What Is Candy Floss Made Of?

Are you interested in eating some Candy Floss? Do you want to check the ingredients first before you do so? I don’t blame you. Or maybe you’re just intrigued at what ingredients enable this light, fluffy sweet treat? Either way, you’ve come to the right place. Here is what you will want to know.

So, what is Candy Floss made of? Candy Floss is typically made of just two ingredients; sugar and food coloring (although pre-colored sugar (flossing sugar) is often used). Some homemade recipes (without the use of a machine) also call for water, corn-syrup and salt.

The majority of the time, Candy Floss is just the result of using flavored sugar in a particular way.

And we will get into that shortly.

However, some additional ingredients are sometimes required to replicate the process a machine can provide.

So let us now turn to each one so you can get a closer understanding of exactly what goes into this fluffy confectionary.

How Is Candy Floss Made?

Candy Floss can be made by a specialist candy floss machine or at home via a saucepan. Either way, the process require the heating and liquifying of sugar, and a spinning motion to enable it to rapidly cool and resolidify into light strands.

Let us now look at each process more closely.

Via A Machine

Traditional cotton candy machines (like this one you can see on Amazon) include a spinning head in the center of large bowl in which sugar (and coloring) or colored sugar is poured.

From there, heaters melts the sugar, which then solidifies when it is exposed to the air. It is caught in the large bowl that surrounds the spinning head.

Over time, the candy floss builds up in the bowl, until enough is there and ready for the operator to place a stick (or cone) inside and collect enough for each serving portion (or it is then placed in bags).

As the bowl empties of sugar, the operator then needs to add more sugar to create more candy floss.

Via A Saucepan

Candy floss made at home is typically done so in a saucepan with a wire whisk and a candy thermometer.

The process begins by preparing a working surface with plastic wrap or tarp.

Next, a wire cooling rack is sprayed with nonstick spray.

Next, the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt is added to a saucepan, and is heated over a medium heat and stirred until the sugar melts.

The sugar should reach 320 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius), and the use of a thermometer can be used to check.

Once the sugared liquid reaches the necessary temperature, the molten sugar is then poured into a heat resistant bowl.

It is then whisked quickly, and then drizzled over the rack – letting small amount of liquid fall through.

This process is repeated until several strands are created, and a nest begins to form.

The wisps are then collected and placed onto sticks or cones.

Why Does Candy Floss Melt In Your Mouth?

Candy Floss does not melt. Instead, it actually dissolves in your mouth as the sugar comes into contact with humidity, and the saliva that is present.

This is why you’ll notice candy floss goes hard when it dissolves. It’s essentially losing all the ‘spun air’ and is recrystallizing into its former state.

As such, Candy Floss would also ‘melt’/dissolve outside too; if it was exposed to humid temperatures and began to take on moisture.


So there you have it.

Candy floss is made of colored sugar.

Most of the time, at least.

Like at the funfair or by any professional vendor.

But if you do decide to make it at home, and don’t have all the necessary equipment, then you’ll need a few extra ingredients too.


Is candy floss just sugar?

Candy Floss can be just made of sugar (though coloured). However, this is usually if it is being made in a Candy Floss Machine. Home recipes without the use of a machine sometimes call for water, corn-syrup and salt.

What is the difference between cotton candy and candy floss?

The difference between cotton candy and candy floss is one of linguistics. Cotton candy is used in American English, whereas candy floss is used in British English. The terms refer to the same thing.

Why is cotton candy only pink or blue?

Cotton candy is mostly sold in pink or blue due to customer popularity, tradition and ease of creation. Vendors tend to stick with not only what they know will sell, but that is most cost-effective and easy to make. That being said, cotton candy can be made in many other colors, including green, brown, purple or red.

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