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Dessert Recipe: Cotton Candy Cupcakes

MN State Fair Inspired Cotton Candy Cupcakes from Somewhere Splendid

Today, I’m starting out with a cupcake inspired by a summer fair staple: cotton candy. Using a white cake recipe base I’ve used before on my Ombre Effect cupcakes, it’s sure to give you that pink vanilla sugar rush you so look forward to when ripping open a bag of fluffy cotton candy! To those of you who, like my creative partner Shauna Younge, are concerned this might be a little too much of a good thing, worry not! You won’t be biting into cotton candy overload, but rather a perfect balance of yumminess. The cotton candy sugar gives the cake a very rich vanilla taste, which compliments and enhances the cotton candy frosting.

MN State Fair Inspired Cotton Candy Cupcakes from Somewhere Splendid



  • 2¾ cups cake flour
  • 1⅔ cups pink vanilla cotton candy sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) softened unsalted butter, cut into ½ sticks
  • 4 large egg whites, plus 1 whole egg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla


  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cotton candy flavoring
  • food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream


Add the dry ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine on a slow speed until well blended.

Add the softened butter, one half stick at a time, allowing the butter to combine before adding the next. With the mixer set at slow, add one egg white at a time, followed by the whole egg, scraping down the sides and ensuring each egg white is completely incorporated before the next addition.

In a small separate bowl, whisk to combine the milk and vanilla extract. Add the milk and vanilla mixture to bowl of the mixer in small portions, allowing the mixer to combine the liquid completely before continuing. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, and continue to beat for an additional minute or two until the batter is fluffy.

Fill your cupcake liners until they are ⅔ full. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Bake for 16 – 18 minutes, or until a toothpick just comes out clean, so as not to overbake. Set aside to cool.

In a standing mixer, whisk together the sugar and softened butter on low speed. Once it becomes well blended, increase the speed to medium until the mixture becomes fluffy. Add vanilla, cotton candy flavoring, food coloring, and cream, and beat on medium until well incorporated – about 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with pre-made cotton candy if so desired.

Yields approximately 24 cupcakes.

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  1. This is adorable! I love the colors and the puff of cotton candy! :)

    Marie     Monday, August 27, 2012
  2. fun Maddie!! wow. great props and background too. :)

    amy c     Tuesday, August 28, 2012
  3. I love the background and the adorable cotton candy puffs!

    jackiefo     Tuesday, August 28, 2012
  4. look delicious!

    inessa     Monday, September 10, 2012
  5. where do you find cotton candy flavoring and sugar?

    Beverly     Tuesday, October 30, 2012
  6. I can’t find the the cotton candy sugar. Where do you look?

    Carol     Saturday, November 17, 2012
  7. You can find 3 flavors of cotton candy floss (sugar) at

    Jill Jeanpierre     Monday, December 10, 2012
  8. Cotton candy cup cakes

    Tina     Tuesday, March 12, 2013
  9. They look so good. Going to try them as soon as I have all the ingredients.

    Sue Davis     Tuesday, March 12, 2013
  10. Cotton candy cupcakes

    Tina     Wednesday, March 13, 2013
  11. Cupcakes

    Tina Leger     Thursday, March 14, 2013
  12. G’day! HOW cute do your cupcakes look, true!
    Would love to know where you get candy cotton flavoring and can it be sent to Australia too? Thank you! Cheers! Joanne @mickeydownunder

    Joanne T Ferguson     Thursday, August 29, 2013
  13. Joanne, I actually picked some up from my local cake and candy supply store, but perhaps check out Amazon for an online option?

    Maddy     Sunday, September 1, 2013
  14. You have a fantastic site, your recipes are stunningly beautiful.

    Little Box Brownie     Wednesday, October 30, 2013
  15. Which brand of cotton candy sugar did you use?

    Andrea     Wednesday, December 4, 2013