cotton candy

7 December is a day to celebrate cotton candy. Image: Pixabay

Days of the year: On 7 December we celebrate cotton candy

Did you know that the cotton candy machine was invented by a dentist? Here is how you can make this sugary cloud of yum without a machine

cotton candy

7 December is a day to celebrate cotton candy. Image: Pixabay

Fluffy sugary clouds of delight, 7 December is a day dedicated to cotton candy!

The history of cotton candy day

Cotton candy was first recorded in Europe in the 18th century.

It was very expensive and labor-intensive at the time and was generally out of reach for the average person.

We usually associate sugary treats like this with a dentist’s worst nightmare, but you’d be surprised to learn that machine-spun cotton candy was invented by a dentist.

Machine-spun cotton candy was invented in 1897 by dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton.

This sweet treat was introduced to a wider audience as Fairy Floss at the 1904 World’s Fair.

How to make cotton candy without a machine

Are you craving some cotton candy, but you have no machine to make it with?

No need to fret, we have you covered!

To make cotton candy without a machine, heat the sugar, liquefy it, and spin it into very thin strands.


  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Raspberry, lemon, almond, vanilla, or other extract or oil for flavoring
  • Food coloring
  • Cooking spray or vegetable oil
  • Candy thermometer
  • Parchment paper


  1. Clear some space on a counter or table for spinning the sugar on parchment paper. To avoid messes with the hot, sticky sugar, place plastic wrap or newspaper underneath the parchment paper.
  2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt, then stir over medium-high heat until the sugar is completely melted. Check the temperature of the mixture with a thermometer to ensure it has reached 320 degrees.
  3. Place the sugar mixture in a large heat-safe mixing bowl. This will prevent the sugar from further cooking
  4. Dip your whisk tines into the mixture, then quickly drizzle the thinning sugar strands back and forth across the parchment paper until you have a substantial “nest” of candy strands. After about 10 minutes, the sugar will begin to thicken, but it can be microwaved to return to the desired consistency. You can either eat the cotton candy in clumps or spin it onto lollipop or popsicle sticks from here.
  5. Cotton candy can be eaten from sticks or cones, on ice cream or other desserts, or even by hand, depending on the recipe you use.

Sweet treats not for you?

Here are other days celebrated today:

  • National Pearl Harbor remembrance day
  • International civil aviation day

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