How to Make Lollipops

Update (2-10-10): A post on how to use this recipe to make big, bright red cherry lollipops is here.
I vowed never to succumb to the pressure of making something green for St. Patrick’s Day. But then I remembered I had been wanting to try making lollipops for a long time, and while I think green-colored foods (except those that are naturally green) are weird, the idea of making bright green lime-flavored lollipops seemed kind of fun.So I made bright green lime-flavored lollipops.

Making lollipops is easier than I thought it would be. Besides, it doesn’t leave behind a lot of mess in the kitchen as I had previous feared. With good tools, you can whip up a dozen of these in less than 30 minutes including the time it takes for the lollipops to harden. The most important tool is an instant-read thermometer or a candy thermometer. A veteran candy maker probably doesn’t need one as I’m sure there’s a way to tell when the syrup reaches the so-called hard-ball stage. But since this was my first time making lollipops (or any hard candy, for that matter), I chose to err on the side of over-preparation. The other tool is a lollipop mold. This is optional; use it only if you really want uniformly-shaped end results.

Homemade Lollipops*
(Makes 4 pieces of lollipop using Wilton standard star molds)

1 cup sugar
1/3 light corn syrup
1/3 water
Food coloring (I use green.)
Flavored oil for candy (I use lime-flavored oil.)
4 lollipop sticks

  • Spray the insides of the lollipop molds** with nonstick vegetable oil spray (don’t use the olive oil flavor; use something that is flavorless such as canola).
  • In a small saucepan, mix together sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat without stirring.
  • When the temperature is within the 250-260 degrees F range, add the food coloring until you get the desired color. Gently swirl the pan to mix in the color.
  • Continue to cook the syrup until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F.
  • Take the pot off the heat and stir in a couple of drops of the flavored oil.
  • Pour the hot syrup into the prepared molds. The syrup will start hardening almost right away.
  • Working quickly, press the lollipop sticks into the hardening syrup. Make sure the sticks stay right in the middle. You may have to adjust their positions a little while the syrup is hardening.
  • Your lollipops should be ready to unmold in about 8-10 minutes.
  • Rinse off the grease on the surface of the lollipops by running it under tap water. Do not attempt to wipe off the grease with any kind of cloth or paper as it will just leave ugly lint on the surface.
  • Wrap the candy in waxed paper.
  • *Long time ago, I jotted down this recipe from Good Housekeeping magazine. I don’t have the original magazine, so I can’t cite the month and year. The recipe is for twice the amount stated here. I decided to halve the recipe, because it was my first time making lollipop and figured if things went bad, I wouldn’t waste that much sugar. I’m cheap.

    **If you don’t have a candy mold, any clean surface will do. A kitchen marble slab is ideal. Just be sure to grease it first.

    21 Responses to How to Make Lollipops

    1. Laurel March 15, 2009 at 10:59 am #

      I have been interested in trying these at home, but didn’t have a recipe. These look great! I don’t have a mold, so I have to see what else I can try (my counter is a last resort). Thanks!

      • Jose pat August 19, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

        I really well like to make some candy can’t you Help me plaese

    2. Chic Cookies March 16, 2009 at 2:22 am #

      So great! I love these. And the speed in which one can make them. I posted a link to your blog on my edible crafts column (part of You can see the post at Thanks for sharing!! meaghan

    3. Tangled Noodle March 16, 2009 at 2:28 am #

      These are adorable and something fun to make with kids!

    4. March 17, 2009 at 2:19 am #

      Oh this is fantastic! I would love to photolink to this if you didn’t mind.

    5. Leela March 17, 2009 at 3:04 am #

      That would be great, Rachel. Thanks.

    6. Latifa March 18, 2009 at 8:16 am # to make 4 the kids!

    7. Melissa April 21, 2010 at 2:44 am #

      Do you use anything to help control the flow of candy liquid from the pan to the molds?

      What do you do with the liquid candy in the pan that doesn’t it in the molds? Does it harden and get stuck in there?

      I’m a little hung up by these details! I’d love to try making my own lollipops soon!

    8. Leela April 21, 2010 at 3:14 am #

      Melisa – Not really. I pour the liquid candy directly from the pot to the mold. It’s quite thick and pours slowly in a thin stream. Quite manageable. There will be some syrup that will stick to the bottom and sides of the pan and harden, but once you soak the pan, the hardened candy is dissolved easily. No need to scrub or anything (unless you burn it). 🙂

    9. Anonymous September 14, 2010 at 4:42 am #

      A word of warning if you are using a mold… the candy was so hot that it melted one of mine! I was using two different molds; one for bear-shaped lollipops and one for monkey-shaped candies (with no sticks.) Well, I had poured the monkey mold first, and everything was fine. Then I poured the liquid into three of the lollie molds and half of the mixture ended up on the countertop! I’m not really sure why. I’ve made candy numerous times with these molds. Usually I make chocolate (which is at a much cooler temperature than sugar candies) but I wasn’t aware of the possibility of needing separate molds for chocolate vs. sugar candy. Be careful! Other than that, this recipe worked great!

    10. Leela September 14, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

      Anon – Yikes. Those plastic molds aren’t meant for making hard candies. Molten sugar at hard-ball stage is in the neighborhood of 250 degrees F while only chocolate can melt at 90 degrees F. Thanks for the warning to others!

    11. Anonymous November 18, 2011 at 3:24 am #

      How much flavoring oil are you supposed to use? I cant seem to find a recipe that gives a measurement. I’m looking forward to making this this weekend

    12. Admin November 18, 2011 at 3:40 am #

      Anon – Flavoring oils come with a dropper. Just add a couple of drops.

    13. Diane October 12, 2012 at 9:29 am #

      Hi where do you get the flavouring oil – I live in south africa every baking shop I ask look at me like I have a screw loose when I ask this.

      • Leela October 12, 2012 at 9:33 am #

        Diane, I buy mine from a local Sur La Table. But these oils can be purchased easily online. King Arthur is one of many places where you can get them:

      • beccaboo October 19, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

        You can use any type of extract (strawberry,lime,blueberry, etc.)

    14. beccaboo October 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

      Helped me with my science fair project!!! THANKS!!!!!!!!!

    15. Marcia Maloney December 12, 2012 at 11:49 am #

      My brother and I used to make lollipops and use cupcake pans for it – they would turn out so good!

    16. Macy Lynn May 10, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

      Im planning on making some lollipops like these this weekend. Do you think any problems will come up if I put in some very thinly sliced orange slices or lemon slices? If I were to just cook the citrus fruit with the hard candy? Ive seen some lollis made like this- and some using other fruit, flowers, and flavorings and thought they looked delicious!

      • Leela May 13, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

        Macy-Lynn – I haven’t tried. Sorry. Sounds good, though.

      • Dan van January 8, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

        just saw the above post about fruit slices or chunks into cooked syrup. i have tried several times to add hot pepper fakes into syrup…after it stopped bubling. it almost always recrystalizes within 10 minutes! i think i might have found a way around it though. and theres not a lot of info out there about it? also many hard candies or lollipops dont have fruit pieces in them….semms they always use juice or extracts/oils. so…..this is what ive discovered. (and im sure candy experts already know this n might b trade secret)

        i let it recrystalize after adding pepper flakes, then i add 1/2 the amount of sugar i used in begining and add it to the recrystalized mix. along with a 1/4 amount of water initially used…cook again to you desired heat and viola….peppe chunks in candy and no recrystalizing? not even on sides? i dont understand it but it works! hoping someone has a