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Learn how to make blue “crystal meth” rock candy inspired by Breaking Bad. It’s easier than you think, and the results look AND taste delicious. Perfect for costumes and viewing parties!
💙 How to make blue rock candy
This rock candy recipe is inspired by the television show Breaking Bad. As any viewer knows, the plot revolves around the blue-tinged crystal meth created by chemistry teacher Walter White and his student-turned-partner Jesse Pinkman. The meth is so pure, so potent, that it changes the entire southwestern drug trade and, eventually, the very lives of its creators.
As a fan of both sugar and television, imagine my delight when I found out that the “meth” used in the show is actually rock candy. Too perfect! So way back in 2012, at the height of Breaking Bad mania, I decided to create my own rock candy recipe, modeled after the Breaking Bad drug, for a viewing party with friends. Since it was first posted a decade ago, hundreds of people have made it for parties and Halloween costumes. Here is just a small sampling of the readers who have made it, loved it, and sent in pictures:
Although Breaking Bad is now off the air, this recipe remains a popular one, so it seemed overdue for an update. I’ve revised the post and recipe to make it more thorough, detailed, and helpful for YOU, my budding little Heisenbergs!
How to rock your candy-making
Rock candy is not difficult to make, and even beginning candy makers can do it successfully on their first try. Here are a few things you can do to ensure success:
- Read the recipe before beginning. This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised! Once the candy hits a certain temperature things move very fast, and you want to be prepared to act right away, not be stuck reading the next step.
- Use a candy thermometer. More on this below, but it is the #1 tool that will guarantee you success.
- Read the Tips & Troubleshooting sections right before the recipe. Overwhelmingly, when people have trouble with this recipe, it is caused by a few very common mistakes, and knowing what these are in advance will help you avoid them.
🧾 What You’ll Need
Ingredients & Equipment
Here’s what you need to know as you gather your candy-making supplies. (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)
- Corn syrup: Light corn syrup helps prevent the sugar from crystallizing. If you are not able to easily find it, golden syrup or glucose syrup is a good substitute. Note that golden syrup has a yellow tinge and is likely to turn your finished candy greenish-blue.
- Granulated sugar: Not all sugar is created equal. Some granulated sugar is made from cane sugar, and some comes from beets. My strong preference is to use 100% cane sugar — in my experience, this gives more reliable, consistent results. If your sugar package does not specify, chances are that it is beet sugar or a mix of both.
- Clear flavoring extract: If getting a blue color, like on the show, is important to you, you’ll want to be sure you’re using clear flavoring extract. Brown extracts like vanilla will give your candy a yellowish tinge. See the Flavoring section below for a list of clear flavoring suggestions.
- Blue gel food coloring: I always make my candy with Americolor Sky Blue gel coloring, and feel confident recommending this brand and color. Liquid food coloring (ie, the type found in most grocery stores) might not produce the color results you’re after.
- Candy thermometer Not optional! A candy thermometer is the #1 tool you will need to make perfect rock candy. You can buy an inexpensive one from the grocery store (like this model). If you will be making candy regularly, it’s worth it to invest in a nicer thermometer. I have and love the ChefAlarm, because it alerts me when I’m nearing my finished temperature.
📋 How to Make Rock Candy
Here’s an overview of how to make this blue rock candy, and full instructions are included in the recipe card down below.
Make the sugar syrup
- Combine water, light corn syrup, and granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Stir until the sugar is moistened and dissolves.
- Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush – this will remove any stray sugar crystals. Sugar crystals in the pan can cause your whole batch to crystallize.
- Once it comes to a boil, insert a candy thermometer. From this point on, do not stir the candy.
Cook and add coloring
- Cook the candy until it reaches 290 F on the thermometer. It should be a light yellowish color.
- Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Let it sit for a minute, until the rapid bubbling stops, then add flavoring extract and blue gel food coloring.
- Stir well until the color is evenly distributed.
Pour and cool
- Pour the hot candy out onto a baking sheet covered with foil. You can spread it into a thinner layer with the spatula if you’d like.
