Salted Maple Honeycomb Candy

October 20, 2013


Author Notes: This recipe is a miracle of science: add a little baking soda to a dark, maple caramel and soon you have this impossibly crunchy, airy candy. I sprinkle the candy with sea salt to cut the sweetness.Merrill Stubbs

Makes: about 2 cups
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 15 min

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, like Maldon
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat mat or some greased parchment.
  2. Combine the sugar and maple syrup with 1/4 cup cold water in a medium, heavy saucepan. Set over medium high heat, stirring just until the sugar dissolves. (After this point, do not stir -- you can swirl the pan occasionally if you'd like.) Let the mixture come to a boil and cook until it reaches nearly 300 degrees and is a dark amber color (this should take 5 to 7 minutes).
  3. Working quickly, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the baking soda, just enough to mix the two thoroughly. Immediately pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet, using a heatproof spatula to scrape it from the pan. It will be tempting, but do not smooth the mixture -- you'll get rid of all those air bubbles!
  4. Quickly sprinkle the surface of the candy evenly with the sea salt. Set the baking sheet in a cool, dry place and let the candy cool. When it is hard, break it apart into uneven chunks with your fingers. Note: Dip the candy pieces in melted semisweet chocolate and let them cool again for an even richer treat.

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Reviews (46) Questions (2)

46 Reviews

beejay45 December 24, 2017
I commented on this before, just a query about the science. But now that I think about it, I believe this must be what is used on the Beehive Cake, only broken into smaller pieces. I have a fab recipe I use to make something similar, minus the foamy bits, but I may try this for that, only using honey instead. Don't know why I didn't think of this before. That bakery is long gone, but my friends and family still crave their cake. Thanks, Merrill, I think you've just made a lot of folks very happy. ;)
 
Sara F. December 24, 2017
I followed the recipe as written last year and was disappointed in the results. (I added a comment at the time.) I made it again this year with tweaks and it’s perfect: ONLY USE 1 TSP of baking soda. (Thanks soupcon.) I poured mine into an 8” square baking pan. That size is pretty much perfect for getting a thick enough candy.
 
soupcon December 16, 2017
We used to make honeycomb as children with Mom. Yummy. I had forgotten about it. However in this recipe 1 tablespoon of baking soda is far too much. You only need 1 teaspoon for the recipe to work.
 
Jenny R. December 10, 2017
Tastes awesome. Mine turned out a little flat - does that mean I stirred too much when I added the baking soda?
 
LL October 6, 2017
Does altitude make a difference? I live at a high altitude, and have to adjust cooking times and temps for canning, baking etc. One thing I noticed with this is that the thermometer didn't seem to be going above 250 for a long time, then suddenly it shot up above 300. The change was rapid, and I think I overshot 300 by accident. New to using a candy thermometer - is this common?
 
Lanakila R. March 12, 2017
I just tried this recipe and it turned out great! I followed the instructions to a T (aside from dropping my thermometer into the mixture just before 300 lol) and it tastes amazing!<br />My tips:<br />-I started at med-high and it took almost 15 mins to reach temp. I have heavy pots, so i figured that could be it as well. The last 3-5 mins i put it on high and FOUGHT yes fought the urger to stir. (And touch the sweet smelling mixture)<br />-PRIOR to using, i sifted the Arm Hammer Baking soda using my Tbs. To avoid clumping, and applied in a even coat across top. Whisked using a fork. <br />-mixture didnt turn as amber as i thought it should have, but the end result was perfect. Color and taste. <br />-I got mixture to 300F<br />-Used a Small cassarole dish approx 9"x7" and about 2-3 inches deep. Helped make a huge thick "LOAF" <br /><br />Hope these tips help<br />-808
 
Deebee December 26, 2016
I've made brittle and toffees many times, my candy thermometer works great. This recipe, however, did not. It smelled like it was burning almost immediately, so I swirled often. What worked well: I took it to exactly 300 degrees and the baking soda whisking turned out perfectly. What didn't - tasted burnt, as I expected. Also tasted sour like baking soda. peanut brittle takes only 1 tsp. of baking soda - perhaps a tablespoon is too much?
 
Sara F. December 18, 2016
just made this and it turned out more like a brittle than the airy honeycomb I was expecting (like a crunchie bar). I’m wondering whether I used too large of a cookie sheet so that it was poured too thin? What size do you recommend? Any other ideas?
 
Nessa February 5, 2016
Are people who are having the soda flavor issue using regular sea salt, or flaky sea salt? I imagine the regular sea salt would be absorbed in, but the flaky sea salt would sit on top and not cause a possible change in flavor in that top layer. I have not made this yet because I'm out of flake salt and wouldn't even attempt without it!
 
Amy M. February 4, 2016
How long will this stay fresh at room temp? Thanks!
 
Jennifer C. February 3, 2016
300 degrees farenheight or celcius?
 
oliver December 22, 2015
does it last a few months
 
Quinn December 18, 2014
This recipe is awesome!! It just melts in my mouth.
 
beejay45 August 20, 2014
Since the link to the above question isn't working, I guess i'll ask mine here. ;)<br /><br />Does it have to be baking soda? Or will anything that makes it foam up do the same job? I ask because I added powdered honey to a candy after it was cooked (forgot it at the front end), and it foamed like crazy. It never occurred to me to pour it in a pan and see what I'd got. But I'm wondering now if it would have come out like this. <br /><br />Any ideas?
 
Louisa June 13, 2014
I'm guessing it will work ok using sorghum instead of maple syrup?
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. June 13, 2014
I haven't tried it, but it should be fine!
 
BurgeoningBaker April 21, 2014
Could I use honey to give the honeycomb texture and honey flavor?
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. April 21, 2014
Yes, in fact this is traditionally made with honey!
 
BurgeoningBaker May 1, 2014
What is the ratio as compared to maple syrup?<br />
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. May 2, 2014
The same!
 
Anna March 2, 2014
Any way to make this without the sugar? Could I increase the maple syrup? I can't have sugar but can have maple syrup and this looks amazing!
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. March 3, 2014
I haven't tried it without sugar -- sorry not to be of more help!
 
Laura415 February 7, 2016
Look for candy recipes using liquid sugar only. When making caramels I have done it with just honey so I know it's possible to make caramel without dry sugar. Essentially you need to evaporate the water in the liquid sugar before it will heat above 212º F. After the water is evaporated it can possibly raise in temperature to 300º F. It's worth a try.
 
KakiSue January 14, 2014
Genius! Just made this with grade b maple syrup (had it in the fridge) and will make it next time with half maple syrup/half honey........or I might try the Lyle's.....
 
pattyrat December 27, 2013
I attempted several batches of this for Christmas, but never successfully. Mine also crumbled like sand, and sometimes also had a burnt taste, or the taste of the soda. I'm guessing I either cooked the mixture too long (although it never reached 300 degrees, by 250 it was already turning a very dark color), or on too high heat, and/or didn't sufficiently mix in the bicarb. Might try again to see if I can strike the right balance.
 
BurgeoningBaker May 1, 2014
I had the same experience as you and thus my question posted. Was so hoping this would be awesome.
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. May 2, 2014
You might want to double-check that your candy thermometer is properly calibrated. (One of mine was old and inaccurate, which tripped me up.)
 
nina C. December 23, 2013
I made it and cooked it till 297F, mixed in the bicarb, poured it out and it when it hardened & I broke it up it crumbled into sand, almost like brown sugar. Not crispy just sandy! Help please!
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. December 23, 2013
Oh, no, so sorry to hear this! It may be due to slight under-mixing of the bicarb -- did the mixture look uniform in color before you poured it out, or was it streaky?