20 best carnival recipes – Easy carnival recipes to make at home

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Ride high on the Ferris wheel, win stuffed prizes midway, visit livestock up close and personal, see a death defying show… it’s safe to say that in the summer we are VERY into the fair of our hometown. The absolute best part? The food. There’s something particularly wild about the sticky, fried sweet foods on offer at a carnival – not the sort of thing we’re usually looking for, but somehow when you’re at the fair, that’s exactly what we want. Although you can’t go to a fair all year round, you CAN enjoy the most famous carnival dishes from the comfort of your own kitchen. Browse our list of 20 carnival recipes for inspiration!

When we dream of our favorite carnival foods, the first thing that comes to mind is EVERYTHING fried. While we are of course always happy with the classics like french fries (the secret is to fry them twice!) and corn dogs, we are very fond of things we can only get at the fair, like Fried Oreos or funnel cake. We’re not always willing to get a pot of hot oil for just anything, but for things like churros, we think it’s worth it. If you disagree (or just don’t have a pan deep enough for frying!), try one of our deep-fried dupes, like cornflake-crusted “fried” ice cream or air-fried or oven-fried pickles (we swear, even pickle haters are into it!).

We are also very fond of all the sweet and sticky carnival options. Caramel Corn and Popcorn Balls are classic and surprisingly easy to make at home (although you will need to be patient). Got a sweet tooth, but like your treats a little healthier? Try a caramel or a toffee apple! Whatever you choose, enjoy them outside in the heat with a cup of fresh homemade lemonade or a (boozy) snow cone to fully feel the carnival vibe.

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