Homemade Candy Canes Recipe

Make homemade candy canes with this sweet recipe.

November/December 2014

  • Make homemade candy canes with traditional Christmas colors.
    Photo by Lori Dunn

Candy Canes


• 2 cups sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 2/3 cup water
• Red and green food coloring
• 1/4 teaspoon mint flavoring


1. In saucepan, combine sugar, cream of tartar and water. Place over low heat and stir constantly until mixture begins to boil. Cook, without stirring, to 250 to 266 F, or hard ball stage. Remove from heat. Pour hot syrup into lightly buttered pan to form a thin sheet. Allow to cool.

2. When cool enough to handle, divide into 2 equal portions. Add red food coloring to one part and green to the other. Add a few drops mint flavoring to each portion.

3. Pull both portions, one at a time, like taffy, until very firm and candy loses most of its gloss. Stretch each portion into a rope about 1/2 inch in diameter. Twine red and green ropes together. Cut into 3-inch pieces and gently stretch to 5 inches, then curve one end to form a cane.

4. Place on wax paper-lined cookie sheet and let stand overnight.

Note: They may be very soft, but if not, tie with a red satin ribbon bow and loop to hang on tree.

Interested in some more special treats for Thanksgiving and Christmas? Whip up some of the homemade delights featured in Recipe Box: Holiday Candy Recipes.

Associate Editor Jean Teller is sure she’s not the only one to consider the candy and desserts one of the best – and certainly the most tasty – parts of the holiday season.

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