Funnel Cake

Funnel cake has a very special space in my soul.

I’ve been obsessed with funnel cake ever since I was a kid. Whenever we attended any fair, amusement park, or outdoor event I would always beg to end the day with funnel cake. As I got older and America’s culinary world grew more creative I began to see new types of funnel cakes covered in pounds of whipped cream, strawberries, jam, and sometimes peanut butter. 

Nothing against those inventions, but I’m a funnel cake purist. Just powdered sugar will do it for me, thanks.

Funnel cake is ridiculously easy to make at home, and all of the ingredients are probably already chilling in your fridge and pantry. You can even get creative if you don’t have a funnel on hand. To get the squiggles for the frying step, I’ve been known to fill up a Ziploc bag with the batter and snip off the corner in order to squeeze it out. This is also a great method for piping frosting if you don’t own a pastry bag.

So here is how you make funnel cake at home. I’ve made this funnel cake recipe multiple times when I was craving something sweet, deep fried, and sugary and it hits the spot every time. Enjoy!

Easy Homemade Funnel Cakes
Serves 4
Light and fluffy fried funnel cakes
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups oil for frying
  2. 1 large egg
  3. ⅔ cup milk
  4. 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  6. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  7. ¼ teaspoon salt
  8. Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees. Reduce heat to medium to maintain the heat.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine egg and milk.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  4. Pour batter into a funnel (with your finger over the tip), or spoon batter into a large plastic bag with a tip cut off.
  5. Pipe batter into the hot oil making a squiggly design and working from the center out. Fry funnel cake for two minutes on each side.
  6. Remove from oil onto paper towels to drain.
  7. Sprinkle powdered sugar over hot cakes.
Spring Summer Sam http://springsummersam.com/

Cupcakes and cookies and pie, oh my!

Y’all have no idea how excited I am about this post. I am incredibly passionate about desserts, and I would even go so far as to say that I love desserts just a tad more than I love makeup. Don’t get me wrong, my heart skips a beat every time I walk into a Sephora, but it skips a little bit more when I know I’m going to grab a bite from one of the heavenly places that I list below.

You would think I eat dessert every day by the way I gush about it here. In fact, I’m pretty sure I tweeted once that I ate the same chocolate bar for breakfast, lunch, dinner…and then breakfast again. Let me see if I can find it…

Twitter Chocolate Screenshots

Ah, yes.

Twitter Screenshots Chocolate

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Well… since then I’ve actually drastically cut down my sweets consumption. Eating sweets all day every day started to make me feel pretty crappy, and after watching the documentary “Fed Up” on Netflix I decided to cut all excess sugar out of my daily diet. I still LOVE sugar, spice, and everything nice, but now I limit myself to just one sweet a week. Shockingly, my world hasn’t ended, either. I’ve noticed that my craving for sugar has gone down by a lot, I’ve lost a couple of inches off my midsection and I feel better, too! Moderation is everything, y’all. I still strongly encourage you to visit these spots the next time you’re in town, just not all in the same day!

So that’s my health-conscious spiel of the day, and now on to the fun stuff! In no particular order, here are my favorite dessert spots in L.A.

1. Sprinkles Cupcakes

Sprinkles

I know I literally just said “in no particular order”, but that’s a total lie. The truth is that I moved to L.A. just so that I could be closer to Sprinkles. They make the best cupcakes in the world, and no one can convince me otherwise. Their cupcakes are quite large and very moist. I even had their sugar-free red velvet cupcake once and it was unexpectedly delicious. These guys make sugar-free cupcakes taste like the real thing! My personal favorites are the Dark Chocolate and the Salted Caramel (#TeamSalty) cupcakes. Sprinkles has expanded their line to include ice cream (their red velvet ice cream is NO JOKE), brownies, and cookies, but their cupcakes will always be the best.

2. Diddy Riese

DiddyRiese

Another SoCal staple, Diddy Riese scoops up some insanely addicting ice cream sandwiches on the cheap. A huge sphere of ice cream smushed between two warm cookies will only set you back about $1.75, and keep you full for a while too. Diddy Riese is a cash only establishment, and I may or may not keep a stash of crumpled dollar bills in my glovebox just so I can satisfy my ulta-sweet tooth there every time I’m in the area. When I first moved to L.A. I visited Diddy Riese multiple times a week, and I quickly learned that you want to avoid the place like the plague on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s not uncommon to see a long line of UCLA students wrapped around the block to get some Diddy Riese. I once stood in line for an hour just to get my hands on these cookies. Worth it.

