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Better Than Cotton Candy: Easy, Homemade Maple Spun Sugar

Better Than Cotton Candy: Easy, Homemade Maple Spun Sugar

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Cookbook author Shauna Sever shares her recipe for delicious maple spun sugar

Spun sugar is a fun treat and an impressive garnish for plated desserts.

Whether you’re looking for a fun treat for your children (or yourself!) or a wow-worthy garnish for a plated dessert when guests come over, spun sugar fits the bill — but most spun sugar recipes make the process seem overwhelming. Shauna Sever, author of Real Sweet: More than 80 Crave-Worthy Treats Made with Natural Sugars shares her recipe for a maple-flavored version that is all-natural, super delicious, and totally do-able.

Prep Everything
One of the most important things about working with cooked sugar is accuracy in time and temperature. That means you need to have everything ready to go before you start cooking. Clear a large work surface and use a heavy object to weigh down a few long wooden skewers (that have been coated with non-stick cooking spray) so that they hang over the side of the counter (and over the floor). Cover the area on the floor below them with newspaper. Put a large bowl of ice water near your work surface and have 2 clean forks ready to use.

Cook the Sugar
Working with hot sugar can be dangerous, so be sure that you follow the instructions exactly and use extreme caution when handling your cooked sugar. To make the maple sugar syrup, put 1 ¼ cup each of turbinado sugar and maple sugar into a cooking pot. Add ½ cup of maple syrup, ½ cup of water, and 1/8 of a teaspoon of fine sea salt. Cook the syrup over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. When the mixture starts to boil, stop stirring, clip a candy thermometer to the pot, and cook the syrup to 310 degrees F. Then, remove the pot from the heat and stir in ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Spin the Sugar
When the sugar has cooled to a honey-like consistency, dip the forks in and then swing them back and forth (carefully!) over the wooden dowels. After doing this a few times you’ll start to accumulate threads of sugar, much like cotton candy.

Shape the Sugar
Dust your hands with cornstarch and then gently roll the threads of warm sugar around a stick to form a cotton-candy-like cluster. Serve the spun sugar soon after it’s made.

Click here for Shauna's Maple Spun Sugar recipe.

For more about Shauna, visit her website. Or, to buy a copy of her latest book, click here.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.

A woman crafts magical ⟊kes' out of cotton candy, here's how she does it

A year ago, Sherri Kelly bought a cotton candy machine so she could make some spun sugar for local events. Today, she runs an entire dessert business out of her home.

She said she never expected her hobby to become a full-fledged business, but it really kicked off when she decided to create layered, intricately designed "cakes" that are made of 100% handspun sugar.

"I did one 'cake' and then someone else saw it and they came to me . and then it just snowballed," she told Insider. "I really went into it thinking, 'OK, this is going to be a cute part-time business.' It's not like that. It's really busy."

Tart and creamy lemon creams are so easy to make and look super impressive topped with a candied citrus peel. Coat them in chocolate or serve rolled in powdered sugar.

Lime creams are zesty and refreshing. They are coated in white chocolate but they can also be served as is. The bright green color makes them a beautiful option for parties and snack tables.

How Long Does Cotton Candy Last in a Bag?

It is always a disappointment to buy a bag of cotton candy, only to open it up and find a rock hard sugar ball. Yes, the fluffy clouds of deliciousness have a shelf life, and when it is reached, there isn’t much fluff left.

How long does cotton candy last in a bag? Unopened in a standard plastic bag, cotton candy will last three days to three weeks. In a plastic container with a tight sealed lid, cotton candy will last five to ten weeks. Left out in open air, cotton candy will last about ten to twenty minutes. The thickness and seal of the packaging, humidity, room temperature and vibration all will greatly affect how long cotton candy will last.

Cotton candy does not technically expire for years as the primary ingredient is sugar. Most expiration dates you see reflect a date when deflation can happen, not necessarily when the cotton candy has actually gone bad. To understand the shelf life of cotton candy can be crucial for events as well as placement on retail shelves.

Serving Options: Quite often customers want to use cotton candy as a centerpiece for their table settings. I do not recommend leaving the cotton candy out of the container and fully exposed longer than twenty minutes. The cotton candy will start to melt and will not look very appetizing. Cotton candy is not ideal as a centerpiece or in any application where it will be fully exposed to open air for an extended period of time. A great alternative would be repackaging larger bags of cotton candy to small jars or small bags for guests to enjoy a single serving size treat.

If you are putting cotton candy on a cake, cupcakes or cookies, top your dessert just before serving. If using cotton candy for drinks, the cotton candy will hold up if a small piece is placed in each empty glass, as long as drinks will be served within twenty minutes.

