Introduction: How to Make Sugar Glass

Picture of How to Make Sugar Glass

I've always wondered about sugar glass, and was surprised at how easy it was to make. You can buy everything you need for homemade sugar glass at the grocery store and make it in your kitchen. In the end this recipe produces a sheet of sugar glass that is perfect for your indy movie.

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Step 1: Shopping List

Picture of Shopping List

1. A big bottle of white corn syrup.
(I bought the one quart size.)

2. A can if non-stick cooking spray.

3. A big bag of white sugar.
(You can always use more sugar, buy a pound!)

4. A candy thermometer.
(Chances are you can borrow one of these.)

5. Cream of Tartar.
(Turns out this is actually a powder, you can find it in the spice section.)

6. A big pot.
(I read somewhere that the pot would be ruined after you make this, but mine was fine with a

7. Measuring cup.
(Again you should be able borrow this if you don't already have one.)

8. A Mold.
(For a sheet of sugar glass all you'll need is big cookie sheet, but you can make more
complicated molds.)

9. Water.

Step 2: The Mix

Picture of The Mix

It doesn't get any easier then this. The proportions I used for a 17"x11" sheet of glass is as follows.

2 cups water
1 cup corn syrup
3 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Now mix these ingredients into your pot and SLOWLY bring them to a boil. If you heat it too rapidly the mix sugar will caramelize (become yellow and burnt). Depending on the altitude your sugar glass mix should start to boil around 160-200*F. Your mix will start cloudy and white, but as it starts to boil it becomes clear.

If you're heating it at the right pace, it should take at least an hour to reach our target temperature, which is 300*F. My first batch started turning slightly yellow at about 290* and resulted in yellow glass. The second batch I removed at 260*, and while being more clear, it was very soft. My remedy, put it in the refrigerator until you need to break it.

Step 3: The Mold and the Pour

Picture of The Mold and the Pour

The simplest mold to use is just a big cookie sheet. I used a standard 17"x11" size. First thing you want to do is spray the crap out of your sheet with cooking spray. This will allow the glass to come out of the mold when dry. Now once your sugar glass mix comes off the stove it will start to dry fast. So don't wait long to pour. Go slow making sure to spread the mix evenly across the mold. I even picked up the mold and rocked it back and forth to get the mix level and in all the corners.

There might be some small bubbles on the surface. Most of these should go away, but feel free to (carefully) pop them with something pointy. Now just wait 1 hour!

Step 4: The Removal

This can be a difficult process. What finally worked for me was to take a knife and heat it up under hot water, then carefully cut along the very edge where the glass meets the edge of the pan. After that I was able to carefully pry it up. Then flip it over and slowly lift the pan away from the sugar glass that is resting on you hand.

Step 5: The Execution

Picture of The Execution

Sugar glass does not last all. As I said before, keep it in the fridge until you need it. After only 10-15 minutes at room temperature the glass will start to sweat and get sticky. The longer you leave it out the more it will just bend instead of break.

There are tons of creative ways to use this stuff. You could try and make a big window out of smaller sheets, break a fire extinguisher case, or just break it and stick it to your actors face to make them look like they just went threw a window. Just keep in mind that you can still cut yourself with this stuff.


bauer13 (author)2013-12-03

I need a sugar glass globe. Is there a way to do this? It's supposed to be a crystal ball prop.

rpotts2 (author)bauer132016-12-06

kind of late here, but you probably need a hollow ball that splits apart. you would dump your stuff in, close it up and spin it round like a glass blower.

mgrim1 (author)bauer132013-12-15

what you can do is take a ball (whatever size the crystal ball needs to be) and cut off a chunk at the bottom. after you've made the sugar glass (and dyed it if you want) pour it into the ball. the bottom will be flat, but that also might help so it can stand up on its own.

NurashikinJ (author)2014-11-18

Can we eat this thinggggg

ElizabethA48 (author)NurashikinJ2016-03-29

yes its edible

BrandiLynnWheeler (author)2014-10-24

Hey I used just water and sugar on Martha Stewart blog. And how long does it take to turn brown, and how long to harden

big-jamie (author)2010-08-06

hey there, i decided to make sugar glass, i didnt have any cream of tartar, so i didnt use that, and in britain corn syrup isnt all that common, so i found that golden syrup (light treacle) can be used as a substitute for it, and i used that but found it turned it i didnt know wether it was burnt or not...percivered with it for about an hour and 20 mins, until i had a lovely looking and smelling gloopy liquid, let it set and BAM.....pure deliciousness, tastes amazing, and if i used corn syrup i think it would of been perfectly clear, its just yellow clear now lol.

