Christmas Craft: Homemade Candy Canes

homemade candy canes
Homemade cherry rainbow candy canes!

My friend Heather taught me how to make homemade candy canes. Ours are so quirky and delicious, hand-twisted into all sizes - fat and stubby, tall and spindly. I love them.

Have you ever wondered how they are made? It has never crossed my mind. Here's a little peek at how it works:

candy glob

homemade candy canes

Heather's Candy Cane Recipe
(Adapted from CandyCaneFacts.com.)
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon Peppermint flavoring (or whatever flavor you have on hand. We made pink and cream striped creme de menthe and rainbow striped cherry.)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon food coloring
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
powdered sugar, for dusting
vegetable oil, for greasing pans and utensils
*You'll need a candy thermometer, latex gloves and a pair of tight-fitting knit gloves.


*Make sure you have read the instructions before you start. Also, set out all your ingredients, measured out and ready to go. You'll want to move fast!

*Preheat your oven to 350 degrees before you start. If the candy starts to cool while you are forming the canes, it will break easily. No problem, just set your candy in the warm oven for a couple of minutes and it will become pliable again.

  1. Combine sugar, water, syrup, and cream of tartar. Heat until the sugar is dissolved very fine (medium heat).
  2. Bring to boil, but don't stir until it reaches 280 F.
  3. Pour globs of mixture onto oiled sheet pans - you want a separate glob/pan for each stripe color. We made white the prominent color, so it was the larger portion.
  4. Drip 1/2 tsp of flavoring on each pile and add the coloring to the non-white portions.
  5. Put on your knit gloves and layer the latex gloves over them. The candy is hot and you don't want to burn yourself! Tight fitting knit gloves work best because your fingers have more freedom to move and work.
  6. With an oiled Teflon or silicon spatula, gently lift the edges of the candy, folding it over itself a few times. Scrape it off the pan, and start working it with your hands. Like taffy, you stretch and pull and form it into ropes. The more you work it the lighter the color becomes, so if you are making white, you will have to work a little longer on the uncolored portion until it turns from yellow to white. However, if you are working on a colored section, don't pull it too much or the color will fade.
  7. After you have formed 8" ropes of each desired color, it is time to form a log. Set the main color (in our case white, the largest section) on an oiled surface. Press the remaining colors onto each side of the log. When you press and rub the ropes with your hands, they should melt into one smooth log.
  8. Working on one end, gently pull the candy outward, twisting to form the striped candy cane pattern. This part is a little tricky and takes a bit of hand strength. It's like you are jerking off an enormous candy dick, actually. Crass! I'm so crass! I'm sorry. But seriously.
  9. When you have pulled a section of your desired thickness, cut the rope and shape into a cane. Set aside on a surface dusted with powdered sugar to keep the canes from sticking. Repeat this process until you run out of candy.
  10. Allow your candy canes to set out overnight to cure before eating them. Otherwise, they will stick to your teeth.

*If your candy gets too cool at any time during this process, set it in the oven for a moment and it will become easier to work with.


  1. "jerking off an enormous candy dick"?

    Well, I never... You are so dirty.

    Don't forget about the not making them when its raining thing.

  2. And don't put "jerking off" in your tags or this party will start getting weirder than you want it to be.

    You can make these canes for stoners (pretty colors!) but not in front of stoners because they would be unable to resist eating them and getting sticky teeth.

    I am starting to read this blog more often because it does not let me down like other craftypants blogs. I feel like, wow, maybe I can master this stuff. I don't finish reading and slink away intimidated and feeling like a failure.

  3. I saw this on pinterest...my husband's family has been making homemade candy canes for over 60 years. We do it almost the same way. We have a large piece of marble to cool down the candy. We also roll the canes while they cool down to keep them round before they are bent. Cool to see that someone else makes them too!

    1. Hi Leann! Those are great ideas. This was my first time attempting candy canes, so there is much room for improvement. Luckily, they're so fun to make!

  4. My son and I are really excited about making our own candy canes. Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Love it, this makes Christmas exciting

  6. About how many candy canes does this make? Roughly.

  7. I cannot wait to try to make these!!!!

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