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Homemade Salt Water Taffy in One Hour – Funfetti Taffy

Home  »  Recipes  »  candy  »  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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36 comments on “Homemade Salt Water Taffy in One Hour – Funfetti Taffy”

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

  3. Leslie says:

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

  4. how fun is that!
    Thanks for sharing Stef!!

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

  6. 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 says:

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

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

  10. Michelle says:

    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. 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 says:

    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 says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. 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 :D

  15. Anonymous says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

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

  22. Sue says:

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

  23. Makayla says:

    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 says:

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

      • Stef says:

        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 says:

    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

  25. AlyB says:

    This was great fun to make with my 10 y.o.! We made a double batch and flavored half with 1 Tblsp vanilla and the other half with 1/4 tsp peppermint extract. Both are delicious and the recipe worked out perfectly. I almost missed the “pulling window” by waiting too long for the taffy to cool; problem was solved by heating the pans in the microwave for 20 seconds each. We also added food coloring gel during the pulling stage, although I wonder if it would be easier to add when the taffy is still liquid. The 255 degree mark was just right. Thank you for sharing your recipe!!

    PS. You may want to add that it takes a long time for the sugar solution to reach 255. I was expecting it to take 10 min but it was much longer – maybe 40 min?

  26. Lauren says:

    My candy thermometer just came in the post. I am trying it this weekend!!! Can’t wait!!!

  27. Gary Archer says:

    I like to put cinnamon oil in the taffy with a little red food coloring.

  28. Ashley says:

    Hi, I’ve made a recipe almost the same as this before, and it turned out perfectly! Thanks for sharing! I was just wondering if the sprinkles soften in the candy, or if they stay hard?

  29. Sara says:

    I am not a newbie to making candy so I was surprised to see that the taffy entailed boiling it to 10 degrees more than firm ball stage. I boiled it to firm ball stage, knowing full-well that I should only boil it to soft ball stage. Sure enough, we got delicious hard candy that did eventually get softer as you sucked it. I will try the recipe again but only boiling to soft ball stage, 240 degrees and I hope that makes a difference. My kids did have a fun time pulling the taffy but because of how long I boiled it, it got stringy so we had to squeeze while we pulled. What we got was a beautiful, ridged hard candy sort of a similar texture to nips caramel candies. I will update…

  30. Sara says:

    Well, soft ball stage worked much better but it was a little softer than I would’ve liked. There are only a few degrees different between the two times that I tried so I may try it one more time with a boil temp somewhere between soft ball stage and firm ball stage.

  31. Michayla Hanson says:

    I made these for the first time last night. instead of the vanilla bean paste I used about 0.5 oz (half a bottle of a one ox. bottle) or lemon extract. it gave me a hint of lemon without being too lemony, I did not add the sprinkles either. pulling bymyself took about an hour. I noticed when I was letting it cool a little the edges would cool faster so I started with the edges and added more of the candy as it melted until i was pulling all the candy. also this morning, I noticed that the candy when being unwrapped stuck a lot to the wax paper. do you have any suggestions on how to get them to NOT stick to the wax paper after wrapping them?

  32. Linda Katheiser says:

    How fun it was to make with my daughter. She loved pulling it. Then love eating it when it was done. She gave some to are neighbor & said I made this. She was proud of herself.

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