Standard Plastic Bag:

Shelf Life: If your cotton candy is prepackaged in a standard plastic bag from a cotton candy manufacturer, chances are they used a thick bag with an air tight seal that will keep your cotton candy fluffy for about two to three weeks unopened. Once opened, with no option to reseal the bag, you have a few hours before the cotton candy will begin to shrink.

DIY Shelf Life: If you are planning to make cotton candy party favors in plastic bags, I suggest at least a 3mil thickness for the bag. I would like to mention cellophane is not a great option, the cotton candy sticks to it and it will take you triple the time to stuff your bags and a whole lot more mess. Make sure you have a great seal on your bag! A great heat sealer, that I have been using for years is available on Amazon here. My favorite size bag for party favors is 8” x 6”, although they come in various sizes making it perfect for various event needs or large scale manufacturing. A small hole in the seal will let air in resulting in a hard ball of sugar within hours. For weddings, birthdays, or other events, I recommend making your party favors no more than 36 hours in advance.

Humidity/Temperature: I recommend storing your cotton candy at room temperature to get the longest life possible. A lot of customers ask me if the freezer or refrigerator is a good place for storage. My answer is always no. Unless your house temperature is over 80-85 degrees, stick with your counter top. You will run the risk of too much humidity in the fridge or freezer if the cotton candy isn’t sealed really well. Humidity is cotton candy’s worst enemy, the thinner the bag or poor seal, the easier it will be for moisture to get in and shrink your cotton candy.

Vibration: Try to avoid shaking your bags of cotton candy as vibration will shrink cotton candy. If the kids get a hold of the bags and throw them around, expect some shrinkage.

Shelf life: Prepackaged cotton candy in a mylar bag can last a few years unopened. The thick protection and great seal keep the cotton candy nice a fluffy. Once opened, I recommend eating your cotton candy within a few hours.

DIY Shelf Life: Mylar bags are extremely easy to use if you would like to package your own cotton candy and the shelf life is so long it is safe to manufacture a large amount all at once. They are a great economical option for someone starting a cotton candy business that isn’t ready to invest in containers. I know of many cotton candy companies that start out with mylar bags and never switch to anything else because they love them so much! I recommend a mylar bag like this. I also recommend the same heat sealer as mentioned above. Mylar bags are honestly a fantastic option with an extended shelf life you cannot get from any of the other cotton candy storage options.

Humidity/Temperature: Always store the bags in a space at room temperature. Do not leave the bags in direct sunlight as it will shrink the cotton candy. Mylar bags protect very well from humidity and it shouldn’t be an issue for unopened mylar bags.

Vibrations: Always try to avoid excessive vibration as it will cause shrinkage. Since it is a bag, the cotton candy can still get squished as well, so do not over pack boxes, etc.

Plastic Container:

Shelf Life: If you have bought cotton candy prepackaged in a thick, deli-like plastic container your cotton candy will last unopened about five to ten weeks. Once opened, you can replace the lid to protect the cotton candy, but I still recommend eating opened containers within a few days. Again, you will want to avoid major vibration with the cotton candy containers to avoid shrinking.

DIY Shelf Life: If you plan to package your own cotton candy into containers for high volume manufacturing or for smaller events, we recommend a container a nice thick container with a liquid tight seal. I recommend this container for party favors, and Cube Plastics Deli Cube containers with a recessed lid for large scale manufacturing.

Humidity/Temperature: As always, store the cotton candy at room temperature. Containers are thicker and will prevent cotton candy from shrinking in hotter temperatures compared to bags. So if you have a large amount of containers in boxes at a carnival, party, or large event, the cotton candy should stay nice and fluffy even in warmer temperatures, I would say up to 85 degrees. Containers are my favorite packaging option because they offer the best protection for cotton candy from humidity as well preventing the cotton candy from getting squished.

Vibrations: Again, you will want to avoid major vibration with the cotton candy containers to avoid shrinking. You don’t want your containers rolling around a moving car, etc.

Floss Sugar:

Shelf Life: Unlike pre spun cotton candy, floss sugar has a very long shelf life. It will generally be dated two years out from when it was manufactured. Due to the raw materials used in floss sugar, it should be safe to use for many years.

Humidity/Temperature: The sugar floss should always be stored at room temperature in a dry, airtight container. Reseal-able bags or food grade buckets with tight lids are great options to store floss sugar. I always recommend to wholesale clients these containers for storage of the floss sugar. These containers are great for storing spun cotton candy as well. I love the high level of protection these buckets offer from humidity, pests, and debris. Take my word for it, you want this tool to open the lid, your fingers will thank you!

