How to Make Cotton Candy in 6 Easy Steps

You don’t have to wait till you’re at an amusement park or carnival to enjoy this sweet, fun-to-eat treat

Shutterstock / Refat

Enjoy cotton candy right from your kitchen. 

When kids go to an amusement park or fair, they look forward to one treat above all: cotton candy. Yes, getting together with other little ones is fun — not to mention getting their faces painted and jumping in the bouncy castle — but cotton candy is the highlight of the night. We all have memories of standing in line with other kids and choosing between pink and blue clouds of pure sugar. Even as a parent, we bet you can’t resist this classic summer treat every now and then.

Click here for How to Make Cotton Candy in 6 Easy Steps Slideshow

Now you don’t have to wait for a birthday party or carnival to satisfy your cotton candy craving — you can make it right at home. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your favorite carnival snack while you watch Netflix — you can even share with the kids, but only if you want to.

There are two types of cotton candy recipes that you can make right at home: hand-spun or hand-pulled. We’re going to show you how to make hand-spun cotton candy in six easy steps, with help from WikiHow. Making this snack at home is a breeze, and flavor experimentations are encouraged — try maple, peppermint, or raspberry, for instance.

You only need a few ingredients for your hand-spun cotton candy:

  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of corn syrup
  • 1 cup of water
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of raspberry extract (can use other extracts, such as almond, orange, or vanilla)
  • 2 drops of pink food coloring
  • Lollipop sticks, for serving

Gather up these ingredients: It’s time to make the delicious treat you’ve been craving. If you’d like your cotton candy to be a different color, substitute the two drops of pink food coloring for something else — red, green, or purple would all make interesting cotton candy hues.

Want to learn how to make cotton candy right at home? Read on.

Step 1: Combine the Ingredients

Put 4 cups of sugar, 1 cup of corn syrup, 1 cup of water, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into the saucepan over medium high heat and stir the ingredients together until the sugar is melted. Make sure you use a pastry brush to wipe down the sides of the pan to keep sugar crystals from forming.

Step 2: Heat the Mixture


Grab your candy thermometer and place it in the saucepan. Heat the mixture to 320 degrees F. Once the mixture has reached that temperature, pour the hot liquid into a shallow heatproof container. Add the extract and food coloring that you're using and stir the ingredients well. While the recipe above calls for raspberry extract and pink food coloring, you can use any extract or food coloring you want — be adventurous and try out some new cotton candy colors and flavors.