In an 8-inch skillet with deep sides, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the temperature approaches 320 to 340 degrees F, drop the heat to medium. When the temperature reaches 360 degrees, you’re ready to fry. Keep an eye on the thermometer throughout the cooking process and adjust the heat as necessary to keep the oil hot enough for frying, but not too much over 360 degrees.
In a small mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir to combine. You’re looking for a consistency that is thin enough to run evenly out of a funnel. If the batter is too thick, add more milk; too thin, add more flour.
When the oil reaches 360 degrees, spoon ½ cup of the batter into a small kitchen funnel, a pastry bag with a small opening, or a heavy-duty plastic storage bag with a small corner snipped off. Hold the funnel (or pastry bag or plastic bag) close to the surface of the oil, and release the batter in a circular motion over the oil. Fry until golden brown on the bottom (time will vary depending on how thick your batter is), then use a pair of tongs to flip the funnel cake and fry the second side until golden brown.
Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Sift confectioners’ sugar or sprinkle with cinnamon sugar over top and serve. Repeat with remaining batter.
Tip: If your funnel cake ends up with very thick lines, either your batter is too thin, or the opening in your funnel/pastry bag/plastic bag is too big. I used a pastry bag fitted with a Wilton #6 plain tip, which has an opening of about 3/8 of an inch.