sponge candy

Me and my sweet tooth! This time I’m offering up a killer sponge candy recipe that you can use for making your wedding favors! If you want to get really decadent, dip the sponge candy in chocolate. If you make this, please let me know how it turned out! I love to hear feedback from my readers.

BTW, in Canada we call it sponge toffee; in England it’s called cinder toffee; in Australia they call it honeycomb and in California it’s called sea foam. No matter what you call it, it’s yummy!

Please note: Although this is easy to make, it’s imperative to use an accurate candy thermometer. One of our batches was overdone  because our  cheapo candy thermometer wasn’t accurate. (We found this out after the fact by using the method for testing your candy thermomter found on this site.)

Sponge Candy Recipe and Tutorial (adapted from Christine Cushing’s Sponge Toffee Recipe)


Vegetable oil for greasing pan

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2/3 cup light corn syrup

6 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla

Liberally grease a 10-inch round spring form cake pan with vegetable oil. Trace the bottom of the pan on a piece of parchment paper. Line the bottom of the pan with the parchment paper circle. Line the sides of the pan with a parchment paper so that the parchment paper creates a collar that sits 1 to 2-inches above the pan. Liberally grease the parchment paper.

sponge taffy

In a deep medium saucepan add sugar, corn syrup, water, and vanilla. Over medium-high heat bring the mixture to a boil (without stirring) and cook until hard crack stage, i.e. until temperature reads 300 degrees F. on a candy thermometer. This should take about 10 minutes. If sugar crystals form on the sides of the pan during the cooking process, brush the sides of the pan with a clean pastry brush dipped in water.

sponge taffy

Remove from heat. Working quickly, add the baking soda and quickly blend to incorporate the soda into the sugar mixture, about 5 seconds. As you can see in the photo, the mixture will bubble up when you add the baking soda. Be very careful not to touch the hot mixture.

sponge candy

Immediately pour the hot toffee into the prepared pan.

sponge taffy

Let cool and set completely before touching.

sponge taffy

Cut into pieces. As you can see, it makes a huge mess. But the messy little crumbs can be saved for your ice cream!

sponge taffy

sponge taffy recipe

sponge candy recipe

You can stop right here and store the sponge candy in airtight containers until your wedding day (obviously, you’re not going to be making this stuff months ahead.)  But if you are a chocolate fiend like me, you’ll take it one step further and grab that bag of semi-sweet Chipits in your fridge.

I melted my chocolate chips in the microwave. The key to microwaving chocolate is to do it slow. Very slow. Did I say slow? Otherwise you will muck  it up badly like I did the first time. If you need some tips on melting chocolate chips in the microwave, go to this site.

sponge taffy in chocolate

The next time that  I melt chocolate chips, I will try the stovetop method. For this method, you simply bring a saucepan of water to a simmer and place a stainless steel bowl over the saucepan, making sure that the water does not touch the bowl. Once the chocolate melts, just add more chips until they are all melted, then dip your sponge candy.

Once the chocolate is melted, simply dip the sponge candy into the chocolate. I tried using tongs, but it didn’t work for me so I used my fingers. Messy, messy, messy. After dipping, lay chocolates on parchment paper to harden. Store in airtight containers. If you are making these as wedding favors, simply pop into cello bags or tins. Your guests will be raving about your homemade chocolate sponge candy!

sponge taffy dipped in chocolate

chocolate sponge taffy

sponge taffy chocolate

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46 Comments  |  Filed Under: DIY Favors & Gifts, DIY Food & Drink, DIY Wedding

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  1. Posted by Verônica Araújo on December 25th, 2009 at 4:24am

    Obrigada !!!!!!
    Adorei a receita e vou fazer essa maravilha .
    Você tem a receita do bolo esponja ???
  2. Posted by Adrienne on February 10th, 2010 at 6:43pm

    Thank you! I've been looking for a recipes for chocolate dipped honeycomb for ages! I'm in California and I've always seen it called honeycomb, but maybe I should have been searching for sea foam? Thanks again!
  3. Posted by Christina on February 11th, 2010 at 11:18am

