This chocolate funnel cake is better than what you can get at the boardwalk or county fair. It is light, packed with chocolate flavor, and fried to perfection.
Why you'll love it
How can you describe something that is so utterly amazing? The chocolate funnel cake on its own is sweet, but certainly not overbearingly so.
You can generously sprinkle powdered sugar and be happy with your life choices. The addition of the cherry compote and whipped cream makes this funnel cake otherworldly.
The combination of fried chocolate dough, sweet black cherries, and fresh whipped cream is almost too good. I definitely had two funnel cakes for lunch the day I made them and do not regret a thing!
Despite what you might think, it is very easy to make and doesn't take a ton of time either. The batter is very similar to pancake batter and is probably even easier to make than that. It is great for anyone who loves funnel cake or even regular fried donuts like jelly donuts, but is looking for a quick and easy chocolate twist.
The ingredients required for making a chocolate funnel cake are very simple and uses largely pantry staples. Let's review some of the key ingredients and any potential substitutions.
- Flour - The best flour to use for this is unbleached all-purpose flour. Bleached all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour are also suitable.
- Cocoa powder - The recipe uses double acting baking powder which means you can choose to use either unsweetened natural cocoa powder or Dutch-processed cocoa powder. I personally prefer Dutch-processed.
- Sugar - Using granulated sugar gives you the best consistency for your funnel cakes, but brown sugar can work if it is all you have available.
Since funnel cake recipes aren't typically made at home by most people, I think it is important to review a couple of the important tools you may need to make the best treats!
- Batter dispenser - The most important tool is the batter dispenser. You can use an actual funnel with a smaller round opening. The downside is you will need to use something to cover the bottom when not dispensing the batter. A piping bag would also work, but you will again need to consider how you will stop the flow of the batter because it is thinner than most things you would use a piping bag for. If you plan on making a lot of funnel cakes, you can invest in a funnel cake dispenser. My personal choice is a funnel pitcher because the mechanics of it is the easiest and least messy.
- Frying equipment - You can invest in a deep fryer if it is something you plan on using often. However, I recommend a deep cast iron pan or Dutch oven paired with a kitchen thermometer. The reason I recommend cast iron is because it retains and hold heat steadily so you aren't having to adjust the heat on your stove frequently while frying. If you don't have cast iron, however, anything that can hold at least 2-inches of oil will work.
How to make
Making the batter and frying up your chocolate funnel cakes is incredibly easy. You will want to make it all the time.
- Whisk together the eggs and milk vigorously until well-combined.
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl until just combined.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until there are no lumps.
- Heat at least 2-inches of oil into a pan or Dutch oven and heat to 375F.
- Pour the batter into your dispenser then swirl some of the batter into the oil. Fry on each side for 1 - 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack lined with paper towels.
- Repeat until the batter is used up.
- Make the toppings for the funnel cake and serve them on the side.
How to serve
The original recipe was made to be topped with whipped cream and cherry compote to make a Black Forest funnel cake, but you do not have to serve it like that.
You can serve it simply with powdered sugar, or even with something like vanilla ice cream.
It might also taste great topped with fresh fruits and/or chocolate ganache.
Chocolate funnel cakes are best when they are fresh. I do not recommend making them to store for later as they will get soft, chewy, and rubbery.
Chocolate Funnel Cake with Cherry Compote and Whipped Cream (Black Forest Funnel Cake)
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1⅓ cup milk room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar plus 2 tablespoons
- 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
For the Toppings
- 2 cups cherries pitted
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup heavy whipped cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Beat the eggs and milk together until it becomes frothy. In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder together. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until there are no lumps.
- In a large cast iron skillet (I used a 12 inch skillet) heat about 2 inches of canola or vegetable oil until it reached about 375F degrees. It’s okay if it’s a little under as long as it is no less than 370F.
- Pour your batter either into a funnel or piping bag with a round tip and swirl the batter into the oil in a mostly random circular motion. I like to kind of mimic the shape of a spider web. Cook the funnel cake on one side for a minute before flipping and cooking for another 45 seconds to a minute.
- Place the funnel cakes on a wire rack covered in paper towels.
- While you are cooking the funnel cakes, place the cherries and sugar into a medium saucepan and heat on medium-high heat until the juices release and form a syrup. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Use a chilled bowl and wire whisk to beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Beat in the powdered sugar. You may optionally reserve a tablespoon of powdered sugar to put over your funnel cakes.
- Top the funnel cakes with the cherries and then top with a generous dollop of heavy cream. Drizzle a bit of the cherry juice over the whipped cream if desired.
- Best if eaten immediately, but if you must wait, do not assemble until ready to serve. Funnel cakes are best served warm, but you may keep in an airtight container up to 24 hours.