Hard Candy and Lollipop Recipe

Hard Candy and Lollipop Recipe

Product Code: R0194

Want to learn how to make hard candy & lollipops?  We'll show you how!

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RECIPE TIP:  When making hard candy, it’s important to use a flavoring that is highly concentrated. LorAnn's super-strength flavorings (candy oils) are designed withstand exposure high heat without losing flavor.

Visit our Learn page for more candy making tips and information about our flavorings.


2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup water
1 dram (1 teaspoon)* LorAnn super-strength flavoring, any flavor 
LorAnn liquid food coloring or gel food coloring (as desired)
Hard candy molds (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)
Sucker bags & twist ties (optional)

Use of a candy thermometer is recommended

*Please note that our Cinnamon, Clove and Peppermint flavors are particularly potent. You may wish to reduce the amount used for these flavors.


Make sure your thermometer measures accurately; it should read 212° F. (100° C.) in boiling water.  Have all ingredients and tools assembled and within easy reach of the stove. The use of metal spoons and measuring utensils is recommended. Line a rimmed baking sheet/jelly roll pan with foil and lightly oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray (such as PAM). If using molds, lightly spray cavities of clean, dry candy molds with non-stick cooking spray. Insert sucker sticks.  If using molds, you may also want to spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray. If after pouring the syrup into the molds you have excess candy, you can pour it onto the foil for break-up candy.

  1. In a heavy (good quality) 2-quart saucepan, mix together sugar, corn syrup and water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. 
  2. Insert candy thermometer if using, making certain it does not touch the bottom of the pan. Bring mixture to a boil without stirring. 
  3. Early in the cooking process, "wash down" any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. 
  4. Continue to cook the syrup, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 260º F; add drops of coloring until desired hue is achieved. Do not stir; boiling action will incorporate color into syrup. 
  5. Remove from heat precisely at 300° F (temperature will continue rising), or until drops of syrup form hard, brittle threads in cold water (hard crack stage). After boiling action has ceased, add flavor and stir. USE CAUTION WHEN ADDING FLAVORING TO AVOID RISING STEAM. 
  6. Carefully pour syrup into prepared molds or onto the prepared greased and foil lined cookie sheet. (As the sugar mixture begins to set up, you may want to score with a large knife to mark squares.) Do not refrigerate. 
  7. Cool completely. Break sheet candy into small pieces and dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Store in airtight containers between waxed paper. If making lollipops, do not dust with powdered sugar, but place in sucker bags and secure with twist ties. Store hard candy in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate.
Tip:  For easy clean-up, simply soak your pot and utensils in hot water until the hardened candy is dissolved.

*Another alternative is to pour the hot candy onto a heat-resistant surface covered in powdered sugar. When the candy is slightly cooled, it can be cut with well-oiled scissors into pillow-shaped pieces (you may want to wear heat-resistant gloves, such as rubber, to protect hands from heat).

Want a quicker version? Make candy in less than 10 minutes with our Microwave Hard Candy Recipe
(Based on 223 vote(s))
156 review(s) | Add your review!
Average Rating:
(Based on 223 vote(s))
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Tori From United States
Inconsistent results
January 16, 2021
I have made this recipe a few times, the first few times it came out great, but the last couple times it’s burned and become bitter and acrid. I’ve tried using different pots and burners on my stove. I follow the recipe to the T, and I have a non electronic thermometer, but it’s still inconsistent?

LorAnn's Response: Hi, Tori! Sorry to hear you are having some difficulty with our recipe. For consistent results, make sure to calibrate your thermometer each time you use it. Even a few degrees off can make a huge difference. For more tips and trouble shooting, visit our learn page.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
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Michelle D. From United States
January 8, 2021
I have been making hard candy at Christmas time for years and this recipe always works well. Some of our favorites are Tangerine( amazing!) Cinnamon and Wintergreen!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Margo From United States
Burnt and green
January 2, 2021
I've only made this candy twice the first time it didn't even taste like raspberry but I used a different recipe n the second batch I made with your recipe and it looked n smelt burnt before it reached 250 checked it with cold water got hard instantly put in blue color n it turned green what I do???

LorAnn's Response: Hi, Margo! When sugar starts to caramelize, it turns yellow. Adding blue food coloring to yellowing sugar will likely produce a green result. It sounds like there is an issue with your thermometer. Sugar doesn't reach the hard crack stage until 300 degrees fahrenheit. Make sure you calibrate your thermometer before cooking and use a heavy-bottom pan.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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Kelly Yurko From Cincinnati Ohio USABMHQP
Working well and learning
December 28, 2020
I purchased ur flavors to make the candy my Bubba made I used her recipe from 1970 I realized its exactly the same as urs After batch 1 I had to purchase heavy bottom pan Batch 2 had slight burn taste I will try putting the flavor in when u suggest SOSO GOOD Great memories Bubba would be happy&proud
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Jt From United States
December 22, 2020
I followed the recipe to the T but it’s not getting hard and when I poured into molds it was still significantly thin?

LorAnn's Response: Hi, JT. It sounds like you are not cooking the candy to a high enough temperature. You want to make sure you calibrate your thermometer before you start cooking. This will ensure you are taking into account any degrees that your thermometer may be off.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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MrsKunkel From Kentucky
December 22, 2020
This recipe was perfect! I made cherry, butter rum, and anise and they all turned out perfectly!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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Crystal Z From United States
How do I get the flavor to mix in evenly?
December 19, 2020
This recipe is great however when using the cinnamon flavor (twice now), the oil hasn’t fully mixed into the candy. It leaves parts that barely taste of cinnamon and other parts too intense. I tried to really mix it in. What went wrong?

