Sponge candy is a crunchy, airy candy with a light sweet flavor. It is a delicious candy, perfect to give as gifts.
What is Sponge Candy?
Baking is always an experiment in science, and this one is extra fun to do. Kids will love seeing this candy foam up like lava before cooling. Once cool, they can help you break into pieces using a mallet or butter knife.
The pieces will be irregular and have a lot of air holes, which is the reason for all the different names. I’ve seen it called Lava Candy, Seafoam Candy, Honeycomb Candy and in our case Sponge Candy.
No matter what it’s called, it is fun treat to make and even better to eat!
Don’t be intimidated by the use of a candy thermometer, this recipe gives you step by step direction making it easy for even the most novice candy maker! So get started making yummy treats!
How to Make sponge candy
COOK. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and vinegar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Cook without stirring until the temperature reaches 300° (hard-crack stage – about 12 minutes) on a candy thermometer. Do not overcook.
WHISK. Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in baking soda (it will start to foam up, but quickly whisk in until you can’t see baking soda anymore).
COOL. Pour onto a lightly greased parchment paper lined jelly roll pan. It will be large and foamy but will fall as it cools. Do not press or spread the candy. When mixture is cool, break into bite-sized pieces.
DIP + ENJOY! Dip into melted chocolate; place on waxed paper until the chocolate is firm. Store candy in an airtight container.
- Dip the individual pieces of candy in chocolate (a popular way to make sponge candy!).
- Sprinkle with sea salt either directly onto the candy before it hardens or on top of the chocolate after it has been dipped.
- Dip in white chocolate or vanilla candy coating.
- If you don’t want to entirely dip it in anything, you can always drizzle chocolate over the top.
Make Sure You Read These Tips!!
I like to research the recipes I post. Some recipes are pretty straightforward and come out well every time, others might take a bit of practice. I had to make this recipe more than once to produce the perfect Sponge Candy! Here are some tips that I found that may help you:
Weather & Altitude
I live in Arizona so I don’t have to factor in weather or altitude when I cook and bake, nor can I test the recipe out in those conditions. However, I can share what others have said:
- First, humid or rainy weather can negatively affect this recipe. The moisture in the air interferes with how well the mixture rises and sets, and you may not get the signature air holes you’re hoping for.
- Second, Altitude. I can’t try this out, but I can refer you to a website that says you should “reduce the cooking temperature in the candy recipe by 2 degrees every 1,000 feet above sea level.”
Be sure that your baking soda is not expired. If you want to really be cautious, use a brand new box. Another little tip I saw from a 96 year old grandmother was to sift the baking soda with a fork before adding it to the mixture so that it distributes more evenly.
Once you add the baking soda you will notice the mixture really start foaming. This startled me during my first batch and I poured out the candy without mixing enough. I could tell that portions of the candy had more air bubbles than other parts. However, you also don’t want to overmix because then you mix the bubbles right out. It may take a bit of practice.
Avoid spreading or pressing the mixture.
I admit I patted the top of one of my batches with a spatula to smooth it out. After I broke it into pieces I could totally tell that the top air bubbles had been compressed, oops! Just pour the mixture without spreading it or patting it down. It will flatten on its own and all the beautiful air bubbles will stay intact.
Essential Equipment for this Recipe
Use a heavy-bottomed saucepan. The quality of the pan can make a big difference. A heavy bottomed pan will distribute the heat more evenly so that you don’t get hot spots that scorch the candy.
Candy thermometer: Sometimes you can get away with testing your candy the old fashioned way using a bowl of cold water. However, I highly recommend using a reliable candy thermometer to make this treat. Once it reaches 300 degrees REMOVE it from the heat and pour it. Do not let it cook longer or it will burn.
Line the pan: One common comment that I found was that people had a hard time getting the finished candy out of the pan. The most common suggestion was to line the pan with parchment paper, with extra paper folded over the sides. Then, spray the paper with cooking spray. I decided to line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and it worked great.
How to Store Sponge Candy
STORE this candy in an airtight container—it can last for several weeks. Be sure that it stays dry.
Do not place it in the fridge or freezer, as any moisture that forms will compromise the texture of the candy.
For more Holiday Treats, check out:
Sponge Candy Recipe
- Candy thermometer
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup dark corn syrup
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp baking soda sifted with a fork
- 1 lb milk chocolate candy coating melted
- In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and vinegar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Cook without stirring until the temperature reaches 300° (hard-crack stage – about 12 minutes) on a candy thermometer. Do not overcook.
- Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in baking soda (it will start to foam up, but quickly whisk in until you can’t see baking soda anymore).
- Pour onto a lightly greased parchment paper lined jelly roll pan. It will be large and foamy but will fall as it cools. Do not press or spread the candy.
- When mixture is cool, break into bite-sized pieces.
- Dip into melted chocolate; place on waxed paper until the chocolate is firm. Store candy in an airtight container.