Oi Gente!!

Here is another Brazilian childhood favorite, bolinhos de chuva (rain balls if you are to translate this literally), and they are exactly what they look like, fried dough *sips on coffee looking unimpressed*

Literally, the last time I ate one of these was when I was a kid.  My mom never really liked to fry anything that much, and my dad always thought they were so boring, that they tasted like umbrella handles, and he swears that’s where the name must come from! Haha don’t listen to my dad, guys.

Truth is though, I can’t really blame my dad for thinking this way.  After making these recently with my mom’s recipe, I thought ugh… why did my mom ever feed us this?  My mom swears that this is just how all the recipes are.

Unconvinced, I began a mini saga to find a better recipe to replace my mom’s.  She embraced me in the research because she was annoyed that I didn’t believe her – she wanted to prove herself right, you know.  Turns out that, my mom was right, and we couldn’t actually find bolinhos de chuva recipes that varied that much from what she had – some used more eggs, some didn’t use vanilla at all, some used too much flour, and others not so much.  Bottom line is, all of these turned out to yield some dense bolinhos, that tasted very doughy, sometimes eggy, and sometimes like nothing at all – like umbrella handles! Haha

Ok, you must be asking yourself, geez girl, how are these even popular then?  Well, my guess is because when you hand anything covered in sugar to a kid, it becomes a hit.

Long story short, my mom’s recipe worked great for when I was a kid, but as it turns out, I became an adult with high fried dough standards, so, I changed everything.  And let me tell you, the bolinhos are so awesome now, that they make me feel like a kid again!  Yay!

Make it, take a picture and share it #cookingwithaline and let me know how you liked it


What about you?  Did you love something as a child that you then hated as an adult?  Did you try to fix it or did you just stop eating it?  Leave me a comment and let me know


Brazilian Funnel Cake Balls Step by Step

ok, so… no fancy equipment needed here, gente.  I did everything by hand.

I start with mixing the sugar coating, just so I have it ready and out of my way.  Just mix the sugar with the cinnamon, and set it aside.

Funnel Cake Balls Prep

Then, if you are using a fryer, you can make sure it is all set up now, and heating up.  If you are frying in a pan, just add the oil to the pan and leave it over low heat, just so it warms up, but not too hot to get to temperature too fast – I highly recommend you use a thermometer to help you maintain the temp at 350F

Gather up your ingredients now – add the vinegar to the milk, combine all the dry ingredients…

Funnel Cake Balls Prep

Whip the egg with the sugar and the vanilla real nice…

Funnel Cake Balls Prep

Then add the milk/vinegar mixture to the egg mixture and whip real nice again…

Funnel Cake Balls Prep

(If you are frying in a pan, now is a good time to crank up your heat so its’s nice and hot by the time you are done with the next step)

Then fold the wet mixture with the dry ingredients (real nice… ahaha I’ve made it a thing now)

Funnel Cake Balls Prep

Look at it – it’s a nice little looking dough, isn’t it?

Time to Fry your Brazilian Funnel Cake Balls

Using a small ice cream scoop, or 2 spoons, form little balls (like a 2-bite donut hole) and drop directly into the hot oil.  Fry until golden brown and balls are cooked through.

Funnel Cake Balls

When they are nicely fried, scoop your bolinhos and drop them into a platter lined with paper towels for them to dry a little

Funnel Cake Balls

Funnel Cake Balls

While the bolinhos are still warm, drop them in the sugar cinnamon mixture to coat evenly

Funnel Cake Balls

These little suckers are great on any morning or afternoon, with some coffee or tea – plain or with some jelly

Funnel Cake Balls

Funnel Cake Balls

Funnel Cake Balls


Share your pictures #cookingwithaline so I can see how your bolinhos turned out 🙂


Brazilian Funnel Cake Balls

15 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


    For the dough:
  • 1 ½ cups of flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 whole large egg
  • 1 tsp of vanilla ext
  • ¾ cup of milk
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • oil for frying
  • For the sugar coating:
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1Tbsp of cinnamon


    For the sugar coating:
  1. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a large plate and reserve.
  2. For the dough:
  3. Prepare the oil for frying
  4. Add the vinegar to the milk and let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients. Set aside.
  5. Add the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg with the sugar and the vanilla
  7. Add the milk and vinegar to the egg mixture and whisk
  8. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold gently to combine
  9. Using a small ice cream scoop, or 2 spoons, form little balls (like a 2 bite donut hole) and drop directly into the hot (350F) oil. Fry until golden brown and balls are cooked through.
  10. Bom Apetite!!


If you are using a frying pan, use a thermometer. Do a couple first to see how they fry. If the bolinhos are too big they will take longer to cook through, and will also absorb more oil, so keep an eye on the size and work quickly. If you feel the bolinhos are the right size (like a 2 bite donut hole) and they are still not cooking through inside, but look golden on the outside, your oil might be a little too hot. Please note that every time you add something to the fryer the temperature of the oil will go down, so if you had to decrease your oil temp to cook through the bolinhos, you might notice yourself having to crank up the heat and then decrease it to ensure they are crisp outside and fully cooked on the inside. Any questions shoot me a note!


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