Honeycomb Candy

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Homemade Honeycomb Candy looks so fancy, yet couldn’t be easier to make in your own home!  you only need only four main ingredients — sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and baking soda–for this sweet, crunchy candy with the classic honeycomb bubbles, a spongelike crisp texture, and a golden yellow exterior. For an elevated experience, try dipping, drizzling, or covering the candy melted chocolate.

Enjoy making candy? Us too! Try our popular Toffee recipe or Homemade Marshmallows next!

Honeycomb Candy

Honeycomb Candy

This wildly popular candy goes by a variety of names — cinder toffee, brittle treacle toffee, honeycomb toffee, fairy food candy, angel food candy, sponge toffee, hokey pokey, puff candy, seafoam, sponge candy, and more! That just shows how many different cultures love this treat! While this candy is made all over the world and called many different things, you’ll know it by its very sweet and sugary toffee flavor with a light (yet rigid) sponge-like, crisp & bubbly texture. 

You can also cover, dip, or drizzle it in chocolate and that’s our favorite way to enjoy it!

Store-bought honeycomb is often quite expensive for just a piece or two. So you may be shocked to learn just how simple this is to make and how cheap the ingredients are. So let’s get started by talking about those ingredients.

Ingredient shot of all the thing that go into this treat

What Honeycomb Candy is made of

  • Corn syrup: It’s the base of this Honeycomb Candy! Make sure to get light corn syrup; I love Karo® corn syrup (not sponsored).
  • White granulated sugar: This sweetens the base of this candy; don’t use brown sugar in place of white in this recipe.
  • Salt: It balances out the sweetness and intensifies flavors.
  • Baking soda: Soda is the “secret” to the honeycomb-like appearance and bubbles.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla is optional, and adds a nice flavoring to the candy. For beautiful vanilla bean flecks throughout the candy, use vanilla bean paste or a real vanilla bean (scrape out the seeds). 

Let’s talk candy thermometers

If you want to make the perfect Honeycomb Candy, you need a good candy thermometer. I would never recommend making it for your first time without one; it is too difficult to judge when it’s ready to be pulled off the stove.

Candy thermometers are not the same as meat/cooking thermometers! Here is the candy thermometer I use and would highly recommend adding to your kitchen. (affiliate link) 

How do I make sure my candy thermometer is accurate?

Just a couple of degrees can turn delicious candy into a burnt mess. Test candy thermometers regularly for accuracy to ensure you are getting your mixture to the right temperature. 

To test your thermometer: Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil and then insert the thermometer and leave it in for several minutes to get an accurate reading. Completely immerse the bulb in the water, but don’t let it touch the bottom of the pan. At sea level, the thermometer should read 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius. If your thermometer reads above or below this, you will need to adjust for that amount when preparing the candy! For example, if the thermometer reads 202 degrees, you would wait until the candy reaches 285 degrees, rather than 295 degrees.

I recommend a regular check for thermometer accuracy and adjust your measurements accordingly!

High altitude affects the temperature your water will boil at–really! Here’s an article and a chart that explains the difference and shows you what you need to know for your area.

Process shots-- sifting the baking soda; dissolving the sugar; bringing the mixture to 300 degrees; pouring into the pan.

How to make Honeycomb Candy (tips)

  • Prep all your ingredients before beginning. As with most candy recipes, they require full attention. Candy can go from the perfect stage to burnt and ruined in a matter of seconds. With all the ingredients set out and prepped before beginning, it will make the process seamless.
  • Stop stirring once the mixture boils. Once it’s boiling, the candy just needs to get to temperature and the stirring is unnecessary. Stirring creates crystals in the candy (which we don’t want), so not only is stirring unnecessary, but we don’t want to do it at all! That said, don’t walk away, either. You’ll want to watch it carefully as it heats up to the correct temperature. 
  • The syrup boils for a while and there are many factors (the heat of the stovetop, the pan you use, etc.) that will determine how long the candy takes to hit the right temperature.  While it might be tempting to turn up the heat on the stove, it is important the mixture remains at medium temperature to avoid scorching or burning the candy.

Honeycomb Candy FAQs

1Why does my Honeycomb Candy get chewy?

Humidity is most likely to blame; I wouldn’t recommend making this candy on a rainy or overly humid day. Another culprit could be an incorrect candy thermometer reading or not using a candy thermometer. With candy, there are different stages and the hard-crack stage (300 degrees F/ 150 degrees C) is what we’re looking for. If it is below 300 degrees, that is in a soft-crack stage range, which would create a chewy, not crispy, candy. (More trouble-shooting here).

2Can you make Honeycomb Candy with baking powder?

Unfortunately, no. Baking soda and baking powder are very different things. Baking soda is what forms the bubbles giving this candy its name!

3How long can you store Honeycomb?

It depends on the humidity. With high levels of humidity, Honeycomb will absorb the moisture from the air and become sticky, so it may only last 1 or 2 days. In dry environments, it can last up to a week when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Do not refrigerate the Honeycomb (the freezer is the best bet for keeping it fresh!).

