Homemade Salt Water Taffy in One Hour – Funfetti Taffy | Cupcake Project

Homemade Salt Water Taffy in One Hour – Funfetti Taffy

I love baking with my son, but making homemade salt water taffy together is way more fun.

Our son very focused on pulling taffy

Salt water taffy is sticky, messy, and super stretchy – sort of like the slime that people buy for kids to play with…

…but when you are done pulling and stretching salt water taffy, you get to eat melt-in-your-mouth homemade salt water taffy!

Making homemade salt water taffy is a project – but not one that will take all day.  With my mom’s help and my toddler’s “help” we made and wrapped 50 pieces of salt water taffy in one hour.

I got the idea for funfetti salt water taffy from a similar flavor made by Taffy Town (a company that’s been making salt water taffy recipes for over 75 years).  My homemade salt water taffy has a rich vanilla flavor (just like my ultimate vanilla cupcakes) and is loaded with rainbow nonpareils (tiny sprinkle balls).

How to Make Homemade Salt Water Taffy

All of the salt water taffy recipes that I’ve seen follow the same basic formula as the one I share below.  While I read many salt water taffy recipes, the one that I most closely adapted mine from was the homemade salt water taffy recipe from Get Off Your Butt and Bake.

Yield: 50 small pieces funfetti salt water taffy


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter + extra for buttering a baking dish, your hands, and scissors
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 tablespoon vanilla plus the seeds from a vanilla bean)
  • rainbow nonpareils to taste


  • Medium-sized saucepan
  • Small baking dish
  • Candy thermometer (I highly recommend the digital Maverick)
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Waxed paper


  1. Thoroughly butter a small baking dish and set aside.
  2. Place sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, butter, water, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat.
  3. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Heat until the mixture reaches 255 F on a candy thermometer and immediately remove from the heat.  Note: If you read other salt water taffy recipes, you’ll see a range of temperatures.  The higher the temperature, the harder the taffy will be.  255 F makes a candy that holds its shape but dissolves in your mouth.
  1. Mix vanilla bean paste into hot taffy.
  2. Pour the hot taffy into the buttered baking dish.
  1. Cover taffy with a layer of nonpareils.
  1. When the taffy is cool enough, butter your hands, form a big taffy ball, and begin to stretch and pull.  Imagine you are a kid with bubble gum in your mouth, pulling a piece of it way out, rejoining it to the ball, and then pulling again (but, if you can resist, don’t put any in your mouth yet – the taffy will be much better after the pull).  Keep doing this for about 15 minutes.  Salt water taffy recipes always call for pulling.  Pulling the taffy aerates it, which makes it softer and more chewy.  As you pull, you’ll notice that the color of the taffy becomes significantly lighter.  You’ll also notice that the taffy will get much tougher to pull.  When your arms get really tired and it starts to feel like you are using one of those exercise stretch bands, you’re done.  Don’t stress about doing it right.  Just have fun!
Look at the color of the taffy at the very beginning of the pull.  You’ll see that it gets much lighter as the process continues.
I should have put more butter on my hands; the taffy really stuck to them.
Pulling can be a team effort.
Here’s my mom pulling.
This is near the end of the pull.  Look at how much lighter the color of the taffy is.
  1. Do one last pull to make the taffy into a long rope with the thickness that you’d like your final product to be.
  2. Butter a pair of scissors (be careful not to cut yourself).
  3. Cut the taffy into bite-sized pieces.
  1. Cut wax paper into small squares.
  2. Wrap taffy.

Happy pulling and eating!

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37 Responses to Homemade Salt Water Taffy in One Hour – Funfetti Taffy

  1. Lindsay Ann @ Dollhouse Bake Shoppe August 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    These look amazing, Stef! How fun! I bet you could experiment and create a few different unique flavors out of one batch! Great post!

  2. Carol Anne @ Rock Salt August 21, 2012 at 1:55 am #

    Thank you so much, this looks like a great project! I will definitely be trying it out in the next few weeks.

  3. Leslie August 21, 2012 at 5:11 am #

    How fun!!! Its great to have so much fun in the kitchen!!!

  4. Cheryl (TidyMom) August 21, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    how fun is that!
    Thanks for sharing Stef!!

