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What kind of cotton candy machine do you use?

One of the most common questions we get is: what kind of cotton candy machine do you recommend? And we’re happy to help. Our sugars can be used in any cotton candy machine, but we’ve had great success with 2. Each one serves a different purpose.

Here at SpunLight we sell cotton candy every way we can. There’s our online store. We also spin at private events in the Tucson and Phoenix area. We are even at large festivals making 1000+ servings in a weekend. And we make bulk orders for corporate events, conventions, marketing campaigns, and restaurants.

This is what sets us apart from other online cotton candy sellers, most of our customers see us face to face and try the cotton candy right in front of us. That’s why we care so deeply about how each flavor tastes. We want you to feel the same pleasure when your customers say, “This is the best cotton candy I’ve ever had!” Anyway, this is all to say: you can trust these recommendations.

Our day to day machine:

Clevr Large Commercial Cotton Candy Machine.

It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and makes nice fluffs. We switch through a lot of flavors at events and when we’re filling out online orders – this is great for that. You just throw in a scoop of sugar and the cotton candy appears. The spinning head isn’t huge so one flavor will run out after a serving or two and you’ll be ready for another flavor.

It’s perfect for events, too. It weighs about 25 pounds and the metal pan is 21 inches in diameter, so it’s easy to carry to events and set up quickly. It’s pretty quiet so you can take orders and make small talk with customers. This is the machine we use to make our perfect balloon shaped cotton candies. We’ve made cotton candy animals and flowers with it, too. It makes super fluffy, fine, melt in your mouth cotton candy.

There are a lot of machines that are similar to this brand, and we’ve had varying annoyances with all them. This machine isn’t 100% reliable either, but it’s been the best of the bunch.  We always have a backup because sometimes it breaks down. With this model we’ve had the power connection from the heating element to the spinning head fly off. Sparks will fly, it’s very exciting.

Our big production machine:

Paragon Classic Floss Machine.

We use this machine when we have a lot of one flavor to make. It’s always ready to go in our factory. The fluff comes out super fast and the quality is really good. It’s still nice and fluffy without being grainy. The spinning head holds about a half pound of sugar, that’s a lot of servings.

Lots of people and companies will use a machine like this at events, but we don’t. It tends to be loud, sometimes smoky, and doesn’t make beautiful, Instagram worthy cotton candies. It’s also much heavier and larger than the Clevr.

But it is completely reliable. It’s more expensive than the Clevr, but it’s never broken down for us. We’ve bought 7 of the Clevr machines over 3 years and only one of these Paragons since we started business 8 years ago.

Well I hope this helps you! Good luck with your cotton candy enterprise, whether it’s a new business or just an occasional good time. The machine you use makes all the difference!

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Lemon Poppyseed Cookies Lemony bites of sunshine - a hit at cookie day!

lemon poppyseed cookies

Cookie day is a holiday tradition for us. A week before Christmas the whole extended family gets together and each clan brings homemade cookies, enough to share with everyone. We all eat delicious soup, drink champurrado (a thick mexican hot chocolate) and graze on cookies for an afternoon. At the end we all pack a box with all the different types of cookies to bring home with us. There are always the classics: chocolate chip cookies, raspberry thumbprints, fudge, etc. but I like to bring a new kind every year. Last year I made these addictive lemon poppyseed cookies and they were quickly gone.

They're soft, fluffy, and chewy and have a great crunch from the seeds. The sunny, bold lemon flavor comes from lemon juice, lemon zest and our secret ingredient - Lemonade Flavored Sugar.

I hope you like them, too!