LorAnn's Response: Hi, Crystal. Our cinnamon flavoring is a little heavier and will require a bit more stirring to fully incorporate.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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LB From Chicago
Brown candy
December 18, 2020
My candy turned brown on one side of the pot well before hitting 300 degrees. What did I do wrong? It still tasted pretty good but my suckers were brown
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
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Beth From United States
Love this recipe!!!
December 17, 2020
I use to make hard rock candy as a kid with my aunt every year. I loved making it and handing it out to my family at Christmas. I wanted to make it again this year with my son after not making it in years. This recipe is exactly as my aunt use to do it. I just did my first batch and it is amazing!!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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cjc From United States
Can't get this recipe to crack
December 17, 2020
Tastes great, but I've made a 2 batches and it won't harden. It sounds like water is a factor, so I verified the thermometer and reduced the water to 1/2 cup and it still turns out hard, but extremely sticky (like a cross between taffy and a jolly rancher). Any advice?

LorAnn's Response: Hello! We're sorry to hear you are having some challenges with this recipe. There are a few things that can cause sticky candy. Not cooking the candy to the correct temperature, humidity, and using too much releasing agent. If the sugar doesn't reach the hard crack stage, it will remain soft. If you live in a humid environment, you may want to work with a fan or dehumidifier in the kitchen to keep the candy from soaking up the moisture in the air. When spraying your molds, make sure you are doing so sparingly so you don't have pools of oil in the cavities.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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JM From NC
Hard tack Vandy
December 12, 2020
I followed recipe to the T, buy candy didn't handed to crack. I had to pull it apart. Yrs ago the recipe said to boil til 360 and it did get hard very quickly, hard to crack. What could have happened?
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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Donald From United States
I'll let you know...
December 12, 2020
Been using the Allrecipe... gonna try this one this year. The Allrecipe is hard, yet sticks to your teeth. I also use at least 3 vials of cinnamon oil for the recipe... so we show see is the one comes out different. The ingredients amounts are different...
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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Lost on flavor From United States
No flavor
December 7, 2020
Have made this before, but using different flavors g like pineapple and apple it had no flavor, how can this be???

LorAnn's Response: We are sorry to hear your candy didn't turn out the way you hoped. Flavor loss occurs through evaporation. Wait until the boiling ceases, give the cooked sugar a few good stirs to release extra steam, then add the flavoring.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
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Kris M. From Raleigh NC
Took forever, but I did it!
December 6, 2020
I am not a candy maker or baker, but I gave this a shot and I persisted. It took a long time to get my mix up to the 260 to add food coloring, and then to 300. Next time I'll add a full dram of cinnamon oil; I went with 1 top and it's too light but overall it was fun to make edible glass!
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
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Stephen Moore From Washington State, USA
Changing colour
November 29, 2020
This recipe works perfectly except that, after adding purple colour at 260F, when we added blackberry flavour at 300F the candy turned green! What on earth made that happen and how can I avoid it?

LorAnn's Response: Hello, Stephen! This is quite an unusual outcome. We tried to duplicate your result, but ended up with purple candy. If you used a different brand of purple, there may have been some blue components that reacted with the natural yellowing that occurs when sugar is cooked to the hard crack stage. We've reached out to you via email to learn more about your experience to see if we can figure out what happened. We look forward to learning from you.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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m From iran
November 24, 2020
Hi. I make candies but they do not become cloudy and transparent. What's wrong?

LorAnn's Response: Hello, If your candy is becoming cloudy, it's possible that some undissolved sugar was reintroduced into your cooked batch. Even one stray granule of sugar can cause a batch of candy to revert. which will make the candy appear cloudy. To prevent this, make sure your molds and work surface is completely clean. Make sure you are washing down all undissolved sugar in the pan and not using the same utensil for pouring as you did for mixing the uncooked sugar.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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Mom From Indiana
Sugar free
November 18, 2020
I love this candy and have made it many times. My dad recently found out hes a diabetic and I was wondering if there is a way to make this same candy but sugar free so he can still enjoy it. Thank you in advance.

LorAnn's Response: We do offer a Sugar-free hard candy mix that will require 1-dram of flavor. Search item number 4215.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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Shae From United States
Too hard to pour
October 27, 2020
I have tried this twice with 2 brand new thermometer Both times the candy was way too hard to pour in the molds. 1st batch I managed to make a few suckers before the mixture completely harden wasting the rest. 2nd batch I was not able to pour at all I was pulling it apart and shaping it in the mold.

LorAnn's Response: Hi. Shae! Making hard candy does require some fast work once the sugar is cooked. We highly recommend calibrating your thermometer before each use. Even new thermometers can be a bit off, and a few degrees can make all the difference.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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Stacie From United States
Amazing perfect awesome
October 26, 2020
Literally flawless recipe and the Lorann flavors are so strong. I bought a ton!
One thing not covered by the above, clean up! I don’t know what the best practice is, but I took a giant pot of boiling water and stuck all of my used pots, spoon, and thermometer in it until it melted off. Ideas?

LorAnn's Response: Thanks for the great review, Stacie. For clean-up in our kitchen, we simply soak our pots and utensils until the sugar dissolves.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Gisele From United States
TOO hard
October 20, 2020
it was too hard but can you tell me how to make it a little bit harder, like is there an ingredient that I need to reduce?

LorAnn's Response: We don't recommend adjusting any of the ingredients. The proportions are so that the candy doesn't crystallize while cooking. The cook temperature should also remain as is. Cooking longer will result in a burned candy. It sounds like you may be looking for a way to help preserve the candy for a longer shelf life. In place of the liquid corn syrup, you could use 1 cup of Hi-Sweet. Hi-Sweet is a powdered corn syrup replacement and it resistant to humidity, which can cause your candy to become sticky.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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