Preheat oil to 375 degrees. Use a candy or oil thermometer or a fryer to insure the temperature is accurate and stays even while cooking.
Mix the pancake mix, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla together, and adjust consistency with water until it is runny enough to drip through a funnel, but not too runny. You want it to run off a spoon in an even flow.
Either using a funnel or for more consistency a squeeze bottle, squeeze batter into heated oil, swirling around to get the cake shape
Cook for about 1 minute on the first side, and flip and cook 30-45 seconds on the other, or if using a fryer so cake is fully submersed, cook until golden brown (roughly 1 1/2-2 minutes)
Remove from fryer, put on paper towel to soak up excess oil, and sprinkle with powdered sugar