Lollipops are an easy treat to make at home. There are a huge variety of recipes available online for them, some easier than others, some healthier than others. Depending which recipe you use, making lollipops at home may or may not be cheaper than buying them at stores. But if you want to avoid corn syrup or make your own unique flavors, the homemade route is nearly the only way to go.
Here’s one of the most basic and easy homemade lollipop recipes I know of. It’s an old-fashioned recipe, so it doesn’t contain any corn syrup, which I like.
1. No corn syrup lollipops.
- 2 cups of sugar
- 2/3 cup of water
- 1/8 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- Whatever flavoring you like
- Any vegetable coloring you want
Combine the sugar and Cream of Tartar with the water. Stir them together until the sugar is dissolved. Boil the mixture until it’s 290 degrees F, or until putting a drop of it in cold water results in a hard bead. Take it off the heat and then add the flavoring and coloring. Pour the mixture into greased molds. When it’s cool enough to hold the stick, put the stick in. Put in a refrigerator for a few hours to let it harden.
2. Many of the homemade recipes result in lollipops that have a fairly matte finish, as opposed to the glossy, shiny look most commercial lollipops have. Sandra Lee’s Cherry Lollipops use gelatin mix to get a really smooth, glassy look.
3. Christine Moore shares a Peppermint Lollipop recipe that involves putting pieces of hard candy into the molds before you pour the lollipop mixture. That gives you a really cool-looking lollipop with a neat taste surprise at the end.
4. You can actually make a very tasty lollipop without refined sugar, corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. You can instead use honey and fruit juice. Just add whatever flavoring you like to this recipe, and you’ve got a delicious, sweet lollipop without any of those chemical additives. You can also adapt most any other recipe to this one, if you just want to eliminate the chemical sweeteners. Note: this is not necessarily suitable for diabetics, as it still contains natural sugars. This is for people who can tolerate sugar, but just prefer less chemically refined versions of it. You can also use sugar in non-refined forms (look for “evaporated cane juice”, “turbinado sugar”, etc.), if that suits your purpose.
5. And what about chocolate lollipops? That recipe is easy enough for kids to help with, because you’re just melting chocolate bars, letting them cool in the mold and inserting the stick. Very simple, and you know how good they’re going to taste. Again, if you’re trying to avoid refined sugar and other chemical sweeteners, look at the Paul Newman line of chocolate bars, Green & Black and a few others found at shops like Whole Foods. They use evaporated cane sugar.
Lollipop making tips
- Don’t have a mold for lollipop shapes? That’s okay – make wonky lollipops instead. Kids may actually enjoy getting to shape their own lollipops.
- You can buy lollipop sticks from a few sites online, or you can use wooden coffee stirrers, stir straws or anything similar. I prefer the coffee stirrers because you can reuse them over and over, whereas the paper lollipop sticks can only be used once.