homemade rock candy with green plants behind it.
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Homemade Rock Candy

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Homemade Rock Candy is awesome! It really is food science working at its finest. Not only is it a fun experiment to do but the end result is so tasty.

Using just a few ingredients you can make rock candy at home. It would make a great activity to do with the kids as well. Maybe someone needs to conduct a science experiment for school? This would work perfectly for that. It is easy to do, if I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Gather the ingredients and tools

tools and ingredients for making rock candy, sugar, wooden sticks, water, jars.

Homemade rock candy only requires a few ingredients. You will need:

  • Water – I generally use filtered water, since my tap water tastes gross.
  • White granulated sugar – The sugar is the star of the dish. You can’t make rock candy without the sugar.
  • Food coloring – This is an optional ingredient. It is great for making all kinds of different colors.
  • Flavoring – There are a variety of flavorings that you can put in your rocky candy.

Tools

  • Pot
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Lollipop sticks or bamboo skewers
  • Glasses or mason jars
  • Clothespins

Step 2: How to make homemade rock candy

white stick covered in sugar on a plate

To begin you need something for the rock candy to form on. I generally use cake pop or lollipop sticks, strings are used frequently. I have also used bamboo skewers as well. Dip the stick in water and then roll it in a plate that has some white granulated sugar on it. Little sugar crystals will stick to the stick. These are what are called “seed crystals.” The other crystals will attach themselves to these. Once the sticks are coated allow them to dry for 25 to 30 to minutes.

Step 3: Create the sugar solution

rock candy sugar solution in a pot on a stovetop

Time to make the sugar solution. Take a medium saucepot and add in the water. Place it on the stovetop and turn the heat to medium. Once the water starts to simmer add in one of the cups of sugar. After that sugar dissolves add in another cup and repeat with the last cup of sugar. Stir the mixture and bring it to a boil. Once it comes to a boil add in the food coloring and any flavoring that you may have. Mix it in and then turn off the heat. Allow the hot sugar solution to cool for 20 minutes. This is the base solution for rock candy.

Note: Please do not touch the liquid or the pot it is extremely hot and will burn you. Young children should have adult supervision when making rock candy at home.

Step 4: Containers for the Rock Candy to grow in

Next, you need some sort of container to put the solution in. The container shouldn’t be too narrow it needs to be wide enough to allow the crystals to form without sticking to the sides. I generally use a large mason jar for my rock candy. Use a funnel so it is easier to fill up the jar. Leave about an inch to an inch to two inches of space from the top. Add a circular ring to the top of the jar and then dip one of your sugar sticks in it and attach it with a clothespin. Make sure there is an inch to an inch and a half of space between the bottom of the jar/container and the stick. If you want to make a few different colors and flavors, don’t add the food coloring and flavoring while the solution is heating. You can add it to the individual jars instead.

Now it is time to wait for those sugar crystals to develop. This will usually take 5 to 7 days for a good amount of crystals to form making that awesome rock candy.

Step 5: Homemade Rock Candy has formed!

Rock candy forming in a jar or red sugar solution

After a few days, you will be able to see the progress of rock candy. Notice the film of sugar that has grown on the very top surface of the sugar solution, this is normal. Time to remove the candy from the solution.

4 homemade rock candy two blue and two pink in glasses

Use a fork and gently break apart the thin layer of sugar crystals on the top. Pull the stick with the rock candy out of the solution and place it on another glass to dry. This will allow any dripping sugar water to be contained. Let them dry for about 4 hours. The longer you allow them to sit in the water the larger the crystals will grow. Don’t they look awesome?

Rock Candy Troubleshooting Tips

It is possible that so many crystals will grow in the glass or cup and the stick will get stuck. This glass is a little too narrow of a glass. A mason jar works better. The cool thing is the science still worked. Sugar crystals did form, just too well, because the stick won’t come out. Sometimes you can run hot water on the bottom of the glass to release the stick.

Why are my rock candy crystals so small?

Was your glass or container cold by chance? When pouring the hot liquid into the container it may have cooled quicker causing the development of smaller crystals. One way to avoid this is the heat the jar up on the outside with hot water before adding the sugar solution. Or just a metal container like a thermos.