- Let the candy cool completely at room temperature, until it is set and hard.
- Use a knife or kitchen mallet to smash it up into smaller pieces.
- This candy is easiest to eat in large pieces, so some people prefer to leave it in big chunks. If you want to be more accurate to the show, you can crush it up into smaller chunks.
- For optimal awesomeness, I recommend serving this in small baggies at a Breaking Bad viewing party.
😋 Flavoring Recommendations
Clear flavoring is a must if you want your candy to stay clear and blue. You can always use clear vanilla, which is often available at cake and candy supply stores, and some larger grocery stores. It is imitation vanilla, so the flavor isn’t as great as real vanilla extract, but if you want vanilla candy, it’s your best bet.
My personal favorite is fruit flavors, since it seems like such a natural choice for hard candy. Here’s a partial list of clear candy flavorings. I like LorAnn because I think the quality, consistency, and flavors are great, but you can of course use any clear flavoring or extract brand that you like. Many of the larger LorAnn bottles are tinted so you can’t tell the color inside, but most of the 1-dram bottles are clear, so you can either view them online to check the color, or order them as an experiment before committing to a larger bottle.
Safely working with hot sugar
Hot sugar can be extremely dangerous — the temperature gets very high (290° F in this recipe!) and because it is a thick and sticky substance, if you accidentally get some on your skin, it doesn’t rinse off quickly, which can lead to serious burns.
Because of this, this is not a good recipe to make with smaller children. It’s also a good idea to have a bowl of ice water handy while the sugar syrup is cooking, so if you’re accidentally burned, you can immediately dunk your hand and stop further burning. And as always, be alert, deliberate, and careful with your movements in the kitchen.
Testing your candy thermometer
It’s important to regularly test your candy thermometer for accuracy. Testing is especially important if you live at a higher altitude, but even at sea level, thermometers can become inaccurate over time. Having an accurate thermometer is essential to successful candy-making.
To test your thermometer, bring a pot of water to a boil, insert the candy thermometer for a minute, and then take a reading. At sea level, water boils at 212° F. If your thermometer doesn’t show 212°, calculate what the difference is. For example, if your thermometer reads 208° in boiling water, you know that you have a difference of -4 degrees in your thermometer. Going forward, you should subtract 4 degrees from any temperature written so that yours is accurate. In this example, if something needs to be cooked to 300° F, you only need to cook it to 296° F on your thermometer to get the right result.
The secret to easy candy removal
This isn’t a necessity like a candy thermometer, but it is a tip that can make your life a little easier! When making hard candy, I like to cover my baking sheets with non-stick foil. Hard candy can be sticky and difficult to remove from regular foil, but non-stick foil is magic, and the candy peels right off!
Other alternatives are to use a silicone baking mat, or spray regular or heavy-duty foil with nonstick cooking spray before beginning.
Here are some common questions/difficulties people have had with this recipe, and my suggestions for how to prevent them.
🍬 More Candies You’ll Love
Now that you’re a candy-making expert, put those skills to good use and try one of our other popular candy recipes!
DIY Candy Shot Glasses
Easy Homemade Lollipops
Breaking Bad Blue Rock Candy
- 1/2 cup water, (4 fl oz)
- 8.25 oz light corn syrup, (3/4 cup)
- 14 oz granulated sugar, (2 cups)
- 2 tsp clear flavoring extract
- blue gel food coloring – sky blue, I used Americolor brand
- Candy thermometer
- Line a baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray, or use non-stick foil.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and granulated sugar. Place the pan over medium-high heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Once it comes to a simmer, brush down the sides with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Insert a candy thermometer.
- Continue to cook the candy without stirring until it reads 290 degrees Fahrenheit (143 C) on the thermometer. Watch the temperature carefully–a lower temperature might produce sticky candy, while a higher temperature runs the risk of producing green candy!
- Once at 290, take the pan off the heat and let it sit for a few moments, until rapid bubbles stop breaking on the surface. Add the flavoring and a drop or two of food coloring, and stir everything together.
