Fair Fun: 7 Carnival Classics You Can Make at Home

Ferris wheels. Pony rides and petting zoos. Foot-long hot dogs.

There are a lot of reasons to love the fair, and every summer it’s one of our family’s favorite traditions. In fact, one of my first dates with my husband was a night spent strolling hand-in-hand beneath the glowing lights of the midway. He won three stuffed teddy bears for me while playing skee ball. (After 13 years of marriage and two kids, he’s still a winner in my book. I also still talk him into buying cotton candy every chance I get.)

But of course, the fair is only in town for a few days. So how do you enjoy some of those fun, festival favorites anytime of year? These seven fun carnival ideas are just the ticket!  

  1. Fried Almond Pound Cake. Every summer at the Minnesota State Fair, you can order virtually anything deep-fried – and anything on a stick. Tater tots. Snickers® bars. Olives. Cheese. Even spaghetti and meatballs (don't ask).
    Fried Almond Pound Cake | Tastefully Simple

    Not feeling quite that adventurous? For a fun fair-inspired dessert, simply slice Absolutely Almond Pound Cake™ into large cubes. Sauté in melted butter, and serve with ice cream, fresh strawberries or warm Creamy Caramel Sauce. (You can even put ‘em on a stick – if you want!)

  2. Chocolate-Covered Cake Bites. Feeling extra indulgent? Try putting those pound cake cubes in the freezer and then dipping them in melted chocolate.
    Chocolate Covered Cake Bites | Tastefully Simple

    I heated 10 ounces Ghirardelli® Dark Melting Wafers in a small saucepan over low, dunked my cake cubes, and voila! Keep a few in your freezer for perfectly poppable snacks anytime.

  3. Easy Caramel Apple Slices. Open a jar of Creamy Caramel Sauce, heat gently in the microwave for 15-20 seconds, and serve warm with sliced apples and a sprinkle of chopped nuts. So simple, so good!  

  4. Prickly Pear Lemonade.Try a grown-up twist on your favorite summertime sipper. Tart and refreshing, these pretty pink lemonade cocktails are made for spending lazy afternoons in the sunshine.

  5. Italian Fries. No need to stand in the line at the french fry stand. Just toss hot, crispy, fresh-from-the-oven fries with 3 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon Rustic Herb Seasoning and 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.

  6. Cinnamon-Sugar Mini Muffins. Love the sweetness of mini donuts? For an easy alternative without the fryer, bake Cinnamon Muffin Melt Mix™ in mini muffin tins at 400°F for 10-11 minutes. You'll have melt-in-your-mouth pastries, sparkling with cinnamon-sugar – ready with only 3 ingredients!

  7. Mini Corn Dogs with Dipping Sauce. Did you know that you can use Bountiful Beer Bread Mix® for beer-battered corn dogs, fish, cauliflower, you name it?

    Here's how to make your own hand-dipped mini corn dogs at home, step by step!

    Step 1: Batter Up
    Combine 2 cups of dry Bountiful Beer Bread Mix®, 12 ounces beer or club soda, and 2 teaspoons Seasoned Salt. Let stand for 10 minutes.
    Bountiful Beer Bread Batter | Tastefully Simple

    While the batter is resting, pour enough vegetable oil into a Dutch oven or saucepan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat over medium to medium-high until oil is 375°F.

    Step 2: Hot Dog!
    Pat 14 ounces little smoked sausages dry with a paper towel.
    Hot dogs | Tastefully Simple

    Dust them in ½ cup dry Bountiful Beer Bread Mix®. Working in batches, dip them in batter and carefully place in hot oil. Fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels.
    Fried Hot Dogs | Tastefully Simple

    Step 3: Dip & Dunk
    Repeat with remaining sausages. Push small wooden skewers into corn dogs, if you'd like. Serve with Champagne Garlic Honey Mustard or ketchup. Or make your own dipping sauce with ½ cup mayo and ¼ cup Smoky Bacon BBQ Sauce – it's one of my favorites!  
    Fair Foods at Home Blog Post | Tastefully Simple
Now what are some of YOUR favorite fair foods? Tell us in the comments below, or share your memories with us on Facebook.

From cotton candy to pickles to milkshakes, who knows … you just might inspire some new blue-ribbon recipes for our website!

- Jen

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from YES!!! I want to make ALL of these! These are great ideas and I want to try all of them! Love how simple and indulgent they are!
Date published: 2018-08-07
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