Lemon Poppyseed Cookies


  • 1/2 cup  unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup  Lemonade Flavored Sugar
  • 2 T  brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T  lemon zest
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 cups  all purpose flour
  • 2 t  corn starch
  • 1/8 t  salt
  • 1 t  baking soda
  • 2 T  lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup poppyseeds

How to

  1. Combine butter, brown  sugar, Lemonade flavored sugar, honey, and egg in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high for a couple of minutes until the batter is light and fluffy. Add lemon zest and mix again at medium-high for about a minute.
  2. Add flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. Pour lemon juice on top and look for bubbles where it hits the baking soda. Fun! Beat on low until combined. Add poppyseeds and mix gently until combined.
  3. Form dough into 12-18 balls, then press them gently to flatten them a little.
  4. Refrigerate them overnight, or at least 3 hours. This will help them keep the right  perky shape when you bake them, otherwise they'll get really flat.
  5. Preheat oven to 350℉ and set up your baking sheets with parchment paper, Silpat, or regular old grease. Place the dough balls about 2 inches apart to keep them nice and round.
  6. Bake for 10-14 minutes. Look for set edges, but the centers can be pretty wet looking still. A little golden brown on the edge is fine, that will make a more solid cookie. If they're still pale they'll be soft and chewy once cooled.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet. The longer they can set without being disturbed the better.

These are great without the poppyseeds, too. Enjoy!


lemon poppyseed cookies

ingredients wet ingredients beaten cookie dough dough ball cookies in the oven before and after cooling

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As the world becomes more interconnected it is important to evaluate our role as a cog in the wheel, because our choices affect people all over the world. At best we strive to make that impact a beneficial one, and at the core of every decision we make is the commitment that we need to do the least harm possible. This core ethic impacts every ingredient we source, every package we offer, and the daily operations of our business. I know, cotton candy seems frivolous, why bother? Because sustainability matters to our community and it matters to our environment.

What are we using to be sustainable?

  • Our cotton candy sticks are made of bamboo instead of paper.  Bamboo is a sustainable, quickly renewable resource. On the other hand, producing a single paper cotton candy cone uses 3 gallons of water! The only water needed to make a bamboo cotton candy stick is the rainwater used to grow it. So say we use 10,000 cotton candy sticks in a year, then we are saving 30,000 gallons of industrial, contaminated water from the environment.
  • We make all of our local deliveries in an electric car. Did you know that one gallon of gas makes 19 pounds of carbon dioxide? By switching to a zero emissions electric car, we keep more than 2,280 pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere every year. Also, we aren’t adding to our local air pollution problems, where on hot desert days ozone becomes a big problem. Ozone forms when sunlight reacts with car pollution and is a key factor in respiratory discomfort.
  • Our cotton candy comes in recyclable plastic tubs. They’re reusable and recyclable #5 plastic, which people consider among the safest plastics. This reduces non-biodegradable waste filling up our landfills. When you recycle these tubs you’re reducing the need to pump more crude oil to make new plastic, so please do recycle them! We also strongly considered using compostable plastics made from corn, but they’re not currently the best option for 2 reasons: 1, you need a commercial, high heat composting facility to break them down, which most people don’t have access to; and 2, if compostable plastic gets mixed in with regular recycling it contaminates the batch.

What else are we doing to be sustainable?

  • We use low energy LEDs in our Fluff Factory. These save energy, last longer and are made of cleaner materials than fluorescent bulbs, which make inevitable disposal better.
  • We are fortunate to live in Tucson, where we have over 110 megawatts of solar energy on the grid. TEP, our power supplier, is by no means perfect or a beacon of sustainability, but they do have the goal to be 30% renewable by 2030. However, we plan to be 100% solar by 2025.
  • Since we make our cotton candy with real fruits, herbs, and flowers, we create a lot of plant waste. Instead of throwing this in the garbage to be taken to the landfill, we compost it and use it on our garden. It’s a win-win – delicious organic cotton candy that grows a healthy garden.

We are living in an extremely exciting era. We have unprecedented freedoms – freedom to travel, freedom to communicate, the freedom to be who we want to be and do what we want to do. It’s truly incredible and the possibilities are endlessly inspiring, but our modern ways come with a price. The environmental destruction we have caused to get here is the biggest threat to the progress we’ve made. That’s why sustainability is so important to us. At SpunLight, we plan to build a beautiful, clean future.