Vibration: Since there isn’t any air spun into the floss sugar yet, there isn’t any concern with vibration and shrinkage. I do recommend giving your floss sugar a quick mix before you use it each time as flavors and colors can settle to the bottom of the bucket especially if the bucket has been moved around a lot.

With a little bit of planning and attention to packaging, temperature, and storage you can have cotton candy last in a bag or container for an extended period of time. Always have cotton candy ready for carnivals, special events or just some delicious snacking.

Related Questions:

Will Cotton Candy Melt? Cotton candy will melt when fully exposed to open air and should not be left out more than ten to twenty minutes. Humidity in the air will begin to melt cotton candy immediately, the higher the humidity, the faster this process will start. Placing cotton candy in a sealed bag or container will protect it and prevent it from melting.

Can Cotton Candy Go Bad? Cotton candy will take years to go bad as the primary ingredient is sugar with minimal flavor and color. Cotton candy generally has a short shelf life as it shrinks very easily. Depending on packaging, cotton candy begins to shrink two weeks to six months after manufacturing.

Can Cotton Candy Go in the Refrigerator? Cotton candy should not be refrigerated but stored in a dry, dark space at room temperature in sealed packaging. If the cotton candy will be in an environment hotter than 80-85 degrees, the cotton candy can be placed in a cooler spot such a refrigerator, however, there is risk the humidity in a refrigerator will cause shrinkage if the packaging is not sealed properly.

How To Make Maple Sugar

  • Quick Glance
  • (9)
  • 15 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 24 | Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Special Equipment: Candy thermometer

Ingredients US Metric


Pour the maple syrup into a sorta high-sided, heavy-bottomed saucepan and crank the heat to medium-high. As the syrup heats, it will begin to bubble vigorously. Don’t stir it unless the hot, sticky, bubbling syrup rises perilously close to the top edge of the pan, then you can use a long-handled wooden spoon to stir it and the bubbling will subside.

Boil until the syrup reduces to about half its original volume and turns darker in color and thicker in consistency and reaches 257°F to 262°F (125°C to 128°C) on a candy thermometer or deep-fry thermometer, which is the hard ball stage in candy making. This should take about 20 minutes. As the syrup cooks, watch it carefully so it doesn’t boil over. You may need to reduce the heat occasionally to keep the reducing syrup from scorching.

Once the syrup reaches the requisite temperature, remove the pan from the heat and start stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until the syrup lightens and thickens in texture and eventually becomes granulated and similar in look and feel to light brown sugar, about 5 minutes. The transformation from liquid to granulated sugar happens really quite quickly. (You could opt to use your stand mixer or a hand mixer, but it goes surprisingly quickly when you beat it by hand. Trust us. Though you’ll probably need to switch back and forth between right and left hands.)

Sift the maple sugar through a strainer to remove the larger clumps and then toss those larger clumps into your food processor and whir until they become granulated. Then mix this back into the other maple sugar. Store the maple sugar in an airtight container at room temperature and use it 1:1 in place of granulated white sugar in almost any baking recipe. Originally published January 21. 2016.

How To Make A Bigger Batch Of Maple Sugar Variation

To make a bigger batch of maple sugar, follow the recipe above but use a 32-ounce (950-milliliter) bottle of maple syrup and a stock pot. You’ll end up with about 3 cups (420 grams) maple sugar.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

I've been intrigued by maple sugar since I read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods as a child. I reread the book often—obsessively—as a child and loved the chapters about making maple syrup and maple sugar. After using my modern stove, I marvel that they made maple syrup over an open fire and then cooked the syrup down to sugar on a wood stove. We are so spoiled by modern conveniences! After making maple sugar once, I won’t hesitate to make it again.

I boiled the syrup while I was making dinner. It only required a stir every so often and an eye on the thermometer. Most of the time was really hands-off while the syrup boiled away. But it had to be attentive hands-off time to make sure the syrup didn’t burn, or boil over. It took 35 minutes to get the syrup to my target temperature. I probably could have had the heat higher in the beginning to bring the syrup to a boil faster, but I was afraid of burning it. I started out at just under medium-high and lowered the heat gradually as the syrup boiled down. I’m not sure if I had to reduce the heat, but the syrup was getting darker, and I wasn’t sure if it was starting to burn (it wasn’t). Probably a less hesitant cook (or one more experienced with candymaking and hot sugar syrup) would've used higher heat and reached the target temperature sooner than I did.

Once it reached the proper temperature, it took just about 5 minutes to stir the hot syrup until it granulated. The syrup filled the kitchen with luscious, toasty maple scents while it was boiling. And the maple sugar tastes just like it smelled—darker and more concentrated than its parent syrup. I am busy thinking of ways to use my stash of maple sugar. For now I am settling for eating a lump every time I walk by the bowl—I have not taken the time to grind the sugar in the food processor yet. I’m enjoying the lumps too much to change them in any way!

