Make your own candy canes

Candy canes are plentiful and inexpensive to purchase. There is no logical reason to make them at home. However, there are reasons like family tradition, laughter, teamwork and a sense of accomplishment. Just because the reason is not logical, does not mean the reason is not worth it.

The flavors and colors can vary widely.  Uncle Jim can have his rum flavored candy cane. Jared is going through a grape phase. Lemon and lime seem to remind us that summer is on the way. The fun remains the same.Candy canes are sweet treats for any occasion.


*three baking sheets

*cooking spray


*2 cups sugar

*1/2 cup light corn syrup

*1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar*1/2 cup water

*flavor extracts – peppermint is the most traditional. Any extract will work.

Easter is a good time for lemon, mint and orange. 3/4 teaspoon

*food coloring of choice

*two heavy bottom pans

*candy thermometer


  1. In a large heavy sauce pan, combine sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar and water. Stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved completely
  1. Cook the mixture over medium heat. Avoid stirring during this process.Use the candy thermometer. When the candy reaches 265 degrees Fahrenheit, remove from heat.
  1. Add the extract of choice.; Place half of the mixture into the second pan. Add food coloring.Traditional candy canes are red and white.At Easter spring colors work great. Variety is fun.
  1. Allow the mixture to cool. It has to be cool enough to handle and pull.; Grease the pans.
  1. Now it is time to get a friend to help. Both colors for the cane need to be pulled and flexible for joining and forming the cane. Butter a spatula and everyone’s hand. Take the spatula and separate a portion of the clear taffy. The other person takes the same size portion of colored taffy.
  1. Use the greased cookie sheet and a pulling space. Fold and pull the pieces until they are glossy. When they are glossy, roll them into 18 inch long coils snakes!
  1. Twist the rolls and from the hook of the candy cane.; Lay them on the third cookie sheet to dry.
  1. Wrap the dried canes.  Although they feel hard, if left out uncovered they get sticky.

Most people find when they begin making their own candy canes there are uses for them all year long. They can embellish a picture frame, add one to a gift tag on a bag, and use them to decorate any cake. With all the flavors and colors that are available there is not a time and a place that one can not find a use for a well made candy cane.



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