Spun sugar can add a uniquely classy and decadent effect to any dessert. It is really quite simple to make but can take some time and patience to perfect. Spun sugar tastes like a piece of hard candy with a rich butterscotch or caramel flavor.
I recently made a batch and used it to top some extremely chocolatey cupcakes. I like to drizzle the molten sugar in patterns and designs as well as pull it extremely fine to make golden hair like strings. Whatever your likes, spun sugar is delight to make, decorate with and eat.
These delicious toppings will kick up your next dessert to a whole other notch! Happy Baking!
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cups light corn syrup (helps to keep sugar from crystalizing)
- 1/2 cup water
Make sure to prepare your work area. Melted sugar is extremely hot! It is like molten lava hot! Make sure to do this when the kids aren’t around and clear the pets from the room. The last thing you want is someone to get burned just by being in the kitchen. Cover your work space with newspaper or parchment paper. I would suggest covering the floor in front of where you are working as well to catch any spills.
Pour sugar, corn syrup and water into a saucepan over medium high heat. Begin to stir to mix the sugar and let it dissolve over the heat.
When it begins to boil you will see the first kind of bubbles, these are water bubbles. The water will evaporate and boil off. Then the sugar mixture will begin to boil. You do not need to stir the sugar. Stirring can cause the sugar to crystalize. It will be fine left alone in the pan to boil.
Once the sugar reaches 310 degrees it will begin to turn a golden color. This will take anywhere from 4-6 minutes depending on your stove top settings and pan. Once it reaches a golden brown color then you know the sugar is done. Watch it carefully here because once it reaches the golden brown color it will cook extremely fast and can easily burn.
Remove from the stove and let it cool. You know you can work with it when it’s not super runny but thick. The above picture is still a little too runny. I was able to drizzle it on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet to make designs though. Once completely cooled then you simply peel them off of the paper and place onto your dessert or into an airtight container.
Once it cools to a thicker consistency then you are ready to pull the sugar into the fine hair-like strands that make for beautiful toppings. To do this, simply dip one fork into the sugar, touch the other fork to the sugar dipped fork and pull away. It will create strands of pulled sugar. I did this over a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and let it cool. You can also do this and shape it as you pull into something like a birds nest or a ball. The pulled sugar birds nest is really quite beautiful.
The final strands of spun sugar. The golden color is gorgeous!
Things to Remember
1. Be extremely careful as the melted sugar is incredibly hot!
2. If your sugar burns in the pan, do not try to rinse it out in the sink while it is extremely hot. If you add water it will cause a nasty reaction where your sugar will pop and boil. You can get burned very easily and I can guarantee you will have a great big mess to clean up. (I know because I’ve done it)
3. Never store your spun sugar pieces in the refrigerator. The moisture in the frig will cause the sugar to melt and all of your hard work will be done for.
4. Store in an air tight container at room temperature.
5. For another unique effect, drizzle the sugar over something like a rolling pin and let it cool. When you peel it off you will have an curved piece of sugar to place as a decoration.
6. It is best to use it immediately.
7. The sugar will begin to liquify once it comes in contact with anything moist or humid. The pieces on my cupcakes above began to get sticky to the touch because of the icing they were in.