One of the reasons we like a carnival a lot is because of cotton candy. The sweetness holds uncountable childhood memories. And when you crave this fluffy candy, rushing to the store is the only option. Right?
Well, what if I say no!
Yes, you heard me right. Making fluffy, light, and colorful cotton candy is as easy as you may not think. All you need to have is a high-speed blender and a few raw ingredients that are always available in your kitchen.
And the best thing is that this version of cotton candy is much healthier than the festival version. So, this writing will teach you how to make cotton candy at home with a blender.
But first, you need to learn about what it is made of and the traditional method of making it, as it will help you to know the basics.
What Is Cotton Candy Made of?
When cotton candy was first invented, it was created by heating sugar in a pen till it melted. Then a fork soaked in the melted sugar would drizzle thin strands of sugar onto a bowl’s bottom. It took several repetitions of this procedure to produce a dome-like shape.
At present, cotton candy is made by spinning melted sugar into fine thread. The sugar is heated to a point where it vaporizes, then cools and condenses into a thin thread. The process is carried out repeatedly till the desired quantity of cotton candy is made.
The Authentic Process of Making Cotton Candy With A Machine
For this process, a special cotton candy machine is used. When professional makers use big machines, some are available for home use.
One of the budget-friendly ones is the nostalgia cotton candy maker. Except for this, there are other brands available too.
Cotton candy is also known as fairy floss, candy floss, spun sugar, sugar cotton wool, and many more all over the world.
Making this soft candy with this type of machine is the easiest. Take a look at the recipe in a blink.
- Cotton candy machine of any brand
- Glow sticks/ paper cones
- ½ cup of baker’s sugar or granulated sugar (superfine/ caster sugar)
- 2 to 3 drops of food coloring
- In a bowl, combine the sugar and food coloring.
- Turn on your machine and then pour a spoonful of the mixture into the spinning head’s center.
- Watch the liquid until it separates into floss-like strands and emerges through the rotating head. After that, reduce the heat.
- Wrap the flossy strands around one end of the stick or paper cone.
Tip: If the strands don’t stick to the cone or stick, you may add a few drops of water to it before picking up the strands.
- Repeat steps 2 to 4 to make as much candy floss as you want.
- Enjoy your light, fluffy candy floss!
Alright, as you know, the authentic process, it’s time to learn how to make it without the machine.
Although I said before that we would teach you how to do it using a blender, one question needs to be answered before that procedure. And that is whether it’s possible to make cotton just by blending the ingredients in a blender.
Can You Make Cotton Candy in A Blender? The Truth!
Now, hear me out!
The other day, I saw some videos saying that blending powdered sugar and regular sugar can make cotton candy. I was shocked by this fact as I had never thought it would be this easy to make. But does that trick really work?
So, after I tried it myself, I was left with a mess! Yes, it didn’t work for me. As the sugar needs to be melted to create the strands, it didn’t happen when I blended those ingredients.
Many people say it works for high-powered blender machines as they heat up the ingredients and make the fluffy strands. Even though I used a highly powerful blender, there was only a mess of colorful powder and not a single strand of sugar.
Now, if you want to try this hack, you may try it. But I am pretty confident that blending powdered and regular sugar won’t make cotton candy.
However, there is one method that definitely works! Yes, you will be able to make cotton candy with the help of a blender, and that’s what I am going to share now.
How to Make Cotton Candy at Home with A Blender? Recipe & Tips
One thing that pops into my mind when thinking about the actual process of cotton candy is that maybe using melted sugar may work. And that’s what I did.
Also, note that you have to use a highly powerful blender with sharp blades. A weaker blender may make you end up with a sticky mess.
Okay, here are the ingredients and the making process.
- Food color (optional, but adding will give it a fun color)
Step 1: Measure the sugar and water in 3:1 proportion and mix well. Heat this mixture in a burner at medium heat for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves and becomes brown.
Step 2: Start your blender, and pour the melted sugar into it. Don’t pour the whole thing at a time. Do it little by little. The heat from the spinning blades will help evaporate any remaining water and will make a pile of thin sugar strands. Just be sure to move fast because as soon as the candy cools down, it will begin solidifying.
Step3: Collect the sugar strings from the blender, wrap them around a stick, and enjoy.
By following this recipe, you will surely make sugar strands, but it won’t be as fluffy and soft as the traditional one. But this is the only way to make cotton candy in a blender.
