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Kohakutou Edible Crystal Candy

Prep Time:

30 Minutes

Cook Time:

10 Minutes





About the Recipe

Kohakutou is a Japanese sweet that looks strikingly like a crystal or gemstone. The gummy candy can be used to decorate cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts, or simply enjoyed as a sweet treat. While the edible crystals look impressive, they're actually quite easy to make and only take a few ingredients.


  • Cooking spray, for greasing

  • 4 teaspoons agar agar, preferably Telephone brand

  • 1 3/4 cups cool water

  • 3 cups granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon clear candy flavoring, optional

  • 3 to 6 drops liquid food coloring


  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Prepare an 8-x 8-inch glass or metal square pan with smooth sides (or a few small pans to make different color crystals) by spraying lightly with cooking spray.

  3. Stir to combine the agar agar and water in a medium saucepan. Let sit for 5 minutes.

  4. Place the agar agar mixture over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until it has completely dissolved and the mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes.

  5. Add the sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until it has completely dissolved and the mixture is thick and syrupy, about 3 minutes.

  6. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the candy flavoring, if using, and stir to combine. If making a single color of crystals, add the food coloring to the pan and stir. To make multiple colors, work quickly to divide the mixture between bowls. Add food coloring to each bowl, stirring to combine.

  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan(s). Refrigerate for 1 hour.

  8. Run a thin knife or offset spatula around the edges of the pan. Flip the pan over onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, then tap to dislodge the jelly. If the jelly is stubborn, cut it into chunks and remove those from the pan instead.

  9. Use a sharp paring knife to cut the jelly into crystal shapes, trimming as desired. The jelly will be firm but sticky. You can also tear the jelly to form jagged edges.

  10. Enjoy the crystals right away or let the crystals sit to form an outer crust (the inside will stay gummy). 

If enjoying later so that the crystals form this seal, spread the edible crystals onto the parchment-lined sheet and let sit at room temperature for 12 hours, then flip and let sit for 12 more hours or up to 3 days total before using and storing.

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