I loved these kinds of edible science experiments when I was a kid. My dad and I would set up rock candy jars and I’d wait patiently to see not much of anything happen. It was always a crapshoot. Sometimes we’d get thick, structured crystals, and sometimes sad, thin ones. We were more in it for the sugar than the science, so we never really knew why the rock candy would or wouldn’t work. In this method, creating a clear solution and “seeding” the sticks will help the crystals grow more quickly. I also added fun flavors that make these sticks delicious on their own, or added to a cup of coffee or tea.

What you’ll need:

2 cups water

5 cups sugar


Rock candy sticks


Food coloring, optional

Flavorings (I used 1 teaspoon of lavender extract, chili powder, saffron, vanilla extract, and rosewater)


Dampen sticks and roll them in sugar and set them aside to dry.  Boil water, pour in the sugar one cup at a time. Boil until clear, about 15 minutes. Pour solution into jars, the deeper the jar, the longer the rock candy. Add food coloring and flavors to each jar, stirring to combine.

Secure stick with a clothespin. Don’t touch the sides! If it touches the sides, the rock candy can get stuck. Place the jars in a cool, dark, dry place. Wait for it to grow! The longer you can let them grow, the better, but about 5 to 10 days should be enough to see a finished stick.