How to Make Rock Candy


As a kid, I thought rock candy was positively amazing, and I still think it looks really neat. I always wondered how to make it, but never had the opportunity till now. Here’s an easy recipe to try with or without your kids. If children are present, care must be taken around the hot liquid.

4 ½ c. sugar
2 c. water
4 (12-oz.) glass jars
4 (7-inch) pieces clean string
4 wooden skewers or pencils

1. Sterilize jars: Place the jars in the bottom of a large pan, and fill pan with enough water to cover the jars by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; boil for 2 minutes (to sterilize). Remove jars, cool completely, and dry.
2. Tie the strings around centers of wooden skewers or pencils. Place 1 string in each jar, resting skewer or pencil across the rim of the jar, and making sure the strings do not touch the bottoms of the jars.
3. Make syrup: Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally; boil, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.* Let stand 5 minutes.
4. Pour about 1 cup syrup mixture carefully around skewer into each jar. Loosely cover with aluminum foil (including skewer); pierce aluminum foil several times with a skewer or knife. Let stand 10 to 14 days or until crystals form on strings. (Occasionally break up hard sugar layer on surface using a wooden skewer.)
5. Remove strings from jars, and suspend between jars until crystals are dry (about 1 hour). Remove strings from skewers or pencils.

*If you wish, you can also add food coloring and flavored oils such as cinnamon oil at the end of step #3, after you remove from the heat but before you allow the mixture to stand 5 minutes.

Adapted from Southern Living magazine.

There are many references to what we now call Rock Candy in literature. There are several references to it in the poems of the Persian poet Jalal-ad-Din Rumi who lived in Turkey in the middle 1200′s. One early English reference in 1584 seems to sum up the virtues of Rock Candy where it is quoted “White sugar is not so good for phlegume, as that which is called Sugar Candie.” Shakespeare in Henry IV (1596) referred to its therapeutic value as a throat soother for long winded talkers. (from Dryden and Palmer candy website.)

10 thoughts on “How to Make Rock Candy

  1. My mother-in-law has made rock candy with the kids, but always when I’m not around. So, thank you for sharing!!!

  2. Please reply to the follwing comment before
    October 10th 2007. After the water dissolves
    the sugar, is it suppose to look like regular
    water

  3. Ashley,
    Yes, the water will be clear.
    Linda

  4. i think that its really cool to make rock candy

  5. do you put string in liquid?
    or above?

  6. Kendra, suspend the string in the liquid making sure it doesn’t touch the bottom of the container.

  7. its great to know how the rock candys was made
    thank you for that!

  8. i think rock candy is cool!!!!!!!

  9. when i boiled the syrup i put it in the fridge and now it is really thick. is that ok?

  10. This is great, I have not had rock candy for years, Annie

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