- Pour the candy onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it into a thin layer. Let it set completely at room temperature.
- Once set, break it into small pieces. For the complete Breaking Bad experience, place the pieces in a large zip-top bag and smash them with a rolling pin until they are crushed, and place in small baggies to serve.
- Store the candy in an airtight container at room temperature.
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.
About Elizabeth LaBau
I’m Elizabeth, but you can call me SugarHero! I’m a former pastry chef turned blogger, cookbook author, and baking instructor, and I consider myself sugar’s #1 fan. Learn more from my About page, or connect with me on social media:
Thanks for posting this awesome recipe, but i have a question. As we are speaking, my candy has been on the counter for 30 minutes. It has become a little thicker, but does not seem to set.
You said before, that might be because it is undercooked, but my mixture also turned out a little green, which indicates overcooking..?
im confused, would it help to set by putting the mix in a fridge/freezer?
Hi Lily, If the candy’s not set after 30 minutes, then it’s not going to set–chilling it won’t help much. You should start to see it set around the edges within 5 or 6 minutes, and it should be entirely hard after 30 minutes. It is definitely undercooked. If you have a greenish tinge, then perhaps it was cooked over too high a flame, and some of the sugar scorched/discolored due to the heat, while still not reaching the proper temperature. What did the thermometer say when you took the candy off the heat?
I’d recommend trying again, over a burner that’s just a smidge over medium heat–slow and steady. It might take 30 minutes or more to get up to the right temp. And definitely use a candy thermometer! If you do it again and still have trouble, feel free to email me (elizabeth at sugarhero.com) with specific info about your setup and what temperature you’re cooking to, and I can help you troubleshoot further. Good luck!
Refrigeration will cause hard candy to crystallize and turn opaque, so do not chill it!
Humidity isn’t the problem when the candy doesn’t harden right away. Undercooking is the problem. Humidity can soften the candy but it takes much longer than a half hour—many hours, even a day or two.
You can test the temp with ice water instead of a candy thermometer. Drop a little of the candy syrup into a cereal bowl of ice water. At the “hard crack” stage, it will form brittle threads that crack instead of bending. You do have to work quickly ith this test method but it’s fun to do. Also it’s good for illustrating the consistency of the candy at lower temps so you understand the cooking process better.
I almost got arrested by the police, but otherwise, we had a blast eating this while watching breaking bad.
Sounds like you have a story to share!
They thought it was legit drugs when I handed some over to my friend on the street, I started laughing immediately when the police came to me. 😛
I used 1/4 of a cup of honey instead of the corn syrup and they turned out very slightly green, just throwing this out for you guys who have trouble getting corn syrup
Thanks for the tip, Lisa! Glad to know honey will work in a pinch. 🙂
Elizebeth,just checking back here to see if my photo was up yet,it isn’t but that’s OK.
I have been making lots of rock candy. I made Red Dyed Peppermint Rocks for Xmas gifts and ran out of the Karo Light Syrup. I went to the store and it seems all that is available anywhere is the Light Karo Syrup with real vanilla. Will this change the outcome when adding the flavors.I want to make Orange Rocks next and was just curious if you had any answers for me.
Hi Cynthia, So sorry about that! I had a bunch to do all at once and yours got lost in the shuffle–it’s up now! The karo with vanilla sounds fine, especially since you’ll be adding orange food coloring, so any sort of light tint the corn syrup has will be obscured by the coloring. Glad that the rock candy recipe is working for you!
Super easy to make but I agree that you need a candy thermometer to make any kind of candy. I used clear cotton candy flavouring for the taste and everyone came back for more. Who wouldn’t, it’s candy
Hi Rebecca. Thanks for leaving a comment. I’m glad the recipe worked so well for you!
Chuckles as a joke food, though I hope no one hands it out in little baggies to kiddies at Halloween.
Awesome! I actually stumbled upon this while I was looking for how to make ‘ice’ for my daughter’s Frozen themed birthday party! Haha Thank you!!