This recipe works. First, I really was able to get the maple syrup to become maple sugar. Second, it looked just like the maple sugar in the bag I purchased.

The timing for when it becomes sugar was about 5 minutes. As you stir, it looks like nothing is happening, then suddenly it gets thicker and changes color. As with all sugar work, don't leave the kitchen once you start this recipe. It will get bubbly up to the top of the pan, and if you stir immediately when you see it, it will go down. But if you aren't watching, you might have a mess. (I learned my lesson a long time ago.)

A lot of the granules were too large. I put the larger clumps in the food processor twice and then ground some using a mortar and pestle.

Would I make it again? Yes, if I'm in a pinch and can't make it to the store because I always have maple syrup around.


#LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


Hi I’d love to try to make this but I must be blind. I can not see in the first recipe how much Maple Syrup do you start out with I understand it makes a cup and a half of the maple sugar but what do you start with?

Sorry, Darlene! We had a bit of a technical glitch on our end but it is fixed now. You’d need 2 cups of maple syrup for the recipe.

Not sure what the answer is at medium-high heat. It smells burnt. It doesn’t really smell like what I would say maple syrup she should smell like.

Jackie, we do offer in the instructions that as the simmering continues you may need to reduce the heat to keep the syrup from scorching. We can’t offer a definitive time at which this may happen simply because everyone’s pan sizes and specific burner flame or temperature are going to vary. So we did try to warn of that. Keep being aware and following your instincts. So much of cooking is found there, yes? Actually, so much of living is found there. Kindly let us know how this turns out…

How to Make Maple Sugar

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Turning maple syrup into maple sugar is simple and easy. All you have to do is heat pure maple syrup to 262 °F (128 °C) and stir it until it forms sugar crystals. Use the deepest pot you have on hand to heat the syrup. Otherwise, it might foam over the pot's sides when it boils. To prevent burns, grab a pair of gloves or oven mitts and an apron before your stir up your hot syrup. When you've finished turning your syrup into sugar, you can sprinkle it over hot or cold cereals, enjoy it in hot drinks, and use it to sweeten a variety of recipes.

30 Homemade Healthy Candy Recipes That Taste Delicious

It isn’t uncommon to crave sweet candy after all, we’re only human.

But rather than curbing your cravings and denying yourself something tasty, why not just opt for healthy versions of candy instead?

If you didn’t think it was possible to replicate the sugary or chocolatey taste of sweets, minus the sugar and fat, then you’re in for a treat (pun intended).

We’ve rounded up 30 healthy candy recipes that aren’t just easy to make, but extremely tasty to eat too.


These fruity froyo bites deliver the goodness of yogurt and fresh fruit in a fun way – but without the added sugars.

Yoghurt is filled with protein, calcium, and probiotics for healthy digestion, so when you (or your kids) tuck into this treat, you can kiss the guilt goodbye.

Dip the froyo bites in toppings (like crushed nuts, cacao nibs, or granola) for an extra kick.


These homemade fruit roll ups are made with real fruit, unlike many of the refined sugar and preservative-laden options at the store.

They contain 20% of your daily value of vitamin C per serving and use just two ingredients: strawberries and apple sauce. Genius!


Fancy some soft, chewy, and flavorful gummy bears that taste just like store-bought versions, only way healthier?

These sweet treats are fat free, refined sugar free and all natural, plus they contain no high-fructose corn syrup, artificial food flavorings, synthetic food dyes or preservatives whatsoever.

Instead, they contain orange, carrot, liquid stevia extract, orange flavor, and unflavored gelatin.


These homemade twizzlers are made with whole food ingredients, including date paste, freeze-dried strawberries, and collagen peptides (optional).

Forget the corn syrup and Red 40 – these childhood favorites can now be enjoyed without the guilt (or sugar highs!). Plus, it’s a great way to get your children eating dates.


Healthy Ferrero Rocher? Count us in! This candy copycat recipe isn’t just good for you, but many rave that it’s better than the store-bought treat.

These healthy hazelnut chocolate balls are gluten-free as well as vegan and paleo friendly. They contain ingredients such as hazelnuts (raw or toasted), cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, sea salt, and diary-free mini chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks (optional).


These paleo, homemade grapefruit gummies are packed full of vitamin C and probiotics.

Inside them, you’ll find ingredients such as water kefir for probiotic strength, honey for added minerals (niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, vitamin C & B6, calcium, and iron, to name just a few), and magnesium powder, since it’s one of the 6 macro-minerals that our bodies need.

