Celebrate the season with the treat that embodies summer fun (cotton candy) in the form of chilly ice cream. Cool off while enjoying a nostalgic sugar high!

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Cotton Candy Ice Cream! Celebrate the season with the treat that embodies summer fun (cotton candy) in the form of chilly ice cream. Cool off while enjoying a nostalgic sugar high! | HomemadeHooplah.com

About Cotton Candy Ice Cream

Now that we’re more than half way through June, how are you guys doing?

Are the kids out of school?

Are you looking forward to a vacation?

Are you absolutely melting in the heat outside?

Cause I gotta be honest, I’m living behind door number three.

Phoenix summer are always brutal – because, well, it’s Phoenix – but lately it’s been exceptionally bad, like living-three-inches-off-the-surface-of-the-sun kinda bad. This means I’ve been spending lots of quality time with our air conditioning, but in the evenings I still like to venture out for 30 seconds a few minutes and watch the dogs play. However, while I wait for the dogs to quickly tire in the sticky heat it always felt like something was…  missing. Like I needed something more to counter the residual heat that still lingered even though the sun went down other than the promise that I’ll soon be back inside.

And being the foodie that I am, of course I felt like this “something” should be a food. And of course I wanted said food to be deliciously indulgent. Like, say, ice cream for example. That would be a perfect fit. And better yet, it could be ice cream made into delicious and unique new flavors.

So, I guess what I’m really trying to say here is that I bought an ice cream maker because it’s hot outside.

Made perfect sense to me.

An easy cotton candy ice cream recipe.

And as for why I chose cotton candy to be the first flavor I made?

Honestly, I think the real question here is: why not cotton candy ice cream?

There’s just something about cotton candy flavored anything that embodies the joyfulness of summer, and since it’s a little hard to forget just what season we’re currently “enjoying,” I figured giving this cool treat the nostalgia treatment would be oh-so fitting.

Homemade ice cream flavored with cotton candy.

As I mentioned above, this was also the first time I made “real” ice cream at home, and I have to say I was surprised – surprised by how easy the recipe was to put together, surprised by how easy the ice cream maker was to use, and surprised by just how good the ice cream tasted. I know there are much more fancy and complicated ways to make ice cream, but I really had no idea just how much extra I was paying per carton for something I could easily make at home with my own ingredients.

Lesson learned, yet again: making your favorite foods at home is always so much better.

Cotton candy ice cream recipe.

notes & tips for this cotton candy ice cream

  • I made this ice cream using the ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid Mixer. I liked that it was one less appliance in my house and it stores a little better than a stand-alone ice cream maker.
  • Whenever I make this recipe, I use this cotton candy syrup. It’s pink in color, but this doesn’t have a huge impact on the final color and is easily covered with food coloring. If you’d rather use a syrup with a blue hue, there is this blue cotton candy syrup, but it does cost more. Either syrup would work in this recipe, so pick whichever one you like!
  • If you like the ice cream scoop in the video, it’s a Zeroll brand scoop. They have heat conductive fluid sealed within the handle which makes your grip on the scoop warm the head of the scoop. This makes it so the scoop cuts through and rolls up ice cream better. You don’t even need to heat or wet the scoop first!

More fun ice cream recipes

How to make cotton candy at home as ice cream.

Recipe Details

Cotton Candy Ice Cream! Celebrate the season with the treat that embodies summer fun (cotton candy) in the form of chilly ice cream. Cool off while enjoying a nostalgic sugar high! | HomemadeHooplah.com
4.38 from 32 votes

Cotton Candy Ice Cream

5 mins prep
478 kcal
Yields: 6 servings
Celebrate the season with the treat that embodies summer fun (cotton candy) in the form of chilly ice cream. Cool off while enjoying a nostalgic sugar high!



  • Before mixing ingredients, be sure that your chosen ice cream maker is ready to churn ice cream (attachments frozen, ice added, etc).
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour vanilla, heavy whipping cream, and cotton candy syrup into the bowl and whisk until combined.
  • If using food coloring: Depending on the brand of cotton candy syrup you used, the mixture might already have a pink hue. If you'd like the ice cream to be pink, keep this in mind - you won't need to add much pink food coloring to get your desired color. If you'd like the ice cream to be another color than pink, don't worry - as pictured, I used blue food coloring, and only had to add a few drops to achieve a nice light blue color. No matter what color you're using, add the food coloring slowly (one drop at a time) and whisk thoroughly between each until the desired color is reached. Also, the hue of the cream should be a few shades darker than the color you'd like the final ice cream to be, as the whipped and frozen cream will appear lighter. TIP: If you're still worried how your chosen color will look, add a little bit of the cotton candy syrup and milk to a separate glass or bowl and test your food coloring with it.
  • Pour the mixed ice cream mixture into the chilled bowl/attachment of your ice cream maker.
  • Churn ice cream for 25-30 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. If you'd like soft ice cream, serve cotton candy ice cream immediately. If you'd like firmer ice cream, transfer the ice cream to your chosen storage container and let it freeze for another 4-6 hours.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 478kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 66mg | Potassium: 115mg | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 1232IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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Recipe Rating


    • Chrissy
    • 4 stars

    My sin loves cotton candy ice cream. I made it for his birthday. I cut the sugar down to 1/2 cup and increased the cotton candy syrup to a little more than 3/4 cup to get more of the cotton candy flavor. I also added a little blue food coloring to make it a darker blue.my son was happy with the end product! Thanks for posting!