My candy turned green, i added powdered citrus acid, is that the problem?
Hi Damien, How much citric acid did you add, and when did you add it? What temperature did you cook the candy to? My guess is that the acid is not the problem–most likely the candy was cooked a little too long. From the troubleshooting section above:
The sugar syrup, if allowed to cook to a high temperature, will eventually turn yellow, then amber, then brown. This recipe calls for syrup to be cooked to 290-295 F, which should produce a near-colorless mixture that will not interfere with food coloring. (It may have a very slight yellowish tinge.) If your candy is already a yellowish color when you’re adding the food coloring, chances are you have overcooked it, and the yellow color of the candy will mix with the blue dye and turn your candy green. The solution is to check to make sure your thermometer is accurate, and to watch the candy like a hawk when it’s cooking.
hello Elizabeth, thank you for the help, I added a teaspoon of it along with the flavouring and the dye. I cooked it until it was 144.5 C, I think that’s the problem. Thank you so much for your help, I’ll keep this in mind the next time I cook.
Glad to help, please let me know how it turns out if you give it another try!
This piecemeal sh-t has to stop. Can you move 20 pounds a week? Oh – and I’ll need $50k for materials.
Found this by total chance. Hilarious and sweetly addictive.
I’m going to cook a ton of this and then go stand at the corner outside and sell the bags to myself. Why? Cause I can only trust myself to not say a word, and only trust myself to get pure product.
So ill need about $500,000 from myself to start and then ill make a pretend profit.
Then ill eat some and say YO! .Then I will yell at myself for saying such a childish word.
I still have to figure out where to find a lawyer to rip me off though.
Better call Saul!
Hey Elizabeth, I’m so glad I found this site.
I’ve been working for almost a week now trying to perfect this candy. Not a Breaking Bad fan, but with a daughter who’s really into the movie Frozen. This makes perfect “ice” to decorate her birthday cake with.
After a week of painful attempts (starting with just plain sugar and water..okay, no refrigeration… okay, don’t stir after the boil starts…okay, I DO need the corn syrup…), today’s batch was a breakthrough.
Thanks for the inspiration and the helpful hints. 🙂 Everyone’s photos were a beautiful addition too.
I’m so glad that you were able to get it to work–although I’m sorry there were some stumbles along the way! (And yes, that pesky corn syrup is pretty important…drat!)
I also have to thank you for commenting, because you’ve inspired me to see Frozen so I can make a Frozen cake and tutorial for this site! You’re the second or third person to mention you used this recipe as blue ice, and I think a Frozen-themed cake tutorial would be valuable. I know it’ll be too late for you, but I think other folks will appreciate it…so thanks!
OMG Elizabeth! Frozen cake??? I can’t wait!
I am SO glad that meth can be used as a party theme. Because meth is just awesome!
Yep, the awesomeness of meth is pretty much the entire point of Breaking Bad. So glad you’re on board!
Does anyone know how to make the candy look exactly like it does on the show? Because it’s always too turquoise or teal, and never the slightly cloudy but good shade of blue
Hi Jared, to make it cloudy, you can try adding a small drop of white food coloring, which makes candies opaque. (Americolor is one brand that makes white.) The color is trickier, but in general cooking it to lower temperatures will get you a purer blue, so you can experiment with the final temp to try and get a color you like better.
What temperature would you say is best to get the slightly cloudy but deep blue? And thank you for the help!
Jared, so sorry about the late reply, somehow I didn’t notice this comment slipping through. In case it’s not too late, try 285 F for a brighter blue color.
I’m very excited to try this! I am not a Breaking Bad fan (I’ve never seen the show at all) but I am going to try this as a partial decoration for my son’s Halo (Xbox) birthday cake. If it turns out, I will be sure to post a photo!
That sounds awesome, Noah! Feel free to write me with any questions, and yes, I’d love to see a pic when it’s done!
This is sooo cool! I love breaking bad and really love the idea of making my own ‘meth’ at home. I can’t wait to try this!
