How to Make Sugar Glass without Corn Syrup

In this brief article, we will be discussing how to make sugar glass without corn syrup. So if you know someone with allergies or sensitivities who loves hard candy, read on to find out how you can still make delicious sugar glass candy without corn syrup, dyes, and artificial flavors! 

How to Make Sugar Glass without Corn Syrup?

To make sugar glass without corn syrup, you need:

  • One and a half cups of white granulated sugar (300g)
  • One and a half cups of water (120mL)
  • One teaspoon (5mL) of any flavoring of your liking 


  1. Grease an eight to nine-inch (20 to 23cm) heat proof container and line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. In a large saucepan, add sugar and water. Cook and stir till the sugar dissolves. If any sugar sticks to the sides of the pan, gently wash it down using a damp pastry brush.
  3. Continue cooking on medium heat till the ‘hard-crack’ stage, i.e. the temperature reaches to around 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius).
  4. Once the hard stage is attained, remove the saucepan from the stove. Once it stops boiling, add your desired flavor essence or oil and stir carefully using a heat-proof spatula or spoon to mix it in well.
  5. Pour the mixture into the lined container and allow it to cool for at least five to 10 minutes. Score the candy using a knife to obtain more uniform pieces.
  6. Once the mixture has completely cooled, break it apart at the scored lines to get pieces of delicious sugar glass candy.
  7.  Store in an airtight container.

Why Is Corn Syrup Used to Make Hard Candy?

Corn syrup is commonly used in most hard candy recipes since it is an inverted sugar. 

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Invert sugars get in the way of sugar molecules and inhibit the production of ‘crystals’ in the candy, resulting in the smooth and silky textures of hard candy, cooked sweets, and caramel.

Corn based sweeteners are the most popular class of sweeteners in the USA with a market share of 52 percent. Among all corn based sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is most widely used. HFCS is produced by milling corn (maize) to produce corn starch, then processing that starch to yield corn syrup, which is almost entirely glucose, and then adding enzymes that change some of the glucose (1).

HFCS is not significantly different in composition or metabolism from other fructose-glucose sweeteners like sucrose, honey, and fruit juice concentrates. Unlike sucrose, which hydrolyzes in acidic systems which changes the sweetness and flavor characteristics of the product, HFCS is stable in acidic foods and beverages. While crystalline sucrose needs to be dissolved in water before use, HFCS is in syrup form and hence it can be directly pumped from delivery vehicles to storage and mixing tanks, requiring only simple dilution before use (1).

What Tips Should You Follow when Making Sugar Glass?

For making the perfect sugar glass candy everytime, just follow these tips:

  • Non-stick pans are known to cause crystallization of sugar during candy making. So always use a reliable stainless steel saucepan with a heavy bottom.
  • If you live in a humid climate, coating the candy with powdered sugar will prevent it from becoming sticky. However, powdered sugar mostly contains cornstarch, so watch out.
  • Since sugar is hygroscopic (attracts moisture), it’s recommended to make this candy on a dry day.
  • If any sugar crystals begin to form on the sides or you see sugar on the sides of the pan at any time, you must wash them down with a wet pastry brush dipped in water or the sugar may crystallize and you’ll have to start over.
  • If you don’t have a heat-resistant thermometer, you can make sure the sugar is at the hard stage by observing its color – it will have changed from clear to pale yellow. 
  • Another way to check the temperature is to drop a small quantity of the mixture into some cold water.  After about 15-20 seconds, remove the hardened sugar and check; if it is brittle and cracks on pressure, you’re good.
  • Use a sharp knife to slice the hot sugar mixture into small pieces. Don’t stress if some pieces crack or are uneven. Heating the knife in between slicing can also make the process easier.
  • NEVER use essential oils for baking and/or cooking. Only flavorings labeled ‘food safe’ must be used.  
  • Adding a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon to the boiling sugar water can not only prevent crystallization, but also modifies the taste of the candy to slightly bitter.
  • Adding some cream of tartar also helps harden the candy and prevents crystallization.

How Can You Make Dark Sugar Glass Candy without Corn Syrup?

To make slightly darker-colored sugar glass, simply use dark brown sugar instead of white sugar. The rest of the procedure remains the same.

You can also use molasses, but you’ll need to add some light corn syrup substitute to make it less thick. 

Other FAQs about Sugar that you may be interested in.

How to melt brown sugar on the stove?

How much table sugar to prime beer?

What are substitutes for powdered sugar?


In this brief article, we answered the question of how to make sugar glass without corn syrup, and also gave you some simple tips to make the best sugar glass candy. Hopefully, now you can make this crunchy and delightful treat easily at home!

If you have any more questions or comments please let us know.


  1. Singh, I., Langyan, S. & Yadava, P. Sweet Corn and Corn-Based Sweeteners. Sugar Tech, 2014, 16, 144–149. 

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