4Does Honeycomb contain honey?

While it would seem like an obvious ingredient to contain, there is no actual honey in Honeycomb! I have tried adding honey to this candy for a stronger “honey” flavor, and testers preferred it without that. The name actually originates from how the bubbles create a honeycomb-like appearance (the inside looks like the honeycomb of a bee), not from ever having honey in the recipe.

5How long does it take for Honeycomb Candy to set up?

Even though it looks like your honeycomb is completely set as soon as you pour it onto a prepared pan, it still needs at least an hour to two to cool and set up.

 

6How do I clean the pot?

If you’ve ever made candy before you know it can leave the pot a bit messy. Here’s how to clean it quickly in three easy steps:

  1. Let the pan cool completely first! Once cooled, fill it just over halfway with water.
  2. Place the pan back on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, the candy will begin to melt off the sides.
  3. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and scrape off any stubborn candy. Pour it all down the disposal and let the pan cool before doing a final clean with soap and water.

Stacks of Honeycomb Candy

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Honeycomb Candy

Homemade Honeycomb Candy looks so fancy, yet couldn't be easier to make in your own home! You only need four main ingredients -- sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and baking soda--to produce this sweet, crunchy candy with classic honeycomb bubbles, a spongelike crisp texture, and a golden yellow exterior. For an elevated experience, the honeycomb candy can also be dipped, drizzled, or covered in melted chocolate.
Print Recipe

Honeycomb Candy

Homemade Honeycomb Candy looks so fancy, yet couldn't be easier to make in your own home! You only need four main ingredients -- sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and baking soda--to produce this sweet, crunchy candy with classic honeycomb bubbles, a spongelike crisp texture, and a golden yellow exterior. For an elevated experience, the honeycomb candy can also be dipped, drizzled, or covered in melted chocolate.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Setting Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 -16 pieces
Calories 252kcal
Cost $3.49

Equipment

  • Candy Thermometer
  • Fine mesh sieve
  • Large pan and silpat liner or parchment paper

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (200g) white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (320g) light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (120g) water at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda (do not use baking powder)
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (OR 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)
  • 1 cup (175g) dark chocolate (or semi-sweet or milk chocolate for a sweeter candy)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil or shortening, optional

Instructions

  • PREP: Set out and measure all the ingredients. Set out a whisk. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat and set next to the stovetop.
  • BAKING SODA: Sprinkle the baking soda through a fine-mesh sieve into a little bowl. This is important so there aren't any clumps. Set next to the stovetop along with the vanilla extract and salt.
  • COMBINE THE INGREDIENTS: Add the sugar and water to a large and solid heavy-bottomed pot. (The bigger the better; this candy will triple in size!) Stir to combine. Turn the heat to medium high and then add in the corn syrup. Stir to incorporate and then leave the mixture to boil. Do not stir the mixture while boiling; this could trigger the sugar to crystallize.
  • BOIL: Insert the candy thermometer and continue to heat without stirring, until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Watch carefully-- it can jump up to temperature in an instant even though it may seem like it is moving slowly! Do not increase the temperature to speed up the process.
  • ADD BAKING SODA, SALT, AND VANILLA: As soon as the temperature hits 300 degrees F, remove the pan from heat and, working very quickly, sprinkle the baking soda, vanilla, and salt evenly over the candy. The mixture will begin to expand and triple in size. Quickly and vigorously whisk into the sugar syrup (whisking for no more than 5-10 seconds–to prevent deflating the candy). Quickly pour the candy onto the prepared pan and leave it to expand on its own (do not spread). Don't touch or move the candy for 1 hour.
  • BREAK THE CANDY: Once the candy has cooled and set, remove it from the pan. Use a blunt object (like a meat mallet or handle of a chef's knife) to shatter the candy into bite-size pieces. Alternatively, break up the candy with your hands.
  • OPTIONAL -- ADD CHOCOLATE: Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in bursts of 30 seconds, stirring in between each burst for 15-20 seconds. Heat for a total of 1 minute to 1 minute and 15 seconds. If desired, add in 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil or shortening to slightly thin the chocolate. Dip individual pieces in the melted chocolate or drizzle pieces with chocolate. Place candy on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and let stand at room temperature until chocolate is hardened-- about 1 hour.
  • STORAGE: Store in an airtight container in a very dry place. Alternatively, store in the freezer. This candy is best eaten within 1 week. Honeycomb will become soft and chewy in a humid environment. Do not refrigerate.

Video

Recipe Notes

How to clean your pot after making the candy:
  1. Let the pan cool completely. Once cooled, fill it just over halfway with water.
  2. Place the pan back on the stovetop and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, the candy will begin to melt off the sides.
  3. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and scrape off any stubborn candy. Pour it all down the disposal and let the pan cool before doing a final clean with soap and water.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 16pieces | Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 315mg | Potassium: 142mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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2 Comments

    1. It should fall quite a bit after that initial rise. Is it not turning out after it’s hardened? Did you change the recipe at all?

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