No need to head to the local fair to get your fix – you can make Elephant Ears Pastry right at home! Flaked pastry is deep fried to golden brown perfection and dusted with cinnamon sugar. Enjoy for breakfast, dessert, or any other time you need a treat!
What’s in this Elephant Ears Pastry Recipe
If you’re an avid baker like me, you likely already have most of (if not all of) these ingredients on hand.
- Milk: I recommend using whole milk. Make sure it’s warmed to 110°F before using.
- Sugar: White granulated sugar is needed for both the pastry dough and for topping off the final product with.
- Yeast: You’ll need instant yeast, not active dry or fresh.
- Butter: Unsalted and melted is the way to go.
- Cinnamon: Just like the sugar, you’ll need the cinnamon both for the dough and for topping the actual pastries.
- Salt: Just a pinch is all you need!
- All-Purpose Flour: When you dip your measuring cup into the flour bag, you pack it with flour. Avoid this by instead spooning the flour into the measuring cup.
- Vegetable Oil: This is needed to fry the pastries.
PRO TIP: Only fry one elephant ear at a time! If you overcrowd your vegetable oil, the temperature will decrease and you’ll end up with under-cooked pastries.
What else can I top elephant ear pastries with?
The possibilities are endless! For a sweet elephant ear, drizzle on chocolate, caramel sauce, or maple syrup or top with fresh fruit and whipped cream. For a savory take, top with pizza sauce and shredded cheese.
Elephant ears are crispy fried circles of dough topped with powdered and/or cinnamon sugar. They’re called elephant ears due to their large size and shape that resembles an elephant’s ear.
No, they are not the same thing. Elephant ears are a flaky pastry, and funnel cakes are deep fried soft batter. You can find both at fairs, but they have different tastes and textures.
Elephant ears should be fried in an oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable, canola, or peanut. I recommend vegetable oil for the most neutral taste.
How to Store/Reheat
Store leftover elephant ears in an airtight container. They will stay fresh for up to 3 days. You can easily reheat the pastries in a 350°F oven for at least 5 minutes, or until they become light and crispy.
More Easy Breakfast Recipes We Love
- Glazed Fried Apple Fritters
- Orange Rolls
- Chocolate Chip Baked Donuts
- Sour Cream Waffles
- Pancake Bites
- Krispy Kreme Glazed Donuts (Copycat Recipe)
Elephant Ears Recipe
- 1¾ cups milk 397 grams, warm (110°F)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar 149 grams, divided
- 1½ tablespoons instant yeast 14 grams
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 84 grams, melted (¾ stick)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 6 grams, divided
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5½ cups all-purpose flour 660 grams, divided
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Kitchen Scale (optional)
- Instant Read Thermometer
- Rolling Pin
- Add the milk, ¼ cup of the sugar, and the yeast to a large bowl. Stir to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until it starts to bubble.1¾ cups milk, ¾ cup granulated sugar, 1½ tablespoons instant yeast
- Stir in the butter, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and the salt to combine.6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Add 5 cups of the flour and stir until you can no longer. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.5½ cups all-purpose flour
- Knead the dough for 5 minutes, adding a light dust of flour when it becomes too sticky to handle, but don’t overdo it. You want the dough to be tacky but not sticky.
- Scrape out any flour bits from the bowl, spray with nonstick spray, and place the dough in the bowl. Cover and let sit for 1 hour, until doubled in size.
- Heat 2 inches of oil in a deep-frying pan over medium heat until it reaches 265°F.Vegetable oil for frying
- In the meantime, divide the dough into 15 equal balls and roll each out into a roughly 7-inch round.
- Fry one disk at a time for 3-4 minutes, flipping the disk every 30-45 seconds to ensure even cooking.
- Let them cool on a plate with a paper towel to drain off any excess oil.
- Stir the remaining sugar and cinnamon together in a shallow bowl or a plate then dip each disk in the dough and lightly tap off the excess. Serve and enjoy!
- Continue to stir your flour until you can’t stir it anymore. Then, turn the dough out onto the floured surface.
- You can easily reheat the Elephant Ears in a 350°F oven for at least 5 minutes, or until they become light and crispy.