Sweet Potato Funnel Cake with Spiced Sugar


You can make these funnel cakes any shape or size you want, depending on how wide the tip of your piping bag (or ziploc) is cut, and how much batter you squeeze out. Each of them will turn out unique, and that’s what makes them so special, so don’t be afraid to play around with your squiggle technique.

Active Time: 35 Mins

Total Time: 35 mins



  • 1-2 oranges, for zesting


  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup canned sweet potato puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk

1. Make the spiced sugar:

  • In a large, shallow bowl, whisk together ½ cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed, ½ teaspoon ground cardamom, and ½ teaspoon salt.

2. Make the batter:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk to combine 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground cardamom, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together one egg and ¼ cup brown sugar until smooth. Add ¾ cup canned sweet potato puree, 1 ½ cups whole milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Add dry ingredients and stir just until combined. (Batter can be made up to one day in advance. Keep chilled, covered, in the refrigerator. Any leftover batter can be stored for up to one day in the fridge.)
  • Transfer batter to a piping bag or a large resealable plastic bag.

3. Heat the oil and fry funnel cakes:

  • To a deep, large skillet or a dutch oven, add oil to a depth of 1 ½-inches.
  • Heat over medium-high until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350 degrees. If you don’t have one, check the temp by dropping a small amount of batter into the oil. If it sizzles vigorously, you are good!
  • Snip piping bag or the corner of the resealable plastic bag to a width of ¼-inch. In batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, carefully drizzle batter into the oil, creating squiggly circles, using about ¼ cup of batter per funnel cake. Let fry, about 1-2 minutes until lightly golden on the underside. Flip, and continue to fry until crisp and golden, about 1 minute more. Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove funnel cakes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Repeat with remaining batter, returning the fry oil to 350 degrees between batches.

4. Finish the cakes and serve:

  • As funnel cakes drain, transfer them to the large bowl with the spiced sugar. Toss to coat and place on a serving platter or plates. Top with finely grated orange zest and serve warm.

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