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Making Pull Candy – the Old-Fashioned Way

This candy is a special treat from my childhood.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dessert, Treat
Cuisine: American, American southern
Keyword: pull candy, pulled sugar candy, stewed sugar, taffy, toffee
Servings: 25 servings
Calories: 62kcal
Author: Chloe Tuttle


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 pound butter for greasing hands and surface


  • You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe.

  • 1. Stir together the sugar, water and vinegar in a heavy saucepan. Clip on candy thermometer and don’t let it touch the bottom of the cooking pan.

  • 2. Heat the sugar syrup until the candy thermometer reaches the hard ball stage or 260-265 degrees. Don’t stir while it is cooking.

  • 3. Slowly pour the syrup onto a buttered surface like a large cutting board. Be very careful — this is a molten mass of hot syrup. DO NOT scrape bowl. Just let whatever candy comes out, come out. Allow candy to cool for a few minutes.

  • 4. As soon as the syrup is slightly cooled, scrape it into a large ball. If you are going to add any flavorings like vanilla or peppermint, now is the time to do this. Flip the ball of candy over several times using some sort of scraper like a candy scraper.

  • 5. When it is cool enough to handle, gather the ball of candy into your well-greased hands and pull the candy using both hands until you have reached as far as you can. Fold the pulled part over and repeat. Do this for about 4-5 minutes or until the candy is getting stiff and has turned a beautiful white color.

  • 6. Once this happens, pull out a long rope of candy about 1/2" thick. You can twist this if you want a twisted look for your candy. Lay it out on waxed paper to cool.

  • 7. When it has thoroughly cooled, break it into 1 1/2 ” pieces. Wrap each piece of candy in waxed paper and store in airtight container. If candy is sticky, store it in the refrigerator.


This candy is messy to make - but it is worth it. There also seem to be MANY different Pull Candy recipes on the internet, and they are all a wee bit different.


Calories: 62kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Potassium: 1mg | Sugar: 15g