Hot Cinnamon Hard Candy just screams Christmas cheer! We always get so many compliments when we make this recipe. I’ll share Top 10 tips for making Cinnamon Candy. And don’t forget it makes a wonderful gift.
Disclosure – I may get a small commission for purchases made through links in this post.
Key to Success #1 – Use cinnamon oil, not cinnamon extract
For hot cinnamon candy, you’ll want to use cinnamon oil, not cinnamon extract.
Cinnamon oil is sometimes called cassia oil.
Cinnamon extract will not give you the same hot cinnamon flavor that you want in a good cinnamon candy.
If you can’t find cinnamon oil at your local supermarket, you may be able to find it at your pharmacy or at a craft store.
The cinnamon oil at the craft store is usually in tiny bottles that are net weight 1 dram, which equals to about 1 tsp.
You can find larger bottles of cinnamon oil at several online retailers like Amazon or Walmart.com.
This is the one I used and it was well-protected in shipping and it worked perfectly.
Key to Success #2 – Use a good candy thermometer
To ensure that your Hot Cinnamon Candy turns out perfectly, you’re going to want to use a high-quality candy thermometer.
This is the one I use and it works great.
One of my favorite features on this thermometer is that the bulb of the actual thermometer is held just a smidge about the bottom of the pan so that you can always get an accurate temperature.
Key to Success #3 – Heat candy mixture to exactly 310 degrees F.
Do not stop below this temperature.
Keep going until the thermometer reads exactly 310 degrees F.
This is the hard crack stage and will ensure that your candy is hard and won’t stick to your teeth – or break your teeth.
It will probably take at least 15-20 minutes for the mixture to get to the hard crack stage.
Key to Success #4 – Stir frequently, if not continuously.
As the candy mixture gets close to the hard crack stage, it will begin to turn slightly brown and that is okay.
Just keep stirring and cooking until you get to 310 degrees F.
Don’t forget to stir around your candy thermometer too.
Just move it to the side a bit then again.
Don’t touch the metal part of your thermometer! It gets very hot.
Key to Success #5 – Use high-quality gel food coloring if you have it.
Once the candy mixture reaches 310 degrees F, remove the pot from the heat and add in the red food coloring.
If you have gel food coloring, you’ll only need a few drops to make a deep red color.
If you are using liquid food coloring, you could need up to half a teaspoon.
I like the Amerisure gel food coloring, but Wilton also makes a good product.
Key to Success #6 – Be careful with the cinnamon oil.
Cinnamon oil may seem innocent enough, but it is really potent stuff and a tiny bit has the ability to burn your skin or your mouth.
It smells great but do not taste the oil without diluting it, and keep it out of reach of children.
When you add the cinnamon oil to the hot candy mixture, it will begin to bubble/boil and release steam.
Make sure you turn on the vent fan on your stove or open a window.
And keep your face away from the pan as you are adding the oil and stirring.
Key to Success #6.5 – Keep Stirring!
Do you know how they say oil and water don’t mix?
Well, it’s true and you’ll need to keep stirring the cinnamon oil into the candy mixture until you pour it into the buttered pans.
If you don’t stir the cinnamon oil well, you’ll get hot spots in your candy where some pieces are extra, extra hot.
Key to Success #7 – Use butter to grease the baking sheets.
You may not normally associate butter with cinnamon candy but buttering the pan before you pour the hot candy into it will add a depth of flavor to your cinnamon candy.
The butter flavor just adds an extra touch of YUM!
Key to Success #8 – Use a rimmed baking sheet.
When you pour the hot candy mixture into the pans, it will spread a bit so it’s important to use rimmed baking sheets.
I use two half-sheet pans and they work out perfectly.
The Cinnamon Candy does not fill every single inch of the pan and that’s okay.
You don’t have to try to smooth it out with a spatula. Just let it spread out on its own so that you can get smooth, clear candy.
Key to Success #9 – Hot, Hot, Hot. Be extra careful.
Use extra caution when pouring the hot candy mixture into the prepared pans.
Every part of the process will be hot.
The thermometer will be hot.
Use a potholder to remove the thermometer from the pan (before adding the food coloring) and set it aside to cool.
I set it in my measuring cup and that works great.
The pot will be hot, the mixture inside will be hot.
Do not let the candy mixture touch your skin.
Even the prepared baking sheets will be hot.
Do not grab the metal pans with bare hands after you pour in the candy mixture.
Key to Success #10 – Use a pizza wheel to cut candy into bite-sized pieces.
After you pour the candy mixture into your buttered pan, butter your pizza cutter and start rolling it through your candy to cut it into bite-sized pieces.
Work quickly. With the first pass, the candy is usually too hot and the score lines will not stay.
But if you go over it again, they’ll usually stay.
You want your candy pieces to be about one inch by one inch.
They don’t have to be perfect.
But it’ll help immensely when it’s time to break the cooled candy into pieces.
We really love this Hot Cinnamon Hard candy.
The flavor is similar to a Cinnamon Fire Jolly Rancher.
If you don’t like your candy quite so hot, you can reduce the cinnamon oil from 3 teaspoons to 2 1/2 teaspoons or so.
I hope you’ll give it a try.
Save this Cinnamon Hard Candy recipe to your favorite Candy board or your Christmas recipe board!
Hot Cinnamon Hard Candy Recipe
This Cinnamon Hard Candy tastes just like Cinnamon Jolly Ranchers and makes your house smell like the holidays.
- 2 2/3 cups sugar
- 4 cups light corn syrup
- 3 tsp cinnamon oil
- red food coloring
- butter, to grease pans
- Butter two rimmed baking sheets well. Set aside.
- Combine sugar and corn syrup in large pot. Heat on high until the mixture comes to a boil then cover and boil for 3 minutes.
- Remove cover and reduce heat to medium-high. Continue cooking and stirring frequently until mixture reaches hard crack stage, 300-310 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
- Once thermometer reaches 310 degrees F, remove pot from heat and add red food coloring. Stir well.
- Allow the red mixture to cool a moment then add cinnamon oil (Be careful! The cinnamon steam can be intense.) Stir very well.
- Continue stirring and pour cinnamon candy mixture into two prepared pans. Use buttered pizza wheel to cut score lines into candy. Allow to cool 30 - 60 minutes before breaking into pieces along score lines.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 60 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 103Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 16mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 0gSugar: 26gProtein: 0g
Nutrition Information Provided For Educational and Informational Purposes Only.
Check out these other fantastic recipes from GraceLikeRainBlog.com.
Check out these other related recipes at GraceLikeRainBlog.com
The Best Cinnamon Rolls With Thick Ooey Gooey Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Monday 6th of December 2021
This turned out really good. Thanks for sharing your recipe!
Monday 13th of December 2021
Yeah this was way more like my mother used to make for me growing up. Hands down I got more compliments on it than some of my other xmas candies I sent out this year. I did use silicone molds which worked fine. Need to refine my method but it's a surefire winner of a recipe.
Take care and happy holidays! K
Monday 6th of December 2021
We’re so glad you enjoyed the Cinnamon Candy!