One of the best things about the annual county fair is wandering around the midway while eating cotton candy. There's nothing else like that sugar rush. Cotton candy is one of those carnival treats that is hard to replicate at home without a cotton candy machine. But if you love cotton candy, there is a way to experience the spun sugar taste at home with cotton candy ice cream.
We've collected five recipes to make your own cotton candy ice cream at home, along with five of our favorite store-bought brands in case you don't want to wait. And just for fun, once you have your frozen treat, we've included one of our favorite ways to use it; it's a little over-the-top, but like all great carnival food, that's what we like about it in the first place.
Five Cotton Candy Ice Creams to Make at Home
Homemade ice cream really isn't hard to make. For some of these recipes you need an ice cream maker, but we've also included no-churn recipes. You can find cotton candy flavoring online and the rest of the ingredients at your favorite grocery store. Add in blue or pink food coloring (your favorite type and brand is fine) and bring the carnival to your home.
1. No Churn Cotton Candy Ice Cream
This dreamy pink and blue no-churn ice cream looks exactly like cotton candy and tastes just as sweet. It's also easy to make, with heavy whipping cream and condensed milk as the base and a cotton candy frosting mix for the flavoring (easier to find than the flavoring syrup) which means you can have this treat any time you like. Get the recipe here.
2. Cotton Candy Ice Cream
This easy ice cream recipe uses cotton candy syrup to get the authentic flavor of the fluffy spun treat. You can customize colors, too; the cotton candy syrup does have some color to it, but you can use food coloring to make the ice cream your preferred pastel. Get the recipe here.
3. Blue Cotton Candy Ice Cream With Caramel Corn
This frozen treat is perfect if you're throwing a circus-themed birthday party. You get the salty and sweet combo of the cotton candy, ice cream and caramel corn, all without ever needing to leave your house. Get the recipe here.
4. Dairy Free Cotton Candy Ice Cream
Dairy allergies in your house? No problem with this dairy-free recipe that uses coconut cream and coconut milk instead of heavy cream or whole milk. It's creamy and dreamy and oh so good. Get the recipe here.
5. Cotton Candy Frozen Yogurt
Decadence doesn't have to be bad for you. This frozen yogurt recipe is just as tasty and sweet, with all the cotton candy fun you can handle, but you don't have to feel guilty for indulging. Get the recipe here.
Five Brands You Can Buy
If you'd rather buy your frozen dessert instead of make it, we've got you covered. Here are five of our favorite brands you can buy at the store.
1. Baskin Robbins
The home of 32 flavors of course has even more flavors you can take home, including this pink and blue delight. It's a carnival treat in a pint serving size. Buy it here.
2. Great Value Cotton Candy Craze
Walmart's Great Value brand has a cotton candy flavor with naturally colored confetti sprinkles mixed throughout the frozen treat. Buy it here.
3. Blue Bell
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Graeter’s Cotton Candy flavored French Pot ice cream. Very delicately flavored cotton candy ice cream with pink sugar crunchies. This one is surely made for the adult palate IMO because it’s not overly sweet and not overloaded with a cotton candy taste. The crunchies really didn’t add much except some color. It’s an enjoyable pint if you want to relive your childhood without eating pure sugar. 👍🏻🎪🍦 #Graeter’s #graetersicecream #graetersfrenchpoticecream #graeterscottoncandy #cottoncandy #cottoncandyicecream #prettyblueicecream #glutenfree #oreo #handcrafted #fionathehippo
Ohio-based Graeter's makes excellent premium ice cream, which you can find in grocery stores around the country. But you can also buy it online directly and create your own 6-pack. We're not saying you should get six pints of cotton candy ice cream, but we're not not saying that either. Buy it here.
5. Friendly's Rockin' Poppin' Cotton Candy
This limited-edition flavor isn't just cotton candy ice cream. It's cotton candy ice cream with pop rocks swirled in it. It's a whole carnival in your mouth. Buy it here.
The Cotton Candy Burrito
You can use ice cream for all sorts of fun treats, including as part of cakes or milkshakes. In fact, use any recipe here as part of an outstanding cake for any kind of party. But we couldn't resist bringing you this idea for the cotton candy burrito, which might be one of our favorite treat mashups of all time.
Over at Hello Giggles, they walk you through how to build your cotton candy burrito. All you need is your cotton candy ice cream (they use vanilla ice cream and rainbow sherbet, but if you're going to go for it, go all the way, right?), sprinkles, fruity cereal for crunch, and cotton candy.
Make a flat rectangle of the cotton candy; this works as your burrito wrapper. Then place a row of cereal and sprinkles down the center of the rectangle. Put your ice cream on the wrapper, add more cereal and sprinkles, then carefully roll up, tucking the ends in just like you would with a burrito. Cut in half and serve right away so the cotton candy doesn't melt!
You can customize this treat pretty much any way you like. Swap out the cereal for other crunchy candies or cookies, add a little bit of fresh fruit, or try different ice cream flavors. It's a great party activity, too; get the kids to make their own, just make sure everyone has plenty of help on hand to wrap them up and cut them in half.