    You're welcome Adrienne. Hope you have fun with it!
  4. Posted by Ginny on February 12th, 2010 at 4:27pm

    I'm so happy to have found your recipe. I just discovered sponge candy even though I've been living in Western NY for years. I'm really excited to make it! It looks fairly simple. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!
  5. Posted by Sam on March 3rd, 2010 at 4:07pm

    Hey Christina,
    Thanks for the recipe. I'm dutch so youre recipe has just travelt to the other side of the world.
    I'm still waiting for the sponge to cool. I'm really excited to taste it.
  6. Posted by Christina on March 4th, 2010 at 11:22am

    How cool Sam. Hope you enjoyed it!
  7. Posted by Sam on March 4th, 2010 at 11:37am

    Whe loved them. I'm going to make them for my wedding as a gift.
  8. Posted by rosie on October 27th, 2010 at 9:23am

    after two failed attemps using other recipes, i'm so happy you included pictures and good descrptions for each step! I feel confident this time; 3rd's a charm right?
  9. Posted by Christina on October 28th, 2010 at 12:15pm

    Thanks for your comment Rosie. Let me know how it turns out!
  10. Posted by theo on November 14th, 2010 at 12:59am

    I'm so glad I found this! Chocolate dipped Seafoam candy is my favorite to purchase at the Rocky Mountain Candy Co. I'm giving this a trial run tomorrow. If it works for me (will altitude affect it, do you think?) then it will be the goodie I give to neighbors for Christmas this year.
  11. Posted by Kiwi on December 8th, 2010 at 12:04am

    In New Zealand it's called Hokey Pokey. One of our favourite candy bars is called the Crunchie bar, which is exactly this, just in a long bar form. Yum!
  12. Posted by Priscilla on December 10th, 2010 at 10:38am

    Thanks Christina -- I made this for the first time using your recipe, and it came out wonderfully. It's so dramatic, and looks like amazing rocks. The next time I will make sure the baking soda has no lumps before adding it, since it doesn't have time to dissolve. I will also make the parchment collar higher (3 inches above rim), since it spilled over. It made much more than I expected, which is good! This will make really special Christmas gifts. Thanks again.
  13. Posted by Christina on December 10th, 2010 at 1:22pm

    Glad it turned out for you Priscilla. It is very dramatic and fun to make!
  14. Posted by Lynnette Anderson on December 17th, 2010 at 12:20pm

    I've tried this 3 times and its burned everytime. I don't understand why this isn't working for me. I do not usually have a problem with baking or making candy. I was very disappointed... was really hoping to be able to make this for my sister-in-law for Christmas.
  15. Posted by Christina on December 17th, 2010 at 2:59pm

    Hi Lynette. I'm so sorry to hear that! Did you use a candy thermometer? If so, maybe the temp is off?
  16. Posted by mags on December 27th, 2010 at 5:00pm

    Thank you for the great tutorial! Any hints on how to clean the pot? I had a wee bit of trouble the las time I made some. Thank goodness the lovely sweets made things a little better...
  17. Posted by Christina on December 29th, 2010 at 10:25am

    Hi Mags... I think I just threw mine into the sink right away and let it soak for a long time.
  18. Posted by Lea on March 9th, 2011 at 5:05am

    It sounds great and looks delicious!
    Unfortunately, in Europe, it's very difficult to get corn syrup or golden syrup, well, I guess this cannot be substituted, can it?
  19. Posted by findingalaska on March 10th, 2011 at 2:49pm

    Little late but to clean the pan fill it with water and bring the water to a boil until the toffee dissolves
  20. Posted by Jaimn on April 16th, 2011 at 2:13am

    I wonder if I would be the only family member to like it.... and that would be dangerous to my waistline! I enjoyed how you walked through the recipe. Thanks for sharing :)
  21. Posted by Lydia on May 19th, 2012 at 9:07pm

