Make Candy Glass Icicle Decorations

Sweet Icicles That Won't Melt in Your Hand

Sugar icicles close up.

Kelly Bowden / Getty Images 

This fun holiday project is based on the fake glass tutorial. After you make sugar "glass" (or "ice" in this case), spread it onto a cookie sheet, warm the hard candy in the oven until you can cut it, and twist the strips of melted candy glass into spiral icicle shapes. There is another method that you can use that involves twisting together ropes of the sugar to make striped icicles.

Candy Glass Icicles Experiment

  • Difficulty: Intermediate (Adult Supervision Required)
  • Materials: Sugar, Candy Thermometer, Food Coloring
  • Concepts: Temperature, Crystallization, Melting, Caramelization

Candy Glass Icicle Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 mL) sugar
  • Flat baking sheet
  • Butter or baking paper
  • Candy thermometer
  • Food coloring (optional)

Make Candy Icicles

  1. Butter or line a baking sheet with baker's (silicone) paper. Place the sheet in the refrigerator to chill. The chilled pan will prevent the hot sugar from continuing to cook after you remove it from the heat, which is important if you are trying for clear "ice."
  2. Pour the sugar into a small pan on a stove over low heat.
  3. Stir continuously until the sugar melts (takes a while). If you have a candy thermometer, remove from heat at the hard crack stage (clear glass), which is 291 to 310 degrees F or 146 to 154 degrees C. If the sugar is heated past the hard crack stage, it will turn amber (colored translucent glass). If you want clear icicles, pay close attention to the temperature! If you don't mind the amber color or plan to add food coloring, then the temperature is a little less critical.
  4. You have a couple of options here. You can pour the hot sugar into strips, let them cool slightly, then (wearing rubber gloves to prevent hot candy from sticking to your finger) twist the warm candy into a spiral icicle shape.
  5. Alternatively (and easier), fist pour all of the melted sugar onto the cooled pan. Allow it to cool. Heat the pan of candy in an oven heated to 185 degrees F. After it warms, the candy can be cut into strips and curled. One technique is to wrap the warm strips around a long, buttered wooden spoon.

Candy Icicle Tips

  1. Wear a pair of inexpensive winter gloves under a pair of buttered kitchen gloves to protect your hands from the heat and prevent them from sticking to the candy.
  2. Don't exceed the hard-crack cooking temperature if you want clear icicles. This is 295 degrees F to 310 degrees F at sea level, but you will need to subtract 1 degree from every listed temperature for every 500 feet your oven is above sea level. The sugar will start to carmelize (brown) somewhere around 320 to 338 degrees F or 160 to 10 degrees C, depending on your altitude. This occurs when the sucrose starts to break down into simpler sugars. The flavor of the candy is affected by this change, as well as its color.
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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Make Candy Glass Icicle Decorations." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 28). Make Candy Glass Icicle Decorations. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Make Candy Glass Icicle Decorations." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 21, 2023).