January 8, 2012

Sponge Candy

This light and airy candy is one of my personal favorites. I grew up eating the Cadbury Crunchie (made in Britain) and the Nestle Violet Crumble (made in Australia.) Sometimes called "Honeycomb" or "Seafoam," this candy is a slighly caramelized sugar mixture lightened into a foam by the incorporation of baking soda. The taste has a distinct flavor of caramel and honey and the texture is crispy and delicate and melts in your mouth like cotton candy. I can't tell you how many different recipes I have tried and failed. With one version, I actually shattered the 9x13 pan after the candy had hardened. The recipe below is a combination of several recipes and a much needed online tutorial. It will yield you approximately 4 dozen pieces. Enjoy!

1. Definitely make sure the gelatin and baking soda are fully mixed in or you'll have some pieces that taste more like baking soda than candy.
2. Once you've poured the sponge candy into the pan, be very careful not to disturb it as too much motion will cause it to collapse.
3. If you live in a humid climate, protect the candy while cooling by covering the top of the pan to make it airtight.
4. Covering the pieces in chocolate does more than just add a great layer of taste. It also protects the candy from humidity, thus preserving the airy texture.

1/4 tsp Gelatin, unflavored
1 Tbs cold water
3 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
2 Tbs baking soda, sifted
3 cups dark chocolate, melted and tempered for dipping

1. Mix the gelatin into the cold water in a small bowl or cup, then set aside.

2. Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a 2.5 quart saucepan.

3. Bring to a boil, insert thermometer and cook without stirring until the syrup reaches 310 F.

4. Remove from the heat and allow to sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
5. Whisk the gelatin into the hot sugar, ensuring that it is incorporated completely.

6. Whisk the baking soda into the mixture, stirring vigorously to thoroughly incorporate.

7. Return the batch to the heat for 30 seconds, continuously whisking.

8. Pour immediately into a 9 inch springform pan.

9. Leave undisturbed to cool at room temperature at least 2 hours or overnight.
10. Remove the springform pan and using a sharp chef's knife or by hand, break into desired size pieces.

11. Dip into chocolate as desired.


  1. WHAT, I can make this at home?? Can't WAIT to try this, thanks for the recipe!

  2. This is my recent OBSESSION, chocolate covered honeycomb! I could probably live off of it, in fact, I might just try to! Great tutorial!

  3. Do you prepare the springform pan in any way?

  4. I was originally going to butter and flour the springform pan (like many of the recipes I researched call for), but I decided at the last minute not to and it worked out fine. The pan released very easily as you can see in the picture above. Good luck!

  5. I'm in the middle of letting mine cool off and I'm very nervous. It looks like a giant cupcake in the springform pan. It is deflating but only some, and the outside feels/looks weird.

  6. I just made this and when I added the baking soda it grew way over my 3qt pan and I ended up with WAAAAAAY more than my 9in springform could handle... what did I do wrong?

  7. To answer a few of the questions...
    1. Nicole - how did your turn out?
    2. Interesting that it grew TOO much. I've never seen that before. Usually the error is adding the baking soda when the liquid is too hot. It rises but then falls very quickly so you don't get the aeration. Is it possible you used too much baking soda? It should be rising slightly when you pour it into the pan and then should continue to rise for a few minutes more until it starts setting.

  8. I used the 2TBS specified in the recipe above.. I followed the recipe exactly, it tased very baking sodaish. I'm wondering, should it be 2TSP instead of 2TBS? Every other recipe I have found for this calls for TSP..

  9. It's definitely 2 Tablespoons. I've found that if I didn't incorporate the sifted baking soda thoroughly, and I mean thoroughly with a wire whisk, some of the pieces had fragments of baking soda in them.

  10. Mine turned out great, thank you! Just a note on the crazy rising - mine did that the first time and went EVERYwhere and then didn't set but became a big mushy mess, and it's because I didn't let my sugar mixture get hot enough, it worked perfectly the second time when I was more patient :)

  11. I don't know how great I would appreciate this one! If I could only have those utensils that you have then it wouldn't be burden for me to create many stuffs like that but I won't surrender as easier as that.

  12. This is great! I found you through another blog, and I'm super impressed. I love it. Sponge candy was my childhood, there is no way I'm not making this. Bookmarked for sure ;)

  13. Hi there! Looks GREAT! However, are you supposed to butter the pan in which you drop the fair food into?

  14. I have looked at many recipes and the temperature is anywhere from 285 to 310, and no mention of adjustment for altitude. I am slightly confused on this point.

  15. I live in Utah and this recipe works in the high altitude just fine. You definitely want it at least 310 so it reaches "hard crack" stage.

  16. Mine turned out "sticky" not that melt in your mouth texture. it would melt a little then you were left with this hard sticky ball in your mouth. any ideas what I did wrong?

  17. I pour the candy into a spring form pan, no butter coating and had to chisel the candy out of the pan after it cooled. Also covering the candy while cooling made my candy fall, that never happened when not covered. What a mess candy flying everywhere. This is the same recipe I had been using before. Should I stir the gelatin after added or add baking soda and stir both in? Didn't write instructions from another site on this recipe. Thanks

  18. Thank you for this detailed recipe. I have made it several times and it comes out perfect every time. I appreciate that the honeycomb is light and airy. I would suggest purchasing chocolate from a candy making supply store if you never have before. It makes a world of a difference when dipping candy.

  19. I love you, I love you, I love you! Success after 45 years of trying, failing, giving up, and trying again what can I say you are my hero! In all these years I've tried to make seafoam (my favorite candy)......and you're step by step instructions got me to the top of the mountain! It's still cooling down, but it has not fallen flat or semi flat...it is a beautiful thing. HAPPY HOLIDAYS

  20. I made it but it fell. Do you have to pour it before it puffs up

  21. I also had it rise and go over everywhere. I used the exact measurements. When I put the gelatin in it rose a bit but then with the 2 Tbl of baking soda it went nuts. Just spent over an hour chiseling it off my gas range. I will give it another shot but will use a MUCH bigger pot than 3 quart. I had used another recipe in the past with moderate success (once it came out amazing, the others were meh) so I want this to work out so badly! Note though, I generally greased and floured a 8X8 pan and it came out okay but changed over to parchment and it's way easier. It lifts right out. I'll keep trying with this recipe.

  22. This is great. One of my cooking quests has been to find a recipe for making really great honeycomb as close as I can get it to violet crumble bars. I found that all recipes for home made honeycomb though always turned out very flat and with very uneven often very large sized air bubbles in them. So the texture of the candy wasn't very good, even when following the high end recipes from famous chefs. I noticed though that all commercial honey comb that I wanted to emulate included gelatin in the ingredients list, but no home made honeycomb ever included this.

    I just came across your recipe when looking for a honeycomb recipe that included gelatine, so I am super excited to try this. I also love your additional tip of cooling the sugar syrup slightly before adding the bicarb so that it is starting to set and holds the carbon dioxide better. Some great ideas.

  23. This candy is requested by my family every year ever since I started using your recipe. I follow it exactly as written, and it turns out perfect every time. I would love seeing more candy recipes from you.

  24. To add some flair, I’ve added different extract flavors in with the gelatin and the outcome is delicious. My favorite so far is coconut