Awesome recipe and instructions. Used this to make the decorations for my little girl’s frozen theme birthday cake and it worked on first attempt.
Awesome, Sue! If you feel so inclined, I’d love to see a pic of the cake! (email is firstname.lastname@example.org) So glad it worked well for you!
Do you think the blue cotton candy sugar (ie: Gold Medal Raspberry Floss Sugar) will work for this? It can save the steps of adding food coloring and the flavoring. Thanks!
Hi, I don’t have any personal experience with that sugar, so I can’t say if it would work or not. I’m not sure what additives it has that may or may not affect the cooking process. Sorry! If you give it a try I’d love to know how it turns out!
Well, it works just fine! But it sure is blue. The color might be better if you use half floss sugar and half granulated sugar. I’ll e-mail a pic.
Awesome, glad it worked out! I’d love to see a pic. Cheers!
Made it using the drop in water method rather than a candy thermometer and it WORKED! Yea! Of course, I am trying to make shards of ice for a Frozen movie themed cake, but whatever–the recipe is awesome! I will say that it takes waaaaaay more time than you think it should and requires a lot of patience! So be patient, you’ll get it if you follow directions. Thank you! Also–I used Wilton gel food color in Sky Blue.
Awesome, Jennifer! I’m so glad that it worked out for you without the thermometer! I hope your Frozen cake turned out well. 🙂
Who would have though that this article would also be used by mother’s across the country funneled through Pintrest to make “ice” for little girls’ Frozen birthday parties! LOL
This is my first time making candy…EVER! When you say to wipe the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush, do you mean to actually dip the brush into the solution and wipe these sides? Thank you!
Hi Sarah, Congrats on jumping into the world of candy making! What I mean is to dip a pastry brush in regular water, get it really wet, then wipe down the sides of the pan above the boiling candy, re-wetting the brush as necessary. When you make it you’ll see that some sugar crystals cling to the side of the pan, and the purpose is to dissolve (at least some of) them with the wet brush so they don’t cause the candy to crystallize later. It’s technically an optional step but I like to play safe and do as much as possible to prevent any failed candy. Hope this helps, let me know how it turns out!
Awesome! Thank you so much! Here’s hoping I don’t mess it up. I will send you a picture!
Did two perfect batches with slight variations on the theme in both cases. The Duncan Hines Cotton Candy worked well for the first batch. Not unhappy at all 🙂
For the second batch i chose to use Blue Raspberry… I also found some Blue Sugar crystals at the local Walmart and used some of them during cooking.
I had a digital thermometer set at 294 and used paraffin paper so i didnt need non-stick spray… Perfection…
Pictures will be forthcoming, along with my WW outfit. I already look like Cranston, just need some beard dye anda members only jacket! My GF loves the pork pie hat!
Awesome! So glad to hear that it’s worked well for you! Please do send pics–can’t wait to see the outfit! 🙂
Coming back a couple of years later I tried and succeeded to get to the bottom of the green thing.
From my experiments>
It’s not to do with the coloring.
It’s not to do with the final cooking temp (between 285 and 300 F)
It’s entirely a result of the cooking time.
Before I was so careful not to burn and not to overshoot the target temperature that I cooked it gently. It was always green. Whatever coloring I used and even if I stopped well before 300F
The answer is:-
Cook fast without risking coming close to boiling over – pure blue
Cook gently – always green.
Hope this is useful to someone.
Extremely helpful information! Thanks very much for sharing, Guy!
Did not work at all. Followed the recipe precisely and it failed.
Sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you. Feel free to email me with the details if you’d like help troubleshooting the issue.
Hi, I just wanted to say thank you. I finally got around to making this and while it turned out too green from reading the comments I think maybe either it was my corn syrup which was actually kayro syrup and yellow or maybe I should have just used more food coloring. Anyways aside from my coloring issue the candy turned out perfectly, first time I ever managed to make hard candy at home and it’s perfect, worked just as you described and I got to break it in the sheet, loved the whole process. I wore one of my Jesse hoodies and BB apron while cooking. Loved the product, 99.2% pure sky blue (still have to work on that formula to get the perfect product)!