How long can I store the rock candy?

Rock candy, if stored in a dry place, can last for up to a whole year.

homemade rock candy with green plants behind it.
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5 from 9 votes

Homemade Rock Candy

Making rock candy at home is a fun science experiment that you can eat! You can experiment with different colors and flavors. It is a great activity to do with the kids. It is extremely easy to make using just a few ingredients.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Resting time5 d
Total Time5 d 25 mins
Course: Candy
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crystals, fun, kids, science, sugar
Servings: 6 Candies
Calories: 194kcal
Author: Matt Taylor

Equipment

  • pot
  • wooden spoon or spatula
  • lollipop sticks or bamboo skewers
  • glasses or mason jars or metal thermos
  • clothespins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water 240 ml
  • 3 cups of white granulated sugar 675 g

Instructions

  • Begin by dipping the sticks in water and then rolling them in sugar. A plate works well to hold the sugar. I only dip it where I want the sugar crystals to grow. Set the sticks aside and allow them to dry. These are the seed crystals that the other crystals will grow on.
  • Add a large pot to the stovetop and set to medium heat. Pour in the water and bring it to a simmer. Then add in the sugar a cup at a time, stirring it to dissolve the sugar. Bring it to a boil. If you are only using one color and flavor you can add it in right when it boils.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and allow the sugar solution to cool for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes run the tap water until it gets really hot, let the water run over the glass or mason jar to heat it up until really warm. Pour the hot sugar solution into the containers. If you are using a metal thermos no need to heat it up. If you want different colors now would be the time to add those colors and flavors.
  • Attach a clothespin to a sugar stick and set it in the solution. If necessary use a metal ring on top of the mason jar so the clothespin can sit on it. Try and keep the stick in the very middle of the glass and about 1 to 1.5 inches from the bottom.
  • Let the crystals form for 3 to 5 days. Use a fork and gently break away any thin layer of sugar that has formed on the surface of the solution. Then pull out the rock candy and place in another container to dry for 4 hours. That's it! Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Note: Each jar of solution has much more solution than the resulting piece of rock candy.
homemade rock candy nutritional facts

Do you like the recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it.  If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

Here are a few more recipes you may like:

Easy Basic Italian Bread

Pimple Popping Cupcakes

Edible Sugar Glass

Easy homemade rock candy pin for pinterest

28 Comments

  1. Thank you for this awesome recipe! I’m super excited to try it! Is there a way to make crystals form with out a stick? Like out on a flat surface? I wanted to try to make my own rock candy for a geode cake! Or could I just break it of the stick once its all done? Thank you!

    • Hi Lauren, you need to have seed crystals for the sugar crystals to grow on. I have never tried it without a stick. You could just break it off the stick once it is done. Some people do it with a string as well!

  2. 5 stars
    This is interesting and delicious! It would have never occurred to me, to make “Homemade” Rock Candy. Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    I want to make my own version of Homemade Rock Candy! Sounds like a fun treat for kids!

  4. 5 stars
    This looks amazing and tasty, can’t wait to try this

  5. 5 stars
    This looks way easier then I would have thought. I am thinking about making this for my daughter’s next birthday party. Who doesn’t like rock candy? I will let you know how it turns out.

  6. Such a fun and creative idea. I absolutely love it. I can’t wait to make this with my kids. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  7. 5 stars
    Nnniiccceeee….I like this candy already! Though, it has quite a lot of sugar. I may not handle it so well now.

  8. Wow, that candy looks good. I never knew it was possible to make at home. Thanks for the recipe.

  9. 5 stars
    This is probably my favorite blog post so far from you. This is by far one of the coolest DIY I have ever read regarding how-to-make-rock-candy because it gives you a real, tried and true in depth way of making it. I think I am going to try this recipe. Excellent blog post.

  10. I am making these with my kids! This looks so fun!

  11. That is so awesome! I’m going to bookmark this for a future day.

  12. Katerina @ diethood .com

    5 stars
    My kids would LOVE these! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  13. 5 stars
    I know so many kids that will be all over this. Can’t wait to try it!

  14. 5 stars
    I LOVE these! This would be something awesome to make with the kids!

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