If you heat if to much, if even just a tad... It'll get that yellow color to it... It is very difficult for it not to... Also, Pip Pip Cheerio XD

Hey I tried making it with sugar and water. App. How long does it take to turn brown. And how long to harden?

dwilson21 (author)big-jamie2011-09-08

Hey Dude, Glad to know Golden Syrup works. I'm from LA but live in Scotland and, you're right, hard to find Karo syrup. Was gonna try the Golden stuff but managed to find a website based in the UK that has American sweets and cooking stuff. Funnily enough, it's . They sell Gallon size (3.78 litres) for £22.99 or smaller 470ml for £3.99. Clear or Dark Brown in both sizes. I recommend the dark if you want colored cause I added food coloring in mine and it just burned the food coloring and didn't go green. It was boiling though. AND, if you have an option between pliable PVC rubber compound or more firm...definitely go with the firm. Moveable stuff is rediculous to keep the mold shape and you look like you're holding a fish when you try and rotate the bottle. - LA Drew

oniman7 (author)2008-09-24

Do you think a higher-end airsoft gun would break this? I was thinking I would make some of this and shoot it with my airsoft gun, maybe send the video to my uncle stationed in Japan. See if he could figure it out.

anibioman (author)oniman72010-08-20

it really depends on the thickness an air soft gun couldn't shoot through a sheet of aluminum but could definitely shoot through a sheet of aluminum foil same idea a thick sheet i think not a thin sheet i believe so. if you make it as thin as you can it should work in your favor. hope you find this helpful. -Parker

My friends Electric Airsoft gun was actually able to tear through a thin sheet of steel 2 mm thick... It took quite a few shoots but it does work... I would say if you had a decent enough airsoft gun you should be able to tear or chip your way through at least a decent thickness of it like nothing...

tragerstreit (author)2008-08-06

It's humidity that causes sugarwork to fall apart; sticking it in the fridge will hasten this process - water will condense on the colder than room temp sugar and cause it to get sticky. A better solution might be to get some dessicant (those silica gel packets) and store the glass in a bag with them until you're ready to go. Ideally, though, you'd just wait for a really dry day to do this. :)

DrCoolSanta (author)tragerstreit2008-09-08

There is more to it than just humidity. Sugar crystals tend to bend when they are at higher temperatures. Try heating the glass very lightly and after sometimes it becomes a liquid. Keeping it in the fridge helps this way. On the other hand, putting the glass in water, and it would become sticky, not exactly bendy, and even if it does, I doubt that would happen with just humidity.

It can the sugar is very hygroscopic, especially seeing as when you add the Cream Of Tartar is breaks down from Sucrose into Glucose and Fructose, which is especially hygroscopic... Like syrups for instance, which you can leave on a surface yet they will never truly dry because of their affinity for water... That's the same stuff this glass has been made of... Only without the moister... Which will be picked back up if given the chance...

anoel7 (author)DrCoolSanta2011-12-05

In culinary school we did some pulled sugar work, and making basic sugar glass, but I don't remember how to do it, it's been over 10 years now since I've worked with either pulled or poured sugar. We used light boxes with various wattage of bulbs to heat the sugar to the degree we needed it -- if a 60-watt bulb didn't heat it enough we stepped up to a 100-watt or flood-type bulb that really puts out some heat to keep the sugar warm and to allow is to bend it as much as we needed to. When we needed it to go back to a really melty stage in certain spots we used a small blow torch like you'd use to caramelize the top of a creme brulee (you know the ones I mean - not available in the hardware store - you gotta get these little ones from a culinary tools store. The little "pen" type soldering torches didn't put out enough to do the job.)

Some of the projects were so fragile that they didn't hold up until judging time . . . my partner's project broke just as she was taking it up to be judged -- we couldn't put enough of it back together in order to save her grade, though, with either torch or light box. (That was when we learned the wisdom of making a "back-up" just as ready to be judged. If you don't need it you can always eat it after class!)

For my gingerbread house windows I think I am gonna have to mold it already in squares instead of trying to cut it which could be a real disaster! It would likely shatter when being cut . . .

jimbo-g (author)2012-05-16

I need a shatterable mirror for a prop. You can make normal mirrors by spraying a high gloss metallic paint on clean glass. Would using spray paint on this sugar glass corrode it or distort it? Any other way to make a prop mirror?

TrollFaceTheMan (author)jimbo-g2014-03-06

You might want to use a resign instead of sugar glass in that case

lukeyj15 (author)2009-03-26

Can you eat it?

DrWeird117 (author)lukeyj152009-06-06

Tastes like plastic, but...yeah.

