Homemade Lollipops

Homemade lollipops

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 8 to 12 servings
Yield: 8 to 12
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
106 Calories
0g Fat
28g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 106
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 9mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 28g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 2mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 1mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Sure, it's easy to buy lollipops at the store, but this old-fashioned favorite is fun to make at home. The best part about making your own lollipops is that you can completely customize them—choose your favorite flavors and create combinations that appeal to you, your family, and friends. Coconut-lime? You got it. Spicy pineapple mint? Sounds delicious. Once you master the basic recipe, you'll love crafting new combos and experimenting with your own lollipops. (They make great gifts, too.)

You do need a few pieces of inexpensive equipment to start, such as a candy thermometer and a lollipop mold, both of which can be found for a few dollars at cake and candy supply stores, many craft stores, or online. You'll also want lollipop sticks, flavoring extracts (it could be simple vanilla or a variety of fun flavors), and perhaps even food coloring. 

If you have never learned how to make candy, it is important to understand the process before you start. There are six stages: thread, soft ball, firm ball, hard ball, soft crack, and hard crack, and each stage happens at a different temperature. Thus, using a candy thermometer is crucial; even if you have owned the candy thermometer for some time, it's a good idea to test it to make sure it's still accurate. You can also do a test by dropping a spoonful of the syrup into a bowl of cold water: When it reaches the hard-crack stage, it will form brittle threads in the water and crack once you remove and try to bend it.

“I love making homemade lollipops, and think this is a great recipe if you want to try candy making. Make sure you cook your sugar to 300F to ensure the lollipops set up correctly.” —Tracy Wilk 

Lollipops/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • Cooking spray

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extract of choice, such as vanilla, mint, cinnamon

  • Food coloring, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make homemade lollipops

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Prepare your lollipop molds by spraying them lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Wipe out the inside with a paper towel so that only the thinnest layer of oil remains.

    Lollipop mold with nonstick cooking spray

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Insert the lollipop sticks into the molds.

    Lollipop mold with sticks inserted

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

    A pot with sugar, corn syrup, and water

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Stir until the sugar dissolves while brushing down the sugar crystals that accumulate on sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush.

    Brushing the sides of a pan to remove sugar crystals

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Once boiling, insert a candy thermometer. Let the mixture boil without stirring until candy reaches 300 F (149 C). This is called the hard-crack stage. 

    A pan of boiling sugar mixture with a thermometer

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Remove the saucepan from heat. Allow it to sit until it stops bubbling completely. Stir in the extract of your choice and, if desired, food coloring.

    A spoon stirring in red food coloring into the pan of cooked sugar

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Spoon the candy into the mold cavities, making sure to cover the back of the stick.

    A filled lollipop mold

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Cool completely and remove the lollipops once hardened, about 10 minutes or so. Enjoy.

    Cooled lollipops removed from the mold

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck


  • Make sure to have all of your equipment on hand before tackling this recipe. In addition to the molds and sticks, you will need a straight-sided saucepan with a heavy bottom, a wooden spoon with a long handle, and a pastry brush.
  • Save yourself some hassle (as well as possible skin burns) by using a candy thermometer with a clamp that secures it to the side of the saucepan.
  • Since sugar attracts water, the weather can have an effect on candy making. Humidity can ruin an otherwise perfectly good lollipop by making it nearly impossible to reach the hard-crack stage. Even though a rainy day is perfect for a kitchen project, it is not ideal for this one.

Recipe Variations

  • Vary the flavor of the lollipops by changing the extracts. Feel free to try out interesting flavor combinations but be sure to taste the mixture first before you make a whole batch.
  • You can also alter the colors, matching them to the flavors so they are easy to decipher from each other. Cinnamon pairs well with red food coloring, vanilla pops can be yellow, and mint pops look good in green.
  • If you like the lollipop process, try other candy recipes such as salted caramels and fruit jellies.

Why Is It Called Lollipop?

The candy we grew up with is named after a racehorse called Lolly Pop. George Smith, a candy maker from New Haven, Connecticut, had been manufacturing these sweets on a stick since 1908 but trademarked the term in 1931. The candy, though, in one way, shape, or form, dates back even further, to the late 1700s in England.