Cotton candy is a favorite carnival treat, for sure, but not so common at home since it’s not exactly practical to make … Or so we thought. Using this method, you can make cotton candy without a machine, or any type of expensive equipment. All you need are a few common pantry items, a V-rack, and some newspaper to whip up a batch of the sugary delight in minutes.

Things You'll Need

Mix water, light corn syrup, and sugar in a saucepan. Place the food thermometer in the saucepan, and heat the liquid on medium heat until it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pan from heat and pour the sugar solution into a heatproof bowl. Add 3 to 5 drops food coloring of your choice, and stir thoroughly with a ball whisk.

Lay several sheets of newspaper over a flat surface, such as a tabletop or counter, and set the V-rack on top. The newspaper protects your work surface from the sugar solution.

Submerge the end of the whisk in the sugar mixture and drizzle the sugar mixture across the V-rack. Repeat several times to create several strands of cotton candy.

Allow 1 to 2 minutes for the cotton candy to dry, and then collect the strands from the V-rack using a fork.

Roll the cotton candy strands continually to create a large ball on the end of a fork. Place in a paper cone, or eat directly from the fork, as desired.


  • If a ball whisk isn’t available, cut the ends of a normal whisk with wire cutters for a makeshift version.
  • V-racks are used to hold meat over roasting pans and can be purchased most anywhere kitchenware is sold.
  • Store the cotton candy in plastic wrap in a cool, dry place. Discard leftovers after three days.

References and Resources

Adjustable V-Rack from Amazon