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Maple Taffy: A Fun & Easy Recipe for Kids

maple taffy
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / gautherottiphaine

Making and eating maple taffy is a popular winter tradition across Eastern Canada and New England. Learn how to easily make your own maple taffy here.

Maple taffy is a unique way to enjoy the sap of the sugar maple tree. You can find this treat being served at sugar shacks or outdoor winter festivals, like Winterlude in Ottawa/Gatineau or at the Carnaval de Québec. Across New England, this special candy is often known as “sugar on snow” or “candy on the snow”. 

For those who want to enjoy this special treat at home, we’ll show you how to make maple taffy yourself – and how to involve your kids in the process. 

Maple Taffy Recipe

Maple taffy is made by pouring hot maple syrup onto cold snow or ice.
Maple taffy is made by pouring hot maple syrup onto cold snow or ice.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / StockSnap)

Maple taffy couldn’t be easier to make – it only requires one ingredient and a few pieces of equipment. It’s a great snow day activity for children since a dump of fresh snow makes the process even easier. Give each child a popsicle stick and let them roll their own maple taffy. 

Equipment for Maple Taffy:

  • Small pot 
  • Candy thermometer 
  • Fresh snow or shaved ice 
  • Baking sheet 
  • Popsicle sticks 


  • Pure maple syrup 


  1. Add maple syrup to a small pot and heat it over medium-low heat until it reaches a temperature of 235°F. Do not stir, otherwise crystals will form. 
  2. Spread the fresh snow or shaved ice in a thick layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Pour the hot maple syrup in several even lines over the snow/ice. It should harden upon hitting the snow; if it’s runny, you’ll need to heat the maple syrup to a slightly higher temperature. 
  4. Using a popsicle stick, press down on one end, and then continue to roll the rest of the hardened maple taffy onto the popsicle stick. 

Tip: If you want softer maple taffy, be quick about rolling it onto the popsicle stick. The longer the maple syrup is on the snow, the harder it will become. 

Collecting Your Own Sap for Maple Taffies

You can collect your own tree sap to make an extremely local maple taffy.
You can collect your own tree sap to make an extremely local maple taffy.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / diapicard)

Did you know you can harvest the sap of a maple tree yourself? When done correctly, the tree will not be harmed in the process and you can make your own maple syrup at home – no transport route required! First, you’ll need to identify the tree to see if you have a maple tree in your backyard. Once you’ve correctly identified it, you’ll need the following equipment: 

  • Drill 
  • Hammer 
  • Spout 
  • Collection container with lid

How to Tap a Maple Tree: 

  1. Choose a time of year when the days are regularly above, and the nights are below freezing temperature (often February to March). 
  2. Drill a hole into the tree, about 1½ inches in size – you should see the sap start oozing out straight away.
  3. Insert the spout into the hole, and tap gently with your hammer until just secure in the tree. Tapping it in too far can damage the tree. 
  4. Attach the collection container and make sure it’s covered, then wait for it to fill. Depending on the tree, your location and the size of your container, it might take a few days to a week for the container to fill up.

In order to make your own maple taffy using your collected tree sap, add the sap into a pot and boil until it reaches a temperature of 235°F, then follow the above instructions.

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