funnel Cake (For a Beach Day at Home)

If you can't go to the beach, bring the beach to you. Besides the ocean and sand, the next best thing at the beach is the boardwalk filled with games, rides, and delicious food you can enjoy while walking around. What makes my beach day complete is funnel cake on the boardwalk. This is a recipe where you can recreate the funnel cake experience at home.

Every few years, I come back to making this funnel cake recipe. It's so easy to make the batter using ingredients you probably already have in the pantry. It's a quick recipe leaving minimal mess. The best part is making the fun squiggly cake design in the oil. And of course, you can get creative with the toppings just like you would with an ice cream sundae.

funnel cake corn dogs beach

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Growing up in Philadelphia, my family's annual summer trip was to the beaches in New Jersey since they were the closest and most vibrant. Wildwood was one of our favourite beaches to visit. Besides the sandy beach, the boardwalk is filled with exciting rides, a waterpark, shops, and of course, the best boardwalk food.

Boardwalk food makes me think of shaved ice, corn dogs, pizza, churros, and funnel cake. As I grew older, I sought out more of the quieter beaches like Point Pleasant or the Hamptons, which are lacking in proper boardwalks. But the foods of great childhood memories dance in my mind and make me want to recreate those moments of happiness.

beach boardwalk Nathan's crowds

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Making the funnel cake at home allows me the freedom to make it a bit more healthy by using a healthier oil like sunflower oil and using less sugar since I always cut the recommended amount of sugar by half. I don't like overly sweet food. The rating of sweetness is always subjective up to a point. I may find certain foods very mild while you may find it very sweet.

But if you make a dish overly sweet, that's no longer subjective. Everyone can tell that it's too sweet to eat and you can't take that sugar out once it's in the batter. The fun and also safe thing about funnel cake is that you can always add sweetness to this funnel cake with the toppings. For that reason, I keep the sugar content minimal in the batter.

Ingredients You'll Need:

  • 3/4 cup plain white flour

  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/8 cup granulated white sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or other nondairy milk)

  • sunflower oil for frying

  • icing sugar (for garnish)

  • strawberries or other fruit (for garnish)


  1. In a deep pot, add the sunflower oil for a minimal depth of 2 inches (in a medium pot, that was about 3 cups of sunflower oil). At a low-medium heat, heat the oil until it reaches 375°F (190°c).

  2. In a mixing bowl add the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar and mix together.

  3. Add the almond milk, egg and vanilla extract to the bowl and mix well. The desired consistency is a bit thicker than pancake batter.

  4. Pour the batter into a sandwich bag and cut a tiny tip off a corner of the bag (less than 1 cm so that your batter comes out in thin strings as opposed to big blobs).

  5. Once the oil in the pot has reached 375°F (190°c), pipe the batter onto the oil in a zigzag shape or however you like. Make sure there is overlap of the batter so that it becomes one solid shape.

  6. Wait for the batter to float to the top of the oil and brown (takes about 2 minutes).

  7. Then, flip it over with a spatula and wait for the other side to brown.

  8. Remove the funnel cake from the oil and place onto a paper towel on top of a plate or cooling rack to cool and soak up any extra oil.

  9. Place the funnel cake on a serving plate, sift icing sugar on top, and add the strawberries. You can always change up the toppings by adding chocolate drizzle, honey, caramel, or other fruits.

strawberry powdered icing sugar

And tada! You have your funnel cake to dig into and reminisce of all of your favourite childhood memories along the boardwalk. These came out so well, I think I'll be eating these everyday for the next few days.

If you have 20 minutes to spare, you can make these easily today. Put on your swimsuit, grab your crispy, sweet funnel cake and head out to your porch or balcony to bask in the sun just like you're at the beach. What toppings are you using on your funnel cake? Let me know how this recipe worked out for you by commenting below.

funnel cake thepalettecleanser

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The Palette Cleanser
The Palette Cleanser

Thanks bossylibrarian! I try to keep my recipes dairy free because I'm lactose intolerant. At most, you'll see me sprinkle some goat cheese on salads. Hope you enjoy! It's fun to make and super easy, which is what I'm aiming for with my recipes =)


Fun idea for while we are stuck inside! Are all of your recipes dairy free? That would be great! Thanks for the recipe!

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