Old-Fashioned Ribbon Candy Recipe

Ribbon Candy
Roxanne / Moment Open / Getty Images
Prep: 75 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 19 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
173 Calories
0g Fat
45g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 19
Amount per serving
Calories 173
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 12mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 45g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 1mg 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.)

This recipe for ribbon candy will give professional results for an old-fashioned favorite. The beautiful shape and coloring of this classic candy might give the impression that you can't make it at home. But nothing could be farther from the truth.

Ribbon candy starts the way many hard candies start—with a simple sugar syrup. After boiling the sugar, the candy is pulled (like taffy, or candy canes) and then colored and flavored. Be warned that pulling candies can be tricky the first time, so be prepared to have some “special” ribbons on your first attempt. If you have never pulled candy before, check out the step-by-step photo instructions showing how to pull candy.


  • Cooking spray

  • 3 cups sugar

  • 1 cup light corn syrup

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

  • 4 drops green food coloring, more or less

  • 4 drops red food coloring, more or less

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Prepare four cookie sheets by spraying them with nonstick cooking spray or covering them with a light layer of oil.

  3. Preheat oven to 200 F. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring continuously, until sugar dissolves.

  4. Insert a candy thermometer and continue cooking without stirring until candy reaches 285 F (soft-crack stage).

  5. Once the proper temperature is reached, remove candy from heat immediately and stir in peppermint extract.

  6. Pour 1/3 of the mixture onto a prepared cookie sheet and place it in the heated oven to stay warm.

  7. Pour another 1/3 onto a second sheet and sprinkle green food coloring on top. Place this sheet in the oven as well.

  8. Add red food coloring to remaining 1/3 of candy.

  9. Pour candy out onto a marble slab or heat-safe cutting board. Allow it to sit briefly until it forms a “skin.”

  10. Spray a bench scraper or heat-safe spatula with nonstick cooking spray, and use the tool to begin spreading candy out and pushing it back together, working it across the board and allowing it to cool. Don’t forget to check out the instructions showing how to pull candy if you get confused about the process.

  11. As soon as the candy is cool enough to handle, but still quite hot, begin to pull it. If you have plastic gloves, put them on and spray the gloves with nonstick cooking spray—this will help prevent overheated or burned hands. Take candy in both hands and pull hands in opposite directions, stretching candy into a long rope.

  12. Bring ends of strands together and twist candy into a rope.

  13. Then pull rope out into a long strand.

  14. Continue to twist and pull candy until it has a satin-like finish and is an opaque red color.

  15. Once candy is still pliable, but barely warm, pull it into a strand about 2 inches thick, and place it on remaining prepared baking sheet. Put this sheet back into oven, and remove baking sheet with uncolored candy syrup. The pulled candy will remain pliable in the warm oven while you work the second portion.

  16. Repeat pulling procedure with the second, uncolored portion of candy. In the end, candy should be a pearly white color.

  17. Form into a log 2 inches in diameter, just like red candy.

  18. Repeat pulling procedure with last, green portion of candy. In the end, candy should be an opaque and satiny green color.

  19. Form into a log 2 inches in diameter.

  20. Remove candies from oven. Cut a 5-inch segment from each of the green, white, and red logs, and place them next to each other on fourth greased cookie sheet, with the white in the middle.

  21. Begin to pull candies together, gently molding them together as candy gets thinner. Try to end up with a very thin piece of tri-colored candy 1-inch in height.

  22. Once twisted candy is the shape you want, use oiled kitchen shears to cut them to into approximately 6- to 8-inch lengths.

  23. Immediately push them into a ribbon shape and place them on a baking sheet to set at room temperature.

  24. Repeat pulling and cutting with remaining candy.

  25. If candy gets too hard to pull, place in the warm oven for a few minutes to soften, but don’t let it sit too long and melt.

  26. The ribbons will get very hard at room temperature, but if left out for long periods of time they will get soft and sticky, so be sure to wrap them in cellophane once set.