This very fun and simple-to-make candy goes by many names; cinder toffee, sponge candy, and my personal favorite, 'hokey pokey,' but no matter what you call it, this eye-catching confection is a proven crowd pleaser. Thousands of bubbles, trapped in the cooling sugar syrup, give this the most interesting melt-in-your-mouth texture. As long as you're very careful and heat the syrup up to the correct temp, there's not a lot that can go wrong.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
10 mins
additional:
30 mins
total:
50 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Line a baking dish with parchment paper, measure out baking soda in a small bowl, and have a heat-proof spatula ready before starting.

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  • Whisk sugar, corn syrup, honey, and water together in a saucepan with a candy thermometer attached. Heat over medium heat until mixture is thinner but still cloudy. Let bubble until mixture is clear and thermometer registers 300 degrees F (149 degrees C).

  • Remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda until just incorporated. Switch to a spatula and very carefully pour into the lined dish. Do not spread it out with your spatula or compress mixture at all, or the bubbles will deflate. Let cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

  • Remove candy from the pan by lifting out the parchment paper. Rap against the counter and use your fingers to break it into individual pieces.

Chef's Notes:

For bigger bubbles, use up to 2 teaspoons baking soda, keeping in mind there might be an aftertaste. Do not use baking powder!

Substitute golden syrup for the corn syrup if desired.

You can also check with a probe thermometer. Some folks say you can simply go by appearance, and when the syrup goes from clear to slightly golden, it's done, but that requires a certain amount of experience. Another method to gauge the temperature is by dropping a little bit of the molten syrup in water to see if it instantly turns into rock candy. That will work, but since thermometers aren't expensive, and every kitchen should have one, that really is the way to go.

Nutrition Facts

71 calories; proteing; carbohydrates 18.6g 6% DV; fatg; cholesterolmg; sodium 160.7mg 6% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (17)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
06/25/2020
I absolutely LOVE this recipe! So ridiculously easy, it's silly! Especially during Covid, when I get a craving for something sweet, this is my go-to so I don't ever have to run out to the store. I live at a high altitude, and for me, I don't use a thermometer as it usually burns long before it gets to temperature, so I just go by colour. When it gets to be a nice orangy amber, that's when I add the soda. Works like a charm. Personally, I add just tidge of vanilla (about 1/8 tsp) just for the added flavour, but it's not really necessary. Read More
(5)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
05/22/2020
I think I had a hard time whith the after tast Read More
20 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 14
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
06/25/2020
I absolutely LOVE this recipe! So ridiculously easy, it's silly! Especially during Covid, when I get a craving for something sweet, this is my go-to so I don't ever have to run out to the store. I live at a high altitude, and for me, I don't use a thermometer as it usually burns long before it gets to temperature, so I just go by colour. When it gets to be a nice orangy amber, that's when I add the soda. Works like a charm. Personally, I add just tidge of vanilla (about 1/8 tsp) just for the added flavour, but it's not really necessary. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
12/21/2018
I did a test batch of this (since the ingredients are very common and inexpensive) in anticipation of doing baked goodie tins for Christmas and it turned out well. I ran out of honey while mixing up an earlier recipe so I was forced to add 2 tbsp extra of corn syrup to substitute but I have since bought honey and fully intend to use it when I make the next batch for gifts. I used 1 tsp of baking soda but I am thinking of splitting the difference on the next batch. which will also be coated in chocolate. I also think I got it a second overdone but that is the exact reason I wanted to make a test batch. Candy is tricky and I wanted to have a little experience before I made things to give away to family. Great recipe and very easy. I don't usually watch the videos but I absolutely did for this just to make sure I got it right. I love Crunchie bars and was excited to try to make something similar at home with few ingredients. Read More
(3)
Rating: 4 stars
01/04/2019
I followed the recipe exactly as written. I found the video very helpful as I didn't quite know the stages of this candy. A candy thermometer is important as it took some time to reach 300F from a medium heat. This turned out just like John's photo. Quite attractive and very airy. It tastes good but just not my type of candy. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
02/17/2020
I just made it with Morena sugar and substituted more honey for the syrup. Delicious! Next time I will make a double batch. Read More
(2)
Rating: 4 stars
03/25/2019
I've made this several times. It comes out airy and crunchy. The only negative is that once you get past the initial crunchiness, it sticks to your teeth - didn't work out so great when I took it to an event with a lot of older folks without their own teeth. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
05/06/2019
Easy-good recipe Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/12/2020
Simple recipe clearly put. I used golden syrup (as per recipe suggestion) and farmer's market honey the kinda stuff that comes in a twist-top Ball jar you get when going apple picking. I used a scant teaspoon of baking soda I'd wager it came out to 1.25tsp? The flavor for me was spot on: a light cooked honey taste reminiscent of the crusty bits of a honey cake. I will make this again and will maybe experiment with other flavors. Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
04/06/2019
I didn't have a candy thermometer so I eyeballed it using the video provided! So grateful for this recipe Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
04/22/2020
What a great recipe! Once I watched the video a few times, I felt confident enough to attempt it. It broke apart so nice and so fluffy! Read More
Rating: 1 stars
05/22/2020
I think I had a hard time whith the after tast Read More