Carnival and Fair Food Recipes

Looking for deep-fried butter and other State Fair-style recipes? Browse more than 60 recipes for fair foods like funnel cakes, elephant ears, corn dogs, and just about anything fried!

Staff Picks

Deep Fried Oreos®

Rating: Unrated
This is a carnival favorite where I grew up. Oreos get dipped into pancake batter and fried - yummy!! You can do this with or without a deep fryer.

Real Wisconsin Fried Cheese Curds

Rating: Unrated
Real Wisconsin fried cheese curds!

Grilled Turkey Legs

Rating: Unrated
These spicy turkey legs are sweet and hot--just like the smoked turkey legs you get at the fair or theme park!

Monkey Tails

Rating: Unrated
These chocolate-covered frozen bananas are a great summer treat. The ripe bananas have a wonderful creamy consistency when frozen, and the rich chocolate coating is delicious. You can vary the toppings to suit your taste, including drizzling with melted white or milk chocolate, or caramel. Roll in shredded coconut, chopped nuts, sprinkles, or other toppings.

Elephant Ears

Rating: Unrated
Crispy cinnamon-sugar fried bread confections!

Fair Scones

Rating: Unrated
A hallmark of the Puyallup and Evergreen State Fairs in Washington State. Now you can make them at home any time of year. Just like at the fair, they are best served hot, with butter and raspberry jam.

Fried Ice Cream

Rating: Unrated
Vanilla ice cream with a crunchy coating. Serve with whipped cream, honey, and cherries.

Vintage Lemonade

Rating: Unrated
In the 1800's this is how people made lemonade--you can do it too! It's not that difficult, and tastes wonderful!

Best Lemonade Ever

Rating: Unrated
This is a very refreshing drink!
By Jo


Rating: Unrated
These Mexican fritters are very common at fairs. In my border hometown, the line at this stand is always overwhelming. People wait hours in line just to get a taste of these churros. I have run across several recipes but this is the best one by far.

Kettle Corn

Rating: Unrated
Take a trip to the county fair with a bowl of old-fashioned Kettle Corn. Your family will never want plain popcorn again! If you use white sugar, it will taste like popcorn balls and if you use brown sugar, it will taste like caramel corn.

Funnel Cakes

Rating: Unrated
You don't need to wait for the county fair to enjoy delicious old-fashioned funnel cakes. You just need a funnel with a 1/2-inch opening that can hold a cup of batter.

Inspiration and Ideas

Over-The-Top Homemade Carnival Foods

Let's all suspend judgement and simply marvel at the most outrageous, gut-busting foods found at state fairs. Plus, we've got recipes if you want to bring the fun to your own backyard.

Kettle Corn

"Never spending $9 on a bag at a fair ever again!" – meltedavocado

Southwest Steak Bites

Rating: Unrated

Tired of the same old chicken nuggets? Give these a try! Feel free to 'play' with the seasonings, but this is how my family likes them. Serve hot with barbeque sauce or salsa for dipping.