Hard candy is a timeless and sweet treat that has delighted taste buds for generations. The process of making hard candy is both fascinating and surprisingly straightforward. Simple ingredients, combined with the artful candy-making process, result in a timeless confection enjoyed by people of all ages.

In this blog, we’ll delve into crafting these delectable confections. We’ll explore the ingredients, techniques, and the key differences between hard and soft candies. So, is making hard candy difficult? Let’s find out.

Is Making Hard Candy Difficult?

Making hard candy may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools, ingredients, and patience, you can create beautiful, mouthwatering hard candies that rival those found in your favorite candy shop. Let’s take a closer look at the process and break down any misconceptions about its difficulty.

How Is Hard Candy Made?

The art of making hard candy involves a careful and precise process. Here’s a simplified overview:

  • Gather Your Ingredients:
    • Granulated sugar
    • Corn syrup
    • Water
    • Flavor extracts (e.g., peppermint, cherry, or any of your choice)
    • Food coloring (optional)


  • Prepare Your Equipment:
    • Heavy-bottomed saucepan
    • Candy thermometer
    • Candy molds or greased baking sheets
  • Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in the saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Attach the candy thermometer to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil without stirring. Once it reaches the desired temperature (usually around 300°F), remove from heat and stir in flavor extract and food coloring. 
  • Pour the mixture into molds or onto prepared sheets. Insert lollipop sticks if making lollipops. Let the candy cool and harden, which may take about 30 minutes. Once hardened, remove the candies from the molds or break them into pieces if using a sheet. Your homemade hard candies are ready to enjoy!

While this process requires precision, it’s easier than it may seem. The most crucial aspect is monitoring the temperature and ensuring the candy sets properly.

Elements of Hard Candy

types of hard candy

Hard candy consists of just a few basic elements:

Sugar: Granulated sugar is the primary ingredient. It provides sweetness and texture to the candy.

Corn Syrup: Corn syrup is added to prevent the sugar from crystallizing during cooking. This keeps the candy smooth and glass-like.

Water: Water is used to dissolve the sugar and create a syrup. It is also essential for controlling the temperature during cooking.

Flavor Extracts: Flavor extracts such as mint, fruit, or vanilla give the candy a distinct taste.

Food Coloring: Food coloring is optional but can give your candies an appealing visual appearance.

When carefully heated and cooled, combining these elements results in the delightful hard candies we all love.

Dehydrating Hard Candies

Dehydrating hard candies involves transforming their texture for a more concentrated and chewy experience. The duration may vary based on candy size and composition. Once dehydrated, store them in an airtight container to maintain their newfound texture. Keep in mind that the flavor might become more pronounced during the dehydration process.

Hard Candy vs Soft Candy

Hard and soft candy may be sweet treats, but they differ significantly in texture and preparation.

Texture: As the name suggests, hard candies are hard and brittle. They have a smooth, glass-like texture. Soft candies, on the other hand, are chewy, pliable, and often contain ingredients like gelatin or marshmallows to achieve their softness.

Cooking Method: Hard candies require cooking sugar to high temperatures to create a hard, brittle texture. Soft candies typically involve gelatin or other gelling agents and are not heated to such high temperatures.

Ingredients: While both types of candy use sugar as a base, soft candies often contain other ingredients like gelatin, cornstarch, or marshmallow to achieve their texture, while hard candies rely on sugar, corn syrup, and flavorings.

The key difference between hard and soft candies is their texture, cooking methods, and additional ingredients.

Get Your Equipment from TG Machine

Making hard candy is a delightful and rewarding experience. While it requires precision, it’s not as difficult as it may seem, and the results are truly satisfying. With the right equipment and practice, you can create delicious candies that will impress friends and family alike.

TG Machine is an industry-leading manufacturer of machinery for gummies. By combining innovative candy recipes with advanced technologies, TG Machine has become the most reliable partner for candy and pharmaceutical companies worldwide. Contact us today and learn more about what we can offer you.

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