Making rock candy is a great intro to being crafty in the kitchen. It’s a fun project for scientists of any age—and learning how to make rock candy is the perfect rainy day activity. (Here are snacks to make when you get hungry, too!)
How to Make Rock Candy
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups sugar, plus 1/2 cup for coating
- ½ to 1 teaspoon flavoring
- 2-4 drops food coloring
- Wooden skewers
- Mason jars
Step 1: Fire up the saucepan
Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Add the sugar one cup at a time, making sure to stir now and then. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and put it off to the side to cool.
Step 2: Add some flavor
Add your flavor to the sugar solution. Fruity flavors like orange, strawberry or cherry are always big hits, but almond or lavender are delicious grown-up options as well. This is also the perfect time to add a few drops of food coloring.
Step 3: Prep your skewers
While the sugar-water mixture is cooling, wash out a few mason jars. Take your wooden skewers and carefully dip them into the sugar solution. Pour the extra sugar on a plate and roll the skewers in sugar to coat them. Finally, clip a clothespin to each skewer—this will let you hang them in your jars or glasses.
Step 4: Let the magic unfold
Once completely cooled, fill each jar with the remaining sugar solution. Place one sugar-coated stick in each jar while being careful not to let them touch the jar itself.
Step 5: Wait three to seven days
Gently cover the jars with plastic wrap to make sure no unwanted bugs wing their way in. Leaving the skewers in the solution longer will make the rock candy larger.
Step 6: Eat the candy!
Unwrap the jars and remove the skewers. They should be chunky, sugary and ready to eat!
Notes from the Kitchen:
- If you don’t have mason jars: Water glasses or even plastic cups will do the trick as long as they’re large enough to suspend the skewers.
- If your rock candy is stuck to the jar: Simply pop the jar in warm water for a couple of minutes. This should soften the sugar enough that you can ease your rock candy out.
Feeling inspired to craft more homemade treats? Check out our Tie-Dyed Cupcakes!