Pulled Sugar

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

pulled sugar is used in many traditional, eye-catching candies, including North American candy canes, British seaside rock and humbugs, French berlingots, and Swedish polkagrisar.

To make pulled sugar, sugar syrup is boiled with glucose (to prevent graining or recrystallization) to the hard crack stage (302°F [150°C]), then allowed to cool slightly before being literally worked by pulling the mass, stretching it into a rope, folding it and pulling again—a process repeated until the sugar becomes satiny and opaque. A skilled confectioner can do this by hand with astonishing speed and apparent ease, although machines are now mostly used for this hot and potentially dangerous task. Often the sugar is divided into parts, some of which are colored or left clear to make contrasting stripes or patterns on the mass before it is drawn out to its final length.