Pumpkin Funnel Cake Bites

This post was sponsored by P&G as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

Pumpkin funnel cake bites recipe at I'm Not the Nanny

Nothing reminds me of summer more than funnel cake. This crispy, fried dough is a mainstay at summer fairs, festivals and amusement parks. Sticky fingers pulling apart the tangle of powdered sugar bits are just pure joy. Funnel cake is my husband’s must have festival food and now my kids love it too.

Since my kids spend most of their summer with both sets of grandparents, we don’t attend many summer festivals together. I decided to bring the happiness of summer fairs right into our home by making funnel cake bites. What are funnel cake bites? They’re the low-stress way of recreating the giant funnel cakes we find at summer festivals. Summer is all about relaxation so don’t worry about creating the perfect rounds the experts make.

Of course I had to add my own twist to this recipe: pumpkin puree.

How to Make Pumpkin Funnel Cake Bites

I don’t deep fry foods often, so you know it’s a good recipe when I do. The key to deep frying is to prepare everything in advance.

Bounty towels in kitchen

Before I even pull out the batter ingredients, I prepare the post-fry supplies. The enemy of funnel cake is excess oil. My preferred method of draining deep fried foods is transferring them to paper towels set in a sheet pan or baking sheet. I use Bounty Advanced Select-a-Size paper towels because I can tear off the exact length of paper towels needed to fit into my sheet pan. It’s also ultra absorbent and won’t fall apart afterwards, which makes for easy clean-up. I usually double up on Bounty Advanced paper towels for a big batch of funnel cake (like this recipe).

Dropping funnel cake batter into oil

Mix the batter while you wait for your oil to heat to 350F in a dutch oven or large, high-walled pot. I recommend a fry or candy thermometer. If your oil isn’t hot enough, you’ll get soggy funnel cake bites. The batter should be a little runny. If it looks too thick for your funnel, add a bit more milk until it easily flows out of your funnel.

Once your oil comes to the right temperature, set your sheet pan lined with Bounty Advanced paper towels next to your oil so you can transfer the funnel cake bites quickly. With one finger on the bottom of the funnel, scoop ½ cup of batter into the funnel. Carefully hold it over the oil and remove your finger to release the batter. Slowly move the funnel around until you’ve dropped enough batter to fill the pot.

Taking funnel cake bites out of oil

The pumpkin funnel cake bites will cook quickly. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon as soon as they turn golden brown.

draining oil from funnel cake bites

Immediately transfer to your sheet pan lined with Bounty Advanced paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Repeat with the batter in your funnel until complete.

Funnel cake bites with powdered sugar

Dust with powdered sugar right before serving. If your pumpkin funnel cake bites have lost their crunch, you can reheat them in the oven at 375F degrees for 5-10 minutes before adding powdered sugar.

Cleaning up greasy pans

Cleaning up greasy pan with Dawn

I love cooking for my family but I dread cleaning all the dirty pots and pans. When something is covered in cooking oil, it feels like more work to scrub. When we first moved in together, my husband introduced me to Dawn dishwashing liquid. Wow! I was impressed how well Dawn cut through the grease on my dishes. Now it’s the only kind of dishwashing liquid we use.

I nabbed this giant bottle of Dawn Platinum Advanced Power at my local Costco at a very good price. My husband, who is the main dishwasher in our family, will be grateful to have a big supply of his favorite dish cleaner.

Bounty at Costco

Are you a Costco member? We joined recently and I’m impressed by their selection of products, especially P&G household goods like Bounty Advanced paper towels and Dawn Platinum Advanced Power. They’re must haves for our home and I’m always glad to save by buying in bulk.

What’s your favorite summer festival food?

Pumpkin Funnel Cake Bites Recipe

I hope I’ve convinced you to give deep frying a try–at least to recreate the happy tastebuds of summer fairs.

Pumpkin Funnel Cake Bites

Pumpkin Funnel Cake Bites

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Your favorite festival food in mini form.


  • 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 large egg
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • ½-1 cup powdered sugar for dusting


Add 2” of vegetable or canola oil into a 5 quart dutch oven. Heat oil on medium high heat to 350F degrees. Line sheet pan with paper towels and set aside.

While oil heats, prepare the batter. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix all ingredients (except for powdered sugar) in a large bowl. Mix until smooth. Batter should be runny.

Once oil reaches 350F, set sheet pan lined with paper towels next to stove for quick funnel cake transfer. Block the bottom of funnel with one finger. Then scoop ½ cup of batter into the top of funnel. Carefully hold it over the oil and remove finger to release the batter. Slowly move the funnel around until you’ve dropped enough batter to fill the pot.

Funnel cake bites will cook quickly. Once they turn golden brown, scoop out with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels. Repeat funnel process until all batter is cooked.

Dust with powdered sugar immediately before serving.


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