5 Ingredients or Fewer

Salted Maple Honeycomb Candy

July 15, 2021
4 Stars
Photo by Ryan Dausch
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

Test Kitchen Notes

This candy recipe is the perfect combination of sweet and salty, and you're going to love giving it out as gifts to all of your family and friends. You'll also enjoy the chemical reactions and color transformations that take place right in your own kitchen, thanks to the magic of baking soda, the secret ingredient. But that's another wonderful part of this recipe: All you need is four ingredients (sugar, maple syrup, previously mentioned baking soda, and sea salt, most of which you probably already have), and it'll take just 15 minutes of cook time; the rest is letting the candy harden in a cool, dry place. It'll become your go-to whenever you need a quick homemade gift or sweet treat for the kids. Keep in mind however that a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer will be very beneficial here, to get the temperature of the sugar just right, but if you don't have one, you can watch the video below for the visual cue.

As it says in the recipe, you must try your hardest not to smooth out the blob after it comes out of the pan, even though you'll desperately want to do so. That's the key to get that really light, airy texture. Once you break apart the chunks, you'll see what we mean! Again, watch the video to see what it should look like, and keep the spatula way. Divide the chunks among some pretty jars, tie them up with a bow, and your holiday/hostess/teacher/whatever gift is ready to go. —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Salted Maple Honeycomb Candy
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Makes About 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat mat or greased parchment.
  2. In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, maple syrup, and 1/4 cup cold water. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring, just until the sugar dissolves. After this point, do not stir—you can swirl the pot occasionally if you'd like. Let the mixture come to a boil and cook until a candy or instant-read thermometer registers nearly 300°F and is a dark amber color (this should take 5 to 7 minutes).
  3. Working quickly, remove the pot from the heat and thoroughly whisk in the baking soda just to combine. Immediately pour the mixture onto the prepared sheet, using a heatproof spatula to scrape it from the pot. 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 with the salt. Set the baking sheet in a cool, dry place and let the candy cool. When it's hard, break it apart into uneven chunks with your fingers. Note: You can dip the candy pieces in melted semisweet chocolate and let them cool again for an even richer treat.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • soupcon
    soupcon
  • Jenny Rushlow
    Jenny Rushlow
  • Lanakila Rodrigues
    Lanakila Rodrigues
  • Nessa
    Nessa
  • Jennifer Curran
    Jennifer Curran

52 Reviews

57belfairmomma May 7, 2021
This was so easy and yummy. Followed directions to T. I intend to use in crumble topping for apple Betty, Greek vanilla yogurt parfait, on oatmeal, inside strawberry before I dip in chocolate. My mind is spinning with creative ideas!
 
Sydney June 7, 2019
My mother is highly allergic to corn, corn products and pine. Could maple syrup be substituted for anything else? If so, what could work? We really enjoyed Sprouts honeycomb until we found out my mother was allergic to corn so I want to recreate it without corn for her. Thank you!
 
Jeannie H. December 29, 2020
Honey can be used.
 
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!
My tips:
-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)
-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.
-mixture didnt turn as amber as i thought it should have, but the end result was perfect. Color and taste.
-I got mixture to 300F
-Used a Small cassarole dish approx 9"x7" and about 2-3 inches deep. Helped make a huge thick "LOAF"

Hope these tips help
-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
 
judy February 16, 2021
I would guess not! In my household it would be eaten in a couple of days! so we would never get to find out. A far as staying fresh for a few months, if kept in completely airtight container so no humidity could get at it. I live in Wa state on the west coast. too much humidity here for just about any kind of container to keep foods crispy fresh. Hmmmm
 
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. ;)

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.

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!
 
judy February 16, 2021
That was my thought. My original encounter with honeycomb was made with sorghum, and then molasses a few decades ago....Gonna give it a try.
 
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?
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. May 2, 2014
The same!
 
Kiayaboo_1234 April 19, 2020
Can you please tell me what to do my honey comb is not setting very well
 
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.....