    • shawn
    • 4 stars

    Made this today. My boys love the Rite Aid Cotton candy ice cream. So I was trying to find a recipe to duplicate that. I bought the jelly belly cotton Candy flavoring syrup. And I used a half a cup like the recipe asked for. With just half a cup, it just tasted like plain vanilla ice cream, but really sweet. So I added at least another cup of the cotton candy syrup and we got the cotton candy flavor! I did not add any food coloring. Next time I will probably lower the sugar amount, and add more of the syrup.

    • Michelle
    • 4 stars

    I made this with cotton candy syrup. It’s definitely sweet. I would do 1/2 cup of sugar. Instead of 3/4. And it isn’t blue enough without the food coloring. We definitely needed to add some.

    • Robin

    As a child we used to go to Ludington Michigan during the summer and there was an ice cream store that served a flavor called Blue Moon. I have been looking for the recipe for years. I left Michigan when I was 18 and could never find it. I now live in North Carolina and relate to your summer heat. Thank you for this recipe it is the same as Blue Moon ice cream.

    • Trisha Hardee
    • 5 stars

    This is amazing!! Thanks for sharing.

    • Niki White
    • 4 stars

    Does this taste like the cotton candy ice cream at cold stone or rite aid? I’m hoping this recipe would because I can’t seem to find any recipes for it! I love cotton candy ice cream because it reminds me of my childhood and my kids absolutely love it to death : )

      • Shawn

      Sadly, It doesn’t. I was searching for the same flavor for my boys. They love the stuff from Rite Aid. It just tasted like really sweet vanilla ice cream

    • Lindi

    Could I use cotton candy extract?

    • Erin

    Hey! How much does this recipe approximately make? Or which serving size equals a gallon of ice cream?

      • Ericka
      • 4 stars

      I made this yesterday and put it in an “airtight, stackable, reusable” container (got on Amazon a few years ago), and it fit perfectly. It was about 1.5 quarts.

      I might try decreasing the sugar and increasing the syrup next time! It was still delicious!

    • Softspoken
    • 4 stars

    This recipe looks AMAZING. If I ever get the funds, i will most definately make this! cotton candy is one of my favorite flavors of ice cream, so this would probably be the first recipe I would try ;3

    • Bisi

    I bought a buffalo brand icecream machine from Nesbitt in London. Cost over £150, is rather bulky but churns out great icecream. My daughter made coconut icecream a couple of days ago, added coconut milk, flavouring and essence ????

    • Mary // chattavore

    #1: I LOVE your blog design. #2: Cotton Candy ice cream = yaaaassssss.

    • Stephanie | Worth Whisking

    Homemade ice cream is the best! Our freezer is full of it right now. 🙂 This cotton candy flavor is so fun! A definite must-try!

    • Sara // Life’s Little Sweets

    What kind of ice cream maker did you get? I’m researching them myself.

    • Hey Sara! I got an ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid mixer 😀 Love it so far!

        • Sherrie

        If using an ice cream churn would I need to add the additional milk to fill the can 2/3 of the way up as i do for the traditional vanilla ice cream I make??

          • Becky

          Hi, Can you tell me how many cups the “6 servings” is in this recipe? Does it make 1 quart, 2 quarts, etc? Would love to make this but want to make sure I make the proper amount for my ice cream machine. Thanks so much!

        • Rosemary

        What a great idea, who doesn’t love cotton candy? And that colour is gorgeous.

        • Amanda @ Cookie Named Desire

        Cotton candy ice cream? This is seriously blowing my mind right now. I love cotton candy, but never imagined trying it in ice cream form. I am so glad you decided to go this route with your first ice cream recipe… and I am even mooooore happy that you are sharing that with all of us during Ice Cream Week! xx

        • Sabrina

        This sounds like a perfect ice cream for my kids! They love cotton candy!

        • Patricia @ Grab a Plate

        Cotton candy syrup? How have I not known about this?! What a fabulous treat (I had to share this on my FB page)! I’m in love with how fun this is! I’m in the crazy-ridic Phoenix heat, too, so this is perfect for…every night!

        • Michelle De La Cerda
        • 3 stars

        When do you ever see light blue ice cream? Hardly ever, I love it! Definitely brings me back to my childhood, so fun!!

        • Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious
        • 4 stars

        There’s such a thing as cotton candy syrup? I had no idea. Off to search for it!

          • Elaine

          It seems that it’s Cotton Candy-flavored Snow Cone syrup, to the best that I can find. I had the same question!

          • Hey Elaine! I think the snow cone syrup should work fine – it’s the same idea. This is the one I purchased off of Amazon for the recipe: http://amzn.to/2a2BszW

            • Lauren

            I want to make this but the jelly belly syrup is discontinued. Is there an alternative? Thank you!

          • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
          • 5 stars

          Love this flavor!! Every child’s dream 😉