Kids and adults will love these!


These healthy candy corn bars are made with Yogurt and Jell-O – both of which are fat and sugar-free.

Using just the two ingredients, the recipe is so simple and quick to make, meaning that you can spend more time devouring the sweet treats once they’re ready!

It’s a Halloween ‘candy’ that you’ll actually want to feed your children.


Every child loves making candy bracelets, but what if you could turn those sweet and sugar-laden treats into something that isn’t just fun but healthy too?

These candy bracelets feature dried apples, candied blueberries, banana chips, dried citrus peel, cheerios, dried cherries and yogurt covered raisins – opt for whichever combination you prefer!


These candy-covered apple lollipops serve as an after-school treat with a healthy twist. Essentially, they’re apple slices which have been covered in candy melts and sprinkled in fun treats such as nonpareils.

To make this candy even healthier, swap the candy melts for yoghurt and the sugary decorations for crushed peanuts, chia seeds, or cacao nibs. Delicious!


These homemade peach rings might look like the sugary store-bought version, but they contain real peaches (6 to be precise)!

Other ingredients include sugar, powdered pectin, light corn syrup, and fresh lemon juice. They might be a little bit naughty, but they sure do beat the regular peach rings you find in candy stores!


Forget the carnival version of the sugary treat – this recipe features grapes dipped in marshmallow creme and colored sugar for a fruity and healthier version.

Sure, they can’t exactly be classed as health food, but these fun treats would be ideal for serving at a kid’s birthday party when a little sugar is allowed.

Plus, they look incredible!


These dark chocolate detox bites are made with antioxidant rich dark chocolate topped with fruits, nuts, and seeds, making them the healthy way to enjoy a sweet treat.

This specific recipe used dried blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, figs, pineapple, mango, papaya, walnuts, pistachios and almonds, hemp seeds and pepitas, but feel free to experiment with what tastes best for you or your kids!


When the festive season is upon us, candy canes seem to be everywhere in stores, but what if you could entice your children (or yourself) with one made entirely from fruit?

This clever candy cane looks as good as the original, just without the ‘candy’ part. Simply slice a banana and several strawberries and place them together to form candy cane stripes. Just cut the fruit on a wedge to form the curve.


Here’s a healthier treat that will satisfy any naughty sweet cravings in an instant. These tasty apple wedges are dipped in antioxidant-rich, dark chocolate and topped with toasted walnuts.

You can also enjoy them with other healthy toppings, such as other nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, chia seeds, cacao flakes, etc.


If you love sour candy, then these sour lemon gumdrops (which are low-carb, keto, and sugar-free) are the healthy treat for you.

They contain ingredients such as lemon juice, water, powdered sweetener, gelatin, erythritol, food grade citric acid, and yellow food coloring (optional).

Your kids won’t even know that they’re a healthy version, as they taste as good as, if not better than, the store-bought versions.


Imagine this: fresh grapes covered in vanilla candy coating and dipped in nonpareils. These are a great treat for your next party, or why not freeze the grape poppers in summer for something that’s even more reminiscent of candy?

Swap the nonpareils for crushed nuts if you want to make them even healthier!


These homemade fruit treats are an easy snack recipe, kid friendly, and all-natural with NO high fructose corn syrup.

They take just 10 minutes to prep, followed by 5 minutes to cook, and contain ingredients such as fruit or vegetable juice, powdered gelatin, and honey.

Use some fun, shaped molds and you’ve got yourself some healthy candy that you can feel good about.


Love cream eggs but don’t enjoy the countless spoons of sugar that come with them?

These homemade cashew cream eggs aren’t just fun to make but are also a way healthier version of the popular candy.

They’re bursting with nutrition, healthy fats and protein, plus they’re vegan. Ingredients include chocolate, cashews, maple or coconut syrup, coconut oil or coconut butter, water, vanilla, turmeric, and salt. Intriguing!


These healthy paleo candied pecans are the perfect combination of sweet, savory, and crunchy, plus they only take minutes to make.

These Paleo candied pecans are also gluten free and dairy free, making them a great alternative to candy for those on particular diets. You can even add these to salads for a nice alternative.


These healthy, homemade peanut butter cups are a great way to get your chocolate fix – just without the lashings of sugar and preservatives, of course!

These ones contain unsweetened cocoa powder, coconut oil, maple syrup, and peanut butter, making them a healthier (but just as tasty) alternative to the store-bought classic treat.


These homemade caramel pecan turtle candies are incredibly adorable, plus you’ll love the fact that they’re gluten free and keto.

To make them, you’ll just need to whip-up a keto salted caramel (included in the post), lightly toasted pecans, dark chocolate chips, and flaky sea salt.

Shape them into turtles or simply cluster everything together – either way, they still taste amazing!


Ever wanted to make your own chocolate?

Now you can, and this delicious recipe involves way less sugar than you’d think!

It uses cocoa butter, powdered sweetener, coconut milk powder (or whey protein powder), sunflower lecithin (optional), stevia concentrated powder, monk fruit powder, and vanilla extract (look for one with no added sugar).


Fancy a new holiday candy tradition that isn’t quite so bad for you?

This vegan peppermint bark recipe is gluten-free and paleo and will have you enjoying dark chocolate layered with a peppermint white chocolate and topped with crushed peppermints in no time!

Why not make an extra-large batch and share it with your friends and family too? Tis’ the season for sharing, after all!


These almond joy truffles are a real treat that’s totally plant-based! They’re vegan and gluten-free but made with healthy ingredients that taste like candy.

Ingredients include Medjool dates, unsweetened desiccated coconut, maple syrup, dark chocolate chips, and roasted almonds. They might look naughty, but they’re very nice.


These healthy Snickers bars are made with only 6 plant-based ingredients, so they’re easy to make and good for you too!

They’re vegan and gluten free, plus there’s no preservatives, artificial colors, or any questionable ingredients.

Ingredients include Medjool dates, peanut butter, vanilla extract, maca powder (optional), salt, oat flour, roasted peanuts, and vegan chocolate.


If you are missing candy on a ketogenic diet, these will do the trick to curb your craving. You can put this candy together in 5 minutes and they contain butter, erythritol, and sour cream.

The recipe makes 48 pieces of healthy caramel that you can snack on any time you please. Just be warned, everyone will want the recipe for these delicious, sugar-free candies.


These homemade Keto gummy bears are a super healthy sugar free treat. Not only are they keto, but they’re also low-carb and paleo.

These fruity bears are a wonderful combination of fresh berry juice and grass-fed gelatin – not an artificial sweetener in sight!

They take just 15 minutes to prep and cook but you’ll want to leave to chill for 2 hours before enjoying them.


Who doesn’t love the famous Twix bar?

This homemade version is about to become your favorite new candy, as it’s vegan, sugar free, paleo, and no bake.

Inside it, you’ll find ingredients such as almond flour, coconut flour, granulated sweetener of choice, maple syrup, unsweetened almond milk, almond butter, coconut oil, and chocolate chips.


Want to know why everyone is raving about these healthy date and almond candies?

They’re vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, no-cook, no-bake and most importantly totally guilt-free.

Ingredients include Medjool dates, almond butter, coconut oil, and sliced almonds. Does it get any healthier (or more delicious) than that? Count us in!


This recipe can be vegan, paleo, and gluten free. For keto M&Ms, simply use a keto-approved sweetener as your sugar of choice.

You won’t believe how much these taste like the real deal!

This blogger uses ingredients including cacao powder, sweetener of choice, salt, nut butter of choice, cacao butter or coconut butter, food coloring (or a pinch spirulina for green, turmeric for yellow, beet juice or acai powder for pink and red, and blue spirulina for blue).

Which Healthy Candy Recipe Will You Make With Your Kids?

There you have it – 30 healthy candy recipes you can enjoy without the guilt-factor!

Many of these recipes are sugar-free, low-carb, paleo, keto, vegan, and dairy-free, making them a wonderful alternative to traditional, store-bought sweets.

While it’s often ok to enjoy many things in moderation, it can’t hurt to swap the sugar and preservative-laden candy with versions containing real fruit or other plant-based ingredients.

Plus, they make excellent treats to make for your children – even at birthday parties- so they too can enjoy candy without the nasties.

What healthy candy will you be trying first? Many of these recipes take less than half an hour to whip-up, making them the perfect task to add to your to-do list this weekend. Enjoy!

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Melanie Clarke is the founder of Whim Online Magazine, an online magazine based in Australia that has a strong focus on whimsical + dreamy photography, as well as art and fashion content.

Posted on February 3, 2018 in Desserts, Snacks

We all love our share of sweets and chocolates and have irresistible cravings every once in a while. Getting infected with a sweet tooth is so common these days that there are very few of us who manage to escape from its shackles. Ice creams, cupcakes, candies and tarts! Oh! How we love them all. And yes, the best of the lot is cotton candy. Soft, sweet and delicious, it melts in our mouth within seconds, leaving us craving for more.

Well, savoury sweet cotton candy just got better with our new recipe. You can now make weed cotton candy all by yourself and that too in a jiffy. And we’ve all heard this one thing about weed before – it is medicinal and has its own set of benefits. It sure does and infused with the sugary sweetness of cotton candy, it makes for a killer combination.

