Let's Bake

Cotton Candy Cupcakes

Yield 12 cupcakes 1x
Prep: 40 minutesCook: 18 minutesTotal: 58 minutes

Buttery vanilla cupcakes topped with creamy cotton candy buttercream.


Vanilla cupcakes

  • 190 grams (1 and 1/3 cup) plain flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 150 grams (3/4 cupcaster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) milk, room temperature

Cotton candy frosting

  • 115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 500 grams (4 cups) icing or powdered sugar
  • 23 tablespoons milk
  • A few drops of cotton candy flavouring
  • A few drops of food gel – I used teal, purple and violet


  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake liners.
  2. Sift flour, baking power and salt in a bowl and whisk together. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric beater for about 3-4 minutes or until pale and creamy.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. In a separate jug, add vanilla extract to milk.
  4. Add approximately one third of your flour mixture and half of your milk mixture. Gently fold with a spatula, then add another third of flour and the rest of your milk .Finally, add final flour mixture. Your cupcake batter should be nice and creamy. Try not to over mix.
  5. Fill your prepared cupcake cases. Pop into the oven for approximately 16-18 minutes or until cakes are golden on top and spring back when lightly touched. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the icing, cream the butter with an electric mixer until creamy and pale. Sift in half the icing sugar and one tablespoon of milk.
  7. Beat until combined and then add remaining icing sugar and milk. If you feel the mixture is too dry, add another tablespoon of milk. Just be careful because you want the icing to be thick enough to hold its shape when piped. Add a few drops of cotton candy flavouring – to taste.
  8. Dish out the frosting into three separate bowls. Add a few drops of food colouring to each bowl and stir with a spoon until you achieve your desired colours.
  9. Grab your piping bag and insert a large star tip into the end. Very gently add spoonfuls of one icing and try keep it to one side of the piping bag. Repeat with remaining colours. Essentially you’re trying to make the colours sit vertically in the piping bag. You don’t have to be exact, just do the best you can.
  10. Gently press down to remove any air bubbles and force the icing down to the tip. Twist the top of the bag and pipe icing onto the cupcakes. The first one probably won’t have all three colours so use that one as a test run.


  • If you are visual person, check out this video by Cupcake Jemma which shows how to pipe Rainbow Buttercream. For tips on piping check out my post on how to decorate cupcakes.
  • I purchased the cotton candy flavouring from a specialty cake store.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 cupcake Calories: 423
Nutrition information is a guide only.
Author: Jessica HolmesCategory: CakeCuisine: American
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