Healthy Funnel Cakes in an Air Fryer Recipe

Healthy Funnel Cakes in an Air Fryer Recipe

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Healthy Funnel Cakes in an Air Fryer Recipe
4.2 - 10 vote[s]

Funnel cakes are a staple at state and county fairs. These are randomly shaped swirls of deep fried dough dusted with powdered sugar. They are best eaten while still hot and crispy.

Despite how delicious funnel cakes are, they aren’t the healthiest snack to eat because they are fried in plenty of oil. Cooking funnel cakes in an air fryer can remedy that aspect. The texture and flavor are similar but without all the fat and calories.

The traditional funnel cake recipe has to be reworked so the cakes will hold up in an air fryer. Deep fried funnel cakes are a made from a loose batter that is poured through a funnel into the hot fat. This doesn’t work for an air fryer because the batter would drip through the holes in the basket or crisper plate.

I tried a modified version of a popular Weight Watchers recipe designed specifically for an air fryer. I found it to be quite tasty and an especially healthy recipe compared to the classic funnel cake recipe. It doesn’t contain any eggs or butter. I also made this with a gluten-free flour mix. It was good, but required more flour so it wasn’t too runny.

I also decided to try a recipe where the batter is a bit more like that of a cake in consistency. The addition of an egg helped the funnel cakes to puff up while cooking. The batter is a bit thicker than typical funnel cake batter so it will hold its shape in the air fryer.

Funnel cakes are typically misshapen twists of batter. You may find that working with a stiffer batter for the air fryer is a little tricky to get that twisting or swirling appearance. I decided to try little squares or bites to see if that was an okay solution. It worked well. The texture was good and the bites were easier to eat. Try the method that works best for your air fryer.

Healthy Funnel Cakes or Bites Made with Yogurt

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 tsps baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt (or fat-free)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil spray or pump
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Total time:25 minPrep time:15 min – Cook time:10 min – Serves:6 people

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, mix together 3/4 cup of the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Reserve ¼ cup of flour for rolling out the dough. Stir in the yogurt and vanilla. Add a little more flour to make a stiffer dough that is not sticky and forms a ball, if necessary.

2. Coat a clean surface with 2 tablespoons of flour. Place the dough on the surface and spread it out with your hands to flatten. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour over the dough. Roll the dough out until it is even and approximately 1/4inch in thickness.

3. Form into twisted cakes or cut into bites.

Cakes: With a sharp knife, slice the dough into 1 inch thick strips, approximately 16 to 24 pieces. Loosely twist together 4 strips into random shapes that resemble a funnel cake or a pretzel. Repeat until all the cakes are formed.

Bites: Cut the dough into 32 equal sized squares.

4. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F. Lightly spray the basket or crisper plate with vegetable oil. Place as many cakes or bites as will fit in the basket. Lightly spray the tops of the cakes or bites with vegetable oil.

5. Place the basket or plate in the air fryer and cook for 4 minutes. Flip the cakes or bites over and continue to cook for 2 to 4 more minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Remove the cooked funnel cakes or bites to a platter and dust with powdered sugar. Continue doing this until all the cakes or bites are cooked and dusted.

6. Serve while still warm with napkins and enjoy.

Funnel Cakes Made with an Egg

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 tsps baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil spray or pump
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Total time: 20 minPrep time: 10 min – Cook time: 10 min – Serves: 6 to 8 people

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set this aside. In another mixing bowl, whisk the milk, egg, and vanilla until well combined.

2. Add the dry ingredients, in half cup portions, into the wet ingredients. Mix together until well blended. If the batter is so thin that it will drip through the air fryer basket or crisper plate, add more flour, a little at a time, until the batter is a little more like a really soft dough.

3. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F. Spray the basket or crisper plate of your fryer lightly with vegetable oil.

4. Place 1/4 of the batter into a pastry piping bag or a plastic baggie. If using a baggie, cut one corner off. Squeeze the batter through the hole as you move the bag in a swirling motion into the air fryer basket or onto the plate. Imperfection is fine for funnel cakes. Spray the top of the cakes lightly with vegetable oil.

5. Place the basket or plate with the cakes inside the preheated air fryer. Cook for 5 minutes. Flip, if desired, and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes until the cakes are golden brown, crispy, and cooked through.

6. Remove the cooked funnel cakes to a platter or wire rack and dust with powdered sugar. Continue doing this until all the cakes are cooked and dusted.

7. Serve while still warm with napkins and enjoy.

These healthier versions of funnel cakes are really delicious served with hot chocolate, a steaming cup of coffee, or just a glass of milk. I am particularly fond of enjoying these for breakfast with my morning coffee. The nice thing is that they only take a few minutes to cook, so they are easy to prepare before heading to work or school.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *