Burnt-sugar lollipops

Total Time
24 min
4 min
20 min
Burnt-sugar is an old-fashioned name for what happens when sugar melts and turns a deep caramel color. It's really easy to make these gorgeous lollipops and they are a great from-scratch treat to give to neighbors and friends during the holidays. These lollipops are also delicious used a stirs for a cup of hot tea. The cinnamon stick adds flavor as the sugar melts into the hot liquid. The cream of tartar in this recipe is a trick candy makers use to keep sugar from crystallizing as it cools. While this recipe doesn't call for that much of it, it's an important ingredient to the success of this recipe.



2 cup(s)

Light corn syrup

½ cup(s)


¼ cup(s)

Cream of tartar

¼ tsp

Cinnamon stick

24 average, about 4-inches long each


  1. Line a large baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper; chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes so that when the hot sugar hits the cool sheet it will firm up faster and not spread out too far.
  2. Stir the sugar, corn syrup, water and cream of tartar in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, brushing down the pan's inside walls occasionally with a wet pastry brush (wet with a little bit of water) to remove any sugar crystals. Simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Bring the mixture to a full boil and cook undisturbed until very light amber, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a large Pyrex measuring cup with a pouring spout or into a second saucepan, preferably one with a pouring lip; set aside just until the mixture stops boiling and thickens somewhat (it will continue to darken), about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the prepared baking sheet from the refrigerator. Pour 24 one-and-a-half-inch circles onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing the circles about 1 inch apart. Press the cinnamon sticks into each of these circles, forming handles for the lollipops. Use a spoon to drizzle the remaining, very-hot sugar syrup over the top of each cinnamon stick that's stuck into the sugar, thereby sandwiching the stick in hardened sugar. You will not use all the sugar; some of it will harden in the bottom of the pan before you can pour it out.
  5. Cool 20 minutes, then pull lollipops up off the baking sheet, breaking off any excess bits of hardened sugar that stick out. Seal in individual, decorative bags. Yields 1 lollipop per serving.