Cotton Candy Layer Cake

Cotton Candy Layer Cake
From, by Kristan Roland

Cotton Candy Layer Cake Photo

I have heard rumors that cotton candy is meant for children, but I have difficulty believing this to be true. Because eating cotton candy is equivalent to eating heaping spoonfuls of straight up sugar. And while I’m sure that is a delightful experience, it is not very socially acceptable. And certainly isn’t conducive to good behavior.

It is with this in mind that I admit to stealing cotton candy from my son several years ago. Bless his heart, he headed off to first grade assuming that his precious cotton candy would be waiting for him when he got home from school. Little did he know that with HIS best interests at heart, I would consume the entire bag with no remorse.

Cotton Candy Layer Cake Picture

It wasn’t good for him. And all that sugar was liable to send him into a spiral of undesirable behavior. I mean, think of what could have happened! I probably saved him from a life of crime. The fact that he’s not in prison right now is most likely thanks to me and my theft of his cotton candy.

 Also? It wasn’t even that good. And we all know that there is nothing worse than second rate cotton candy. I sacrificed my taste buds to save him the inevitable heartbreak of consuming mediocre cotton candy.

Cotton Candy Layer Cake Image

Moms are just selfless like that. Sometimes I read articles about the importance of moms doing things for themselves more often and I’m like you know, I think these people are on to something. Then I sneak in my child’s room after he falls asleep and raid his Easter basket/Christmas stocking/class party goody bag and feel strangely at peace about it. I feel like it’s what the experts would recommend. How can I take care of anyone else if I’m not taking care of me?

Cotton Candy Layer Cake Pic

If, by any chance, you are open to the idea of sharing cotton candy (I don’t necessarily recommend it), this cake is a great option. The pink cake is cotton candy flavored all the way through, and the cotton candy buttercream is perfectly creamy and sweet. I do not recommend topping it with cotton candy until time to serve, otherwise the moisture in the frosting will break down the cotton candy and cause it to shrink very pitifully.

Whether you choose to share or keep this cake all to yourself, you definitely need to MAKE IT! It’s so yummy and fun, it’s sure to bring a smile to your face.



For the Cake:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons cotton candy extract
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • a few drops of pink food coloring, or blue food coloring, if desired

For the Cotton Candy Simple Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup cotton candy floss sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

For the Cotton Candy Frosting:

  • 1/2 teaspoon cotton candy extract
  • 3 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

For Optional Garnish:

  • cotton candy, or rock candy


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter and flour two 8 or 9 inch cake pan and set aside.
  2. In a large glass liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk, egg whites, and cotton candy flavoring. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and sprinkles. Beat the flour mixture and butter on low speed until the mixture is crumbly, about 3 minutes.
  4. With the mixer on low, beat in all but 1/2 cup of the milk mixture. Increase speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in remaining milk mixture until just mixed.
  5. Give batter a final stir with rubber spatula, scraping bottom of the bowl to make sure all is fully combined. Pour evenly into prepared pans, smoothing the tops of the batter. Bake for about 20 minutes or until tops are brown and centers spring back when very lightly touched.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool in pans for about 5 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool completely.

For the Cotton Candy Simple Syrup:

  1. In a small, heavy saucepan whisk together cotton candy sugar and water over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.
  2. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and mixture coats the back of a spoon.
  3. Pour in a small cup or bowl and place in the refrigerator until cooled.

For the Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of your mixer, beat butter, simple syrup and cotton candy flavoring on medium speed until smooth.
  2. With the mixer on low, slowly add powdered sugar until just combined. Add heavy cream, then slowly increase mixer speed to high and beat for one minute until light and fluffy.
  3. Assemble and frost cooled cake.
  4. Garnish with candy, if desired.


  • Cake batter adapted from Cooks Illustrated
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