Making Homemade Elephant Ears
In Michigan, we only see elephant ears when the local fair or carnival comes to town. And they cost $6+ If you want one at a different time, you have to make them. Our family makes our own fried bread and homemade elephant ear whenever we want.
Make your own with the elephant ears recipe below, whenever you want!
What’s the Difference Between Fried Dough and Elephant Ears?
Fried dough is made from yeast dough, like bread dough that is fried. Easy elephant ears are smaller and usually thinner with a sweet topping like cinnamon sugar or a fruit topping. But if you just want to eat them plain, you can serve with a little melted butter.
How to Make Elephant Ears
- pan to fry oil
- vegetable oil
- paper towels
Elephant Ear Ingredients:
- 1 cup milk
- 1 stick butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 packet yeast (2 if expired)
- 2 1/2 cups flour
Cinnamon Sugar Mix:
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
Making the Dough
- In a pan our medium heat, add the milk, butter and sugar.
- Stir until the butter is melted.
- Remove from heat and place into a large bowl.Let mix cool down to 115 degrees or less.
- Once temp is less than 115 degrees, add the yeast and stir and let set for 5 minutes.
- You want the yeast to expand and get bubbly.
- Add in the flour about half at a time.
- If the mix it still wet, add a little more flour until it starts to form a ball.
- Once mixed, cover and let sit for 1 1/2 hours. Then punch down to remove the air.
Making the Ears
- Have a plate with paper towels on it to use once the ears have cooked.
- Pour oil into a pan so it's about 1 inch deep (You'll want a wide pan if you want to make more than one at a time.
- Turn on medium heat and allow to heat up.
- Test a small piece of dough to see if it hot enough.
- It will begin to bubble and turn brown when the oil is hot enough. If it sinks and no bubbles, the oil is not hot enough.
- Take about 1/2 cup amount of dough and make it flat and pull thin. About the size of a pancake
- Begin in the middle pulling it thin and work you way towards the edge until it is thin.
- Place carefully into the oil and allow it to get golden brown on the side.
- Flip over and allow to brown on the other side.
- Remove from oil and place onto the plate and towels.
- Sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons of the cinnamon sugar mix.Tip and tap off any access sugar before eating.
Are Elephant Ears and Funnel Cake the Same Thing?
Funnel cakes are made when you pouring the dough from a bottle or funnel. It is pourable, versus a dough (like pancake batter). You pour it out from a bottle or funnel making long lines that form together to make the cake. Elephant ears are made with rolled dough that is rolled out thin like a pizza, but smaller and fried in grease and topped with fruit topping or cinnamon sugar.
We recommend the ears are served warm.