Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fried Dough vs. Funnel Cake: Fair Food Showdown

As the Great New York State Fair winds down, we take a moment to ponder some of the deep-fried goodness that makes fair-going so fabulous.

Funnel cake.  Fried dough.  Both are fair and festival staples.  Both are a beautiful marriage of carbs and grease.  Both are a perfect vehicle for powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, chocolate sauce, cherry pie filling, or any combination thereof.  Yet, for all the ways funnel cakes and fried dough are similar, they aren't.  And just about everyone has an opinion on which is better.  The Literate Baker takes a closer look...

Fried Dough
Fried Dough is just that--a piece of dough (think pizza) that is stretched and fried.  The latent air bubbles explode in the hot oil, creating huge pockets of air.  The texture is chewy with just the right balance of thin and crispy spots.  If you're a topping type, fried dough definitely gives you a nice solid base on which to pile, plop, and smear them.

Funnel Cake
Funnel Cake begins with a batter rather than dough.  True to its name, it is made by pouring the batter directly into hot oil through a funnel.  A swirly, cross-crossing pattern creates a cake that holds together but easily pulls apart into crispy little bites.  The texture is definitely lighter than fried dough, perhaps a bit sweeter as well.

What do you think?  Post your preference in the comments section and we'll see which cuisine reigns supreme (yes, I have Iron Chef on in the background).  My preference?  I prefer friends who'll share.  I get a little of both and we all get to...

Keep it sweet. Pin It


  1. I'm partial to fried dough, myself. We tried fried Oreos at Story Land in NH over the weekend... now that was interesting!

  2. That's my thumb! Fortunately I didn't get carried away and bite it. The rest was yummy. :)