How To Make Black Cotton Candy

Do you have a sudden desire to make some black cotton candy? Perhaps its Halloween or some other event that your having where the iconic pink or blue is not really appropriate. Well, either way, this is what you are going to need to do.

So, how do you make cotton candy black? To make black cotton candy, you are going to need to add black food coloring or dye to your sugar prior to spinning. Or, you can seek out a black/dark flossing sugar product.

Ultimately, what is the best approach depends on the time you have available, what you have access to (or can easily purchase), the apparatus on hand, and the exact shade of black you are looking for.

Below I walk you through two different methods depending on whether you have a machine, or not.

How Do You Make Black Cotton Candy With Food Coloring?

You make black cotton candy by using black flossing sugar – that has either been previously prepared (and previously dyed) or made yourself.

For the latter, you either have two options.

You can use regular white sugar and dye that yourself, or you can get a dark flossing sugar and manipulate that further with a black food coloring.

If you are looking for black food coloring specifically, here is the one I recommend from Amazon.

From there, the process will differ depending on if you have a machine or not.

With A Cotton Candy Machine

Step One: Either purchase your dark (black cotton candy flossing sugar) or get some white granulated and black food coloring. For the latter, simply prepare a bowl of white sugar and mix in the coloring.

Step Two: Warm up your machine as per the machines instructions (the time this may take does differ by brand, but it is typically around 20 minutes). You need to ensure your cotton candy machine is sufficiently warm or your cotton candy will not form properly.

Step Three: Add 1 scoop of your flossing sugar/colored granulated sugar via the scoop that comes with your machine to the moving head. Do not add any more as this could damage your machine.

Step Four: Wait for the machine to spin the cotton candy. Then, move a cone/stick around the head of the machine to collect your black cotton candy. Keep going until you have a nice sized portion.

Without A Cotton Candy Machine

Step one: Prepare a workstation by clearing a table or counter. Lay down some plastic wrap and then place some parchment paper on top.

Step two: Combine your ingredients (sugar, black food coloring and any additional ingredients such as salt, if using) and place in a large saucepan.

Step Three: Heat up to 320 degrees F (stirring constantly) via medium-high heat and keep an eye on the temperature via a thermometer you can place into the pan. Cook until the sugar has melted.

Step Four: Transfer the melted mixture to a large, safe heat, cool bowl.

Step Five: Dip the tines of your whisk into the bowl and spin the black cotton candy. Drizzle the thinning sugar strands back and forth over the parchment paper (on the table/counter top) until you have a larger nest of cotton candy strands.

Step Six: Wait 10 minutes for the sugar to thicken. Eat and enjoy or spin onto cones/ sticks or place in bags!

What Flavor Is Black Cotton Candy?

Black cotton candy can be a variety of flavors depending on the food coloring and flavoring used. However, it is typically a licorice flavor. Although it can also be raspberry too.

In fact, black cotton candy can be made to taste any flavor.

With a little bit of planning and with the right ingredients.

Ultimately it depends if you are making it yourself or buying it pre-made (or with a premixed flossing sugar).

So, always ask a vendor/check flossing sugar/food flavouring packaging closely to ensure you know exactly what you are getting!


As you can see, making black cotton candy is relatively simple.

You just need to plan ahead a little and ensure you purchase the right flavouring/colouring or flossing sugar.

And from there, it’s over to you.

Whether that be with a machine or your manual efforts!

McCormick Black Food Color, 1 fl oz
  • Black food coloring that's perfect for customizing frosting, baked goods and crafts
  • Ideal for Halloween treats or for cupcakes in team colors for sports celebrations
  • Safe for mixing with any food
  • Creates black, silver or gray frosting
  • 1/4 tsp. Food Color = 20 to 25 drops

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