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Does anyone have a recipe for a hard candy without corn syrup?

I'm hoping to make some this evening but don't want to have to go to the grocery. Any suggestions? I've been scouring the internet, but not having any luck, I know that it must be possible!

asked by Jessica Mont-Eton over 1 year ago
8 answers 14501 views

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added over 1 year ago

The corn syrup is there to interfere with crystallization. When you melt sugar you get a pile of sucrose molecules, which have a penchant for forming crystalline structure around any stray sugar grain or other debris, or when they get disturbed. The simple sugar molecules (fructose and glucose) found in corn syrup act as a buffer for the process, because they get in between the sucrose molecules making it harder for them to link up. You could try adding something to invert the sucrose molecules into fructose and glucose molecules -- cream of tartar or lemon juice are common inverting agents. Or you could use a different invert syrup - pure glucose syrup, agave nectar, or golden syrup would all likely work. The commercial corn syrup available is not the same as the high fructose corn syrup used in food processing, if that makes you feel any better about using it.

added over 1 year ago

I've made hard candy with maple syrup. I don't have the recipe at hand, but it worked well

added over 1 year ago

I wonder if the submitter is worried about high fructose corn syrup? Corn Syrup isn't the same product. Although it's a very sugary product with high glyemic index--it's not equal to HFCS.

added over 1 year ago

It sounds as if the submitter simply doesn't stock corn syrup in her pantry and wants to make candy without having to go to the store first.
It's not really a hard candy, but you can try making honeycomb candy (http://chemistry.about...) It's a lot of fun, if a bit finicky and can taste a bit like soda if you're not careful... maybe don't try that unless your in the mood for an experiment.
There are a lot of recipes that use honey instead of corn syrup that seem pretty credible if you like the flavor of honey. I found a bunch by searching "honey candy recipe".


Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 1 year ago

I agree with Ophelia. Honey is a good sub for corn syrup (aka Karo). All invert sugars (sugar in dilute form) contain just enough acid to prevent the molecules from bonding at opposite poles and therefore re-crystallysing.

added over 1 year ago

Thank you all for the lovely answers! I am not so much concerned with HFCS, but I would always rather use pure cane sugar if I can help it, also it makes for one less ingredient in my too-full baking cupboards.

I do know about cooking with sugar in general, my favorite buttercream is an Italian meringue, but thanks for all the tips on that as well!

added 11 months ago

I am concerned about HFCS (if you stop eating something for a month and feel better chances are it's the thing you cut making you feel like crap) so I am glad to find instructions to make candy without this modern killer (high fructose corn syrup) Thanks to those who answered without judging. :)