  5. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie August 21, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    I have seen funfetti in many forms but never taffy until now!

  6. Laura @FoodSnobSTL August 22, 2012 at 3:47 am #

    I can’t wait until Elaine is old enough to do stuff like this. Your son is absolutely adorable by the way!

  7. Gluten free August 23, 2012 at 2:59 am #

    With your kitchen around as well as the recipe book, you can absolutely enjoy making such stuffs. It is also a lot more fun if you’re it with your family.

  8. Our Pinteresting Family August 24, 2012 at 3:49 am #

    That looks amazing to eat and fun to make. :) Megan

  9. thesmartcookiecook.com August 24, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    I had no idea you could make salt water taffy at home! This is so exciting! I’ve got to try this :)

  10. Michelle August 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Hi Stef! It was great to meet you last night at the IFBC party at Mother’s. This salt water taffy project looks like a ton of fun! Love the funfetti idea!

  11. Monica @ TheYummyLife August 26, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    Wow. This recipe really takes me back. My mom used to always make taffy for a taffy pull activity at my birthday parties. I remember ours being a whole lot messier! :-) It’s smart the way you use scissors for an easy way to make tidy pieces. Great post!

  12. Noelle September 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    Made this last weekend and had such a blast I’m gonna make more. I tried pistachio extract with chopped pistachios mixed in and it was a hit among my coworkers. Great recipe, thanks!

  13. Tash October 26, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. The Velvet Moon Baker October 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    Living in Ireland and never having eaten salt water taffy, I’ve never fully understood the big fuss but after seeing this post I think I’ll have to give it a go….If it’s as addictive as my favourite Vanilla Tablet I’ll be on too a winner 😀

  15. Anonymous February 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    LOVE IT! I made my first attempt for my husband for V-Day this year; the flavor is spot on, but the candy is SO hard it’ll pull your teeth right out! The recipe I used said heat to 260/hard ball stage…..
    Looking forward to trying yours! I’ll say, 1/4 t. peppermint extract, makes it a great peppermint flavor!

  16. mygeisha c September 10, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    I just made your taffy recipe and it came out perfect and it taste delicious. Only thing i did different was use rum flavoring instead of vanilla. Cant wait to experiment with more flavor/ color combinations. Thank you!

  17. Fiona October 13, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    How come my taffy doesn’t harden even after I left it to cool for 30 minutes? It remains in the watery form and I am at loss for what to do!

  18. Tiffany October 14, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    This is fantastic! The pictures really help with seeing the whole process — and the difference in color is amazing from the beginning to end. It looks like it is a fun task, although an intense one. I would like to try this with peppermint extract… yum!

  19. Stacey October 28, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    I just made it! It took a few tries but i enjoyed making it and it tastes GREAT! I used praline candy flavoring and it turned out excellent. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  20. Shara October 30, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    I followed your recipe exactly and even though we pulled it when it was still pretty hot, it cooled quickly into a rock hard rope. Not sure what went wrong. The only thing I can think of is my candy thermometer. Everything else was spot on. :(

  21. Diego December 8, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    Hi§, great recipe! Please tell me, how many did you get to do with these quantities? Thanks!

  22. Sue May 4, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    I tried this recipe, and it turned out perfectly delicious. Thank you so much!

  23. Makayla August 5, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    I tried this today and mine came out quite hard. I only heated it to 250 but we did try to pull it before it was completely cool. Any ideas as to why it came out like hard candies rather than taffy?

    • mary September 28, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

      I tried this twice and it did not turn out at all both times. Really dissappointed.

      • Stef September 29, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

        Sorry that you you both had problems. I wish I had an answer for you. makayla, maybe try heating it a little less. The temperature can jump quite quickly so it’s possible that it got too hot even after taking it off the heat.

  24. Katie Litchfield December 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

    Hello, This looked amazing and I tried a taffy heated to 266 that turned into hardtack, so I wanted to try yours.

    I followed this recipe to the letter and things seemed to be going well at first, now, all I have is a stringy, sticky mess that hardened and turned into sugar strings for the most part, it turned out hard and inedible.

    Are you supposed to let it cool til a certain temperature before working it? I started as soon as I could touch it, so disappointed after this second attempt


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