Homemade Rock Candy
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
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.
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- Lollipop sticks or bamboo skewers
- Wide glasses or mason jars
Step 2: How to make homemade rock candy
To begin you need something for the rock candy crystals 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
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 (800 ml size). That, size jar will make one large rock candy. Or can can try it with smaller containers.
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 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!
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.
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. This is science but not always an exact science, meaning sometimes the sugar crystals just don’t grow how you want them to.
I have found an 800 ml size mason jar works great, it is about 3.5 inches wide and 6.5 inches tall. But it will only make one large candy with this recipe. 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 wide 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.
Rock candy is a cool treat to make. It takes a little time but it is so fun to watch as the sugar crystals develop into the homemade rock candy.