Capsaicin (Hot Pepper) Candy Recipe for Mouth Pain

By Nancy Collins, PhD, RDN, LD, NWCC, FAND

Note from Dr. Collins: Many years ago I worked in one of the largest acute care hospitals in South Florida. We had many patients who were not eating well because they had mouth sores and pain from chemotherapy. One day someone gave me this recipe handwritten on a loose sheet of paper. I remember asking a few colleagues if this actually worked and no one was too sure. Over the years I shared the recipe with several of my patients who were desperate to try anything. I told them I wasn’t certain it would work but they could give it a try. Most reported back that it did give some temporary relief. There was a note on my original recipe saying the candy might burn for the first few minutes but that mouth pain will be relieved for 3-4 hours afterwards. Keep that in mind if you decide to try this.

8x8x2 buttered pan

1 cup sugar

 ¾ cup light corn syrup

2/3 cup water

1 tbs cornstarch

2 tbs butter or margarine

1 tbs salt

2 tsp vanilla

½ tsp cayenne pepper

In 2 qt saucepan, add sugar, corn syrup, water, cornstarch, butter and salt.

Cook over medium heat (256F) stirring constantly until mixture forms drops in the water. Remove the pan from heat and stir in vanilla and pepper.

Pour candy into buttered pan to cool.  

When the candy is cool enough to handle, pull taffy into long strips, cut into small pieces, and wrap with wax paper.