Mine tasted fine...

solipsism (author)lukeyj152013-09-28

ya, it just tastes like mintless candy cane

g33klaura (author)2010-06-10

Is it just the photo that makes the glass look so yellow? I'm thinking of using this in a cake creation but I'd need it to be clear. :)

its just the light i think

tinker234 (author)2012-02-25

i like the idea of sugar glass but i was wondering about rubber glass i know it feels like rubber is it a good alterintavie to sugar glass

ForumMulti357 (author)2008-11-02

Cream of Tartar is in fact pronounced "tar-tar." If you ever spent time in a professional kitchen or time around any culinary experts you'd know this. Also if you look the word up, the first syllable in either form of "tartar" doesn't include the 2nd T. 3rdly, try not to make blatant typos such as "neah" while in the process of trying to sound smart by correcting someone's grammar. kthxbai

Actually, it IS pronounced "tar-ter." Tartare, as a culinary entity, is raw, finely chopped meat, and is of a French derivation, while "cream of tartar" is actually tartaric acid, which is harvested from the insides of wine barrels. Check your sources before acting like a smartypants.

luhe98922 (author)2008-11-19

could this perhaps be used to make low quality and not-so-long-lasting lenses?? for example, the base of a beer bottle is slightly curved. so if u break off the bottom and pour about 0.5cm of the solution in (and IF the Glass doesn't shatter... but u could counter that by preheating the glass perhaps) wouldn't the result be a lens?? Now that I think about it u could even make interesting filters for your camera!(coloured ones or ones that give a result similar to the first pic......... ible idea folks..

anoel7 (author)luhe989222011-12-05

Couldn't you cut the bottle with a glass cutter, break it, then wash out the mold you just made to avoid incorporating any glass fragments? We used to cut wine bottles that way, and granted they didn't always break where you scored the glass, but when heated with candle flame we had better results on that. I could see a set of "sunglasses" with lenses you could eat on film, and I agree that this could produce some interesting filters for camera work . . . I think I have another photo project on my hands now! Thanks for the cool ideas.

My original idea visiting the site was to make sugar-glass windows for my gingerbread house, and am already thinking of NEXT year's house -- what if I made a "glass house" made of sugar glass? You could do some cool Lloyd-Wrightean designs using this technique, and if I spark somebody else's brain with my toss-out idea, so much the better!

Chairman Cross (author)2010-07-24

So my cosplay group is hosting an Alice and wonderland tea and I was considering making a few cups and plates out of sugar glass so they can be thrown at a wall and will shatter like in the movie. How would you reccomend going about this if it gets sticky after 15 minutes?

jackyboy256 (author)2010-06-18

could you put it on baking paper??

brad (author)2007-10-18

Old chef's trick: to get the bubbles out, pour VERY SLOWLY, thin enough that bubbles can't form in the stream.

Tall pour - thin stream - no bubbles =)

The Masked Potatoe (author)brad2010-03-17

wouldn't the stuff start hardening though?

brad (author)The Masked Potatoe2010-03-17

I've not had that experience. Usually there's enough residual heat that it won't harden right away.

If you pour high and evenly, you should avoid bubbles just fine.

The Masked Potatoe (author)brad2010-03-17

Ok, thanks

M4industries (author)2009-11-25


They did!

greinight (author)2007-09-10

"(I read somewhere that the pot would be ruined after you make this, but mine was fine with a wash.)" If you have issues with getting the stuff out of the pot once you are done (i.e. clean up), you can add water to the pot and boil the heck out of it. The water helps breakdown whatever is sticking to the pot, and helps with restoring the pot to useable condition. (author)greinight2008-05-23

I wouldn't see why the pot wouldn't be usable with a good ol' wash, after all it is edible stuff (and probily water soluble) I think it might be about one method of making a smoke bomb with KNO3 and sugar that you heard it was unusable after

M4industries (author)mr.space2009-11-25

 I was able to clean my smoke bomb pot by leaving lukewarm water in it overnight. It turned into a solution which I poured out.

M4industries (author)2009-11-25

 What's the opening song in the test film called?

NInja99 (author)2009-09-26

Does Dark corn syrup work?

Deven47 (author)2009-06-24

Also try running a cooking blowtorch over the top in a quick smoth motion this will break the top of the bubbles and remelt them back in

jak of all trades 822 (author)2009-04-27

is there a way to make it in the form of a ball??

I think If you take a tennis ball and drill a hole in it and then cut the ball in half,you should be able to make a mold from the ball.I myself wanna try something like this cause I wanna put a clock in a glass square.

Kryptonite (author)frikkie2009-06-10

Just curious, but what will that be for?

frikkie (author)Kryptonite2009-06-11

I wanna try to make some new and weird stuff that I can sell for extra cash.

Kryptonite (author)frikkie2009-06-11

Oh wow cool, but if you use sugar glass it isn't the best option. I've done this once and it starts to sweat unless kept either air tight or in the fridge. D: You'll have to tell me how it goes, I'm doing something along the same lines, hope you find something else cool to make!

cousinavi (author)2009-05-21

i use something like this at work.. your can make spiderweb designs for drinks and deserts. the silica packs work good in a solid air-tight container they last several days at room temp. refrideration seems to make the sugar condensed almost immediately dripping color from the sugar onto your designs. you can add things to the mixture the gold dollar coins in colored glass decorate a golden drink nicely... Work with it and let your imagination run wild almost any thing is possible as well as a better taste by changing the recipe slightly

frikkie (author)2009-05-19

Now we now how the house of sweets was build by the old witch in hanzle and gretle.The house tasted terrible thats why she decided to eat the children!!! :)

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