Peppermint Candy (Candy Cane & Mint Balls)

Mint Balls Photo by Jeffrey Marshall

Issue 3, 2016 JamaicanEats

Mint ball (sweetie/candy) is a Jamaican favourite. For Jamaican school children, the sweetie seller, who often positions herself at the school gate, is an important part of school life. Like candy canes, mint balls are a perfect combination of sugar and mint that provide a little zing to wake up the palate. Use the recipe below to make your own CANDY CANE and MINT BALLS.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp peppermint or spearmint extract
  • 6 drops red food colouring
  • Butter for greasing


  1. Mix the sugar, corn syrup, water and cream of tartar in a large pot with a thick base.
  2. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Place a candy thermometer in the mixture and cook without stirring until the thermometer reaches 265 degrees F.
  3. Turn off the heat and add the peppermint or spearmint extract.
  4. Pour half of the mixture in a separate pot.  Add red food colouring to one pot. Mix well.
  5. Grease three cookie sheets (to use as working surfaces) and at the same time grease your hands and a spatula with butter.
  6. Use the spatula to cut off a piece of the clear (colourless) mixture. Do the same with the red-coloured mixture.
  7. Pull and fold the pieces repeatedly on your cookie sheet until they appear glossy.
  8. Next, twist/roll the 2 pieces together into an 8- or 10-inch (or however long you like) coil. Curve the head of the cane before setting it aside to cool on the third cookie sheet. Repeat until done.
    For the Mint Balls: Work with smaller pieces of the candy and roll into a round shape. Makes 8-16 candy canes, depending on the length and thickness you choose.


-By JamaicanEats magazine

We Want Your Snaps Cooking, Eating, Enjoying Caribbean. Email: