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How To Create The Perfect Rock Candy

Rock Candy Experimment

Rock candy is a great treat to make at home which tastes great and is always a fun recipe and science experiment to do with kids. It’s amazing watching the sugar crystals come to life and adhere to the string or wooden skewer if that’s what you decided to use. Tell your kids that this is how to create the perfect rock candy and get to work following the post below. You’ll enjoy it immensely.      

One thing that is always fun to do is experiment with the different color and flavor combinations as the choices can go on forever. What a great way for kids to engage and really awaken their creativity in the kitchen with you.

I have to warn you this does take quite a bit of patience since it can take up to a week to see your sugar candy form it’s rock crystals. However, watching the sugar crystals form can be a lot of fun especially for children. You can see growth in your rock candy almost immediately (within a few hours).

It is always important to keep in mind that the exact quantity of liquid sugar (I included a link right here in case you are having trouble finding it) you will need depends on the size of jars you’re using and how many rock candy strings or wooden skewers you want. The recipe’s measurements work for about four 12-ounce jars or one quart-sized mason jar. You can easily double or triple the recipe and make more rock candy strings or wooden skewers at once.

What You’ll Need

  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups granulated sugar 
  • Optional: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon flavoring extract or oil
  • Optional: 2 drops food coloring (This is an incredible kit which is perfect for the serious crafter for any project from making slime, cake decorating, candy making, etc. The projects and colors are endless bringing out your most creative side. Your kids will adore you even more! Check it out!) 

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How to Make It

Prepare Your Materials

  1. Clean the glass jars thoroughly with hot water. 
  2. For each jar, cut a length of a thick cotton thread a few inches longer than the height of the jar, and tape it to a pencil. Place the pencil across the lip of the jar, and wind it until the thread is hanging about 1 inch from the bottom of the jar. Attaching a paper clip to the bottom of the thread will weigh it down and help it hang straight.
  1. As an alternative, you can use a wooden skewer instead of the string. Use clothespins balanced across the top of the jar to clip it into place.

Make Your Rock Candy

  1. Wet each thread or wooden skewer with water, and roll it in granulated sugar. This base layer gives the sugar crystals something to grab when they start forming. Set these aside to dry while you prepare the sugar syrup.
  2. Place the water in a medium-sized pan and bring it to a boil. Begin adding the sugar, one cup at a time, stirring after each addition. You will notice that it takes longer for the sugar to dissolve after each cup you add. Continue to stir and boil the syrup until all of the sugar has been added and it is completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat.
  3. If you are using colors or flavorings, add them at this point. When using an extract, add 1 teaspoon of extract; for flavoring oils, only add 1/2 teaspoon. Make sure you don’t stand right in front of the pan because the scent can be very strong as it rises in the steam. Add 2 to 3 drops of food coloring and stir it in to ensure an even, smooth color.
  4. Allow the sugar syrup to cool for approximately 10 minutes, then pour it into the prepared jars. Lower one sugared string or skewer into each jar until it hangs about 1 inch from the bottom.
  5. Carefully place your jar in a cool place, away from harsh lights, where it can sit undisturbed. Cover the top loosely with plastic wrap or a paper towel.
  6. You should start to see sugar crystals forming within two to four hours. If you see no change after 24 hours, try boiling the sugar syrup again and dissolve another cup of sugar into it. Then pour it back into the jar and insert the string or skewer again.
  1. Allow the rock candy to grow until it is the size you want. Don’t let it grow too large, otherwise, it might start growing into the sides of your jar! Once it has reached the desired size, remove it and allow it to dry for a few minutes, then enjoy or wrap in plastic wrap to save for later.

Favorite Flavors of Rock Candy

You can spend hours combining the colors and the flavors of the rock candy you are making. You can keep it simple like red for cherry, orange for orange, green for lime, and so on and so forth or you can go crazy and use rasberry flavoring and blue food coloring to make blue rasberry or instead of yellow food coloring and lemon extract use banana. There are so many different surprise endings your imagination will need to take a vacation when you finish your creations.   

My suggestion would be to look up different flavorings and coloring choices online to get some inspiration. I listed a kit above that is ideal for this exploration into different flavors and color combinations. It not only works for rock candy but is also awesome for slime recipes. I mean just imagine buttered rum, tutti frutti, black licorice, maple, wintergreen, cinamon, spearmint, etc. Whatever you choose you will have quite the array of choices to entertain your children, friends and family.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 774
Total Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Unsaturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 4 mg
Carbohydrates 200 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Protein 0 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)
***I used the recipe from The Spruce Eats which is a site I love and rely on often. Be sure to check it out. At first I relied on it religiously but after a few attempts at rock candy perfection (LOL here) I started experimenting with my results and having fun with my creativity (our kids loved it) and really making it mine own but the recipe almost always remained the same from the above website which deserves all the credit. Thank you to The Spruce Eats