Old fashioned sponge candy is a crunchy, delicious treat that comes together in just 15 minutes! Perfect for sharing as gifts….or keeping it all to yourself!
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Old Fashioned Sponge Candy
My first job out of college was working as a graphic designer in a little ad agency, with offices above Pike Place Market. It was such a fun environment to work in….except for the shared bathrooms with the fish mongers. Every morning I would walk through the market on the way up to my office and take in the sights and smells (mostly good!). And many nights, as I would walk out, I would find my way down to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to pick up a treat! My very favorite was the seafoam, otherwise known as Old Fashioned Sponge Candy.
Easy to Make
As it turns out, sponge candy is really easy to make at home! Like….super simple. My Aunt Betty, of Apple Pie fame, had a recipe for it that was passed down to me from my mom. Now I can make my very own seafoam any time I want….and I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not!
What is Sponge Candy anyway?
Sponge Candy—also called honeycomb, and similar to dalgona for any Squid Games fans—is a crunchy toffee like candy made from sugar, corn syrup, vinegar, and baking soda. The sugar and corn syrup caramelize, and the vinegar and baking soda react, a la science experiment, to create air pockets as it cools. It’s really fun to watch it puff up, and you don’t taste the vinegar or baking soda in the finished product. (And if you like fun baking science, you’ll also like my Texas Sheetcake!) I have not tried substituting any of the ingredients—I think they are all pretty crucial to the right consistency, so if you’re avoiding sugar this is not the recipe for you! For bonus points you can drizzle melted chocolate over the sponge candy, or even coat it completely—delicious!
What tools do you need to make sponge candy?
For best results, it’s really helpful to have a candy thermometer when making sponge candy. You’re going to need to heat the sugar mixture to soft crack stage, about 285º. This ensures that the sponge candy will be crisp and crackly, rather than soft and sticky. If you don’t heat it enough it will be too sticky when it cools. (Don’t let this intimidate you—it’s easier than it sounds! Alternatively, if you don’t have a thermometer, you can test it using the cold water method. For the soft crack stage, you will drop a small spoon of the sugar mixture into cold water. It should harden immediately, but if you pull the sugar ball it will form threads that will be slightly pliable before cracking. Be very careful, as the hot syrup can cause serious burns.).
You’ll also need a large, heavy bottomed pot, allowing room for the sugar mixture to expand. I like my enameled cast iron pots for this. Other than that, you’ll just need about 15 minutes of time! It comes together quickly, and cools quickly too…which means that you’ll get to taste it sooner!
More holiday treats you will love!
- Vegan Never Fail Fudge
- Cream Cheese Peppermint Patties
- Grandma Henrietta’s Bourbon Balls
- Dairy Free Peppermint Bark
- Sugar and Spice Cookies
- Gingerbread Chocolate Bark
- Vegan Thumbprint Cookies — Cookies for Santa
- Chocolate Peppermint Vegan Rice Crispy Treats
Let’s Make Old Fashioned Sponge Candy
Are you ready to make some old fashioned sponge candy? You’re just minutes away from this sweet, crackly, delicious candy! Leave me a note in the comments below and let me know how you like it!
Old Fashioned Sponge Candy
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Hook your candy thermometer to the side of a large heavy bottom pot, allowing room for expansion of the sugar syrup. Be sure that the tip of the thermometer does not touch the bottom of the pot—you want to measure the true temperature of the syrup, not the pot.
- Place the sugar, corn syrup, and vinegar in the pot. Begin to heat over medium heat, stirring frequently.
- The mixture will melt, and then begin to bubble. As the temperature rises the bubbles will be smaller and closer together, as the water evaporates from the mixture. The mixture will darken to a caramel color.
- Bring the mixture up to about 285º F, the soft crack stage (see notes in post).
- Once the mixture reaches temperature remove it from the heat. Working quickly, add the vanilla and mix together. Then immediately add the baking soda and mix well. The mixture will quickly fluff up and lighten in color. Mix in the baking soda completely and then quickly (and carefully) pour out onto the prepared plan, without spreading the mixture (as to not deflate the air pockets).
- Allow to cool completely. Once cool (about 15 minutes), use the parchment to help you break the sponge candy (I just fold the edge of the paper over the candy and snap it, using the parchment to prevent my fingers from sticking).
- Store the sponge candy in an airtight container, separating the layers with parchment paper. Be sure to keep the container sealed so that the humidity doesn't cause the sponge candy to get sticky.
- Sponge candy makes a yummy treat, and an allergy friendly gift! Enjoy!