National Funnel Cake Day

Happy family at a carnival enjoying a funnel cake, wearing colorful clothing, carnival atmosphere with Ferris wheel in the background..
National funnel cake day illustration

Ladies and gentleman, gather around and pull up your most comfortable chair, because today, we're going on a mouthwatering journey through the Internet history of National Funnel Cake Day! Oh yes, it's a real thing, and let me tell you, it's as gloriously fluffy and sumptuous as the delicious treat we're here to celebrate.

When is Funnel Cake Day?

It's national funnel cake day on the 16th July.

A Sugary Journey Through Time

As a friend of fun facts and funnel cake aficionado, I greeted the assignment to surf the web for the history of National Funnel Cake Day with the same joy one would feel upon bumping into a funnel cake stand at a state fair. With 45 mentions online, awarding this delicacy its very own day felt as much a necessity as that extra dusting of powdered sugar on top.

The Origin of a Tasty Trend

What's surprising, aside from the fact that this day doesn't yet get the recognition it deserves, is that July 16, 2020, was the day the web was deepest in syrupy, funnel cake glory. Yep, an unexpected midsummer celebration of deep-fried dough. Go figure! But it makes sense if you think about it: What better way to enjoy a sun-drenched July day than with a crispy, sweet snack?

There's Always Room for Dessert!

Less a day and more a delicious happening, National Funnel Cake Day finds its roots in the heartland of American culture. As it turns out, the internet history of this mouthwatering day is tied into the inextricable bond between the beloved funnel cake and the great American tradition of state fairs.

A Delightful Day to Honor a Delicacy

To those folks who consider every day a day to appreciate the simple joy of funnel cake, we salute you. Your love for this golden crispy sweet is what has solidified its place in our national consciousness, and quite literally on our national calendar!

History behind the term 'Funnel Cake'


The Birth of Funnel Cakes

Funnel cakes made their debut in 1879 at the Cincinnati Industrial Exposition. This event showcased the latest industrial and technological advancements of the time. It was during this fair that a German baker introduced Americans to a delicious fried dessert that would become known as funnel cake. The baker used a funnel to pour the batter into hot oil, creating a distinctive shape resembling a funnel. The recipe quickly gained popularity among fair-goers and became a staple at festivals and fairs across the country.


The Invention of Funnel Cake

Funnel cake, a popular fried pastry, was first introduced at the 1879 Pennsylvania Dutch Fair in Pennsylvania, United States. The term 'funnel cake' comes from its preparation method, where a batter is poured through a funnel into hot oil, creating a unique spiral shape as it fries.


From Fritters to Funnel Cakes

In the early 1920s, the term 'funnel cakes' started to gain traction. It replaced the previous term 'fritters' that referred to similar fried treats made from batter. The name funnel cakes became widely adopted due to the method of using a funnel to pour the batter into the hot oil. This change in terminology solidified the unique identity of the treat and made it easily distinguishable from other fried desserts.


Rise in Popularity

During the 1950s, funnel cakes gained popularity at state fairs, amusement parks, and carnivals across the United States. Their sweet and crispy texture, combined with the ease of making them, made funnel cakes a hit among fairgoers. The delicious treat quickly became a classic fairground snack.


Spread at State Fairs

During the 1950s, funnel cakes gained significant popularity at state fairs across the United States. These events provided an ideal platform for the treat to reach a larger audience. State fairgoers relished the combination of crispy, golden-brown batter sprinkled with powdered sugar. The irresistible aroma and visual appeal of funnel cakes drew crowds and established them as an iconic fair food.


National Funnel Cake Day

In 1985, National Funnel Cake Day was created to celebrate the beloved fried pastry. Observed annually on December 7th, this national day encourages people to indulge in the sugary delights of funnel cakes. It has become a day to savor the nostalgic taste of funnel cakes and enjoy their scrumptiousness.


Funnel Cakes Go International

Funnel cakes gained popularity beyond the United States and made their way to Canada, where they are often enjoyed at summer fairs and festivals. The love for funnel cakes transcended borders, showcasing the universal appeal of this fried treat.


Carnival Food Sensation

With the rise of outdoor carnivals and amusement parks in the 1990s, funnel cakes experienced a surge in popularity. They became a staple treat at these events, enticing visitors with their indulgent taste and fun presentation. The simple yet satisfying nature of funnel cakes made them a desirable snack, perfectly suited for enjoying while strolling around a carnival or waiting in line for thrilling rides.

Present Day

Funnel Cakes Go Global

Today, funnel cakes have become a beloved dessert worldwide, not just limited to fairs and carnivals. The distinct texture and delightful taste of funnel cakes have made them a popular choice in dessert shops, food trucks, and even fast-food chains. They are often served with various toppings such as chocolate sauce, fruit compotes, or ice cream, allowing for endless flavor combinations. Funnel cakes continue to bring joy and satisfy the sweet tooth of people of all ages, making them a timeless treat in the realm of desserts.

Present Day

Funnel Cakes Worldwide

Funnel cakes have now become a global phenomenon, delighting taste buds in various countries worldwide. Whether it's at street fairs in England or theme parks in Japan, the crispy, sugary goodness of funnel cakes continues to captivate people of all ages. Its enduring popularity makes it a beloved part of food culture around the world.

Did you know?

Did you know that despite being a beloved snack at American state fairs, the origin of funnel cake can be traced back to the Pennsylvania Dutch region? Quite a globetrotter, isn't it?


food fun celebration national day sweet tooth funnel cake

First identified

16th July 2015

Most mentioned on

16th July 2020

Total mentions


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