sour strawberry pop rocks recipe via

With Valentine’s Day coming up, we recently got on the topic of our favorite candies from when we were kids. Our whole team was chatting, and it turns out that Pop Rocks were pretty high up there on everyone’s list (along with sour Warheads and Ring Pops and Dunkaroos… oh, the memories). But alas, our Pop Rock-eating days are past us, and we now prefer to eat treats with minimal artificial flavoring and food dyes.

So with that in mind, we enlisted our resident baker Lauren Lowstan to whip up a homemade version of everyone’s favorite ‘90s confection. These Homemade Sour Strawberry Pop Rocks (a variation on a few different recipes Lauren has seen floating around the blogosphere) have the same delightful crackle and fiz, but they use real sugar and strawberry extract—not corn syrup and artificial flavors. Plus, your friends are sure to be impressed at your ability to whip up a batch of homemade Pop Rocks, right? Follow along below to make this seriously delicious and seriously nostalgic sweet treat…

Homemade Sour Strawberry Pop Rocks

valentine's day strawberry pop rocks recipe


  • ½ cup cassava/tapioca syrup or honey
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup citric acid
  • ½ tsp strawberry extract (or any extract you prefer)
  • pink gel food coloring
  • candy thermometer*
  • hammer

*Having a working candy thermometer is key. If your temperature is off in any way, it could affect your end results! 


1. Combine the syrup, granulated sugar, and water in a pot set over medium heat. Whisk just to combine at first, and then do not whisk again.

2. Let the mixture boil until it reaches 300 degrees.

3. Meanwhile, spray a baking sheet with cooking oil. Set aside.

4. Immediately take the pot off the heat and add in the baking soda, citric acid, strawberry extract, and a couple drops of food coloring. Whisk until everything is combined. (Work quickly, the candy will set very fast!)

5. Pour the candy onto the baking sheet tap against your work surface so the candy spreads evenly across the baking sheet.

6. Set aside to harden, about 20-40 minutes.

7. Once the candy has hardened, smash into smaller pieces with a (clean) hammer.

8. Place those pieces into a plastic bag and place that bag in between a kitchen towel. (The kitchen towel helps to not get holes in the plastic bag). Hammer away at the kitchen towel wrapped bag until you have tiny little crushed pop rocks!

homemade sour strawberry pop rocks recipe

Are you going to give this recipe a try?

What were your other favorite ‘90s candies?

Let us know and we can try to recreate a homemade version of those ones, too!

XO Team LC

P.S. For anyone asking, the cute little heart dishes are from The Little Market!

Photos: Billye Donya Photography
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