Cotton Candy Cupcakes Recipe

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These cotton candy cupcakes turn your favorite childhood candy treat into a delicious and beautiful dessert. With their moist, delicious cake and sweet cotton candy frosting, these have all the flavor of real cotton candy in a prettier package!

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Cotton Candy Cupcakes on cake stand

If you’ve ever gone to an amusement park and had a giant pastel-colored bag of fluffy cotton candy, you’re going to love these cotton candy cupcakes! With cotton candy flavoring and beautiful pastel swirled frosting, it’s a fun twist on everyone’s favorite sugary treat!

Similar to our unicorn cupcakes, they’re as pretty as they are delicious! These light and fluffy cupcakes will be so much fun to serve at your next party or event. Perfect for kids’ birthday parties, baby showers, or brunches, they’ll be your new go-to dessert next time you need a pretty and elegant sugary treat!

Cotton candy cupcake with cotton candy on stick

Why We Love This Recipe

It’s Great for Kids – Children are the ultimate cotton candy lovers. The pretty swirled colors and tasty flavor of these cupcakes will make them a huge hit at any kind of kids’ party or event.

It Looks as Good as it Tastes – This is a delicious dessert that can practically double as party decor. They make a beautiful centerpiece for your dessert table and you can even change up the colors to fit any party theme!

It Makes a Great Gift – Any dessert this pretty is a perfect gift for a favorite teacher, new neighbor, or a friend. Their impressive appearance makes it look like you spent lots of time and effort making them but no one needs to know how easy they really were!

Ingredients

Ingredients for cotton candy cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

  • White cake mix
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sour cream
  • Egg whites
  • White cheesecake pudding mix
  • White edible glitter (Amazon)

For the frosting:

  • Salted butter, softened
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sour cream
  • Powdered sugar
  • Heavy cream
  • LorAnn cotton candy flavor (Amazon)
  • Blue and pink gel food coloring (Amazon)
  • Cotton candy (optional)

How to Make Cotton Candy Cupcakes

For the cupcakes

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Step 2: Combine cake and pudding mixes in a large bowl.

Ingredients for cupcakes

Step 3: Using a hand mixer or stand mixer on medium speed, mix the water, egg whites, oil, and sour cream into the dry ingredients. Continue to mix until ingredients are well incorporated.

Step 4: Divide batter evenly between 2 mixing bowls.

Cupcake batter divided into two bowls

Step 5: Put pink food coloring in one bowl and the blue in the other. Alternate adding the colored batter into the muffin cups until each is about 2/3 full.

Step 6: Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Place on a wire rack and allow to cool completely to room temperature before adding the frosting.

Cupcake batter in muffin tin

For the frosting

Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, use a hand or stand mixer to cream butter for 2 minutes. Butter should be light and fluffy.

Butter cubes in mixing bowl

Step 2: Mix in the vanilla extract and cotton candy flavoring.

Creamed butter with vanilla extract

Step 3: Slowly mix in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, alternating with a tablespoon of heavy cream and a teaspoon of the sour cream. Continue to mix until the frosting is creamy and forms stiff peaks.

Creamed butter with other ingredients

Step 4: Divide the frosting evenly into 3 small bowls. Add the blue food coloring to one bowl and the pink to another, 1 drop at a time. Mix until the desired color is achieved. Leave the frosting in third bowl white.

Buttercream icing divided into two bowls

Step 5: Add each frosting color to its own small piping bag. Cut the tips off the smaller bags and then insert them into a large piping bag with frosting tip.

Icing in piping bags

Step 6: Before frosting the cupcakes, squeeze some frosting onto a plate until you see all three colors come out. Now you’re ready to frost the cupcakes.

Pink and blue cupcakes with icing

Step 7: Sprinkle edible glitter over the top of the cupcakes. Add some cotton candy on a lollipop stick or colorful paper straw to make it extra fun. Enjoy!

Cupcakes with sanding sugar

Tips & Tricks

  • If the frosting seems thin and is not forming stiff peaks, you can add a bit more powdered sugar until it stiffens up.
  • Feel free to change the color combination to create a slightly different look for these cupcakes. You could use yellow, green, purple, or just about any color. The trick is to use just enough coloring to get a pastel shade for the perfect cotton candy look.
  • Use caution when adding the cotton candy extract. It’s very strong, so a little goes a long way. Start with just one or two drops and then gradually add more if needed.
Cotton candy cupcake on wooden table
How Do I Store Cotton Candy Cupcakes?

You can store these in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months in a freezer bag. If freezing, start by placing them in a deep container so the frosting doesn’t get smashed. Once the cupcakes are frozen, you can transfer them to the freezer bag.

Cotton candy cupcake on plate

More Fun Cupcake Recipes

Cotton Candy Cupcakes Recipe square
5 from 1 vote

Cotton Candy Cupcake Recipe


Course Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
These Cotton Candy Cupcakes, with their moist, delicious cake and sweet cotton candy frosting, have all the awesome flavor of real cotton candy in a fun cupcake form.

Equipment

Ingredients
 

For The Cupcakes

  • 1 box white cake mix 15.25 ounce size
  • 1 box white cheesecake pudding 3.3 ounce size
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

For The Frosting

Instructions

For the cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Combine cake and pudding mixes in a large bowl.
    1 box white cake mix, 1 box white cheesecake pudding
  • Using a hand mixer or stand mixer on medium speed, mix the water, egg whites, oil, and sour cream into the dry ingredients until well incorporated.
    1 1/4 cups water, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 4 egg whites, 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Divide batter evenly between 2 mixing bowls.
  • Put pink food coloring in one bowl and the blue in the other. Alternate adding the colored batter into the muffin cups until each is about 2/3 full.
    pink gel food coloring, blue gel food coloring
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Place on a wire rack and allow to cool completely to room temperature before adding the frosting.

For the frosting

  • In a large mixing bowl, using a hand or stand mixer, cream butter for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
    3/4 cup salted butter
  • Mix in the vanilla extract and cotton candy flavoring.
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract, LorAnn Cotton Candy Flavoring
  • Slowly mix in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, alternating with a tablespoon of the half and half and a teaspoon of the sour cream. Continue to mix until the frosting is creamy and forms stiff peaks.
    3-4 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons heavy cream, 1/2 tablespoon sour cream
  • Divide the frosting evenly into 3 small bowls. Add the blue food coloring to one bowl and the pink to another, 1 drop at a time, mixing until the desired color is achieved. Leave the third bowl without color.
    pink gel food coloring, blue gel food coloring
  • Add each frosting color to its own small piping bag. Cut the tips off the smaller bags and then insert them into a large piping bag with frosting tip.
  • Before frosting the cupcakes, squeeze some frosting onto a plate until you see all three colors come out. Now you’re ready to frost the cupcakes.
  • Garnish with edible glitter and cotton candy if desired. Enjoy!
    white edible glitter, cotton candy for garnish

Notes

  • Go easy on the cotton candy flavoring, adding just a little at a time. It’s very strong so start with just one or two drops and then gradually add more as needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 262mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 0.4mg
The nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used.

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