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!
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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 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 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
- 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 med-high heat. When it simmers begin adding sugar until you reach a 1:2 to just shy of a 1:3 water sugar ratio. It will get to a point where it won't dissolve any more and the syrup will look slightly cloudy. Remove from heat.
- Allow your syrup to cool for a few minutes and ladle into your jars using a funnel to catch spills. It is still very hot at this point.
- Add food coloring and flavoring if you'd like.
- When the syrup is warm (not hot) attach a clothespin to each skewer (the ones you dipped in sugar and let dry) and place in the cup.
- Place your jars in a warm location with lots of natural light 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 and looks slightly cloudy. Roll the sticky skewers in sugar and add once more to the jar after the syrup has cooled down to just being warm (not hot).
- 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 syrup consistency and looks slightly cloudy. 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 to just being warm (not hot).
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. When I said it will get to a point where it will not dissolve anymore, that does not mean that it will be gritty. It will still look like a syrup, but a little cloudy. That is when you will know that it is saturated.
- Place in a WARM, SUNNY location.