    I am so happy that I found this recipe. Crunchie's are my favourite kind of sweets and now I can make them (In rock form)!! Oh and P.S. In England we call it Honeycomb :) Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! Very appreciative.
  22. Posted by Sheilagh Lynn-Howe on August 5th, 2012 at 11:53pm

    My son in law used to buy this chocolate covered sponge candy at a local chocolate factory in Nevada. I made your recipe this afternoon. Used a 10 inch springform pan. Followed your recipe to the letter; poured it into the parchment lined pan - my paper color was easily 5 inches taller than the tooltip of the pan. The sponge grew as soon as it went in!! Came out phenomenally !! This candy will be made in my kitchen for family and friends for life!! Oh the irony is that the store sells sponge candy chunks my son in law bought sells it for EIGHT DOLLARS A POUND!! Yikes! Thanks again!!
  23. Posted by Christina on August 6th, 2012 at 8:21am

    That's great Sheilagh! Thanks for letting me know how it turned out!
  24. Posted by Domovorto on September 22nd, 2012 at 5:58pm

    Sooooo, I did burn it, but when I added the baking soda, I blended it for not even 1 second and it immediately overflowed all over the place! Is it because I cooked it for too long? I only used 2 tbsp.
  25. Posted by Christina on September 24th, 2012 at 9:50pm

    Sorry to hear you had trouble wit hit Domovorto. Like all candy, it's finicky. I hope you don't give up.
  26. Posted by Kristina on November 17th, 2012 at 5:15pm


    I tried your recipe a second time today. Even though I tried to adjust the temperature, my thermometer was still way off and I burned the first attempt. Because I was worried about having it burn a second time, I think I may have taken it off the heat a little too soon and it didn't foam up as much as the first time. However, unlike the first time, it has yet to sink. Fun little side note, I was able to colour it! My sponge is now a lovely shade of green. Quick question, how long will this keep? I need it to last about a week. Although I suppose I could always just make more :)
  27. Posted by Deb on November 17th, 2012 at 5:41pm

    Grew up eating this my whole childhood in Wisconsin. It was called Angel Food Candy and could only be found at Christmas time. No where to get it here in Georgia so my sister sends me several bags each year. Now I'll be able to try this out and make my own. Thanks a bunch.
  28. Posted by Jamie on November 20th, 2012 at 11:37am

    I tried this receipe to the tee and ended up burning a pan and the place was so smokey that i had to open windows and doors. Someone tell me what I did wrong because everything was followed as it was said in the receipe. Hmmm. So looking forward to having sponge candy and all I got was smoke and a mess.
  29. Posted by Christina on November 20th, 2012 at 2:35pm

    Sorry to hear that Jamie. Candymaking is quite a science! Hope you don't give up!
  30. Posted by Erin on December 11th, 2012 at 11:30am

    For burners: turn down your heat. I have a gas stove and I set it to 6 (med). 7 was just too high for me I burned two batches and the second burned right at the very end of cooking and only alittle so as to ruin the flavor. Turning it down took about 16 min to cook it but no burn! It looks beautiful and smells good! Also soaking my pan cleaned it up just fine even after my first pretty burned batch. Also I used a thick bottom pot
  31. Posted by carolyn hunt on July 13th, 2013 at 6:20pm

    I have a gas stove and in order to get candy to 300 ° it ends up burning. What can i doto make this right?
  32. Posted by Melanie on November 15th, 2013 at 5:25pm

    There is also a recipe on how to make this in the microwave. It is similar to the way they make peanut brittle but without the peanuts. :) The microwave version literally takes like 5 minutes and is SUPER EASY.
  33. Posted by Racheal on November 17th, 2013 at 2:34pm

    1 cup sugar
    1cup dark karo syrup
    1 tablespoon of vinegar
    Mixed cooked same way then add
    1 tablespoon of baking soda
    And mix the same way!

