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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Honeycomb Candy Recipe

By July 6, 2008

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The baking soda and vinegar volcano is a lot of fun, but it isn't the only chemistry project you can do using baking soda. Honeycomb candy is an easy-to-make candy that has an interesting texture caused by carbon dioxide bubbles getting trapped within the candy. The carbon dioxide is produced when baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is added to hot syrup. It is the same process used to make cookies rise, except here the bubbles are trapped to form a crisp candy. The holes in the candy make it light and give it a honeycomb appearance. The honey gives it a honeycomb flavor, though you could increase the amount of sugar slightly and make the candy using only sugar, water, and baking soda.

Honeycomb Candy Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Honeycomb Candy Instructions
  1. Grease a cookie sheet. You can use oil, butter, or non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Add the sugar, honey, and water to a saucepan. You can stir the mixture, but it isn't necessary.
  3. Cook the ingredients over high heat, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 300°F. The sugar will melt, small bubbles will form, the bubbles will become larger, then the sugar will start to carmelize to an amber color.
  4. When the temperature reaches 300°F, remove the pan from heat and whisk the baking soda into the hot syrup. This will cause the syrup to foam up.
  5. Stir just enough to mix the ingredients, then dump the mixture onto the greased baking sheet. Don't spread out the candy, as this would pop your bubbles.
  6. Allow the candy to cool, then break or cut it into pieces.
  7. Store the honeycomb candy in an airtight container.


July 7, 2008 at 3:29 am
(1) David Bradley says:

Yeah, bicarb+vinegar volcanoes are great fun, but they’re inedible, a honeycomb lab sound much better. It also reminded me of my great, great high school chem teacher, Miss Hall. She demo’d what happens when you pour conc sulfuric into a bag of sugar once. Made the vinegar volcano look tedious. Fantastically inspiring teacher.


July 7, 2008 at 3:32 am
(2) David Bradley says:

…Of course, this process releases CO2 into the atmosphere, so ecowarriors might want to avoid.

October 1, 2009 at 3:20 pm
(3) John Riddle says:

Of course, you (David Bradley) release more CO2 then this experiment does, so maybe we could just avoid you!

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