Dining & Wine

Homemade Cotton Candy Without The Machine

May 20, 2024

Making cotton candy at home can be a fun and rewarding activity. Here’s how:


  • Granulated sugar
  • Water
  • Corn syrup
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Flavoring extract (optional)


  • A large, deep pot
  • A whisk with thin wires
  • Parchment paper
  • A candy thermometer
  • Paper cones or sticks


  1. Prepare the Work Area: Line a baking sheet or your countertop with parchment paper to catch the spun sugar.
  2. Make the Sugar Syrup: In a large pot, combine 2 cups of granulated sugar, 1/2 cup of corn syrup, and 1/2 cup of water. Stir the mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. If using food coloring or flavoring, add it now.
  3. Heat the Syrup: Attach the candy thermometer to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil without stirring and cook until it reaches 320°F (160°C).
  4. Cool Slightly: Remove the pot from heat and let it cool for a few minutes until the bubbles subside.
  5. Spin the Sugar: Dip the whisk into the sugar syrup, lift it out, and quickly flick the sugar back and forth over the parchment paper, forming thin strands. Work quickly as the sugar will harden.
  6. Gather the Cotton Candy: Once you have a sufficient amount of spun sugar, gather it up with your fingers and wrap it around a paper cone or stick.
  7. Serve and Enjoy: Serve the cotton candy immediately.


  • Safety First: Sugar syrup gets extremely hot and can cause burns. Be very careful when handling it.
  • Work Quickly: The sugar syrup will harden as it cools, so you need to work swiftly to spin the sugar into cotton candy.
  • Clean Up: Clean your equipment immediately after use to prevent hardened sugar from sticking.

Enjoy making and eating your homemade cotton candy!


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