    Just another Recipe!
  34. Posted by Carol Bayus on February 9th, 2014 at 12:25am

    When I lived in Buffalo Ny. My friend and I use to get this candy all the time. I have not been able to find this candy since I left Buffalo over 20 years ago. I am looking forward to making Sponge Candy. Good memories, Good times. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
  35. Posted by joyce on March 21st, 2014 at 9:33pm

    I tried this recipe, it tastes good, but it sticks to my teeth. I used a candy thermometer, took it to 300. It took about 20 minutes. Maybe it cooked to long? It is not light and fluffy its hard and kinda rough on the teeth.
  36. Posted by Deb Swiggum on April 14th, 2014 at 10:25am

    I have loved this candy since I was a small child and can't ever find it anywhere to purchase. So just now I attempted to make it. Mine isn't as airy as it should be and also tastes on the borderline of being burned. As I emptied it into the parchment lined pan the bottom of my kettle showed signs of it beginning to burn. However, I had to leave it on the heat until it reached 300 degrees. If I take it off at a lower temp to avoid the burning will it still work?
  37. Posted by Christina on April 14th, 2014 at 11:24am

    Hi Deb.. Candy making is always finicky. Our first batch was overdone too.
  38. Posted by Gerry Winters on August 18th, 2014 at 11:16am

    In my Freshman year in college, my suitemate from Chicago had this candy shipped to her from her parents. I have looked for the recipe - not knowing what to call it - for 45 years. Now I have it! Thanks.
  39. Posted by Sally Furey on January 4th, 2015 at 10:17pm

    When I made this yeArs ago it had instAnt coffee in it. Can't find recipe I used.
  40. Posted by Sally Furey on January 4th, 2015 at 11:20pm

    It might be a good idea to check your baking soda and make sure it is still good.. monoamine is out dated so tomorrow it's off to buy a new can.
  41. Posted by Bert Forbes on January 25th, 2015 at 2:38pm

    I have been buying this sponge candy from Canelake's in Virginia Minnesota ever since I was a little girl (I'm 73)It's not cheap but look forward to it every year when I head North from TX. They have a website and mail their candy. Maybe not in the summer though, not sure. Their's is chocolate coated.
  42. Posted by Stefanie on January 25th, 2015 at 11:25pm

    Hi!! I make sponge candy all the time as it's a must have in buffalo ny but I have a little diff recipe but I think it's important to mention that this candy is very fussy !! If u make it when it's hot or humid out it will be terrible the whole middle turns soft an yucky!! So I wod make an thefridge or make wen it's Cooler an no humidity
  43. Posted by Babs on January 28th, 2015 at 1:59pm

    I just finished making these and what a wonderful recipe! Thank you! Christina!
    A couple of tips if anyone may be interested : When I added the ingredients I layered them "completely" over each other instead of just putting them in on top of each other. Temperature is key! I boiled mine between medium & medium high on my flat top stove. It took about a good 20 minutes, watching the thermometer closely so it reached the hard crack (300 degree) stage. Patience is a must when making a candy. I wish I would have mixed the boiled mixture together a couple of turns before I added the baking soda. Because it sets up so fast the baking soda wasn't completely incorporated but nonetheless it came out perfect! Dipped in dark & milk chocolates.
  44. Posted by Annette on February 11th, 2015 at 3:24pm

    This is my first attempt to try making sponge candy. It is my hubby's favorite and I want to surprise him for Valentines Day. My batch looks just like the picture, except when cooled, it is soft. I wonder if I didn't cook it long enough. The thermometer read 300, and I am uncertain if I should have let it cook for 10 minutes at 300. I will give it another try!
  45. Posted by Annette on February 11th, 2015 at 3:25pm

    Mine came out soft. What went wrong?
  46. Posted by MaryAnn on March 16th, 2015 at 10:59am

    Have always made, what the Midwest calls "fairy food", with a more complicated recipe. I can hardly wait to try yours. I always mix the crumbs into the left over (what left over?) dipping chocolate. Makes tasty butter finger drops!!!
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