Vintage Sponge Candy Recipe

Sponge candy is a true vintage treat that brings back memories of childhood and the corner sweet shop. Now's the time to bring it to a new generation of candy lovers!

Two Toned Angel Food CandyPhoto: Taste of Home

Sponge Candy is a simple and delicious treat that brings back memories of grandmother’s kitchen and the corner sweet shop. (Just like these old-school dessert recipes!) However you might know this classic by a different name; Cinder Toffee, Fairy Food, Seafoam Candy, Angel Food Candy, Honeycomb Hokey Pokey…the variations go on and on.

Though its name is divided, there are some things about which we can be certain. We’re all talking about an airy, crunchy confection that has a lovely molasses-y flavor. Follow along as we show you how to make it.

How to Make Sponge Candy

Ingredients

  • 1-3 teaspoons butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (You can use white granulated sugar instead, if you like. Brown sugar will give you more of a molasses flavor.)
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

Directions

Step 1: Grease Your Pan

Two Toned Angel Food CandyPhoto: Taste of Home

Line a 13×9-in. baking pan with foil; generously grease the foil with butter and set the pan aside. Measure out your baking soda and have it ready to go.

Step 2: Heat Ingredients in a Large Saucepan

Two Toned Angel Food CandyPhoto: Taste of Home

In a large (larger than you think you’ll need!) heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup and vinegar over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil.

Step 3: Cook Until It Reaches 300°

Two Toned Angel Food CandyPhoto: Taste of Home

Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 300° (hard-crack stage).

Test Kitchen tip: Though a candy thermometer will give you the best results, if you don’t have one handy, there’s a simple way to tell if the mixture has reached the hard-crack stage: Carefully drop a tiny spoonful of the hot syrup into ice-cold water. Remove the candy from the water, if it snaps then you know it’s hot enough.
 

Step 4: Add Baking Soda and Stir, Stir, Stir!

Two Toned Angel Food CandyPhoto: Taste of Home
Here’s the fun part. Remove from heat and add the baking soda, stirring rapidly. When you add the soda, the whole mixture will puff up—don’t be alarmed (this is where the “larger than you think you’ll need” saucepan comes in handy), and don’t stop stirring!

Step 5: Pour Into the Pan

Two Toned Angel Food CandyPhoto: Taste of Home
Once combined, immediately pour into the prepared pan. Do not spread the candy (it won’t fill the pan), and do not scrape the saucepan. Let the candy cool, undisturbed. Basically, keep your hands off as much as possible. Any stirring, bumping, shaking, smoothing, etc., will pop the air bubbles that make the candy so wonderful.

Step 6: Get Crackin’

Two Toned Angel Food CandyPhoto: Taste of Home

Once the candy is cool and set, use the foil to lift it out of the pan. Gently peel back the foil and break the candy into pieces. Store in an airtight container (moisture will make the candy soften and collapse).
 

Add a Chocolate-y Upgrade (Optional)

Two Toned Angel Food CandyPhoto: Taste of Home
If you like, you can dip the candy in the chocolate coating of your choice—dark, milk, white or two-toned, it’s all delicious!

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Hazel Wheaton
Hazel is a writer and editor who has worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years in the fields of travel, jewelry arts and food. As the editor of the Taste of Home Christmas Annual (among other titles), she's in the holiday spirit all year round. An enthusiastic baker, she's known for her cookies, cakes and other baked goods. And she still wishes she could cook like her mother.