Sea Glass Candy

Sea Glass Candy
This candy looks EXACTLY like sea glass, and it's a fun and easy project!

This Sea Glass Candy is an easy homemade hard candy recipe that anyone can do with a pot and a candy thermometer. It really does look just like sea glass!

hard candy that looks just like sea glass!

Sea Glass Candy

Hard candy is easy to make, and it’s one of those things that everybody should try at least once. This simple process is used for everything from lollipops to cough drops, and it’s kind of nice to know how it’s done. The base is a mix of water, sugar, and corn syrup. You add a drop or two of regular food coloring, and a drop of food grade flavor oil. It gets heated to 300F, or what is known as the ‘hard crack’ stage of candy making. This just means it’s the temperature where the candy cools to the hard candy texture. A lower temperature will result in softer or stickier candy.

Making Sea Glass Candy

The molten sugar mixture is immediately poured out onto a greased surface to cool.

Hard candy that looks exactly like shards of sea glasss

Once hard, it can be shattered into shards, just like glass!

Making easy hard candy at home

I have to say I was astounded at how ‘glass-like’ this candy was — it’s sharp! I’m sure there’s science behind it, the sugar crystals must be similar in some ways to the grains of sand that melt into actual glass. Anyway, it’s easy, fascinating, and fun. Probably not for real little ones, but teens might enjoy this.

making Sea Glass Candy

The next step is also fun — you’ll coat the bits of ‘glass’ with powdered sugar, and they’ll emerge looking exactly like sea glass!

Hard candy that looks just like shards of sea glass

I used a dish cloth to buff off the excess sugar and ‘sand’ down the sharp edges for an authentic look. And you’re left with a big batch of hard candy that looks like you just collected it off the beach. What to do with it? Well, that’s where your creativity comes in, you can throw an Endless Summer themed party, (or wedding!) give it as a gift, or just pat yourself on the back for a crossing another culinary feat off your bucket list.

A pile of realistic looking sea glass candy

I made only one color but you could play around with all kinds of shades of greens and blues, just like the real thing. Tie them up in little cello bags for favors, or just put out in a candy dish. Remember that hard candy of any kind has a tendency to get sticky in humid weather, so just be aware. I would keep it in an airtight container and plan to use it up fairly  quickly.

A pile of realistic looking sea glass candy
3.16 from 106 votes

Sea Glass Candy

A fun and easy homemade hard candy recipe that looks just like sea glass!
Course candy, Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 or 2 drops food coloring blues and greens work well
  • about 1/4 tsp or a few drops, of candy flavoring or food grade flavor oil (I used tangerine)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar for coating


  • Lightly spray a 12 inch pizza pan
  • Put the granulated sugar, corn syrup, and water in a saucepan. Clip your candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
  • Bring up to a boil, while stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once boiling, stop stirring and let it bubble away until it reaches 300F on the thermometer. As it gets close to 300F, add in the drops of food coloring, but don't stir, it will mix itself in.
  • When it reaches 300F take it off the heat, stir in the flavoring oil, and immediately pour out onto your surface. It will spread out by itself. Be VERY CAREFUL, it is very hot.
  • Let the candy sit until fully cooled and hardened, then lay a piece of plastic wrap lightly over the surface and rap it with a hammer to shatter the candy into pieces. Do this slowly so you can try to get the most realistic size for your pieces.
  • Working in batches, put the pieces of candy into the powdered sugar and coat well. Use a dish towel to rub off the excess sugar and rub down the very sharp edges.
  • Store the candy in an airtight container, or divide up into individual cellophane bags.

Cook's notes

recipe from
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


  • You’re going to need a candy thermometer for this. You should have one anyway, they are a necessity for most types of candy making, an deep frying, too.
  • Look for candy flavoring oils in the baking aisle of your supermarket, you might find one or two there. Otherwise, for a wider choice, visit a large craft store like Michael’s, or go online. There are endless choices, from root beer to pina colada.
  • Be very careful when working with molten sugar. It is dangerously hot and you don’t want to touch it. Keep away from children and pets.
  • I found that for this recipe my 12″ metal pizza pan worked perfectly. The mixture will spread too thinly if you use a very large surface.


Thanks for pinning this fun Sea Glass Candy!

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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Kristen K.
    August 10, 2021 at 7:48 am

    5 stars
    I’d never made hard candy before and this was way easier than I expected!! Thank you for the easy to follow recipe! I’m making wedding favors for my mom’s wedding so I thought these would be ADORABLE, as the whole wedding theme revolves around sea glass. I was hoping to make them more tart, though. I’ll test it out by adding some citric acid and perhaps follow up on my measurements if it works out well! Thank you again!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 10, 2021 at 7:50 am

      Citric acid should work well, good luck!

  • Reply
    March 16, 2021 at 8:26 am

    What color combo did you use to make this candy color? What was the ratio of blue to green?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 16, 2021 at 9:10 am

      Sorry Kristen, this was so long ago I can’t say!

  • Reply
    December 29, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    5 stars
    My name is kristy. I am a chef, and a writer, so I read alot. I just have to say, I love how you write. How you lay it out and explain yourself. It was quite a joy reading this recipe. Great job! I look forward to reading your other recipes blogs and makingthis Sea Glass candy for a dear friend. Thank you

  • Reply
    February 22, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    This is my first time trying this recipe. Yours look awesome. How long does it take to harden? I’ve had mine drying for a few hours now and they’re taking forever. I used light corn syrup, could that be the problem?

