Homemade Pop Rocks Turn Your Kitchen Into a Fun Science Experiment

pop rocks

Yes, it is possible to make Pop Rocks, the famously fizzy candy, right in your own kitchen. No, you don’t need any special equipment or a science degree. This at-home version of the classic candy attains its magical fizz through a combination of citric acid and baking soda. Time for a fun kitchen experiment!

DIY Pop Rocks

Level: Easy

Recipe adapted from The Daily Meal

What You Need


  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons citric acid, divided
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup water
  • Gel or liquid food coloring (your choice of color)


  • Baking sheet
  • Small bowl
  • Spoon for mixing
  • Whisk
  • Candy thermometer
  • Saucepan


1. Prep the Baking Sheet

Thoroughly coat the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet with the confectioners’ sugar.

2. Mix Baking Soda and Citric Acid

Combine the baking soda and ¼ cup of the citric acid in a small bowl, and mix gently to combine. Set aside.

3. Heat

Clip your candy thermometer to the side of a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, or have your instant-read thermometer ready. Place the sugar, honey and water in the pan. Stir to combine. Place the mixture over medium heat.

The mixture will progress from quite sandy to liquid to vigorously bubbling. Once it starts bubbling, begin monitoring the temperature closely. When the mixture reaches between 295 and 300 F, remove from heat.

Pro Tip: If at any point you notice granules of sugar sticking to the sides of the pan, brush them down with a slightly wet pastry brush.

4. Whisk

Immediately stir in the baking soda and citric acid mixture and the food coloring. Whisk until everything is combined. Work quickly, as the candy will begin to set rapidly.

5. Spread on the Baking Sheet

Pour the candy onto your prepared baking sheet and try to coat the sheet evenly. Sprinkle the top of the candy with the remaining citric acid right after spreading. (It won’t stick once the candy sets.)

Good to Know: Don’t worry if your candy layer looks uneven or ugly in the pan, or appears speckled by spots of sugar or citric acid. You will literally be crushing it in the next step, so the visual appeal isn’t too important at this point.

6. Let It Set

The candy will set rather quickly, between 20 minutes and an hour depending on the heat and humidity in your kitchen. Break off a corner; if it’s brittle and breaks easily, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

7. Break It Up

Break the candy into large shards to make it easier to handle, then transfer it to a large freezer bag or divide it between two bags. Force out any extra air and seal the bag(s). Gently roll a rolling pin over the candy mixture to crush it.

Store in airtight containers at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.

Popping the Questions

Answers to your most frequent pop-rockin’ questions.

Is Citric Acid As Scary As It Sounds?

No, it’s not going to burn a hole through your spoon. It’s simply a fermented citrus by-product that’s used as a flavoring and natural preservative.

That said, citric acid can be tricky to find — not because it’s rare, exotic or expensive (we bought it for less than $2), but because different stores stock it in different areas. You might find it with the canning supplies or in the baking aisle, and while you may not see it at all grocery stores, your local superstore (Target, etc.) is likely to carry it. You can also buy it online.

Do I Really Need a Candy Thermometer?

Yes. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one, but you’ll need to be able to monitor the temperature of the candy to ensure it will set firm.

Is There a Substitute for Honey?

Yep! If you don’t like honey, you can always swap in the same amount of corn syrup.

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37 Responses to “Homemade Pop Rocks Turn Your Kitchen Into a Fun Science Experiment”

  1. Matt

    This recipe is nonsense. It's not poprocks, it doesn't taste like it, and it doesn't behave like it (no popping at all). If you want sour crappy honeycomb, go for it. But that's all it is. I assume it's craftsy clickbait.

  2. Steve Stewart

    THIS IS NOT POPPING CANDY! This just a Hokey-Pokey/Honeycomb recipe with some citric acid to give it a bitter/sour flavor that having tried thisI'm not convinced works. At best the result may be crushed up and used in home-made ice cream as a novelty

  3. Annie

    <strong>Ticket #44341: Is it supposed to be really thick? I was hoping it would spread out on the cookie sheet but it wouldn't. ????

  4. Jackie Sue Stover

    My pop rocks candy doesn't pop.?!?! What did I do wrong??? What can I do to fix this??? Tastes fine but NO POPPING SOUND. PLEASE HELP ME??? 😊

    • Customer Service

      Hello Jackie, Thank you for contacting us. You did nothing wrong - our DIY pop rocks are fizzy and tasty but at home it is not safe to add the pressurized C02 that is used in the making of commercial pop rocks - it's a gentle pop - not as intense as the commercial version. For further information or assistance, please chat, email, or call Customer Service. Sincerely, Sarah Craftsy

    • Dillon Elliott

      I’d assume that you take out the 1/3 cup of water and replace that with flavored water.

  5. wtf

    so they don't pop, it's basically honeycomb? why are you listing it as poprocks if they don't explode in your mouth

    • Sil Bouguereau

      Hi Chris, they are not gonna pop. Original pop rocks are made under extreme pressure, they inject carbon dioxide into the sugar syrup and then contain all those bubbles inside it. This cannot be made at home, sadly. I've tried too... Many many times :(

      • Janine Blanchard

        So disappointed- read the comments after making it. You should change the title to avoid kids disappointed when they’re not popping! 😕

        • Magz

          I read the comments after I made it. So disappointed:( this is like false advertising

            • Ks

              Mine doesn’t pop! Why would u call this pop rocks if it doesn’t pop!?!?? I hsve some disappointed kiddo at home.

              • Customer Service

                Hello Customer, We apologize for the confusion. The candy has the look of pop rocks but the noise is a fizz. Your feedback has been forwarded to the proper department. Thanks!