Thursday, May 5, 2011

Kids Can Craft: DIY Pop Rocks!

Pop Rocks Candy.  These are a kid favorite.  As well as a favorite for an adult obsessed with candy (ahem, me).  I started digging around and found a few recipes for making some at home and decided to give them a try (Instructables & eHow had the best info).   Now you can too with a few added tips I learned.  Here's how:

First you'll need to gather a few supplies -

2 cups Sugar
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1/3 cup Corn Syrup
1/8 cup of water
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Flavor Oil
A few drops liquid Food Coloring
1/4 cup Citric Acid Powder (do not get the liquid!)

Candy thermometer
Cookie Sheet
Freezer Bags

Mix the sugar, water & corn syrup together until blended in a saucepan:

Now, stir regularly until it begins to boil over medium heat.  Then let sit boiling until it gets heated to 305 degrees Fahrenheit:

While things are heating up on the stove, spread the powdered sugar over your cookie sheet and  sprinkle half of the citric acid over that:

Once the sugar mixture is at 305 degrees, remove from stove, let temperature drop to 275 degrees and add the flavoring and color.  Keep in mind - the candy will naturally have a yellowish sheen, so don't have your heart set on an exact color shade - I used kelly green and it came out like pistachio.  Now add the baking soda.  It will immediately get foamy and thick so work fast and pour it out on the cookie sheet.  Sprinkle the remaining citric acid powder on top:

Allow the candy to cool & harden (approx. 10-20min) and then break into large piece by hand and stick them in a freezer bag.  I recommend double bagging so the bits are 100% contained while breaking into little bits.  This is the part the kids will really love - get out the hammer and go to town evenly smashing until you get small pieces (don't go too crazy and pulverize it into powder!).  

Now the candy is ready to eat.  They aren't exactly the same as the real thing (which uses injected CO2 to create the pop effect), but they've got a tart, fizzy taste that's still fun on the tongue.  After I made them I realized it was the old-time recipe for Seafoam (aka sponge candy), except citric acid is added to make a fizz reaction with the baking soda.  I sprinkled some onto cupcakes for flavor-filled accent:

*One note about putting it on frosting is that they'll need to be eaten pretty fast.  The moisture in the frosting will make the rocks get gooey if they sit on it too long.  So this is a good last-minute finishing touch.

This makes quite a bit of candy, so store whatever isn't eaten in an airtight container for fizzy candy fun later.

Kids like treats & they're even better when they can help make 'em, so today's project qualifies as a Kids Can Craft idea (with a little adult assistance).


Got a craft kids can help make?  Link it up HERE.

Sharing this creation with my FAVE LINK PARTIES too so click HERE to check them out!
Tip Junkie handmade projects


  1. WHAT?! you can make pop rocks?! Awesome! thanks for sharing...I definately want to try this recipe out :)

  2. Who knew??? I'm so going to do this with my kids!!! Thanks for the idea!

  3. I NEVER would have thought to make my own! Great idea, and you can incorporate it into a science experiment, too!

  4. NO FREAKING WAY! This was my favorite candy as a kid and I still buy it every so often. I'm totally making this come Saturday!

    Turning a House into a Home

  5. That's awesome! I love them for a topping on a cupcake, fun!

  6. So great! I had no idea you could make your own. Had to share on :)

  7. Oh, cool! How interesting. :)

    Tnx for linking up at Who Made What? Weekends!

  8. So AWESOME!! Pop rocks ROCK ;) Totally remind me of being 13 years old and having fun with these little candies at baseball games..what a great tutorial!

    Delighted Momma

  9. Now this is one to try, my DS(8) will love it. :)

  10. I think Im a little amazed right now. When I read your post title I was like SERIOUSLY!??!!? OMG!!?? SERIOUSLY!! AMAZING! haha I love those!
    So I would really really love if you would like up to Make it for Less Mondays at
    Hope to see you there!

  11. What a fun tutorial. I love Pop Rocks! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Awesome! I love them on the cupcake too.

  13. Thanks for sharing! Can't believe there's a home made version of pop rocks!

    -caroline @ c.w.frosting

  14. ditto all above comments. I'm so adding this to my to-do list. Thanks!

  15. What a fun thing to make!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  16. I was addicted to Pop Rocks as a kid...never dawned on me to DIY them!

    Thanks for linking to Creative Juice. Hope to see you back again this week...

  17. Love it! This project was featured over at this week's Doggone Dirty Craftin link party. Come by and grab a button.

  18. That's really fun. In a way, am glad that they don't *POP* like real pop rocks but rather fizz instead....I have too many memories of being a young gal the Maine coast and watching boys feed them to sea gulls. Not cool, really. What a unique recipe to try!! Thanks for sharing. :-)

  19. Love this crafty DIY pop! So easy to make and yet fun to eat. Kids will surely gonna love this recipe.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Cathy@custom digitizing

  20. hello i was wondering where you get the flavor oil and the Citric Acid Powder

    1. Usually local baking/cooking supply shops carry these items. You can also find citric acid powder at a lot of grocery stores (I got mine at Whole Foods in their vitamin section). is a good source for both online. They have TONS of flavors and carry the powder as well.

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