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How to Make Hard Candy

Ideal for hard candy lollipops and sucker sweets, our range of hard candy moulds are made specifically to deal with the high temperatures needed when working with sugar syrups. These moulds come in different shapes and sizes.

Hard candy moulds can withstand temperatures up to 325°F (162°C). All our moulds are FDA approved. Hand wash only, not dishwasher safe. Wash in warm water and rinse for best results.

NOTE: Caution should be used when boiling water and especially with sugar syrups as these can be extremely hot. The temperatures of the syrup can reach 154°C (310°F) or more, compared to boiling water which is 100°C (212°F).

Top Tip: After you are finished making your hard candy, there will be hardened hard candy left over in your pan, pyrex jug and thermometer. Soak your equipment and thermometer in hot water. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The hard candy should dissolve and leave your equipment perfectly clean. If there is still some hardened candy left, soak again in hot water and repeat until all your equipment is clean.


This recipe makes about 15-20 Lollipops (maybe more depending on the size of mould) or about 40 Hard Candy Jewel Pieces.


-2 Cups of Granulated Sugar.                                                      

-1/2 (Half) Cup of Water.

-1 Teaspoon of Cream of Tartar (this is a powder!).
(or 1 Tablespoon of Liquid Glucose)

-Non-Stick Cooking Spray for the Moulds.
(I ordered Wilton 'Bake Easy' non stick
spray online as none of my local stores had it).

-Food Colouring & Flavouring (Optional).

-Icing Sugar (For Dusting - Optional).






Ingredients & Equipment: Hard Candy Moulds, Pyrex Jug, Whisk, White Granulated Sugar, Wooden Spoon, Sugar Thermometer, Measuring Spoons, Measuring Cups, Cream of Tartar (or Liquid Glucose), Food Colouring & Flavouring (Optional), Non-Stick Cooking Spray, Saucepan, Large Pan (For Ice Bath), Lollipop Sticks, Icing Sugar (For Dusting).



A sugar thermometer is required to accurately measure the sugar syrup temperature to produce different types of sweets. A sugar thermometer needs to be calibrated for accuracy before its initial use (and occasionally thereafter), this is important as even small differences in temperature can affect the end result. Check out our guide 'How to Calibrate Your Sugar Thermometer'.


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Grease the Hard Candy moulds using the Non-Stick Cooking Spray. I used Wilton 'Bake Easy' non stick spray. I ordered this online as none of my local stores had it but it was definitely worth it as the hard candy pieces popped out really easily after they had hardened.

Top Tip: After you spray the cavities in the mould, lightly rub in the spray into the cavities using paper towel, this removes any bubbles that the spray may have left behind. When I made my first batch, I didn't rub in the spray and the small bubbles appeared on the hard candy! Lightly wiping in the spray makes sure your hard candy comes up really smooth.


Before you start boiling the sugar, prepare an ice bath in a large pan. The pan should be large enough to take the saucepan you will be using for the sugar boiling.  The ice bath will be used to stop the sugar cooking at correct temperature.






Add the 2 cups of white granulated sugar to your saucepan. Add 1/2 (half) Cup of Water to the sugar.

Turn the heat to medium and gently whisk the mix.




Add 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar to the mix (or 1 tablespoon of liquid glucose). This helps to prevent crystallisation of the sugar syrup.

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Add Flavouring (I used strawberry). I usually add 1 teaspoon. 

Add Food Colouring (I usually add 20 drops). Some people add the colouring and flavouring after the sugar has reached the final boiling temperature (310°F), I have tried both ways and I have not found any difference.




Gently whisk until all the sugar is dissolved. 



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Turn the heat to high and when the sugar starts to boil stop stirring the mixture (if you continue to stir, the sugar crystals will cling to each other leaving you with rock hard crystallised sugar).


Clip on your sugar thermometer and watch the temperature very carefully. A sugar thermometer should be read at eye level for accurate readings. Boil the sugar until it reaches the hard crack stage (310°F / 154°C).


Once the sugar has reached the 'hard crack stage' (310F / 154C) immediately place the saucepan into the ice bath to stop the sugar cooking.




Carefully pour the sugar syrup into a Pyrex jug.




Pour the sugar syrup into the hard candy mould.




Add lollipop sticks to the mould. Rotate to stick in the mould to make sure all of the stick is in the mixture.





Let the hard candy set of about 15-20 minutes (this will vary depending on the size of the mould / cavity you are using). Turn the mould over to release the candy pieces.




Gently push the back of each cavity and the pieces should pop out!




Beautiful jewel hard candy pieces.




Beautiful jewel hard candy pieces & mould used.



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You can also dust the hard candy pieces with icing sugar and shake off any excess.

Serve to friends and family! :-) If you want to keep for later, wrap in baking parchment or waxed paper and store in airtight container.





Stunning heart staped hard candy lollipops. You can also wrap up your lollipops in our crystal clear cello bags to create a wonderful gift!



With hard candy, it is important to store in an airtight container and ensure that moisture doesn't get to the pieces/lollipops or they will lose their appeal and turn sticky. So if you want to keep for later, make sure you pack away in air tight container.

I hope you found this guide useful and thanks for stopping by. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@easysweets.ie