So here’s an easy-to-fix weed cotton candy recipe just for you —


Kitchen equipment

  • mortar and pestle
  • cotton candy machine
  • lollipop sticks
  • measuring scoop


Crush 2-3 weed candies using the mortar and pestle. Add flossine to the powder and crush it again. It’s important to ensure that the powdered candy is smooth and fine.

Next, the powdered mixture needs to be spun into candy with the help of the cotton candy machine. To use the candy machine correctly, it’s important to set it on a steady, flat and smooth surface. Also, ensure that the machine is placed at a safe height, away from the reach of children and pets. Once the necessary precautions are taken, the cotton candy machine is set to be used.

Once in place, turn on the candy machine’s mortar and fill the floss head with about 2 scoops of the candy-flossine mixture. You might want to make sure that you are not filling more than 90% of the floss head.

The secret to spinning the perfect cotton candy is getting the details right, starting from the very beginning till the very last step.

After about 30-40 seconds of turning on the heat, you will see threads of the candy forming in the machine. Dip a lollipop stick inside and gather the cotton candy by twirling the stick around. Do not rotate the stick itself, but move it in a circular motion instead. Avoid touching the edges and turn off the machine once the cotton candy is done.

After a couple of trials, you’ll be able to spin the perfect weed cotton candy, much to the amazement of those around you!

It’s fluffy, it’s sweet and it has weed in it! What’s not to love about it? And of course, we almost forgot, it’s sumptuously pink as well — our very own cotton candy at its best!

If you like our recipe, you’ll like the video even better. Here’s the link to “Making Cotton Candy with the Weed Guy. Try it out, for you’re in for a stony surprise!

Our Top 20 Favorite Toppings for Cotton Candy

Do you ever have trouble remembering the difference between dessert or desert? These two words are so similar that they are often confused, but there is a trick for keeping them straight. Just remember this: dessert has two S’s, because we always want more! So how can you add even more to your cotton candy desserts? Toppings!

Our top 20 favorite toppings for cotton candy are: Pop Rocks, mini-sugar shapes, sprinkles, chocolate shavings, crushed Oreo, crushed Graham Cracker, cereal, chopped nuts, crushed candy bars, crushed Sour Jolly Ranchers, crushed chips, mini M&M’s, edible confetti, edible glitter, coconut, powdered sugar, cinnamon, Color Mist Spray, Chocolate Chip Cookie crumbles, and crushed freeze-dried fruit.

Some toppings you can buy ready to go, others need a little bit of preparation. Some come in a wide variety of colors and shapes that will make your already delicious cotton candy even better, while others are so savory that a little goes a long way and too much could overpower your cotton candy. To help you choose, we’ve placed them in one of three categories:

FUN – a little bit extra to make your cotton candy pop

FANCY – to enhance the look and design

FLAVOR – to give it a little bit of kick (or a lot!)

Get comfy and grab a snack, because this list is going to make your mouth water!

1. Pop Rocks – FUN

Pop Rocks may be small, but they pack a punch and are just the thing to make your cotton candy pop (pun intended!). Though not well-known for their flavors or colors, they have a way of wowing crowds of all ages.

2. Sprinkles – FANCY

Sprinkles most definitely fall into the fancy category. With a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and designs, you are sure to find a sprinkle to complement any theme or party. Light and easily transportable, sprinkles are a quick topping that won’t weigh down your cotton candy.

3. Mini-Sugar Shapes – FUN & FANCY

Just picture little daisy flowers planted on a fluffy pink hill of cotton candy! These little clumps of sugar can be a fun extra dose of sugar or an important part of your cotton candy’s visual design. Animals, flowers, letters…you can find almost any shape in stores or make them yourself at home.

4. Chocolate Shavings – FLAVOR & FANCY

Who doesn’t love a little bit of chocolate? These shavings are perfect for giving your cotton candy just a hint of chocolate flavoring without having to worry about dealing with a melted mess. It is the perfect topping to give your cotton candy that regal air of an expensive French dessert.

5. Crushed Graham Cracker – FUN & FLAVOR

Graham Cracker is an exciting way to add a bit of crunch to your cotton candy and really give your customers something that they are not expecting. Cinnamon, chocolate, honey…there are many different flavors to choose from, making this topping versatile and delicious.

6. Crushed Oreo – FLAVOR

Oreo is a classic topping for many desserts, and cotton candy is no exception. Its flavor is so recognizable and powerful that a little will go a long way in creating a taste they won’t soon forget.

