How to Make Barley Sugar

Updated April 17, 2017

Barley sugar candy, often simply called barley sugar, is a traditional candy made with granulated sugar and egg whites. The candy is often formed into drops to create a hard candy lozenge. It can also be twisted into long strips or even made into a homemade lollipop by dipping sticks into the liquid candy before it cools. It only takes about 15 minutes to make a batch of barley candy to enjoy with friends and family or give away as gifts.

Dissolve 0.454kg. of granulated white sugar in 1/2 pt. of room temperature water in a large saucepan.

Separate an egg and beat 1/2 of the egg white in a small bowl using a whisk or a hand mixer. Discard the remaining egg or set aside for another use.

Begin heating the water and sugar mixture over medium heat. Add the beaten egg white and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

Use the wooden spoon to remove any scum as the mixture boils. Continue to boil the mixture until the syrup is clear and no more scum rises to the top.

Strain the mixture through a piece of cheesecloth or a fine sieve and then put it back into the saucepan and return to a boil. Test the candy by dropping a small amount into a glass of cold water. When a drop of candy turns brittle in the cold water, it is done. Remove the mixture from the heat.

Add about 1 tsp of lemon juice or lemon essence to the candy and mix thoroughly. You can add more or less lemon flavouring according to your taste.

Prepare a large dish by coating it with non-stick spray or salad oil. Carefully pour the candy into the dish and allow it to cool. Once it is cool enough to work with but before it sets completely, cut the candy into strips using a pair of scissors. Allow the candy to set completely, then serve or store the barley sugar candy in a dry place.


To make candy drops or lozenges, use a spoon to drop the liquid candy onto a prepared dish and allow to cool. To make lollipops, use a spoon to drop the liquid candy onto a prepared dish, insert a craft stick into each drop, then allow the candy to cool before eating. This recipe makes about six servings and is easily doubled or tripled.

Things You'll Need

  • 0.454kg. of granulated white sugar
  • ½ pt. of room temperature water
  • Large saucepan
  • 1 egg
  • Whisk
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cheesecloth or fine sieve
  • Glass of cold water
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice or lemon essence
  • Large dish
  • Non-stick spray or salad oil
  • Scissors
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About the Author

Christine Argier began writing in 2004 and is backed by more than six years of experience working in the IT field. She holds CompTIA A+ and Green IT certifications and is also a Microsoft Office Master Specialist certified at the expert level in both Microsoft Word and Excel. Argier is currently working toward finalizing her CompTIA Technical Trainer certification (CTT+) and Adobe Certified Expert accreditation (ACE).