Introduction: How to Make Sugar Crystals on a Stick

Picture of How to Make Sugar Crystals on a Stick
You would think that this is easy, and it is, if you don’t overcook it. I have a tendency to want to create suckers (you should see my extensive sucker mold collection), instead of sugar crystals.  So here is how I finally was able to come up with sugar crystals on a stick.  This is way fun and a way to learn patience, especially for the young people who are learning how to make their own sugar crystals.  So here we go to make Sugar Crystals on a stick.

Step 1:

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1 cup water
2 ½ cups sugar
Food coloring
Flavor oil ($2 a bottle)
Sauce pan
Tall narrow glass jar (mine used to have hot pickles veggies in it)
Clothes pin
Short skewers (about 6 inches)
Rubber scraper

Step 2:

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First wet the bamboo skewer and then coat it with sugar.  These will be the seed crystals for the growing of the bigger sugar crystals.  Let it dry while you make the sugar syrup.

Step 3:

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Place the water in the sauce pan.  Turn the burner heat to medium.

Step 4:

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Add the sugar a little at a time, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved, before adding any more. Then add a little more and keep stirring.   

Step 5:

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Once all the sugar is gone, it will be boililng, take the pan off the heat.  The syrup will be a little thick, but that is what we want, the water is now saturated (as full as it can be of sugar).

Step 6:

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Add some food coloring.  I used the cake decorating paste I have from past projects.  If you need to use regular food coloring, add a lot, like 40 drops to make good color in the crystals.
Then add ½ tsp. of oil flavoring.  Flavoring with alcohol burns off to quickly and doesn’t leave much flavor behind, you may use it but it won’t have a lot of flavor.  Stir until the color and flavor is well blended.

Step 7:

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Pour the syrup into the bottle.  Let it cool to room temperature. This will take an hour or so. If you don’t wait until it is cool, and you put your skewer in, the sugar on it will dissolve, then there are no seeds form crystals and so no crystals will grow (been there done that).
Clip the clothes pin on the end of the skewer and put the sugar covered end into the syrup.  Put the bottle with the skewer in a light place where it will not be disturbed.  I put mine on a window sill.  Wait on whole week, seven days, or 168 hours.  You may look at it but don’t disturb it.  During the week some of the water will evaporate.  This process keep the syrup saturated and so will help in the creating of the large sugar crystals on the stick.

Step 8:

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7 days later, pull the skewer from the bottle and it will be covered with yummy crystals.  Let it dry and it’s done.  You could put another sugar covered skewer into the jar and wait another week for another crystal covered stick.  Or maybe I should of put 2 sticks in at the same time.  Cool.  My 12 year old grandson asked, “Is it eatable?”  I gave him the left over crystals that formed in a cup without a stick.  He liked it.  Enjoy!


buttercupgirl (author)2017-05-30

i didn't understand step6

If you want your sugar crystals to have color and flavor, then you will add food coloring and oil flavoring. If you don't, then move on to step 7. Good luck. Thanks for your comment.

LauraM319 (author)2016-11-19

How did putting two sticks in at the same time turn out? Also, did the length of the crystal formation depend on how deeply you emersed it in the solution or did it depend on how much of the skewer you covered with the sugar "seeds"?

craftknowitall (author)LauraM3192016-11-19

If they are far enough apart you get two separate sticks. Mine weren't far enough apart so it turned into a large crystal cluster with 2 sticks, sticking out of it. Didn't stop my kids from eating it. How much of the stick is in the solution has a lot to do with how many crystals of size are formed, although if you don't have seed crystals you won't grow crystals. So they both are important to the process. Thanks for asking.

Noahdude12 (author)2016-06-29

When I put the stick in, the sugar always fell off

Did you let the seed crystals dry before adding to the syrup? Did you use a plastic stick instead of a wood stick? I don't know what to tell you. I have never had that problem. You could try hanging a seeded thick cotton string in the syrup from a pencil with a weight on the end. Usually the wood is just rough enough to get the crystals to cling to it. The same with the cotton string. Keep trying. Thanks for asking.

S1LV3RSONGS (author)2016-03-03

Lol, befor i read this, i had just blended a tun of sugar into tap water, poured into glass, stuck in "the stick" + 1 overnight... It was terrible
But yea this method works great

You're welcome. Thanks for commenting.

ghost160 (author)2016-02-02

awsome i did suger crystals on a stick!

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What the heck is that supposed to mean?


69XxSwagLordxX6 (author)2016-01-19

Hello Peoples I Am The New Swag Lord Suck It

Smforeman2 (author)2015-09-24

That looks so good

The SwagerLord Is Inm Session

WilliamB1 (author)2014-08-26

what if i made it reast in the fridge, or a freezer, or the oven (when its turned off off course)

AffiA (author)WilliamB12015-06-01

That'll work for sure or you can just let it sit at room temperature

AffiA (author)2015-06-01

Instead of stove,can we use oven please? And can we use jelly powder instead of food colouring and, is flavouring optional? I dont have clothespeg so what should i use instead of it?

sam.campbell.54379 (author)2015-03-19

Thank you! You just explained why the first batch didn't go well. Wish we had seen your instructions first!

sirima.binthep (author)2014-07-25

Thank you very much, I tried but fail many times, I hope your method will help, please show me how to make them for commercial. Thank you.

Hungrybearfire (author)2012-07-30

Can you help me figure out why whenever I try to make this my syrup hardens the next day after I poured it into my cup. I use a plastic cup is that an issue?

Congratulations, you are making, as my mother called it, " hard tack" candy, or in other words, add sticks and you have suckers. The problem is you are cooking the syrup too long and to, too high a temperature ( problably around 150 degrees C or 300 degrees F , that's called hark crack). You want to desolve the sugar until it won't hold any more, then stop cooking. It is better to use a clear glass jar and then put it in a sunny place. Hope this helps. Thank you for asking.

mrscoloradogal (author)2012-05-13

WOW! I sure wish I had seen this a couple months ago! We attempted to make these for my daughter's science project and it was a complete disaster. We ended up with a super-saturated solution that turned into a huge sugar blob in the jar after 3 days.

We'll have to try your method because we really want to make rock candy! Thank you!

Be sure and put the jar in a sunny place, it helps a lot.

Thanks, we will! The ones we made before weren't anywhere near a window!

flixs (author)2012-04-16

question: at the time when you remove this , couldnt you coat it in sugar again, and drop that into a new jar that was cooled for stick insertion... maybe a differnt color?

craftknowitall (author)flixs2012-04-17

YOu could, I don't see why not. Sounds like an experiment to me. Try it and let me know how it turns out.

rimar2000 (author)2012-04-15


Jakwiebus (author)2012-04-15

cool, you can make small ones to stir in you tea en sweeten it at the same time. worth a shot :D
nice work

craftknowitall (author)Jakwiebus2012-04-15

Yes that would work. Thanks for looking.

mrmath (author)2012-04-14

I tried this once in college, but didn't seal up the container, and ended up with a jar full of dead ants instead of a tasty treat. :P

craftknowitall (author)mrmath2012-04-15

I had a problem like that once in Florida. I can smile now, hope you can too. Thanks for looking.

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Bio: In a valiant attempt to keep myself from dying of boredom, I create.
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