California's Great America strawberry funnel cake recipe

ByJanel Andronico KGO logo
Friday, June 12, 2020
How to make carnival-style funnel cake
Create a theme park experience right in your own home with California's Great America's signature strawberry funnel cake.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- California's Great America in Santa Clara is famous for its funnel cake and for good reason. The warm, crispy and delicious treat can be topped with ice cream, sprinkles, cookies, fruit, syrups, powdered sugar and more. It is something that visitors of all ages crave!

In fact, the strawberry funnel cake is so popular at Great America that guests eat nearly 50,000 pounds of strawberry sauce on their funnel cakes each season. In order to keep up with the demand, 42,000 pints of strawberries are used to make the popular sauce.

Even though the park is closed during shelter-in-place, you can still enjoy this decadent dessert. The park's executive chef, Erick Ponce, is revealing how to make his sought after funnel cake right at home. He invited us into his kitchen to share Great America's signature strawberry funnel cake recipe.

GA Famous Strawberry Sauce:


1/3 cup water

1 cup whole frozen strawberries

cup white granulated sugar

3oz strawberry preserves

3oz strawberry glaze

1.5oz strawberry syrup

4 tablespoons corn starch mixed with a little water to make a slurry


In a small sauce pot over medium heat, bring water and sugar to boil.

Add the strawberry preserve, glaze and syrup to the boiling pot

Bring those ingredients to boil, then add slurry mixture.

Reduce to low heat and allow to thicken, stirring occasionally

Once thick fold in your strawberries, allow to cool overnight preferably

Top your funnel cake with this delicious topping

For a funnel cake recipe, try your favorite pancake recipe and add an extra egg, or click here for the full funnel cake recipe. You'll also find a recipe for Bananas Foster funnel cake. Yum!

Try this pancake recipe to create an at home funnel cake:


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. white sugar

1 1/4 cups milk

2 eggs

3 tbsp. butter, melted


In a large bowl, blend the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.

Once the batter is finished, pour it into a clean measuring cup to easy add the batter to hot oil. Pro tip: Chef Erick says that an empty, plastic syrup bottle with a squeeze top is the best hack for making funnel cakes at home! Put your batter into the bottle, screw the lid back on and presto: a home cook funnel cake batter pourer.

Frying your funnel cake

What you'll need:

Canola oil or vegetable oil

Thick bottom pot


In a thick-bottom pot, heat oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. To test oil without a thermometer, drop a small spoonful of batter in oil. If it rises to surface quickly, oil is ready.

Hold the pitcher or squeeze bottle with the funnel cake mixture 3-4 inches above the oil. Wear an oven mitt for safety.

Pour about 1 cup of funnel cake mixture in a spiral and crisscross motion.

With a slotted spoon, carefully fry each side about 2 minutes until golden brown. Be careful not to splash hot oil.

Remove funnel cake and drain excess oil on paper towels.

Dust funnel cake with powdered sugar.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.