2 Ways To Make Easy Cotton Candy At Home With One Ingredient

Cotton candy is one of those nostalgic foods that are as fun to see being made as they are to eat. Watching a machine spin sugary syrup until it transforms into colorful clouds that wind around a serving stick is a hypnotizing culinary magic. Whether you have a cotton candy machine or not, you can make cotton candy at home with one ingredient. Viral videos on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube demonstrate how easy it is to make cotton candy out of Jolly Ranchers.

There are two ways to make Jolly Rancher cotton candy. The first is with a cotton candy machine, an appliance that heats sugar from solid to liquid, then spins the liquid sugar forcefully until it transforms into a newly solid cloud-like form. You can place whole or crushed Jolly Ranchers into the heating cylinder, turn the machine on and watch the magic happen.

In the absence of a machine, you can create your own magic with the help of a microwave, a straw, and the blowing force of your breath. To execute this method, melt a few Jolly Rancher candies in the microwave. Then, dip a plastic straw into the melted sugary candies, remove it, and blow through the other end. Your breath will create the force necessary to turn the liquid candy into cotton candy ribbons that come shooting out of the straw like silly string. Use the same straw or a popsicle stick to roll the scattered ribbons into a classic cotton candy wad.

Homemade cotton candy taste and texture differences

The original cotton candy recipe uses only air and colored sugar, with some recipes adding water, corn syrup, and flavorings. The ingredients are melted and spun into a visually stunning candy whose popularity hinges more on its fluffy texture and presentation than on its one-dimensional flavor. But Jolly Ranchers enhance the flavor, adding a fruity, tangy depth and another nostalgic candy memory to the mix. The texture is light and airy, easily sticking to the cotton candy wand or straw. However, as the wad grows larger, you might notice a sharper, crunchier appearance than the original recipe.

This translates into a slightly different texture than you may be used to as well. One YouTube videographer reveals that a bite Jolly Rancher cotton candy reconstitutes into its original hard candy form after a few seconds in your mouth. A common issue with the microwave and straw cotton candy method is the speed at which melted Jolly Ranchers start to harden, giving credence to the YouTuber's experience. That said, other content creators take smaller bites and assert that it has the same melt-in-your mouth texture as the original recipe. It's certainly worth a try, especially if you like food-science experiments. You can add it to a list of simple yet fun hard candy projects like homemade lemon rock candy or TikTok's honeycomb-like magic candy recipe.