Thanks for your hard work and dedication to this fun project!
That’s so great to hear! I’m glad you got it all figured out and it turned out the way you wanted it to. Yeah, it sounds like it was most likely the corn syrup. Either way, I love to hear that it was good other than that!
Thank you so much for the kind response. 🙂
I found this when I had a rock candy craving but couldn’t wait the many weeks to make rock candy the old fashioned way. I had no problem getting the perfect color using 2 drops of regular liquid blue food coloring. Also, I didn’t want a particular flavor, so I left that out but used an extra heavy coating of coconut oil spray on my foil and found I LOVE the hint of coconut in the candy. Next time, I’ll make this with a coconut flavoring. Thanks for the quick and easy recipe!
Turned out great. I used a digital thermometer along with a frying thermometer I know can get to 400°f and couldn’t get this to 290°f on a glass top, it stayed at around 250°f. So, used the ice water method instead and kept boiling until it started getting a slight hint of not being clear anymore. And removed from the burner. Turned out like most of the pictures here and it cracks and explodes on impact just like glass. Made it coconut flavor since it was the only clear flavoring available.
Hey Ed, I am so glad you made it work! It looks great, I love it! Thanks so much for your feedback, I hope you enjoyed the recipe!
Great addition to our Breaking Bad marathon! 10/10 would recommend!! P.S. If you want the real set experience, use the cotton candy flavoring like they did on set!!
Hi Marc! Definitely can’t go wrong with cotton candy flavoring. A Breaking Bad marathon sounds so fun! Thanks for commenting!
Rock candy is my favorite! What a fun spin with Breaking Bad
Thanks Michelle! This recipe has been so much fun.
Such a fun idea and great for an addition to a halloween costume!
Hi Amy! This takes Halloween props to a whole new level. LOL.
Really cool idea for a Breaking Bad costume! I bet you could do so many cool things with this concept and using different colors, too.
Hi Dana! You can do so many variations with this recipe. It’s really fun.
Loved rock candy as a kid. Now I can have it as an adult. It’s super easy to make and love your inspiration for it.
Thanks Kathleen! I am a Breaking Bad fan for sure.
Not gonna lie. I was a little nervous to try this recipe, but it’s a lot easier than I thought. So much fun! I made it for a party, and everyone loved it.
Way to go Maggie! I’m so glad you tried it and were successful. That makes my heart happy!
It’s pretty hard for me to get my hands on flavouring extract, are there any alternatives to flavouring extracts? Thank you, please respond ASAP.
Hi! Technically the extract is optional. If you make the recipe without extract the candy will just be sweet without a distinct flavor. In the post I linked several of my favorite LorAnn extracts because they are clear but you can find lots of other extract brands at regular grocery stores. You will find them on the baking aisle near the spices. Vanilla is a very common extract but it is typically brown in color. If you use brown vanilla it will alter the color of your final candy. It will look green instead of blue. If the blue color is essential to you, look for other extract colors by the vanilla like almond, orange, lemon, coconut, etc. Most of these flavors are clear and will keep your candy looking blue. I hope this helps and is timely enough! All the best.
This is a great recipe! I’m going to have to try it out!
I hope you enjoy it!
I substituted the sugar and dye for blue cotton candy sugar I had on hand and it turned out great
Awesome! Thanks for sharing your experience and tips. I bet it tasted amazing.
I couldn’t help but smile , My daddy Robert Chavez Rodriguez taught me when I was 9 yrs old ,we would have bake night , Hi five
So cool!! I love great memories like that. All the best!
It was the best meth ive ever had
WHAT IS A YIELD??????
Hi, this recipe makes about 3-4 cups of crushed candy pieces (depending on how finely you crush them.) I calculated the yield to be ~24 servings. Again depending on how you break the pieces, this means each serving is about 3 tablespoons of candy, perfect for a small baggie. Hope this helps!
Tuco said it was tight