The Foolproof Way to Make Homemade Lollipops

Homemade Lollipops

The Spruce 

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
158 Calories
0g Fat
41g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 158
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 23mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 0g
Calcium 4mg 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.)

Lollipops are an old-fashioned favorite, and, sure, it's easy to buy them in the store, but it is even more fun to make them at home. The best part about making your own lollipops is that you can completely customize them—choose your favorite flavorings and create combinations that appeal to you and 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. 

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 food coloring. 

If you have never made candy, it is important to understand the stages of candy making 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, you should test it to make sure it is still accurate. You can also do a test by dropping a spoonful of the syrup into a bowl of cold water—if it has reached the hard-crack stage it will form brittle threads in the water and crack once you remove and try to bend it.


  • Lollipop molds
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Lollipop sticks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extract of your choice (vanilla, mint, cinnamon, coconut, etc.)
  • Optional: food coloring

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Homemade lollipops ingredients
    ​The Spruce
  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.

    Homemade Lollipops
    The Spruce
  3. Insert the lollipop sticks into the molds.

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

    Homemade Lollipops
    The Spruce
  5. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush.

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

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

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

    Homemade Lollipops
    The Spruce
  9. Allow to cool completely and remove once hardened.

    Homemade Lollipops
    The Spruce


  • 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. So, 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 out the type of extracts you use. And feel free to try out interesting flavor combinations, but be sure to taste the mixture 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-making process, try other candy recipes like salted caramels and cinnamon hearts.

Homemade Lollipops
The Spruce