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Homemade candy canes

Homemade Candy Canes Recipe


Homemade candy canes!


  • 3 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 C corn syrup
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint oil or 1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (adjust according to your flavor preference)
  • 1/2 tsp red gel food coloring (more or less depending on your color preference)
  • Nonstick cooking spray or other oil for surfaces

Ingredients for candy canes


  • Preheat your oven to 170°F (77°C). Very lightly oil a baking sheet, the countertop, and two bench scrapers by spraying them lightly and wiping the oil off with a paper towel. 

Oiling the surfaces

  • Have a bowl of room-temp water ready in which you can quench the bottom of the pan when you remove it from heat. 
  • Put the sugar, syrup, water, and salt in a large saucepan with a heavy bottom and bring to a boil, stirring just until the sugars dissolve. Wash the sides of the pot with a pastry brush and some water. 

Stirring the sugar as it comes to a boil

  • Boil the syrup, checking the temperature often with your Thermapen ONE. Wipe the probe clean after each use with a damp cloth. 
Temping the syrup
Almost there, but not quite! (Our altitude-adjusted temp is 277°F)
  • When the syrup reaches 285°F (141°C) (adjusted for elevation), add the vanilla and peppermint flavoring and stir it in quickly. 
  • Quickly remove the pan from heat and quench the bottom of it in the bowl of room-temp water. Wipe off the water from the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour 2/3 of the syrup onto the countertop. 
  • Stir the food coloring into the syrup left in the pan. Work quickly. If it is not perfectly incorporated, don’t worry. Pour this out onto the counter as well. 
  • Use the oiled bench scrapers to fold and knead one of the pools of sugar until it can be handled without oozing too much. 
  • Using hands shielded in cotton gloves and kitchen gloves, pull and fold and pull and fold the candy. For the white candy, make sure it is shimmery and pearlescent. Leave the red candy a little more glassy looking. 
  • As you finish pulling each piece, place it on the baking sheet in the warm oven. 
  • Roll the white candy into a log 12–18″ long. Divide the red candy in half and form each half into a snake that is the same length as the white log. 
  • Press the red candy snakes into the sides of the white log. Place the whole thing in the oven on the sheet. It may slacken if your oven is on the warm side. Don’t worry unless it completely melts. 
  • Cutting a chunk of the candy to form
  • Use kitchen shears to cut off chunks of candy that are about 2″ long. 
  • Roll the small logs between your hands, spreading your fingers as you do so to lengthen the piece until it reaches your desired thickness. 
  • Gently twist the candy, then roll it between your hands again to smooth it. 
  • Form the crook by wrapping one end of the candy around something of appropriate radius—the base of a shot glass, a milk cap, or whatever you like. Adjust the overall candy shape and set it aside to cool. 
  • Cut off another piece of candy and repeat. 
  • if the candy in the oven gets too soft, remove the pan from the oven for a few minutes, or prop the door of the oven open. 
  • Work until you have made all of the candy into canes.
  • Serve, store, or use to decorate your tree!

Homemade candy canes