7. Cereal – FUN

Everyone has a favorite cereal, but not everyone knows that you can eat it with more than milk! This is a great topping to add a little something fun and familiar, especially if you are spinning live. Just set up your booth, have a few different boxes of cereal, and let them choose one. Some of our favorites include Fruity Pebbles, crushed Cap’n Crunch, and crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

8. Chopped Nuts – FANCY

Sprinkle a little on top and your cotton candy will be as pretty as a caramel apple! Any kind of nut will work, or even a combination of a few.

9. Crushed Candy Bars – FLAVOR

Two of our favorite candy bars are Butterfingers and Kit Kats. Do you have a favorite candy bar? Then bring two of your favorite things together by crushing it up and making it a topping for your cotton candy! (It might seem crazy, but we think they taste even better when they are crushed)

10. Crushed Sour Jolly Ranchers – FLAVOR

Sweet-n-sour fans this one is for you! These sour Jolly Ranchers are the perfect opposite to the sweet, sugary goodness of your cotton candy.

11. Crushed Potato Chips – FLAVOR

Sweet-n-salty anyone? A bag of regular potato chips is all you need to achieve this taste bud civil war.

12. Mini M&M’s – FUN & FANCY

A dash of chocolate makes everything taste better, but what makes mini M&M’s even better is the fun assortment of colors that they come in. Build a rainbow or sort them and use your favorite colors one at a time, either way these tiny candies will add some bright spots of color and start a party in your mouth. You will need a little bit of moisture to apply these to the cotton candy.

13. Edible Confetti – FANCY

Chocolate always has the slight danger of melting, but edible confetti is the perfect way around it. Get that same splash of colors without any chance of a mess.

14. Edible Glitter – FANCY

If your colors are bright and your flavors are already perfect, then edible glitter is an easy way to bring your cotton candy to the next level. Just a little bit of glitter will make sure your cotton candy shines!

15. Coconut – FLAVOR

This topping is almost as light and fluffy as your cotton candy. Coconut will make a wonderful topping because it won’t flatten your cotton candy. It also is a flexible additive that blends nicely with a wide variety of flavors without overpowering them.

16. Powdered Sugar – FANCY

One of the best kept secrets of the baking industry is powdered sugar. White and airy, it is the best way to add a light dusting of “snow” or make yourself a cotton candy ghost!

17. Cinnamon – FLAVOR

Sugar and spice have been together for a long time. This spice is a common favorite, but be careful not to put in too much. Remember that with cinnamon, less is always more.

18. Color Mist Spray – FANCY

Not happy with the color of your cotton candy? Color Mist Spray is an edible spray paint designed especially for baking. Though application can be a little tricky (don’t stand too close!) it is an easy way to add some colorful swirls, stripes, polka-dots, and more to make sure your cotton candy stands out from all of the rest.

19. Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumbles – FLAVOR

It is pretty much a guarantee that if you like something and you can crush it, then it will make an absolutely mouth-watering topping!

20. Crushed Freeze-dried Fruit – FUN

Who said that toppings can’t be healthy? Freeze-dried fruit is an unexpected way to counteract the inevitable sugar-rush and convince yourself that you are eating healthy!

An added topping can be just what you need to give your cotton candy that “more” that we always want with our dessert! Be creative and experiment with the many toppings you have to choose from. Don’t limit yourself to just one, try several or even combine some together. With such a wide assortment, you have a world of options that are sure to make your cotton candy fun, fancy, and flavorful!

What are your favorite cotton candy toppings? Which toppings worked best for you? Let us know which toppings you used and send us a picture of your creations!

Homemade Candy The Whole Family Will Love

My son’s eyes lit up when he tried a piece. He gave me the thumbs up sign and said it tasted great!

My kids are no different than most, they enjoy sweet treats. It’s such a comfort to know that I can easily make healthy candy for them.

The honey and vinegar candy has a fairly strong honey flavor. They’re great to slowly enjoy, like a lozenge.

They may even help soothe a sore throat. Thankfully, we rarely get sore throats so I haven't had the chance to test that theory.

They are also a bit chewier once you start chewing on them.

My daughter does not like honey for some reason. However, she loved the nut butter version. It doesn’t taste much like honey, though.

It’s crunchier and reminds me almost of a butter toffee. The hint of cinnamon just really makes it lovely!

While this version of honey candy is crunchier to start with, it will end up more chewy as you chew on it. If left out at room temperature for a long period, they are not as crunchy and more like a taffy or caramel.

Whether you make this candy to enjoy at home or give as a gift, everyone will love it!

What handmade gifts do you love to give and receive? Will you try this honey candy recipe?

This post was featured in 52 No-Junk Candy Recipes.

Watch the video: How to make cotton candy - Bytesize Science (August 2022).