Sea Foam Candy

sea foam recipe

I’m on a quest to figure out how to make great seafoam candy. Have you ever had it? It’s one of my favorite things. Most chocolate candy shops have it. A couple weeks ago, my Dad brought home some of the best I had ever had. It was light and airy…meltinyourmouthsugarygoodness! The candy above is from Macey’s Bulk Foods Section, and it’s a bit on the hard crunchy side (womp womp).

failed attempt at making seafoam

Since the perfect piece I have tried twice now to make it at home, following this recipe, and a similar recipe from my aunt, but both attempts were big failures. Still tasted great, but the texture was rock hard.

It basically has four ingredients: Sugar, corn syrup, vinegar and baking soda, so it shouldn’t be that hard to figure out.

Have you ever made it at home? How about your grandma? If so please do share? I will love you both forever!

*Update! Thank you Christine for sharing your recipe in the comment section!

Christine’s Recipe:

Sea Foam Recipe (Christine’s Recipe):

2 cups light corn syrup
2 cups packed brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking soda (measure out and sift ahead of time – you don’t want clumps in your candy – blech.)

Before you start, prep everything. The cooking is slow, but once you add that baking soda, you need to move fast and have everything ready to go.

Line a 13 x 9 cake pan with aluminum foil and either brush with butter or spray with cooking spray. (I spray.) You can use a larger pan, but no smaller. I use a Pyrex cake pan and the foamy candy tries to overflow but just barely stays contained by the flaps of foil. But you kind of want it in the smaller pan so that the cooled candy is thick. What happens is that the middle third of the candy is the foamiest, with the top third and bottom third being a little firmer and more like the Macey’s candy. If you pour the hot candy into a larger pan, I’m afraid you’d lose that yummy middle layer and end up with all firm, which isn’t the point.

Pour the sugar and corn syrup into a VERY large, heavy cooking pot. (Adding the baking soda will make the syrup foam up, so you want plenty of room in that pot for expansion.) Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking, without stirring, to 300°F on a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes. It’s easy to burn, so don’t be impatient and turn up the heat.

Remove from heat and stir in baking soda, mixing well. The syrup will foam up. Make sure your mix it pretty thoroughly so there aren’t any pockets of baking soda next to thick, unfoamed candy, but at the same time, mix quickly so you don’t lose the foam effect. Quickly pour into the prepared pan. Allow to set at room temperature until firm. Invert pan and peel off foil. Break into pieces. Coat in chocolate if desired.


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Comments

  1. 1

    First of all, we might have the same tastebuds. First pickled beets and now sea foam? BYU's is the best.

    I haven't made it at home, but now I want to try.

  2. 2

    I'm intrigued. I don't think I've ever had it before. Adding it to my to-do list now!

  3. 3

    Love your blog but don't think I've ever commented! I have a recipe for sea foam candy bookmarked and had to share the link. I haven't made it yet so I don't know if it's a keeper. When you do find the perfect recipe I do hope you'll share it! :)

    http://www.intimateweddings.com/blog/sponge-candy-recipe-with-or-without-chocolate-this-sponge-candy-is-da-bomb/

  4. 4

    I do NO GOOD when making boiled candies. I have tried to bring it down to a science because I know the secret is in the temp rise and fall. I know the altitude needs to be considered and adjusted when boiling the candy as well. Being in the rocky mountains, I finally just gave up. I switched to freezer canning also for the same reason.

  5. 5

    Email Alton Brown! Wouldn't that be awesome if he did an entire episode based on your question?

  6. 6

    Keep trying! And bring us some.

  7. 7
    Becky, yep says:

    I'm impressed…you did NO name dropping OR rock throwing!

    I hope that when that amazing person that has all the secrets tell you that you post it!!! or link it whatever

  8. 8

    This is one of my favorite things ever. My mom used to buy it for us every time we went to ZCMI. Remember when that existed? The candy counter was right as you came in.

    Let me know when you find a good recipe. I can't wait to try it!

  9. 9

    I'm thinking it's one of those things you have to make over and over again until you get it right.

  10. 10

    I have grown up with this too. There use to be a lady that worked at a candy store in Utah called Russells. (They were famous for salt water taffy.) She was the mother of my cousin's wife who made wonderful chocolates. Still does. The candy shop is no longer in business. When we had a girls weekend with cousins, moms, etc. we would order like 10 pounds and divide it among us. Seafoam heaven. I can't find good seafoam now. So I am with you in wanting to try to make my own. Let's keep trying and I will let you know if I figure it out.

  11. 11

    I've never had seafoam candy but I love your perseverance in trying to perfect it. You rock! I have yet to successfully make candy other than a simple peanut butter fudge. Good luck!