 3. The Pie Hole

PieHole

I never knew I felt so passionately about pie until I visited Pie Hole. It sits on a little tucked away street in downtown L.A., and they quite covertly serving up the best pies I have ever tasted. The first thing I ever bought at Pie Hole was their seasonal strawberry basil cheesecake, and I already knew after that first bite that this place would become my regular downtown stop. Their menu changes regularly, but there seem to be some items that I see there regularly including their macaroni and cheese pie (just as delicious as it sounds) like their mouthwatering Mexican chocolate pie, which consists of a dense chocolate filling smothered with sweet vanilla whipped cream. I took my friend here once, and as soon as she took one bite out of their Earl Gray pie she paused for a moment to reflect on the fact that she hopes to one day find a partner who is as good as that pie. True story.

4. Primo’s Donuts

Primos

Primo’s is an awesome local donut shop on the Westside that puts all other donut shops to shame. When you walk in it’s not unusual to see Mr. and Mrs. Primo hanging around the shop in their clean white aprons, smiling and greeting everyone who enters. Their donuts are superb, and I’m lucky enough to live just a few minutes away. I’ve been to Cali Donuts, DK Donuts, and some other shops (Dunkin’ Donuts does not count, people) but Primo’s is still my favorite. Their donuts just taste so fresh, warm, and real. Their buttermilk bar is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted, and totally worth the thousands of calories.

5. Saffron and Rose

SaffronandRose

Saffron and Rose is such an interesting place that ice cream lovers around the world need to experience at least once. Saffron and Rose is located in the Persian area of Westwood, and it has some of the most unique ice cream flavors I’ve ever tasted. Their rose ice cream in particular is amazing because it is incredibly fragrant and tastes very floral-ly. It’s hard to describe, but it tastes pretty much the way you’d expect a flower to taste – sweet and airy. They also make a wonderful pistachio that you have to try. I’m personally not a huge pistachio ice cream lover, but theirs is the superb. All of their ice creams have a very creamy texture that softer than soft serve but still easily spoonable. Their range of flavors is incredibly impressive, which makes it one of my favorite ice cream places out there.

So the next time you’re in L.A., you know where to go! What places am I missing? I’d love to visit the dessert spots that you guys suggest. Thanks so much for reading.

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You guys.

This popcorn is special. Super special. All because you make it yourself. For an authentic homemade experience, start by planting the seeds in April, wait for fall to roll around and gather your husband and eight kids together to cut through the corn fields and shuck husk until their arms fall off. Well, maybe if you were born in the 1800s.

Today, you can buy a whole can of kernels in the grocery store for just a few bucks and it takes just minutes to make your own skillet popped popcorn. That’s just what I did, and I love it. I don’t think I can ever go back to using bagged popcorn again, because popping it in a pan is just so superior. Maybe I think it tastes better just because I put more work into it, or maybe it does just taste better 🙂

But I digress. You’re reading this because you want to cover your popcorn in all the caramel and chocolate and huff it down by the handful while cuddling on the couch in front of your favorite movie. If you love chocolate and candy, then this is for you. I adapted this a little from another recipe that I found on Pinterest that used Snickers. I don’t like Snickers, so I used Heath bars instead. You can really use any chocolate candy that you like, and I recommend using your favorite.

For this recipe you will need:

  • Plain, air or stovetop popped popcorn
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2-3 full sized candy bars
  • Melted semi-sweet chocolate chips to drizzle

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The first thing you need to do is acquire popcorn. I recommend using the stovetop method or using a popcorn machine, if you have one. This great snack starts with great popcorn, and you’ll want to treat yourself to the best. Just follow the directions that come on printed on your jar of kernels. I used just 1/3c of kernels, and it made more than enough popcorn to share with roommates.

The next thing you need to make is caramel. Don’t buy the pre-made stuff, just DON’T. Homemade caramel is so easy and takes just a few minutes to make.

Just toss the corn syrup, brown sugar, and butter in a saucepan and let it boil over medium heat for about five minutes. I only had dark corn syrup on hand so I used that but I would recommend using light corn syrup if you have it. The dark corn syrup is heavier, and makes a more viscous caramel that won’t spread over the popcorn as easily. Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the baking soda.

Now here comes the fun part – pour the caramel over the popcorn and make sure it coats every last one of them evenly.

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Transfer the caramelized popcorn onto a large lined roasting pan and roast in a 200 degree oven for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. The popcorn will crisp up nicely and look good enough to eat 🙂

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In the meantime, coarsely chop up your candy bars into nice chunks. Two regular sized Heath bars was plenty for this amount of popcorn, but you can add as much or as little as you like.

Remove the popcorn from the oven and mix the candy in with the popcorn. Return to the oven for 3 more minutes, which is just enough time for the candy to stick to the popcorn and melt slightly.

Remove your beautiful popcorn-candy mixture from the oven and let it cool, or don’t if you can’t wait. I couldn’t. Drizzle the top with some melted chocolate. You’ll thank me if you do.

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Enjoy and thanks so much for reading!

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