The Best Cotton Candy Cupcakes

As a tween and teen, I’d beg my grandma to allow me and my best friend, Katrina, to walk up to the local yogurt shop with $5 so we could each get a sky-high snowcone with bubblegum and cotton candy syrup drenching every last ice crystal. We would slurp up the extra syrup until our teeth and tongues were blue and walk home giggling at our gross teeth.
And anytime I went to the California State Fair, I’d always have to get a gigantic bag of cotton candy. Who doesn’t love the stuff? It’s pure sugar! Perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth and a penchant for hand-spun desserts. Ingredients FOR THE CAKE:
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp cotton candy flavoring
  • Pink and blue food coloring
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 - 1 & ½ tsp cotton candy flavoring
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream or milk
  • 3-4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Blue and pink sanding sugar
  • Blue and pink cotton candy
  • Popsicle sticks
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with 18 paper liners; set aside. Meanwhile, prepare your cake batter: combine the cake mix, egg whites, oil, water, and cotton candy flavoring with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide the batter evenly among two bowls and tint each bowl with your desired shade of blue and pink (I only did one drop of coloring per bowl for a more pastel look).
  2. Evenly distribute the colors among each muffin cup, filling about ¾ full. Don't swirl the batters, just layer them. Swirling the batters together may muddy the colors.
  3. Bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. For the frosting, cream the butter, cotton candy flavoring and vanilla extract together in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add in the confectioners' sugar, about one cup at a time, alternating with little streams of the heavy cream until the frosting is light and fluffy. Divide the frosting evenly among two bowls and tint each bowl with blue and pink until your desired shade has been achieved. (Again, I did one drop of each color).
  5. Using a pastry bag fixed with your desired tip, spoon some of the blue frosting down one side of the pastry bag. Spoon some of the pink frosting down the other side of the bag. It's okay if the frosting colors mix toward the tip portion of the bag; it'll just turn purple.
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