  12. 12
    Vanessa & Tyler says:

    I have never heard of it! You will have to email or twitter me where you can get it

    vanessa from inevergrewup.net

  13. 13

    I have a tried and true recipe! We call it honeycomb in our family, and I like to make it without the chocolate, or just drizzle chocolate on it, rather than coat it. I hope it works for you. The trick is to remove it from the heat before it gets too dark. I usually stop when it's the color of (trying to think of a good color name: "wheat thins"?), because it will continue to darken a little into a caramel color.

    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cups water
    3 tablespoons honey
    1/3 cup corn syrup (I use light)
    4 teaspoons baking soda, sifted

    Directions:
    In a large saucepan, gently combine the sugar and water then add the honey and corn syrup. Boil until amber colored and the sugar looks like caramel. Add the baking soda, and with a wooden spoon, stir in gently. It will foam up a lot. Pour the mixture onto a silpat or a piece of parchment paper on a sheetpan, and let cool. Break into pieces.

    Good luck!

  14. 14
    Marie {Make and Takes} says:

    I LOVE sea foam!!!! Tell me if find the recipe and I want to make it with you!

  15. 15
    Amanda says:

    Here is a recipe from allrecipes.com: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sea-Foam-Candy/Detail.aspx I've never even heard of seafoam candy, but this particular recipe got 4.5 of 5 stars. Must be worth trying…

  16. 16

    I know you posted this a long time ago, but I thought I’d add my recipe anyway. Let me know if it works for you!

    I grew up in Utah and my grandmother is a published candy cookbook author, so candy runs in my veins. :D These recipes are all too complicated. If the recipe calls for egg whites, vinegar, etc., it’s not the right thing. Seafoam is really easy to make and all you really need is a good candy thermometer and to plan ahead.

    2 cups light corn syrup
    2 cups packed brown sugar
    4 teaspoons baking soda (measure out and sift ahead of time – you don’t want clumps in your candy – blech.)

    Before you start, prep everything. The cooking is slow, but once you add that baking soda, you need to move fast and have everything ready to go.

    Line a 13 x 9 cake pan with aluminum foil and either brush with butter or spray with cooking spray. (I spray.) You can use a larger pan, but no smaller. I use a Pyrex cake pan and the foamy candy tries to overflow but just barely stays contained by the flaps of foil. But you kind of want it in the smaller pan so that the cooled candy is thick. What happens is that the middle third of the candy is the foamiest, with the top third and bottom third being a little firmer and more like the Macey’s candy. If you pour the hot candy into a larger pan, I’m afraid you’d lose that yummy middle layer and end up with all firm, which isn’t the point.

    Pour the sugar and corn syrup into a VERY large, heavy cooking pot. (Adding the baking soda will make the syrup foam up, so you want plenty of room in that pot for expansion.) Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking, without stirring, to 300°F on a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes. It’s easy to burn, so don’t be impatient and turn up the heat.

    Remove from heat and stir in baking soda, mixing well. The syrup will foam up. Make sure your mix it pretty thoroughly so there aren’t any pockets of baking soda next to thick, unfoamed candy, but at the same time, mix quickly so you don’t lose the foam effect. Quickly pour into the prepared pan. Allow to set at room temperature until firm. Invert pan and peel off foil. Break into pieces. Coat in chocolate if desired.

    I started making this for my hubby’s family a few years ago and now I’m expected to make it every year. :) It’s what they remember from shopping at the old ZCMI food shop.

    Good luck!
    -Christine

    • 17

      This is JUST what we were looking for. Sea Foam has always been my favorite candy and I was searching for a recipe and voila! Yours was perfect. We have finished our first batch and complete dipping it in chocolate. The texture is perfect and the directions were fabulous. Thank you for a wonderful candy recipe!

    • 18

      Christine,

      Thankyou so much for the Sea Foam recipe. It is just what I was looking for as well., except it seems to stick to my teeth when chewed more than I recall the store-bought variety. Does yours as well? I need a couple of additional tips before I attempt my second batch. Do you use light or dark brown sugar? Does it work with either? I think medium on my electric burner was a bit too high as it scorched before it reached 300 degrees, so I will reduce the heat…also, it seemed to take a lot longer than 15 min. to reach the desired temperature. I am using a Taylor Pro candy/deep fry thermometer. I’m not sure how to know what is a “good” candy thermometer. Finally, when I concluded stirring and put it into the pan, it was streaked a bit…is that normal, or should I have stirred more? I want to make it perfectly, so any help will be great!
      Thanks! Rhonda

      • 19

        Hi Rhonda,

        Sorry I haven’t seen this reply for so long. I’m sure you’ve worked all of this out, but I thought I’d answer your questions anyway.

        Mine doesn’t stick to my teeth. I would think that means it didn’t get quite hot enough, but it might be that it was a humid day.

