Kentucky Cream Pulled Candy

Cream candy
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Resting Time: 24 hrs
Total: 24 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 30 servings
Yield: 1 1/4 pounds
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
95 Calories
2g Fat
20g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 30
Amount per serving
Calories 95
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 26mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 12mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Kentucky cream pull candy is a regional sweet that has been made in households all over the state for over a century. Without accurate knowledge of where it came from, the only true feature that we know of is that this treat is as Kentuckian as bourbon. It has sweetened the life of many thanks to family-owned candy shops that have been mass-producing it for many decades.

Although often confused with vinegar taffy, both types of sweets do look alike, but they're nothing like each other. At first, the cream pulled candy seems like taffy, but when left to cream overnight the texture and color change. It's going to be hard to eat just one, so make big batches and store in an airtight container.

This beautiful and simple recipe comes courtesy of one of our readers, who graciously shared it so everyone can have the chance to enjoy these amazing sweets.


  • 3 cups sugar

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Prepare two saucepans, one large in which you'll put the sugar and boiling water, and another one for milk, baking soda, and butter.

  3. Place the first saucepan with boiling water and sugar over low heat. Using a candy thermometer, let the mixture reach 234 F or softball stage.

  4. Place the second saucepan with milk, baking soda, and butter over medium heat. Bring just to the boiling point.

  5. When the first mixture of water and sugar gets to soft-ball stage, add the second mixture. Continue cooking until the mixture has reached 258 F or hard-ball stage.

  6. Remove the mixture from the stove and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

  7. With extreme care of not burning yourself, pour the mixture onto a buttered marble slab. Begin to pull as soon as the candy is cool enough to handle with hands. Alternatively, you can use a candy hook to stretch and pull the candy, or request a helping hand. If that's the case, cut the mixture in 2 so each person has a better chance at thoroughly pulling and stretching the mixture.

  8. Pull until candy begins to harden.

  9. Stretch into a long, thin rope and cut with scissors into a candy-like size.

  10. If using powdered sugar, place it into a big bowl and roll each piece into the sugar.

  11. Let the candies cool overnight (or allow at least 3 hours of resting time) so they achieve the wanted cream texture. Be mindful of not placing them too close together as they will stick to one another.

  12. Wrap in cellophane wrappers.

  13. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • If you prefer, use margarine instead of butter.
  • Maple extract is a good substitute for the vanilla extract.