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How to make rock candy on a string

Rock Candy On A String Recipe

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 candies 1x


The preparation is only a few steps, but it will take some time for the crystals to form and grow. Leaving it out for a few days will give time for the crystals to grow bigger.

Forming Time: At least 6 hours to 1 week


  1. 4 cups of water
  2. 8 cups white granulated sugar
  3. Optional: 4 drops food coloring, 4 different colors
  4. Optional: 1 teaspoon flavoring extract or oil, 4 different flavors

Kitchen tools you’ll need:

  1. 8 thick cotton thread or kitchen twine
  2. 8 wooden skewers or straws
  3. A tall narrow glass or jar


STEP 1 – Prepare your materials

Before using the glass jars, wash them thoroughly with hot water. Dry the jars before assembling.

To assemble the glass jars, cut the strings at a height slightly taller than the jars.

Make sure that the strings are clean as well. Wet them with water and roll in granulated sugar. The sugared string will serve as a base layer where the sugar crystals will grow in the process later.

Tie the sugared string to the skewer or straw. Place the skewer across the glass jar to dry in a way that the string is hanging in the middle of the jar. Make sure that the string does not touch the bottom of the jar. The gap should be about an inch.

Repeat the process for the rest of the strings and set aside.

STEP 2 – Make the sugar syrup

In a medium-sized pan, boil the water and add the sugar gradually. You may do this one cup at a time, stirring the mixture after adding the sugar.

You will notice that while you add more sugar, it will take more time to dissolve. This is the saturated effect we’re looking for.

Repeat the process for the rest of the sugar and stir.

Once the sugar is completely dissolved, remove the pan from the heat.

STEP 3 – Add flavors and colors to the syrup

Divide the sugar mixture according to the number of flavors and color combinations you will be working on.

Since I’m using 4 combinations in this recipe, then I divided my mixture into 4 bowls. I assigned a flavor for each color to make it more fun.

While the syrup is still hot, add the colors and flavors and mix until well combined.

If you follow my mixture, you will come up with 2 rock candies for each flavor, but feel free to make your own adjustments. If you’re working on lesser or more combinations, that’s completely fine.

This step is not really critical in the crystallization process, so any changes you make is fine.

STEP 4 – Let cool

Let the sugar mixture cool for about 10 minutes.

Before you pour the mixture over the glass jars, remove the strings to keep the sugar in the strings intact.

After pouring the syrup into the jars, slowly return the strings into each jar keeping in mind the one-inch gap from the bottom.

STEP 5 – Leave in a cool place

Cover the top of the jars loosely with a plastic wrap or paper towel and position away from the direct sunlight.

Normally, you should start seeing crystals forming in a couple of hours. Leaving it longer will allow the crystals to grow bigger.

If after 24 hours you notice that there are no crystals forming, it means that the mixture is not saturated enough. You can fix this by reheating the mixture and adding more sugar along the way. Repeat step 4 after.

STEP 6 – Allow the sugar crystals to grow

You may leave the mixture for several days to allow it to grow bigger. A reminder on this though, leaving it out for too long will cause the crystals to grow on the sides of your jars.

If the crystals are big enough, remove the string from the glass jars and line them up on a plate or tray to dry.

Store the rock candies in an airtight container or in individual plastic wraps.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
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