Homemade Cotton Candy Ice Cream Recipe

Creamy, slow-churned ice cream infused with the delightful flavor of cotton candy that you can easily make at home with only five simple ingredients. It’s the perfect treat to celebrate the arrival of warmer weather!

Bowl and spoons with cotton candy ice cream.

About Cotton Candy Ice Cream

Prepare to be amazed if you’ve never attempted homemade ice cream before. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how effortless it is to make and by the incredible taste it delivers. This cotton candy ice cream is like a frozen embodiment of the best memories from summer carnivals.

Even if you’re already familiar with the art of homemade ice cream, I guarantee that this easy recipe will quickly become one of your all-time favorite frozen creations.

How does an ice cream maker work?

To put it simply, ice cream makers are designed to freeze a dairy-based mixture while simultaneously churning it. This process not only incorporates air into the mixture, giving it a light and creamy texture reminiscent of whipped cream, but it also keeps the ice crystals small. These two actions working together are what create the velvety-smooth and refreshing dessert we all adore.

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Using an ice cream scoop to scoop up homemade ice cream.

What type of ice cream maker should you use?

When selecting an ice cream maker for your homemade creations, there are two types that are particularly suitable for recipes like this one:

  • Stand Alone Ice Cream Makers – These come in various forms, such as classic, compressed, or soft serve options. Typically, they work by chilling a removable bowl or surrounding the churning bowl with ice. If you’re looking for recommendations, check out this article: 10 Best Ice Cream Makers.

  • Attachment Ice Cream Mixers – Major brands like KitchenAid often offer ice cream maker attachments that are compatible with their stand mixers. This is the method I personally prefer and used to make the ice cream for this recipe. It reduces clutter in your kitchen since it’s one less appliance to store separately.

Bowl of cotton candy ice cream.

Can you refreeze melted ice cream?

Yes, you can refreeze melted ice cream, but it can be somewhat complicated. Here are a few things to consider when dealing with melted ice cream:

  • Loss of Air – One of the reasons why ice cream is thick and creamy is because of the air incorporated during churning. Melting ice cream causes the air to dissipate, resulting in a liquid consistency. The texture will never be quite the same as it was before.

  • Texture Changes – Freshly churned ice cream consists of tiny ice crystals. However, when melted ice cream is refrozen, the crystals that form during freezing are larger and uneven. This can lead to a grainy texture rather than the smoothness you desire.

  • Food Safety – The safety of refreezing melted ice cream depends on how long it was left out and the temperature it reached. Generally, when a dairy product is allowed to sit at or near room temperature, there is a risk of bacteria growth. If you have melted ice cream that feels warm to the touch, it’s best to discard it.

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How do you add the cotton candy flavor?

In this recipe, I recommend using a blue cotton candy syrup to infuse the ice cream with that familiar and delightful flavor. However, any brand of cotton candy flavored syrup will do the trick. Whether it’s labeled as syrup or specifically designed for snow cones, as long as it’s cotton candy flavored, it will work perfectly in this recipe.

If you have a different brand of syrup and you’re uncertain about the flavor intensity, you can always taste test the ice cream mixture before churning and adjust the amount of syrup to your liking.

How long does homemade ice cream last?

Once prepared, you can store this cotton candy ice cream in a sealed container in the freezer for up to two months. So you can enjoy the delightful taste of summer whenever the mood strikes!

Closeup of scoops of ice cream.

Can you use dairy substitutes?

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend substituting the heavy whipping cream and whole milk required in this recipe. The high fat content in these ingredients is essential for achieving the desired thickness and creaminess of the ice cream mixture.

If you’re in need of a recipe that accommodates dairy substitutions, you might find this Almond Milk Ice Cream recipe helpful.

Notes & Tips for Making Cotton Candy Ice Cream

  • If you’re curious about the ice cream scoop used in the video, it’s a Zeroll brand scoop. The handle contains heat conductive fluid, which warms the scoop as you grip it. This innovative feature allows the scoop to cut through and roll up the ice cream effortlessly. You don’t even need to preheat or wet the scoop!
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More Fun Ice Cream Recipes

If you’re in the mood for more icy delights, check out these other delightful ice cream recipes:

How to Make Cotton Candy Ice Cream

The following section provides a visual tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the complete measurements and instructions, simply scroll down to the Recipe Details section.

Step 1 – In a medium bowl, whisk together the following ingredients: sugar, milk, heavy whipping cream, cotton candy syrup, and vanilla. Whisk well until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Step 2 – If desired, add a few drops of food coloring to the ice cream mixture and whisk until well incorporated.

Step 3 – Pour the ice cream mixture into your chosen ice cream maker bowl or attachment.

Step 4 – Churn the mixture until it reaches a creamy consistency!

Step 5 – Transfer the churned ice cream to a container. For a firmer texture, freeze it for a few hours.

Step 6 – Serve and savor the delightful goodness of homemade cotton candy ice cream!

To explore the original recipe in detail, including measurements and additional instructions, visit Family Cuisine.

Remember, making homemade ice cream is a wonderful way to create cherished memories with loved ones. Enjoy the process and embrace the joy of indulging in a cool and creamy treat made with love.

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