Colorful Homemade Rock Candy

Making colorful homemade rock candy is a captivating, sugary science experiment with a sweet treat as its final result. With a little bit of food coloring and lots of sugar, these sweet crystal treats are super easy to make and are perfect to be stirred into your tea or simply enjoyed as they are.
Colorful Homemade Rock Candy pinit

About This Rock Candy Recipe

Water, lots of sugar, and even more patience — the three ingredients you need to create these delightful rock candies.

Rock candy is nothing but crystals of sugar on a stick. They are called rock candy because the crystals look like rock formations. Interestingly enough, this candy is made as a science experiment to help reveal how crystals are formed.

It’s made from a supersaturated solution of sugar and water that crystallizes onto the stick. And in 7 to 10 days, you’ll see stunning crystals of sugar forming on the stick.

To conduct this sweet experiment, you need sugar, water, food coloring to make the crystals look more fascinating, some wooden skewers, clothespins, and glass jars. Confused about the clothespins part? Well, they may not be a common tool in the kitchen, but in this recipe, they are very helpful to balance the sticks on the jar because you can’t let the stick touch the bottom or the sides of the jar.

Rock candy is often dissolved in tea and is a significant element in the tea culture. But it is also a common ingredient in Chinese cooking.

This is one of the easiest candies to make at home, but you need to be patient and wait for a few days for the crystals to form. The fun part is that you can check your jars every day and see how the crystals are growing. And because the candies will expand in separate jars, you can make lots of different colors with just one simple recipe.

Colorful Homemade Rock Candy

What You Need for This Rock Candy Recipe

Colorful Homemade Rock Candy Ingredients

Ingredient Notes

  • Sugar & Water: They are needed to make a supersaturated solution that will help the crystallization process.
  • Food Coloring: To make these rock candies even fancier, I have used various food coloring.

Colorful Homemade Rock Candy

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Food Coloring: Instead of food coloring, you may also use concentrated flavoring and make rock candies of different flavors.

Colorful Homemade Rock Candy


Why are my sugar crystals not growing?

If you see that the crystals are not growing after a few days, it may be because the solution was not supersaturated. Just put the mixture back into a pan, bring it to a boil, add more sugar, and stir until it dissolves. Continue adding sugar until it doesn’t dissolve anymore. I also suggest using new skewers.

How can I store these rock candies?

You may wrap the candies in cellophane wrappers and store them in a cool, dry place. Properly stored, these rock candies will be good for a good year.

Colorful Homemade Rock Candy

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 10 min Rest Time 240 hour Total Time 240 hrs 30 mins


Homemade rock candy is a super easy and fun science experiment that you can also eat! With just a few ingredients and lots of patience, you can grow crunchy and colorful crystals of sugar at home!

Yield: 8 sticks


How To Make Rock Candy Step By Step

  1. To prepare the jars and sticks, clip wooden skewers into the clothespins and balance them over the jars. Make sure they do not touch the sides or the bottom of the jar. You may have 2 skewers per jar, but make sure they don’t touch each other.

    Pour the water into a pan, bring it to boil, and start adding the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until it dissolves after each cup. Stop adding sugar when you see that no more will dissolve. Remove the pot from the heat and let it rest for around 15 minutes.

    Colorful Homemade Rock Candy Step 1
  2. In the meantime, dip the bottom portion of the skewers in the syrup, and roll them in sugar to put some “seeds” on the sticks. This step will help kick-start the growth of the sugar crystals. Put the inverted skewers in the jars and let them dry while the syrup cools.

    Colorful Homemade Rock Candy Step 2
  3. Remove the skewers from the jars, add a generous amount of food coloring of your choice to each jar, pour the sugar syrup, and stir gently to blend the food coloring. Carefully add the two skewers with the coated ends down into each jar, resting the clothespins across the mouth of the jars. Be sure they hang straight down the middle without touching the sides, the bottom, or each other.

    Colorful Homemade Rock Candy Step 3
  4. Place the jars in a safe place where they will not be disturbed, and watch the crystals grow over the next 10 days.

  5. After 10 days, gently crack the solidified sugar layer that has formed on the top, remove the sticks and place them in clean jars to drip and dry for 3 to 4 hours. Enjoy!

    Colorful Homemade Rock Candy Step 5-1

    Colorful Homemade Rock Candy Step 5-2


  • Narrow glass jars of 250 ml are great. They can comfortably hold 2 skewers.
  • Make sure your skewers are hanging around one inch from the bottom of the jar. If they’re too close, the crystals will stick to the bottom, and it will be difficult to remove the skewers.
  • Be generous with the food coloring and make the color slightly darker, as it will look lighter once the crystals form.
  • Once you’ve poured the sugar mixture and placed the skewers in the jars, make sure you don’t move them.
  • The exact quantity of sugar will depend on the size of the jars and how many candies you want to make.