Marcia Strykowski

Ribbon Candy Crafts

ribboncandy1Although many find it way too sweet and sticky, ribbon candy has long been a holiday staple. This thin hard candy was invented in Massachusetts by F. W. Washburn c. 1856. While still warm, the candy is crimped into shape, giving it a ribbon appearance and a glossy shine. Popular flavors include spearmint, cinnamon, orange and lime.

A couple of quick crafts for last minute holiday fun.
Ribbon Candy Bows final
ribbon felt ornamentsAnd for good measure, I’ll include a recipe.

Ribbon Candy

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
3 drops flavoring
2 drops food color

Combine sugar, water, and corn syrup in a saucepan. Stir over med-low heat until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring and continue cooking until soft-crack stage (290 degrees F). Scrape sides of pot to dissolve sugar crystals.

Remove pan from heat; let stand for 3 minutes until all bubbles have disappeared. Stir in flavoring and coloring.

Pour syrup onto a nonstick cookie sheet. Cool until it is easy to work with (about 10 minutes). Turn up edges of candy with a spatula.

Tear off pieces, pull them like taffy until they are light and shiny. Fold each piece back and forth, curl around a wooden spoon handle until it looks like folded ribbon. Let cool completely and wrap in plastic wrap.

Hope you’re having a very sweet season of holiday surprises!


  1. I actually don’t know if I’ve ever eaten ribbon candy…I know I’ve seen it before. I’m sure I’d love it though, there isn’t a lot of candy that I don’t, heh!


    • Ribbon candy tastes okay in a light, fragile sort of way. Not for little ones, though, the shards can be sharp after it breaks into pieces.


  2. Awesome! Is it possible to use something else for the corn syrup? Honey maybe?


    • That should work, since such a small amount is needed. I try to avoid corn syrup, too.


  3. Gosh, I remember ribbon candy from when I was a girl– my dad would always make a candy covered house and some of it was ribbon candy! This does look a little tricky! Did it come out on your first try?? It would be fun to make for the grand-girls coming this week! Merry Christmas Marcia!! Hope it’s a warm and wonderful time with people you love there…


    • It’s hard to get it to look pretty, but it tastes good. Merry Christmas!


      • This sounds like a challenge!! Merry Christmas Marcia!


  4. Thank you for following my blog. I look forward to reading yours.


  5. Ashley

    Those ribbon circle bows look great. I’ll be making them. Thank you!! Have a very merry Christmas!!


  6. Ribbon candy looks like it would be fun to make.


    • Picking flavors and colors is half the fun. Hope you’ll give it a try, Sheryl!


  7. Thank you for the colorful blog photos, Marcia! Ribbon candy reminds me of my Nana, as she always had a box for us kids at Christmastime. A Blessed Christmas to you!


    • I have childhood memories of ribbon candy, too. 🙂 Merry Christmas, Lynn!


  8. Bette Norton

    I enjoyed your post on ribbon candy. I have it every year on my Christmas table! I remember growing up on this candy and now serve it to my grandchildren!. I like your ribbon candy decorations to make too! 🙂 Merry Christmas!


    • A very colorful addition to your table, I’ll bet. Have a wonderful Christmas!


  9. We just talked about ribbon candy on Christmas! I didn’t see it around as much as I have in the past. I love that you included a recipe. Ribbon candy reminds me of holidays at my grandparents. 🙂


    • It makes such a pretty, edible decoration and like you, it brings back memories for me.


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