    • Reply
      February 22, 2019 at 1:43 pm

      Is it possible you didn’t heat the mixture all the way to 300F Tiffany? That temperature is essential for the candy to get to the ‘hard crack’ stage, where it hardens as it should.

  • Reply
    July 25, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    It can, among other risks, completely destroy your kidneys. Unless a shortened lifetime of pain and dialysis treatments sounds fun to you, stick to flavoring oils that are meant to be consumed.

    • Reply
      July 25, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      Thanks for the heads up Lanthir.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    they really do look like glass! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  • Reply
    October 9, 2016 at 11:37 am

    There’s dishtowel fuzz on your candy…

    • Reply
      October 9, 2016 at 11:53 am


  • Reply
    July 23, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Can you only use flavoring oils especially for candy? Can you use flavoring extracts for baking?

  • Reply
    K B
    February 28, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    How long do you think these candies would keep? I want to make them in advance for my wedding!
    Thanks for sharing this great idea 😀

    • Reply
      February 28, 2016 at 8:09 pm

      Gosh KB i can’t say for sure, the thing I noticed was that any amount of humidity makes them sticky. If you were to keep them dry and cool, and separated by waxed paper or something, they should keep a while!

  • Reply
    October 28, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    I make this every Christmas (as “Stained Glass Candy”). I make 5 or 6 different colors and flavor each color differently (i.e. Red/Strawberry, Blue/Anise, Green/Spearmint, etc). I mix all of the colors together once it’s broken up and covered with powdered sugar. I package it up in tins, cellophane, etc., and give it as gifts. It’s always a big hit!

    • Reply
      October 28, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      What a great idea — I’ve even seen some people do a Halloween version!

  • Reply
    September 13, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    This is so different, and so cool to look at! I’m totally intrigued, since I live by the ocean. I can think of some people who would be thrilled to have this as a homemade gift.

  • Reply
    September 5, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Thank you! I love this kind of candy.

  • Reply
    Abbe @ This is How I Cook
    September 2, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    I pinned a recipe like this, too! So glad you tried it, because I’m a bit fearful of the candy thermometer. You made it look easy so I’ll have to add it to my holiday list!

  • Reply
    Louisa [Living Lou]
    September 2, 2015 at 5:31 am

    Wow, this is so beautiful! It would make a great addition to any beach themed party or just a weekend on the beach.

  • Reply
    Diane {Created by Diane}
    September 2, 2015 at 12:09 am

    I just LOVE this color and oh how fun this candy is…it’s a must make!

  • Reply
    September 1, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Oh my gosh, they’re beautiful, Sue! My grandsons just found some beautiful sea glass here along Lake Michigan today and sound very similar green pieces. I have to make this for them!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    September 1, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    I had to come back and tell you that I had a “ah-ha moment” after I saw your candy, Sue. When my grandchildren from England were here this summer, we went to this really fun candy shop that had every kind of candy you can imagine. When they saw the hard candy, they said “oh look, boiled candy!” I thought that was such a strange name for hard candy but now that I know how hard candy is made, it makes total sense! Thanks for educating me 🙂

    • Reply
      September 1, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      You’ll have to do this with them next time they visit Chris!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    September 1, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    So pretty, I’d love to make this for a party!

  • Reply
    September 1, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Very nice! I really like the idea of breaking it into pieces with a hammer. I have made this in the past and cut it with scissors while still slightly warm. This was very hard on your hands and became increasingly difficult as it hardened. Thank you for posting!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    September 1, 2015 at 11:15 am

    How fun and how pretty! This would also be a great winter project when the humidity drops. Love it, sharing!

  • Reply
    Diana | Dreams Factory
    September 1, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Sue, these look amazing!!! And your pictures are perfect!
    Even though I’m not really a fan of so much sugar in one place, I would love to try making these for decorating purposes. I bet they would look lovely in different sized jars, all around my house:)
    This is such a great idea, can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      September 1, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      I think they’d be fun to use as decorations, it sure beats getting a sunburn trying to find the odd bits of glass in the sand 🙂

  • Reply
    Toni | BoulderLocavore
    September 1, 2015 at 9:18 am

    This is so darn pretty! What an unexpected treat.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    September 1, 2015 at 5:26 am

    This is very cool! I love the colour 🙂 I’ll be trying this.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    August 31, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    This is the coolest thing ever! I love making candy but this is over the top beautiful! It really looks like sea glass. I was wondering how it came out to look like that – powdered sugar is brilliant 🙂

  • Reply
    August 31, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    I have never made anything like this, you make it look very easy and the end result is so pretty.

    • Reply
      August 31, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      As long as you’ve got that thermometer, you’re set!

  • Reply
    Martha @ A Family Feast
    August 31, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    This is SOOOO cool Susan! I can see making this in a variety of ocean-y colors for a summertime, beach-theme party! Love it!

    • Reply
      August 31, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks Martha — that was what i was thinking, too. I used to spend hours hunting for sea glass, it was kind of fun to create a huge pile of it!

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