How to spin sugar

Paul Young illustrates how to capture the 'wow' factor and create spun sugar for the ultimate dessert presentation
By Paul A Young
How to spin sugar
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  • Serves: n/a
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus time for shaping
  • Effort: medium



  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 225 g water


1. Bring the sugar and water to a simmer in a copper or heavy based saucepan. You can add food colouring to the syrup before cooking for a vibrant and kitch finish.

2. Use a pure bristle pastry brush dipped in cold water to brush the inner sides of the pan to prevent sugar crystals forming while simmering. Do not stir the sugar as this will cause the syrup to crystallize and become hard.

3. Using a sugar/jam thermometer, cook the syrup until it reaches 155°C (this is known as the hard crack stage).

4. Immediately remove from the heat and plunge the pan into cold water to halt the cooking.

5. To spin the sugar, take a whisk with the bottom snipped off with pliers, so that you have a whisk that is simply a handle with spikes. Alternatively you can take two forks placed back to back and hold tightly. Dip the whisk into the syrup and flick the whisk back and forth over a broom handle or rolling pin to create long hair like strands.

6. Next gather up the strands of spun sugar and create your shape by simply moulding the strands in your hands.

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