Impress your kids and learn How to Make Rock Candy in a few easy steps. Get the kiddos involved and make this fun candy together. It’s pretty tasty too.

Rock Candy ready to enjoy.
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Rock Candy is such a fun treat, and you can actually learn how to make it at home. It is my kids’ favorite candy to get at the candy store. I have been making candy recipes at home for years and wanted to try Rock Candy.

You can actually make this at home fairly easily. Now, it does require several steps, but they are all really simple. We had a blast deciding what colors to make and watching the crystals grow. Old Fashioned Divinity Candy Recipe is another family favorite.

Why We Love This Recipe

This recipe is definitely something fun to do with the entire family. Everyone thought it was just as much fun to make as it was to eat.

It is a really fun science experiment too and the kids can learn while having fun. The process of watching the crystals form is really neat.

What is Rock Candy?

DIY rock candy is candy that is large chunks of sugar on a stick or on a string. This very sweet treat is made with pure sugar so it is naturally clear and sweet. Rock candy can be enjoyed by itself served in drinks or topped on desserts.

Rock candy may require multiple steps but it simple to make. With a few ingredients and supplies this is the perfect science project to do at home. This rock candy can be prepared in about 20 minutes.

 

Supplies

You will need a few supplies to make rock candy. Make sure you have these before you start and you will be all set.

Rock Candy on a plate.

Ingredients

Ingredients for recipe - sugar, food coloring, extract.
  • Granulated Sugar. This recipe is mostly sugar!
  • Food Coloring. Optional but makes the candy so pretty.
  • Flavoring Oil or Extract. This is optional but a tasty addition.

Find the entire ingredients for the recipe at the bottom.

Variations

  • Powdered Sugar – You can add the rock candy to a zip lock bag and cover with powdered sugar.
  • Cinnamon Oil – Cinnamon oil can be added for a simple variation. This would be perfect for a treat for Christmas.
  • Raspberry Extract – Feel free to add in raspberry extract with blue food coloring for a fun blue raspberry candy.
  • Strawberry Extract. This pairs perfectly with red food coloring. Cherry extract is also delicious.
  • Lemon or Orange Extract. This is always a favorite with the kids.
  • Peppermint Extract – If you love the refreshing taste of peppermint, add in peppermint extract to the candy. Wintergreen or spearmint is also a great option.
Rock Candy ready to enjoy.

How to Make Rock Candy

Sugar and water in saucepan.

Step 1. First, add the sugar and water to a pan. Heat and continue to stir constantly until it boils. You do not want to boil the sugar solution too long or the candy will harden. Make sure to continue to stir.

Mixture removed from heat.

Step 2. Remove the sugar syrup from the heat. Just keep stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. The sugar mixture will get clearer as everything dissolves in the hot liquid.

Mason jars with mixture.

Step 3. Pour the hot mixture into the glass jars. Then place in the fridge to cool a little. Keep a close watch on the mixture because you do not want it cold but at room temperature.

Sugar crystals forming.

Step 4. While the mixture cools, get the skewers ready. Start by dampening each skewer and rolling them in sugar. Then allow to dry. In case you are interested in the “why”, this step of sugar coating helps give the sugar mixture something to cling to. It will help us to have larger sugar crystals.

Skewers in sugar mixture in jar.

Step 5. If you are adding any food coloring or flavoring, go ahead and do that now. This is optional but a few drops of food coloring look pretty. Tie cotton string to the picks and dangle into the sugar mixture.

Lid on mason jar holding the string.

Step 6. Once you have everything in place, hold the strings along the side of the jar and put the top on to hold it in place. Put the jar where no one will bother it. It needs to sit several days before you start to see the sugar crystals grow. The more days you wait, the bigger the crystals will get.

Straws tied together to form X.

Step 7. Once the crystals are the size you want, you can start the process of drying them.

Mason jar with candy hanging inside.

Step 8. Tie 2 straws into an X and balance it on top of a clean jar. Remove the rock candy from the jar and tie the strings to the straw X.

Candy forming in jar.

Step 9. Remember to not let them touch until they are dry.

Rock Candy ready to eat.

Step 10. Once the rock candy is dry, you can eat and enjoy.

Expert Tips

  • Sugar Crystals – Jars will have sugar crystals growing on their sides and maybe even across the top, you can break this to get your rock candy out. Just be careful not to knock the crystals off of the skewer sticks.
  • Clean the Jars – To clean the jars, it might be easier to let them soak in hot water for a bit to loosen the crystals.
  • Twine – Baker’s Twine can be used in place of the wooden skewers if desired. To do this, tie a life saver to the end bottom of the string to act as a weight and place it into the sugar mixture instead of the skewers. Please note that although this method does work, we have found that wooden skewers work better.
  • Candy Thermometer – A candy thermometer is not needed to make this delicious candy.
  • Glass Container – When making this rock candy, we recommend using a glass jar instead of a plastic cup.

Storage

Rock candy needs to be stored in a dry place and never in the refrigerator. We recommend storing in an air tight jar as it will last about 2 weeks. The perfect candy to make ahead of time.

More Easy Candy Recipes

If you are looking for a fun activity for the kids, give this sugar candy a try. Then come back and leave a comment please. I love hearing from you.

How to Make Rock Candy

5 from 7 votes
Impress your kids and learn How to Make Rock Candy in a few easy steps. Get the kiddos involved and make this fun candy together. It's pretty tasty too.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Grow Time (3-10 days) 3 days
Total Time 3 days 20 minutes
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 387

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • Food Coloring optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon Flavoring Oil or Extract optional
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Instructions

  • Add sugar and water to a pan and heat over high heat, stirring constantly until it reaches a rolling boil. Be careful not to boil it too long or the candy will start to harden. Keep Stirring!
  • Remove from heat and keep stirring until all of the sugar granules have dissolved. The mixture will suddenly get clearer when this happens.
  • Carefully pour the hot sugar mixture into your jars and put in the refrigerator to cool a bit. This usually takes 30 minutes to one hour depending on the size of your jars.. We don’t want the mixture to be cold, just about room temperature.
  • While your mixture is cooling, prepare your wooden skewers by getting them damp and rolling them in sugar. Once they have a coating of dry sugar on them, put them aside to dry. This sugar coating will give our sugar mixture something to attach itself to and help us have bigger sugar crystals in our rock candy!
  • When they cool to near room temperature, remove the jars from the refrigerator. If you are adding flavoring or food coloring do that step now.
  • Tie baker’s twine to your picks and dangle them into the sugar mixture, try to keep them from touching the bottom or each other. Once you get the picks placed where you want them in the jar, hold their strings along the sides of the jar screw the top on to hold the strings in place.
  • Set the jar aside somewhere where it won’t be disturbed and wait 3 -10 days for the sugar crystals to grow, the longer you wait the larger the crystals will get.
  • When the crystals grow to a good size, they are ready to dry. Tie two straws into an X and balance it on top of a clean jar. Carefully remove the rock candy sticks from their jars and tie their strings onto the straw X’s. Don’t let them touch each other, let them hang in the jar from the X until they are dry.
  • Once they are dry they are ready to eat!

Recipe Notes

Watch the rock candy closely as the sugar crystals grow as they could grow too large and start growing on the sides of the glass jars.  

Nutrition Facts

Calories 387kcal, Carbohydrates 100g, Sodium 3mg, Potassium 2mg, Sugar 100g, Calcium 2mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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