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This easy Honeycomb recipe makes the BEST caramel-toffee candy that can be coated in chocolate to taste just like Cadbury Crunchie bars you can get in England or the Violet Crumble candy in Australia! Honeycomb is extra amazing mixed into ice cream!
I used to be intimidated by making homemade candy but now it’s one of my favorite things to make! Be sure to try some of our other favorites like Southern Pecan Pralines, Divinity, Peanut Brittle, and English Toffee.
Homemade Honeycomb Candy Recipe
If you are from the U.S., chances are you haven’t heard of honeycomb candy before, but it’s hugely popular in places like the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand where you can buy it covered in chocolate in candy bar form known as either a Crunchie bar or a Violet Crumble bar, depending on the country you are in.
I created this recipe to go with my Graham Canyon Ice Cream after realizing that I didn’t want to wait for Amazon to ship it with their extended delivery times and the stores near me didn’t sell it. I’m so glad I made it because it was honestly so easy and fun to make!
What is honeycomb candy?
This honeycomb recipe goes by many names: seafoam, hokey pokey, cinder toffee, and sponge toffee are all other common names for honeycomb, which is a crunchy candy that is between caramel and toffee in terms of flavor and like an aerated toffee or brittle. It also just happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free.
Honeycomb candy gets its name (I think) from the unique texture created by stirring baking soda (not baking powder!) into a molten sugar and corn syrup mixture once it reaches the hard crack stage. It bubbles up and foams quickly, then maintains the airy structure as it cools into a brittle bar that can be broken and shattered into a million crunchy bits or bigger chunks.
It is really best when fresh as it starts to get sticky after a day or two, even in an airtight container. Although if you coat it in chocolate, it will last a bit longer. And the bonus is that the burnt toffee flavor (but not in a bad way at all) goes so well with chocolate!
Ingredients in honeycomb candy
- Sugar: Like basically every candy recipe I know of, you start out with sugar. Granulated sugar is most typical of all the honeycomb recipes I looked at, although I think you could get away with brown sugar as well.
- Corn syrup: Another classic element in candy making. This gives sweetness and helps avoid crystallization of the sugar granules.
- Honey: You could omit the honey and just replace it with additional corn syrup, but I just felt like if you call something honeycomb, it might as well have a little bit of a honey flavor to it. I haven’t tried completely replacing the corn syrup with all honey, but it might be possible. In England, I believe they use golden syrup, but since that’s an ingredient that isn’t easily accessible here, I just use honey instead.
- Water: This will cook off as the candy mixture comes up to temperature. Candy making is all about science!
- Baking soda: This one is super important. If you don’t use it, the honeycomb won’t foam up and create the beautiful structure that gives it it’s signature texture, look, and name. Be sure yours is fresh.
How to make honeycomb candy
- Prep everything! This is really, really crucial to this recipe since everything happens fast once the sugar mixture comes up to temperature. Measure out the baking soda in advance and prep a surface or 9×9-inch pan by lining it with parchment paper if you want thicker honeycomb. You could pour the honeycomb straight onto parchment paper on a baking sheet and it will spread out more, giving you thinner pieces of honeycomb. Either way is fine, but I wanted big, thick pieces of honeycomb so I opted for the square pan which held it in more.
- Heat sugar, corn syrup, honey, and water in a large saucepan. You want your pan to be on the larger side than it looks like you need from the ingredients, because when you stir in that baking soda in a bit, things are going to get crazy as the honeycomb foams up. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then cook until it reaches 300 degrees F on a candy thermometer .
- Stir in baking soda. Working quickly, as soon as the thermometer indicates the liquid sugar mixture is at 300 degrees F (the hard crack stage), remove from the heat and quickly add the baking soda, stirring right away. The honeycomb will foam up and almost triple in size, turning a beautiful golden brown color. Immediately pour the mixture into your prepared pan or onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Be super careful because it is hot, hot, hot!
- Let it cool. It will take about one hour for the honeycomb to set up. After that, you can break it into pieces or cut it into chunks with a sharp, large knife.
- Dip pieces in chocolate. This step is optional but honeycomb is so good covered in chocolate! Just melt chopped semisweet, dark, or milk chocolate on short bursts in the microwave, then dip each piece of honeycomb in the melted chocolate, setting aside on wire racks, parchment paper, or a silpat mat to set. You can dip entire pieces so they are fully enrobed in chocolate, or just parts of pieces to show off the honeycomb structure inside. You can even sprinkle the chocolate with flaky sea salt if you love salted chocolate and caramel.
More candy recipes
- Oreo Balls
- Homemade Caramel Apples
- Easy Chocolate Fudge
- Homemade Cream Caramels
- Candied Apples
- Homemade Peppermint Bark
- Pretzel Hugs
- Homemade Peanut Brittle
- Rocky Mountain Avalanche Bars
- Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods
- Pecan Log Roll
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- Chocolate for dipping (semisweet, milk, or dark)
- Line an 9x9-inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a heavy duty medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Set baking soda to the side so it is ready to add later.
- Bring the sugar mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Once the liquid is boiling, stop stirring and attach a candy thermometer.
- Cook until the temperature of the candy reaches 300 degrees F. Immediately remove from the heat and whisk in the baking soda for five seconds. The candy will bubble up and turn a light golden-brown color. Whisk just until combined but don't overmix and deflate the bubbles that will form.
- Immediately pour the honeycomb mixture into the prepared pan as it will start to set up quickly and let it cool for at least 1 hour before breaking into chunks by hitting it with a mallet or the heavy handle end of a butterknife.
- Dip or drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired, then let the candy sit until the chocolate firms up before serving.
- Storage: Keep the honeycomb candy in an airtight container on the counter at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Recipe slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman.