Categorized | All Recipes, Sweet

Sugar Work: Caramel Spiral

Posted on 05 May 2010 by Mădălina

Be patient with these caramel spirals– they take time and a steady hand, but they are totally worth all the effort.
Caramel Sugar Spirals
- 1/4 cup golden syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups sugar
+ a cylindrical metal tool (I used the back of my whisk)
+ 1 tbsp butter, or oil

1. Add all ingredients into a heavy weight, deep pot. It’s important that you have a relatively large pot as the sugar cooks, it starts to bubble, and you don’t want to risk having it boil over.

2. Bring sugar, corn syrup, and the water to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Cook over medium heat until the mixture turns into amber color, and registers 300′F (hard-crack stage) on a candy thermometer.

3. Pull the pot off the stove, and dip the tines of a fork into the caramel. You will need to allow it to cool to about 200′F before you can start spinning the caramel around your cylindrical metal tool.

If the caramel is too hot it will move and drop too quickly and be VERY hard to work with. The caramel is ready to work with when a spoonful of the caramel is lifted then dropped back into the pan, and it pours very slowly.

4. You’ll want to grease your metal tool, so that the sugar will release a lot easier. When the caramel is ready take a spoonful from the pot and start the spiral by winding the sugar strand around the bottom third of the metal tool, moving away from the edge you are holding it on. Working quickly and smoothly continue to wind the sugar strand along the steel.

Allow the sugar spiral to cool for for 20-30 seconds before you attempt to remove it. Repeat the process for more spirals.

This step might take a little practice, but after a few tries, you’ll start to get a feel for how to wind the sugar around the rod.
5. Return any unused, or broken spirals back to the pot. When the caramel cools it will begin to harden and will eventually harden– you’ll know because at this point, it becomes impossible to work with. You can re-melt the caramel, by returning the pot to your heat source, and on LOW heat, allow the caramel to melt. You don’t want to re-heat the caramel on medium-high heat, because you risk burning the sugar, and you’ll get a bitter taste, and a dark color sugar– so.. just be patient with it:)

6. CLEAN UP: so at this point, you probably have a sticky, hard clump of caramel on your utensil (well, I know I did). Just add a cup or two of water to your caramel pot, and bring to a rolling boil. The hot water will melt the sugar.

54 Comments For This Post

  1. Megan Katauskas Says:

    I've always wanted to play with melted sugar and I love how you
    showed the process. Beautiful!

  2. zoomyummy Says:

    That's wonderful and very helpful. Thanks for sharing. I love the spirals. Petra :)

  3. koko Says:

    Awesome, just awesome.

  4. sweetlife Says:

    great post, i have been wanting to try this..i really need would any dessert divine..


  5. Jane Ko Says:


  6. Memória Says:

    Oooo, I'll be needing to do this very very very soon ;) . Thank you for sharing this post. Great instructional shots.

  7. whisk-kid Says:

    Great post!

  8. Dot Says:

    these are such a great idea! i'll be sharing on soon.

  9. Nadine Says:

    Wow, these look great! I can't wait to try to make these, but I'm not sure I'll be able to do it as well as you have done. Nice work!

  10. Dot Says:

    Love these!

    Featured today on foodwhirl:

    thanks for sharing the how-to :)


  11. DanaG21 Says:

    Is there a time limit on how far in advance these can be made or how the best way to store them? Should they be left out in the open etc.? Thanks I love how cute and beautiful these are!

  12. mădălina Says:

    DanaG21- I find that in hot and humid weather these don't store well. My advice would be to place these in a parchment lined tupperware container that is air-sealed, and store in a cool dry place.

  13. Yvie Says:

    I'd like to try, however, in the ingredients it says use golden syprup but in the directions it states corn syrup…they're not the same thing are they? Or is golden syrup an alternative for us UK folks :)

  14. Koci Says:

    Oh wow, these caramel spirals are so cool! Great photos, too!

  15. Trendspotter Says:

    OMG! These are incredible, I can't believe they're edible.

  16. louboutin booties Says:

    Good blog post. What I would like to contribute is that personal computer memory must be purchased but if your computer still cannot cope with anything you do along with it. One can install two good old ram boards containing 1GB each, as an example, but not one of 1GB and one of 2GB. One should look for the manufacturer’s documentation for the PC to be certain what type of ram it can take.

  17. me! Says:

    I can’t wait to try this. They look so cool!

  18. best cream for wrinkles Says:

    I can´t even express how thankful I´m that you´ve posted this recipe here – I´ve been looking all over the internet for these caramel decoration- and I like your description best. Thanks again for sharing it with us!

  19. joy Says:

    Hi I followed the ingredients and direction but reduced it to 1/2. My caramel became sticky when cooled down. I tried spiral but did not harden after even 10 minutes, Where did i go wrong? help!

  20. Mădălina Says:

    Hey Joy,

    It is likely that the sugar didn’t reach the proper hard-crack stage (300′). If it doesn’t reach this temperature, its structure will be as you described it. I suggest to get yourself an accurate candy thermometer, and try it again. Goodluck

  21. Katie Says:

    On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being hardest and 1 being easiest, how dificult would you say these are to make? :)

  22. Mădălina Says:

    10 at first– after a few goes, it drastically drops to about a 4.

  23. Aaria Says:

    WOW!! they are simply beautiful.. I will try making them soon.. :) thanks for sharing!

  24. Ashley Says:

    Can you add food coloring to this recipe?

  25. Stephanie Says:

    @Ashley – That was the exact question I was wondering too ! I read all the comments to see if anyone said anything about it. Guess, I will just have to try myself …

  26. judy Says:

    fantastic!!!!! it is such a beautiful thing.

  27. Rachaelle Nowers Says:

    Hi there:)

    How do you store these sugar swirls if you make them a day in advanced ?

    Many thanks

  28. Tara Says:

    I’m going to make them to put on my flourless Passover cakes, thank you! My cake needs height, and my husband dislikes flowers being placed on cakes, and my kids don’t like fruit on cakes. These will be perfect!

  29. Gina Says:

    hi, thank you so much for this, if we can’t find the golden corn syrup would the clear one work as well?

    Thank you in advance.

  30. Micki Ireland Says:

    Did you use “Golden Syrup” or corn syrup?

  31. Laura Says:

    This is pure genius! They are so pretty! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  32. Laura in Cucina Says:

    Che cosa è lo golden syrup??? In Italia non esiste !!con che altro ingrediente lo posso sostituire??Saluti cari e auguri da Bologna laura

  33. Paula Says:

    These spirals are so cute! You make them similar to the way I make my homemade caramel pies. I just melt the sugar and add it to my custard, continuously stirring till it is thick enough, then pour into a prebaked crust and bake until the meringue is browned. :) Thank you for sharing the way you make the spirals! If you don’t mind, I would like to share your magic on my blog, linking back to your’s of course. Please let me know what you think about that. I am also following your blog now.
    Hugs, Paula

  34. Sue Crowley Says:

    I love these. Look forward to having a go. Have you tried dipping them in melted chocolate?

  35. Emma Says:

    I have always wanted to do this!

  36. Tina Says:

    Thank you for sharing!! Yours is the only one I’ve read adding the tip on clean-up. FANTASTIC!!!

  37. Nikki Marie Hamilton Says:

    These are absolutely and simply beautiful. I can’t wait to give them a try. My niece will be going off to Boston College in the fall and we are having a graduation party for her in May (when she actually graduates). BC’s colors are crimson and gold and these spirals would be perfect to accent the cake I am going to make. I have been ill of late so I am not entirely sure that I will get to these or not, but if not for this event, then certainly for another. They look so fancy! Oh, do you know if you could add edible glitter to them while they’re still wet?

  38. JulieJenkins Says:

    Hello~What kind of “Golden syrup” did you use? Are you talking about corn syrup, and if so, dark or light?
    Thank you very much!

  39. sweets special offer Says:

    An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little research on this. And he actually bought me dinner due to the fact that I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this issue here on your web page.

  40. Patricia Pejaszek Says:

    I have watched them do this on TV and wanted to try it. One gal coated a small aluminum bowl and then drizzled this caramel in squiggles over it. When she removed the sugar concoction, she had a “crown” of this sugar delight over her cheesecake. Bravo!

  41. candie Says:

    what is golden syrup?

  42. Mădălina Says:

    Golden Syrup is a thick syrup with a very distinctive buttery taste… I’ve heard of people substituting it with corn syrup but I would say for recipes where it’s the star of the show (e.g. for traditional English treacle tart), it’s worth tracking down..

    In this case, it helps stabilize the sugar so it won’t crystallize. You can substitute glucose, or omit.

  43. Glory Says:

    So I made a batch of caramel last night and it did not reach temperature and then today I decided to reheat it and I reheated it up to hundred and 248° and it seemed to work perfectly!!
    Awesome yes you can reheat caramel!!! Perfect

  44. Lisa Says:

    This would be so cute for a New Year’s Eve party!!

  45. Cristina Derwa Says:

    Such a great idea for the cheesecake I am about to make to my nieces b-day.

  46. gardening In Germany Says:

    Thank you for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I am waiting for your
    further write ups thanks once again.

  47. smokeless tobacco Says:

    excellent issues altogether, you simply gained a emblem new reader.
    What could you suggest about your submit that you just made a few days ago?

    Any certain?

  48. atomizer starter kit Says:

    Hi there, I enjoy reading all of your article.
    I like to write a little comment to support

  49. Says:

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the images on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or
    if it’s the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  50. design perfume Says:

    You’re so interesting! I don’t think I’ve truly read a single
    thing like this before. So good to discover somebody with original thoughts on this subject matter.
    Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site
    is something that is required on the internet, someone with a little originality!

  51. Says:

    I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.

    The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following.
    unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the
    same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

  52. Says:

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently.
    I am quite sure I will learn plenty of new stuff right here!

    Best of luck for the next!

  53. persian rugs Says:

    Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after reading through some of the
    post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and
    I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

  54. Says:

    I take pleasure in, result in I foundd just what
    I was having a look for. You have ended myy four day lng hunt!
    God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Food | Pearltrees Says:

    [...] Sugar Work: Caramel Spiral | Duhlicious 2. Bring sugar, corn syrup, and the water to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Cook over medium heat until the mixture turns into amber color, and registers 300′F (hard-crack stage) on a candy thermometer. 3. [...]

Leave a Reply