        I have always used light brown, so I don’t know if it would work with dark. I’ll try it next time and report back here.

        I’ve scorched many batches of candy before finding the sweet spot on my stove, so I think you’re doing the right thing to turn down the heat. Another thing might be that at higher altitudes, your candy will be ready at a lower temperature. The way to test this is to boil a pot of water and put your thermometer in it. At sea level, water boils at 212, so all recipes are written assuming you’re at sea level. I’m at a high altitude, so my water boils at 207 – a full 5 degrees lower. So I only cook my seafoam to 295 instead of 300.

        And yes, it does sometimes take longer than 15 minutes. It partly depends on the weather and whether there is anything else cooking on your stove and whether your pan was cold to start or warm… There are lots of reasons that changes, which is why we go by temperature instead of time.

        Your Taylor is a great thermometer!

        A little bit streaked is just fine. As long as you don’t see heavy dark ropes of unpuffed candy, it’ll be delish. Any areas where the baking soda doesn’t reach will be dense and not foamy and hard to eat.

    • 20

      I had been using another recipe for years and always ended up throwing away the first batch for one reason or another. The most common problem with our old recipe was the candy didn’t foam up enough.

      This year I threw away 4 batches in a row before searching online for another recipe to try. I found this one and it came out perfect on the first try!

      Thanks for the recipe!

      • 21

        Awesome! I’m so glad it worked for you.

        • 22

          I do have a couple of tips though…. Taking the temperature to 300f is unnecessary. I have made four successful batches of this since finding your recipe. The first batch I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out great… but there was a little tiny bit of scorching on the bottom of the pan. The next three batches I made I took the temp too 285f and it came out exactly the same except no scorch.

          Also…. When using a 13×9 pan the candy came out really thick and when I broke it up I had tons of crumbs and tiny pieces left over. I simply covered about a 3′ by 3′ area of my kitchen counter with buttered aluminum foil and poured the batch out into the center of the foil. It spread out slowly and came out about 1.5″ thick. I then picked it up and gently dropped in on the counter and it broke perfectly!

          • 23

            That’s a great tip about the temp.

            I was worried that if the candy didn’t come out really thick, that you wouldn’t have the soft, foamy middle layer of the candy. That you’d just have the denser part. If it’s only 1.5″ thick, is it more dense?

        • 24

          It comes out perfectly in my opinion… Of course everyone has their own preference but at 285 it’s nice and airy and crunchy!

          Just try a half batch sometime and see! :-)

    • 25
      Dawn Monroe says:

      Christine,
      At what point do you add the vinegar? And how much? It is left out of the recipe and I’d like to try this! Thank you!

      • 26
        Christine says:

        Hi Dawn,

        There is no vinegar in my recipe, so you never add it. :)

        In my opinion, the recipes with vinegar and egg whites, etc., are not correct. Just the three ingredients are all you need.

        Hope that helps!
        -Christine

    • 27

      thanks Christine!

  17. 28

    Just saw this pinned on pinteret and thought it was interesting. I’m from northwest Pennsylvania and we have this here except it’s called sponge candy. I always thought it was a local thing because whenever we go someplace new they’ve never heard of it!

  18. 29

    This recipe was called “Sponge Toffee” in my day in Ontario, Canada. Here is a terrific recipe for the above.

    http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/recipe.html?dishid=6208

  19. 30

    When do you add the vinegar—and how much!?!?

  20. 31

    My family and I love this candy: a great tip for those of you who have ever had it stick to the pan: get those silicon mats and put them in a deep glass dish that is smaller than the mat-after it has solidified you can just pull out the mat and break up the sea foam-no stick, no mess, no butter.

  21. 32

    last week my friends came down to orlando for spring break. the wife was at a wedding in sacramento and when she flew in, she brought a big bag of sea foam with her. i had never heard of it or tried it, but i seem to remember at some point seeing it made on tv. anyways, the wife (she has a name, but i’m getting particularly fond of calling her “the wife”. haha!) and i both cook A LOT. so this morning, through texting back and forth, i told her that i would find a good recipe for sea foam. my first try was the one star recipe on food network. no baking soda? REALLY? and you were my second. the funny thing is that i know that i need to look no further. “the wife” (it is starting to have a ring to it, eh?) and the whole family is mormon! i texted her and told her about the zxcm (i think that was it) store that they carried the sea foam at and she said that is where her couch is from! haha!!
    anyways, thanks for the great recipe! i can’t wait to try it out tonight!!!!

  22. 33

    Does anyone know, why when I make this it gets huge like a rising cake ( which is awesome) but then it falls very thin and not as airy as I would like( minimal air)?? I would like to know what I’m doing wrong!! This is the first recipe that I have even gotten the rise effect from and I love how easy and yummy it is!! Please Help!! Thank you

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