Tips for Making This Recipe A Bit Better
- If you like brighter colors, you may use gel food coloring rather than liquid.
- For a unique taste, try to mix a few drops of flavored extract into the sugar mixture before blending.
- Also, adding a few drops of glycerin to the melted sugar before blending can make the candy a bit softer.
- You can use this recipe for making a lollipop. Simply fill the lollipop molds with the sugar mixture and let them cool.
Now, except for this method, there are some other ways to make cotton candy without any type of machine. And the final output is even better than this one.
So, make sure to check them out!
Other Easy Way to Make Cotton Candy at Home without Machine
Here I will share two recipes I always follow that never fail. The first one is hand-spun cotton candy.
- Hand-Spun Cotton Candy Recipe
- 4 cups of sugar.
Note: Many ask how much sugar do you need to make cotton candy. It depends on how much candy you wanna make and how sweet you want it to be. So, it’s best to start with 4 cups and then add more depending on your requirement.
- 1 cup of corn syrup
- 1 cup of water
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- Food color (if you like to have colorful cotton candy)
Step 1: Take a saucepan and mix all the ingredients except the food color in any order. Mix it with a spatula.
Step 2: Put the saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mixture and make sure the sugar is melted properly. Heat the mixture until it reaches 320 degrees.
Once it reaches this temperature, remove it from the heat and pour it into a heat-resistant container. Add food color to it and mix well. As I like pink cotton candy, I use the color pink here.
Step 3: Take a whisk and soak it in the sugar syrup. Then lift it and hold it over the pot to let the sugar drip for a second. Now take a parchment paper and hold the whisk over one foot above the paper.
Then, swing the whisk back and forth, leaving thin strings of sugar on the paper. You can also use a steel stand like the below picture instead of parchment paper.
Step 4: Keep doing step 3 over and over. Collect the sugar and make sizable nests with them.
About 10 minutes later, the sugar will start to thicken. At that time, you should microwave it back to the proper consistency.
Step 5: Put the nests of strands in a stick or serve them as it is.
This homemade cotton candy recipe is easy to follow. Although it doesn’t come out as fluffy and soft as the traditional one, the taste is simply as delicious.
Besides the hand-spinning method, there is another easy way to make candy floss. In this way, the strings come out more soft.
The technique I am gonna share with you is widely known as hand-pulled cotton candy. Take a look.
- Hand-Pulled Cotton Candy Recipe
Before going into the recipe, I want to say that you need to be a bit patient with this process because it will take some time to make strings of sugar.
- 2 cups of sugar
- ¼ cup of light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon of vinegar
- 1 cup of water
- Food color of your choice
- Lots of cornstarch for coating
Step 1: In a saucepan (off the heat), mix the sugar, corn syrup, vinegar, water, and food color. Give the mixture a good stir until the sugar dissolves.
Step 2: Put the saucepan on medium heat. Let it slowly heat for 20 to 25 minutes until it reaches 268 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it reaches this temperature, remove it from the burner.
Transfer this mixture to a heat proof container. You can use a donut-shaped silicone mold if you have one. If you don’t have one then a plastic quart container is okay too. Let it cool until it turns into a firm disk.
If the disk becomes rock solid, microwave it for a few seconds until it has a little give.
Step 3: Take a big tray with cornstarch. Release the candy from the mold by pressing around the container. When the candy is out of the mold, dip and coat it in cornstarch. If you use a plastic container, then poke a little hole in the center.
And if you used donut mold, then you already have the hole. Now, start to make the hole bigger by rotating and stretching it out with your hand. Make sure all sides of the ring are even.
Step 4: Once the ring is about 1 foot long, twist it like a figure 8 and loop it around. Then again, keep stretching to make a uniform ring. Make sure your ring is finely coated in cornstarch to prevent sticking.
After making several loops, you will end up with thousands of strands. Continue the stretching process if the strands are still flexible.
Step 5: When the strands become softer and hairy, break off small sections using your hand and wrap them around a stick. Now, serve and enjoy!
This hand-pulled cotton candy tastes just like the regular one but with a different texture. Although it takes time to make, you will be totally satisfied with the end result.
You can replace corn syrup with honey or molasses. And if you want to add some flavor to your cotton candy, you may add a few drops of extract.
There are various cotton candy flavors available in the market. The flavors vanilla, almond, and peppermint are some of the best options. So, just buy your favorite one and mix a few drops.
