Cotton Candy Cupcakes


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.

Cotton Candy Cupcakes | Cooking Classy

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 Cotton Candy Cupcakes | Cooking ClassyCotton Candy Cupcakes | Cooking Classy


Cotton Candy Cupcakes

5 from 1 vote

Yield: 12 cupcakes


  • 3/4 cup (107g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (100g) cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp (194g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp milk (105 ml) (anything but skim)
  • Cotton candy

Cotton Candy Buttercream

  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 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)


  1. 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.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (I recommend using a beater blade, which constantly scrapes the bowl, if you don't have one, occasionally stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl throughout entire mixing process), whip together butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. For the frosting:
  6. 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.
  7. Recipe source: Cooking Classy


  • Joanne: I have a cotton candy machine. What about the cotton candy sugar? August 10, 2015 at 11:03am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think that would work great for a swiss meringue style frosting. August 12, 2015 at 5:02pm Reply

  • Lala: I haven’t made these before but I was reading everyone’s comments about the cotton candy flavoring, and wondered why you wouldn’t just use the actual cotton candy. In the cupcakes if you add a half ounce it should be speckled throughout your cupcakes. For your frosting if you melt the rest with the cream and turn it into a liquid form it will flavor your frosting. Just a suggestion. August 1, 2015 at 6:00pm Reply

  • Laura Dembowski: I love cotton candy, but I can’t remember the last time I had any. These cupcakes look so cute! I love when recipes I’ve wanted to make forever turn out just right. July 18, 2015 at 6:37am Reply

  • June @ How to Philosophize with Cake: What adorable cupcakes! I love the tiny little cotton candy skewers, just perfect for decorating the cakes :) July 18, 2015 at 4:47am Reply

  • Isabella: Hi there. I bought Dunkin Hines Frosting Creation Favor Mix Cotton Candy and it doesn’t taste anything like cotton candy. Can you please tell us which brand you used to make your cotton candy frosting. Thank you. July 17, 2015 at 9:55pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I used the Lorann cotton candy flavor and I thought it was good but not an exact cotton candy flavor so I may try a different brand next time. July 18, 2015 at 10:43pm Reply

  • Medeja: Cuteness.. :) these cupcakes look like cotton candy indeed :D July 17, 2015 at 2:36am Reply

  • Shari Kelley: These are so pretty, Jaclyn! I’m always excited to pull up your posts and look at the pictures. This one is such a cute idea! I just love them. July 16, 2015 at 4:55pm Reply

  • Marsha @ Marsha’s Baking Addiction: These are so adorable! Definitely suitable for parties :) July 16, 2015 at 3:14pm Reply

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