How To Make Elephant Ears – Easy Recipes

How To Make Elephant Ears: You can recreate the fun at the fair at home with deep fried, crunchy Elephant Ears with cinnamon sugar, and a super easy recipe for no yeast fry bread.

Tell your kids to join you. Children will enjoy making their own elephant ears out of dough by shaping it into a shape and selecting what toppings they want to add after the dough is fried!

How To Make Elephant Ears – Easy Recipes

Elephant Ears

What are Elephant Ears?

Elephant ears are coated with cinnamon and sugar and are sold at food trucks, fairs, carnivals and theme parks. They are fried dough circles that are coated in cinnamon and sugar.

There are uneven wrinkles on this fried dough piece, which is somewhat round in shape and shaped like an elephant ear.



  • 3 Tbsp shortening
  • 1 quart vegetable or canola oil for frying
  • 2 Tbsp active dry yeast (3 small packages is enough)
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • Yields: 4 state fair-sized elephant ears, or 8 treat-sized elephant ears
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Pinch salt


  • Using a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, salt, two tablespoons of sugar, and shortening. Cook until the sugar dissolves and the shortening melts.
  • Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm temperature, about 110 degrees.
  • Stir together flour and yogurt in a mixing bowl, then knead for approximately 10 minutes in a stand mixer with the dough hook. (If you do not have a stand mixer, you can knead the flour by hand on the counter).
  • Set aside the cinnamon, sugar, and pinch of salt to complement the cinnamon goodness in the dough.
  • After the dough has risen, divide it into four or eight sections depending on the size of your elephant ears.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll each section of dough into an elongated ball.
  • Heat one inch of oil in a heavy skillet or deep fryer.
  • Flip the dough ball over and continue rolling it into a thin sheet.
  • In the very hot oil, carefully drop the dough sheet and fry then until golden brown and puffed (flipping frequently so it doesn’t burn. It will puff up and become golden quickly).
  • Pour warm cinnamon-sugar mixture liberally over both sides while they are still warm. Eat immediately.


  • Frying: Even without a thermometer, it is possible to test the oil by putting small amounts in and observing how they react with the dough. (If it does not react at all, it is too cold. If it burns the test dough very quickly, it is too hot.)
  • It may be necessary to use tongs to force down in the middle of regulation-sized elephant ears so a dome does not form and the middle can be fried.
  • Don’t be afraid to flip it frequently so you can check how brown it is getting. Tongs are the best tool for doing this. Once you drop the dough in the oil, it will become sturdy enough to move around.

Is There a Recipe For Self-rising Flour?

Combine one cup all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt to make one cup self-rising flour.

How To Make Elephant Ears in an Air Fryer


  • Buttermilk Biscuits, I love the ones with butter
  • Melted Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Ground Cinnamon

Simple Directions:

You must roll the biscuits out onto a large cutting board. Start by rounding the biscuits out into large circles using your rolling pin. Place them into your air fryer basket sprayed with olive oil to prevent them from sticking.

They will get very big so you need to make sure your air fryer is set to 350 degrees F. So place two at a time and cook for five minutes. Continue to cook until all are done. Lie them on a plate, and they are ready to serve.

Sprinkle generously with confectioners sugar or cinnamon after they have all been cooked.Plate, serve, and enjoy!

How To Make Elephant Ears With Tortillas

I usually do the frying, then one of the older kids adds the cinnamon and sugar coating. These cinnamon and sugar-sprinkled flour tortilla treats are fried only for a few seconds in oil, then sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. My children love them!


  • 1-1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • Oil for Frying
  • 10 Flour Tortillas (6 Inches)


Combine sugar and cinnamon in a large plastic bag; set aside. Heat half an inch of oil in a large skillet; place one tortilla at a time, cook for 5 seconds, then flip and cook for another 10 seconds. Place in sugar mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Also read How to Make Brown Gravy?

How To Make Elephant Ears FAQS

1. What is an elephant ear at a carnival?

A palmier, or elephant ears, is a large piece of fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Their size makes them look like elephant ears. Food trucks, carnivals, state fairs, and theme parks serve these food items, also known as fry bread.

2. Can Elephant Ears be Made Ahead of Time?

In order to enjoy deep-fried elephant ears to their fullest potential, the ears should still be fresh and crispy. However, some things can be prepared ahead of time.

Elephant ears can be reheated in an oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes in an air fryer, toaster oven, or microwave. Heat elephant ears in an air fryer at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes instead of broiling.

3. What Toppings go on Deep Fried Elephant Ears?

Traditionally, deep fried elephant ears are topped with cinnamon sugar, but there are more options. Since elephant ears are sweetened fry bread, you can use any sweet topping you like. Here are some flavor combinations to consider:

  • Powdered Sugar
  • Frosting
  • Caramel Syrup
  • Chocolate Sauce
  • Strawberry Sauce
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