How to Make Sugar Glass

If the wonders of rock candy have lost their charm, this guide will turn that sweet candy confection into a clear pane or stained-glass work of art.


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You Will Need

  • 2 c. water
  • 1 c. corn syrup
  • 3 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Candy thermometer
  • Sheet pan
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Silicone baking mat
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Pin (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Combine ingredients

    Combine the water, corn syrup, sugar, and cream of tartar in a large saucepan. Stir to combine them and heat them slowly over low heat.

  2. If the heat is too high, the sugar mixture will caramelize and turn brown.

  3. Step 2

    Heat to hard-crack stage

    Use a candy thermometer to bring the mixture up to the hard-crack stage -- around 290 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

  4. Carefully mix in a few drops of food coloring to create a stained-glass appearance.

  5. Step 3

    Spray sheet pan

    Spray a sheet pan liberally with a nonstick cooking spray or use a silicone mold if you have one.

  6. Step 4

    Pour the sugar mixture

    Pour the mixture into the pan quickly and evenly as it will start to set as soon as it is removed from the heat -- be careful and avoid being burned.

  7. Step 5

    Shake the pan or mold

    Shake and tip the pan to get even coverage and to level the mixture. Wait an hour for the candy mixture to cool completely.

  8. Use a pin to pop any bubbles so the glass has a smoother and more convincing texture.

  9. Step 6

    Remove glass

    Remove the sugar glass from the pan by dragging a hot knife along the edges and then prying it up. A silicone baking mat should fold back and release more easily.

  10. Step 7

    Refrigerate until ready

    Refrigerate the sugar glass until it's ready to use. Enjoy your prop glass while it lasts.

  11. The first nuclear bomb test in New Mexico created a crater 800 yards across and melted the desert sand into a gray-green glass shell called trinitite.