Cotton Candy Cupcakes

Published July 16, 2015. Updated January 22, 2020

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Cotton Candy Cupcakes – cupcakes worthy of a fairytale! With these dreamy cupcakes you get a soft and fluffy vanilla cupcake topped with a sweet cotton candy flavored buttercream frosting, and they’re finished with mini cotton candy on a lollipop stick. Such a fun cupcake!

Cotton Candy Cupcakes | Cooking Classy

Cotton Candy Cupcakes Recipe

The cupcake that brings out the kid in all of us! I’ve always loved cotton candy as long as I can remember. But there is only one way to eat cotton candy, taking little piece by little piece and letting it dissolve on your tongue. Biting and chewing cotton candy is just wrong. Am I right or am I right? My husband knows I hate it so he can’t help but tease sometimes – since apparently it doesn’t bother him to bite into it.

These cupcakes have been on my to do list for probably the last three years. Who knows what took me so long to make them! My kids thought they were the coolest thing ever and they were practically mesmerized. So, in other words if your child has a birthday party coming up, these are the cupcakes to make! But really, if you have your own birthday party coming up, these are the cupcakes to have someone make you :). Let’s be honest we all love cotton candy. Some things never change.


As far as the cotton candy flavoring goes, I used Lorann Cotton Candy flavoring and while it was good it didn’t have an exact cotton candy flavor, so with that said if you come across one that tastes just like the real thing, please do let us know in the comments!

You can make them as just a vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream and just decorate them with the cotton candy and and tint the frosting and people will love them just the same. I know I’m totally in love with these! They are soft and fluffy and the buttercream is simply perfect. Cupcake + cotton candy = childhood dream come true.

Cotton Candy Cupcakes | Cooking Classy

How to Make Cotton Candy Cupcakes

Here’s a quick rundown of the steps we’ll take to make the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven and prepare muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Sift and whisk dry ingredients.
  3. Whip butter and sugar in an electric mixer.
  4. Blend in egg and whites, one at at time. Add vanilla.
  5. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternating with milk.
  6. Bake then let cool.
  7. Prepare frosting and frost cupcakes.
  8. Decorate with mini cotton candy.

Can I Use Store-Bought Cupcake Mix?

If you wanted to go the cheater route you could just use a vanilla cake mix and prepare according to package directions then just use this cotton candy buttercream frosting and decorate with cotton candy.

What if I Don’t Have Cake Flour?

The cake flour just makes the cupcakes a little lighter and more delicate but you could just sub more all-purpose flour here if you don’t have any cake flour.

Cotton Candy Cupcakes | Cooking Classy

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Cotton Candy Cupcakes
5 from 2 votes

Cotton Candy Cupcakes

A cupcake people of all ages will love! Tender vanilla cupcakes are topped with a cotton candy flavored buttercream and decorated with fresh cotton candy. So delicious!
Servings: 12
Prep30 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Ready in: 50 minutes


Cotton Candy Buttercream

  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (322g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cream or half and half, then more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp cotton candy flavor, or to taste (1 tsp vanilla can be substituted)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift all-purpose flour and cake flour into a mixing bowl. Add baking powder and salt and whisk dry mixture, 20 seconds, set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Scrape down bowl.
  • Mix in egg, then mix in egg whites one at a time, blending until combined after each addition and adding in vanilla with last egg white.
  • Working in three separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture (to the butter/egg mixture), alternating with 1/2 of the milk and mixing just until combined after each addition.
  • Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full (about 1/4 cup batter in each). Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean, about 18 - 21 minutes. Cool in baking pan several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the mini cotton candy decoration, take pieces of cotton candy and shape into desired size (compacting as little as possible to keep it nice and fluffy), then take a lollipop stick, rinse top of stick under water (this just helps the cotton candy stick) then insert stick into bottom of cotton candy. Repeat to make 12.
  • Once cupcakes are cool frost with cotton candy frosting and insert a mini cotton candy stick into each (note that the cotton candy will begin to shrink after about 30 - 60 minutes depending on how humid or hot it may be so wait to make and add decoration until nearly ready to serve).
  • For the frosting:
  • In an the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter until pale and fluffy. Mix in cream, cotton candy flavor and powdered sugar (adding additional cream 1 tsp at a time as needed). Whip until light and fluffy, tint with pink or blue food coloring if desired.