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Cotton candy is a delicious treat that can be found at most carnivals and amusement parks. But, let’s take it to the next level!
Ever wanted to try cotton candy cupcakes but didn’t know how? In this blog post, I will teach you how to make your own cotton-covered cupcakes with step-by-step instructions so that they come out perfect every time.
Why do I really love these? Cotton candy always makes me think of Dr Seuss and his Truffula Trees! That is the real inspiration behind these Cotton Candy Cupcakes – instead of just plopping that spun sugary goodness over the frosted cupcake, we literally took it to the next level!
If you have a little Dr Seuss Fan – try reading The Lorax and then enjoy a sweet treat like this.
The history of cotton candy
It is kind of unclear as to the origins – some say Europe and some say possibly as early as the 15th century. It was heralded as a luxury item for the rich as they made it all from scratch by hand instead of the fun machines we have now that make it beyond easy.
According to Wikepedia:
Machine-spun cotton candy was invented in 1897 by dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton, and first introduced to a wide audience at the 1904 World’s Fair as “Fairy Floss” with great success, selling 68,655 boxes at 25¢ (equivalent to $7.2 in 2020) per box.
In 1921, the name Fairy Floss gave way Cotton Candy as the New Orleans dentist Joseph Lascaux invent3ed a similar cotton candy machine. The machines were improved in the 70s and made it easy to whip up in bulk and prepackage for sale at fairs, festivals, and carnivals. You can even get it at the local movie theater!
How is cotton candy made?
To make cotton candy, you need sugar, water, and the flavoring of your choice. The candy is made by heating and liquefying sugar, spinning it centrifugally through minute holes—by which the sugar rapidly cools and re-solidifies into fine strands.
The flavors tend to run by the color – with blue being traditionally blue raspberry, and pink is vanilla. If you buy a boxed mix, they usually are pre-flavored.
If you buy the ingredients separately, you can get many different flavors!
How do you store Cotton Candy Cupcakes?
Here is the thing – with the more futzy designs, I like to make them in advance of an event or get-together. I will make bases like these in the recipe below and then freeze them until I am ready to make them for an event. I just pull them out the night before so they are totally at room temperature when I assemble them.
The best way to usually store your finished creations? Room Temperature. Granted, they aren’t going to be around that long – but you should know that cotton candy doesn’t hold up well over time. If you have cotton candy embedded in the frosting, it will use the moisture from the frosting to break down the candy floss.
How to make white cupcake batter
The ingredients you will need:
- 1/2 C unsalted butter, room temp
- 2 egg whites
- 2 eggs
- 2 C flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 baking soda
- 3/4 C buttermilk
- 1 1/2 C sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl.
Beat butter on high for 30 seconds.
Add sugar and vanilla extract to the butter until well combined.
Add egg whites, one at a time, mixing after each.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each.
Add 1/3 C flour mixture to the wet mixture followed by adding 1/3 C of the buttermilk; add 1/3 C flour mixture again then add 1/3 C buttermilk mix on low speed, add 1/3 C of flour and add the rest of 1/3 C of buttermilk mix in low speed until thoroughly blended.
Now, if you would rather used a boxed cake mix, you can do that. You can use a boxed mix for your cupcake base or make them from scratch with the above recipe. Boxed mixes are on sale all the time for roughly a buck or you can simply hit your local Dollar Tree to grab a cake mix.
We like our white cake recipe from scratch and used it. Either way, you need to make you divide your batter evenly between two bowls so you can add the coloring.
Cotton Candy Cupcakes Ingredients:
Other Cotton Candy Cupcakes ingredients you will need:
- Pink and blue food coloring
- Green frosting
- Pink and blue cotton candy
- paper straws
How to make cotton candy cupcakes:
Take your 2 bowls of white cake batter. You will add 6 drops of pink or blue food coloring to each bowl. Stir them well to thoroughly combine the coloring.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line your cupcake pan with cupcake liners. You are going to fill the liners with the cake batter in layers.
Add a bit of each color batter to each cake liner. The more you mix it up with bits of different color batter the cooler will look in your finished cupcakes.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Let them cool completely before you go on to decorating them.
You can make buttercream frosting or buy a tub of white frosting and tint it green – either way, these cupcakes will turn out fab!
Pipe the green frosting with Wilton 233 tip to create grass all over the cupcake. This is the same tip I use to make grass or hair on any cupcake.
Use a little frosting on your straw to help “glue” the cotton candy puff to it.
Top the cupcake with your cotton candy Truffula Tree and your cotton candy cupcakes are ready to share!