Would you survive the Squid Game cookie challenge? Or are you intrigued by the Korean honeycomb toffee that everyone suddenly wants to make? We have the perfect Korean dalgona candy recipe for you!
In addition, we share our best tips for how to make the dalgona candy. Because, as it turns out, even making the candy is a tricky ‘game’ by itself.
The recipe is fairly simple in theory. You only need 2 ingredients. But preparing the candy is the tricky part.
With our dalgona candy recipe and tips, you will make the most perfect Korean honeycomb toffee!
What is Dalgona Candy?
Dalgona candy is Korean candy, which was popular street food in the 1970s and 80s. It is still sold and eaten in South Korea as ‘retro’ candy.
You may remember the word ‘dalgona’ from an earlier TikTok trend: dalgona coffee! The Korean word dalguna (달고나) means something like “it’s sweet”. In Korea, they also use the word ppopgi (뽑기) for this candy.
Ppopgi is actually the name of the game. Similar to the game in Squid Game, children used to try to carve the shape out. Street vendors sometimes awarded prizes (for example toys) to children who had cut the mold nicely.
Dalgona candy is a form of honeycomb toffee, caramel-like candy. There are many more countries and cultures that make this type of candy. Other variants include hokey pokey, sponge toffee (or sponge candy), and cinder toffee.
Made famous by Netflix’s Squid Game
Dalgona candy is making a comeback thanks to the Korean Netflix show Squid Game. In this series, a group of people (all of whom are in debt) participate in a series of 6 games. We also see the well known ‘Red Light Green Light’ game in the show!
The big advantage of winning is becoming rich, but the big disadvantage of losing is that you get eliminated. It’s honestly a very metaphorical, anti-capitalist show.
We mentioned it above, but in Squid Game a game is played with this candy. It is the intention that you carve out the mold nicely, without breaking the candy.
Following this show, people on TikTok have also started playing this game. Are you able to carve out the shape nicely? The more complicated the shape, the harder the game!
How to Make Dalgona Candy?
In theory, the dalgona candy recipe is very easy. You only need 2 ingredients: sugar and baking soda. You caramelize the sugar first.
Then add baking soda and your caramel will foam nicely! Let this harden on a baking paper (possibly with a shape stamped in it).
That doesn’t sound too difficult, but preparing the candy can cause some frustration. Sugar/caramel can burn quickly.
Good to Know
This recipe will NOT work with baking powder. But you can use all kinds of sugar. We use granulated sugar.
Making dalgona candy is a bit like making pancakes: the first one almost always fails. There is probably a very exact science behind the melting temperature and the reaction of baking soda with caramel.
But in reality, you really have to get a ‘feel’ for this.
Tips for Making Dalgona Candy
- Get all your supplies and ingredients ready before making the recipe.
- We recommend using a steel soup spoon and a wooden chopstick. Alternatively, you can also use a small pan with a wooden spoon.
- Use medium to low heat for this dalgona candy recipe because when sugar melts, it also burns very quickly. Using a ladle makes it easy to keep the sugar farther away or closer to the stove.
- DO NOT let the sugar burn.
- Be patient with the caramelization, but work fast when adding baking soda!
- Let the mixture cool for 15-20 seconds before pressing a mold. Otherwise, your mold will be stuck.
- Use a ‘stamping’ method to gently press into the dalgona candy a few times (not too deep at once), otherwise your cutter may stick.
- Do not press your cutter too late into the honeycomb, because it will harden quickly.
- Let the dalgona candy/honeycomb cool completely before removing it from the baking paper.
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- A pinch of baking soda
- Prepare the setting. Lay out parchment paper or silicone baking mat, on a flat surface. Have the sugar and baking soda ready to use.
- Preheat your pan or ladle. Use medium to low heat throughout the process. Once the sugar melts, it burns easily.
- Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the pan or ladle and start stirring with the wooden chopstick, or spoon.
- The sugar will start to melt. Keep stirring and keep an eye on the color. Make sure it doesn't burn. If you use a ladle, it's easier to move the sugar away or closer to the stove.
- When the sugar is completely liquid and has a golden brown color, remove from the heat. Now, it's time to move quickly.
- Add a pinch of baking soda and stir very well, until the mixture is frothy, mixed well, and has an even, light caramel color. Note: this takes only a few seconds!
- Pour the mixture out on parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- Allow cooling for 15-20 seconds. It's too sticky when it's too hot.
- Optional: you can flatten the candy with a bottom of a bowl, or a special hotteok press. If you do so, press a few times lightly, before pressing harder - otherwise it will stick. We personally skipped this step as the cookie was already pretty flat.
- Next (move fast if you did step 9), press the shape in the candy with a cookie cutter. We personally liked the 'stamping' method. Press the cookie cutter in the candy gently a couple of times, otherwise the cookie cutter might stick.
- Let the dalgona candy cool off completely, before removing from the parchment paper/silicone baking mat. Repeat the recipe for as much candy as you want!
Note: this recipe does not work with baking powder.
You can use any kind of sugar. We used simple, white granulated sugar.
We feel making dalgona candy is like baking pancakes: the first one(s) will fail. There's probably a very exact science with temperatures and chemical reaction, but in reality, this recipe calls for 'getting that feeling'.
Learn from the failures:
- Don't let the sugar burn - at any point.
- Don't stir the baking soda in the sugar on the heat, or too long. The sugar can still burn at that point, and the candy can get too bubbly.
- Don't press the cookie cutter too soon, too deep. It will stick. Wait 15-20 seconds (but not like a minute). Press the cookie cutter with the 'stamp' method. Gently, multiple times.
- Also don't press the cookie cutter too late, as the candy will harden quickly.
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Amount Per Serving Calories 97Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 79mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 0gSugar 25gProtein 0g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix
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