Make homemade rock candy with these tips and tricks and answers to frequently asked questions. A fun science experiment and treat for kids! Rock candy takes 5-7 days to grow, but the process is fun to watch!
Looking for more science experiments for kids? Check out our collection of easy science experiments using household ingredients!
Watch our step by step video!
Homemade Rock Candy is easy to make, it just takes patience.
There are so many variations using string, sticks, etc. It’s a beautiful science project and sweet treat all in one. It does take time, and the end results can vary. There’s a science to it and that’s all part of the fun! Just know this… YOU NEED A WHOLE LOT OF SUGAR. A LOT. You can start with a 1:2 water/sugar ratio, but we’ve had better luck just shy of a 1:3 water sugar ratio. So if you have 4 cups of water, you’ll need between about 10 cups of sugar to make the perfect sugar syrup.
Scroll to the bottom for some frequently asked questions for making rock candy.
How to Make Rock Candy on a Stick
Homemade Rock Candy Recipe
- glass jars
- large pot
- Sugar lots of sugar
- Food Coloring concentrated for brighter colors
- Wooden Candy Sticks or Bamboo Skewers
- flavoring optional
- Trim down your skewers to a reasonable size to fit in whatever jars or cups that you will be using. You'll also want to get rid of the point. Dip them in water, then roll in sugar.
- Let the sticks dry completely and set aside. This will give the sugar a base (something to stick to when it starts to crystallize).
- Heat water on medium-high heat. When it starts to simmer/boil begin adding sugar until you reach a 1:2 to just shy of a 1:3 water sugar ratio. The mixture will take longer to dissolve the more sugar you add (totally normal). Keep stirring with a wooden spoon until completely dissolved. Remove from heat. CAUTION: it is very HOT!
- Ladle the syrup into your jars using a funnel to catch spills. Add food coloring and flavorings to each jar, if you’d like wouldn't grape, cherry, orange or lemon flavoring be delicious?).
- Allow the syrup in the mason jars to cool down a bit. Warm or room temperature. Attach a clothespin to each skewer (the ones you dipped in sugar and let dry) and place in the jar.
- Place your jars in a safe location and watch the crystals grow!
- You can create as much or as little syrup as you'd like as long as you keep the same sugar/water ratio. You are making a nice, sticky, sugary syrup.
- If after 24 hours you don't see any crystal growth, pour each jar of syrup back into the pan (separately) and add more sugar. 1/4 c. or so and heat once more until it is a syrup consistency. Roll the sticky skewers in sugar and add once more to the jar after the syrup has cooled down to be warm (not hot) or room temperature.
- Make sure the skewer isn't touching the bottom or sides of jar/glass. They need room to grow. One skewer per jar works best for regular sized jars.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can you make more than one stick of rock candy in each jar?
How do you drain the rock candy?
How long will rock candy last?
The shelf life for rock candy, if kept in a dry location, is 1 year.
Can I use a disposable foam cup for making rock candy?
Why didn’t my rock candy grow crystals?
If crystals don’t grow it is almost always due to lack of sugar.
If after 24 hours you don’t see any crystal growth, pour the syrup back into the pan and add more sugar. 1/4 c. or so and heat once more until it is a hot syrup consistency. Only pour and heat one jar at a time if you used different colors of syrup. Roll the sticky skewers in sugar and add once more to the jar after the syrup has cooled down.
Can you re-use rock candy syrup to make more crystals?
Should You Cover Your Rock Candy Jars?
Here’s are a few more tips for making homemade rock candy:
- Make sure your glass/jars are clear and CLEAN.
- Make sure your water/ sugar ratio is AT LEAST 1:2- just shy of a 1:3. You want a thick, saturated sugar syrup mixture.
- Place in a WARM, SUNNY location if you’d like to grow crystals quicker. They will be smaller crystals. If you want larger crystals, place it in a place away from direct sunlight. Our crystals are small because we grow ours on a windowsill. We like seeing the light shine through the glass and watching the crystals grow.
Welcome! I'm Brandy, mother to 5 darling kiddos and a cute black lab named Toby. My husband is in the Coast Guard so we've lived all over the place, turning each house into a home. I love baking, sewing, making cute things with my kids, and sharing what I've learned with all of you!