How to make sugar art

Written by susan lundman
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How to make sugar art
Experiment with free-form shapes as you begin learning about sugar art (melted sugar 2 image by sveta from

Sugar art delights the eye and the tongue. The mind is engaged too, wondering how in the world the shiny, delicate wonders are made. In fact, making sugar art is a complicated and involved process with many steps. The process of making all sorts of delicious and beautiful creations will become easier with practice and with trial and error, but be prepared to work long and hard until your attempts are successful. This sugar rose recipe will take some time to master.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Kitchen scale
  • Pot
  • 0.454kg. 284gr. sugar
  • 325ml. corn syrup
  • ½ tsp. cream of tartar
  • Ladle
  • Heat-resistant bowl
  • Cloth gloves
  • Pastry brush
  • Candy thermometer
  • Large pot
  • Silicon mat
  • Spatula
  • Candy paste colouring (optional)
  • Heat lamp
  • Scissors
  • Waxed paper

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  1. 1

    Place 0.454kg. 284gr. of sugar and 236ml. of water into a pot, and stir over low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.

    How to make sugar art
    A thermometer made just for candy is a necessity for the candy cook (thermometer image by Szymon Apanowicz from
  2. 2

    Bring the sugar water to a boil, and use a ladle to begin removing the foam that forms. Place the foam into a heat-resistant bowl.

  3. 3

    Brush down any crystals that form on the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Continue to keep the syrup boiling during this process.

  4. 4

    Continue ladling foam and brushing down crystals three or four times until the syrup remains clear.

  5. 5

    Place a candy thermometer in the syrup. Stir in corn syrup and cream of tartar to the syrup when the temperature reaches 110 degrees C.

  6. 6

    Turn the burner to high, and stop stirring. Keep the thermometer in the pot.

  7. 7

    Boil the syrup until the temperature reaches 149 degrees C.

  8. 8

    Remove the pot from the burner, and cool the syrup by placing the pot into a larger pot of cold water for 30 seconds.

  9. 9

    Pour the syrup onto a silicon mat, and let it cool for 5 seconds.

  1. 1

    Begin folding the sugar using a spatula by bringing the outer edges of the sugar to the inside again and again until the sugar is cooled enough to handle by hand.

    How to make sugar art
    Candy canes are also formed by pulling and stretching cooked sugar (candy canes 1 image by Warren Millar from
  2. 2

    Begin pulling and folding by hand. Hold the sugar with one hand while stretching and folding with the other.

  3. 3

    Fold and pull about 15 to 20 times until the sugar becomes glossy and smooth.

  4. 4

    Cut off a small amount of sugar to form, and place the remaining sugar under a heat lamp to stay warm.

  5. 5

    Form rose petals. For the centre of your rose, flatten a small daub of sugar with your fingers and roll it into a cone.

  6. 6

    Repeat cutting or pulling off small bits of sugar and flattening them. Attach these pieces around the rose cone to form petals. Continue until your rose is completed.

  7. 7

    Place the rose on a sheet of waxed paper to harden completely.

Tips and warnings

  • If you want different-coloured sugar, divide the sugar before folding, and add paste colour during the folding process.
  • You can make a heat lamp by using a clamp-style lamp with a 250-watt infrared bulb available from your local hardware store.
  • Some candy cooks recommend using copper pots because they provide even heating.
  • Sugar syrup can cause serious burns. Candy making is not a good idea for children.

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