Tips to Add More Flavor to Your Cotton Candy
There are numerous things that can make your beloved cotton candy more flavorful. For example:
1. Use flavored sugar rather than plain white sugar
Nowadays, many companies produce unique cotton candy sugar in a variety of flavors, including strawberry, grape, orange, etc.
2. Simmer the sugar mixture over a bed of fragrant herbs
All three herbs- rosemary, lavender, and mint—work well and impart their flavors while the candy cooks.
3. Use colorful sugar
Colored sugar can make your cotton candy colorful and fun. Simply place different colored sugar in distinct sections of your cooking pot.
4. Cook the sugar in a cast iron skillet
Cooking the sugar in a cast iron skillet will give a deeper caramel flavor. To prevent the sugar from sticking, preheat the skillet before adding it.
5. Add your favorite spices to the sugar
Before cooking the sugar, you may add spices for an extra punch of flavor. And some great options are cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, or ginger.
6. Use fruit purees or juices
You may use fruit purees or juices instead of water while cooking the sugar. This will add additional nutrients and taste to the candy floss. Mango puree, apple cider, or grape juice are all suitable options.
7. Make colored stripes for attractive decoration
Layer different colors of sugar in the pan before cooking it together to make colorful stripes. Then, alternate between various colors when spinning the candy onto the sticks for a lively and festive appearance.
Alright, it’s time to be creative! If you like to mess with your machine and try to do something out of the box, I have a special segment for you.
You can actually make your own cotton candy machine from a blender. So, go through my next section to quench your thirst.
DIY Cotton Candy Machine Made With A Blender
This DIY process is not for you if you have never worked with a machine before. So, do this at your own risk.
Okay, to make this cotton candy machine, you will need the following equipment.
- The lid of a glass bottle (like a sauce bottle or food can)
- A drill with a small drill bit, screw, hex nut, and wing nut
- A hammer and a nail
- A blender
- A corrugated box to catch the cotton candy
1. Make tiny holes with a nail and hammer around the lid that you took from a bottle. Then, make a tiny hole in the middle with the drill machine.
2. Take your blender machine. Make sure the power outlet is detached. Now, remove the container from the blender’s base and also remove the blades. Then, put a screw in the place of the blades from the bottom and tighten it with a nut on the other side. Put the lid on the screw through the hole and tighten it with another nut with wings.
3. Put a toothpick where the jar of the blender locks so that the blender will start. Now, place the bottom of the container that you prepare in the motor base and glue it.
4. Take the blender and place it in the center of the corrugated box. For safety, you may wear gloves and a google.
5. Melt sugar in water in 3:1 proportion on a burner until it turns golden brown. Start the blender and pour this melted sugar over the bottle lid, leaving you with a nest of cotton candy all over the box.
For a better understanding of the whole process, watch the video below.
Now, if you ask for my suggestion, I will not encourage you to do this as it will damage your fully functioning blender. So, buying a cotton candy machine is better than risking your blender’s durability.
Anyway, I have nothing left to explain. Let’s conclude it here.
Surely, making cotton candy without the machine won’t give you the authentic fluffy, cotton-like texture. Yet, each process I described is worth trying.
Since you finally know how to make cotton candy at home with a blender, you should give it a try. The other method has a surprisingly good taste too.
And if possible, you can try to turn your blender into a cotton candy machine by following the DIY process, which will definitely turn into a fun experience for you. However, if you lack confidence, stay away from that, as there are certain risks.
So, do whatever process you like. And indeed, experimenting with new things is always fun in the kitchen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use skittles to make cotton candy?
Surprisingly, you can make cotton candy from skittles. Just blend a bunch of skittles in a blender until they turn into powder. Then pour a spoonful into the spinning head of the cotton candy machine. Soon you will see fluffy threads coming out.
Wrap them in a stick and taste. You are gonna love the taste for sure!
What type of sugar is best for making cotton candy?
It’s best to use 100% pure beet or cane sugar. Some commercial sugars include a mixture of sugar plus dextrose or corn syrup, or they contain cornstarch (sometimes known as free-flowing sugar). These are not good options and likely harm your machine and result in poor output. Hence, use sugar that is medium-coarse or “sanding.”
How to store cotton candy?
Keep your cotton candy in a sealed package and store it in a dry, dark place at room temperature. Don’t leave the package in direct sunlight or the refrigerator.