Tanghulu is a fun and simple recipe to make delicious candied fruit like strawberries, grapes and mandarin oranges. This simple recipe candies fruit without using corn syrup and is similar to the Chinese street food known as Hawthorn candy.
Making candied strawberries, or your other favorite fruit, is a fun and simple thing to do with your kids. They will love the sweet treat!
This recipe makes a simple, yet decadent dessert that can be a fun way to entertain guests at a party. Try our other fun entertaining desserts like our Oreo Trifle.
- Bamboo Skewers
- Granulated Sugar, white
- Strawberries, or other fruit like grapes, mandarin oranges, or blueberries
See recipe card for quantities.
Begin by washing and drying your desired fruit. I like to keep the tops of the strawberries on for a cute look, but you can remove the tops if desired.
Using bamboo skewers, skewer 1-4 pieces of fruit on each skewer. Keep the fruit the same, or create a cute pattern.
Prepare a sheet pan and line it with either a silicone mat, or parchment paper.
In a medium sized pan, combine the sugar and water. Mix briefly.
On medium heat, bring the sugar water to a boil. Boil until the temperature reaches 300 degrees, about 10 minutes. Measure the temperature using a candy thermometer.
When the desired temperature of 300 degrees is met, dip the skewered fruit into the boiled sugar water and remove once the fruit is covered in the syrup.
The sugar water syrup mixture should harden around the dipped fruit almost immediately upon removal.
Place each bamboo skewer on the lined sheet pan to finish cooling.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also cover any leftovers with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator.
Hint: If your sugar water syrup is done, the fruit should harden almost immediately after you dip the fruit. If it doesn't reach the correct temperature, the sugar water mixture will create a sticky coating but will not harden.
You can use any type of fruit when making this hard shell fruit. Tart fruits are fun to candy as the hard candy shell brings a delicious sweet and sour taste.
- Mandarin Oranges
- Cherries - remove the pits before dipping
Depending on how you want your bamboo skewers to be presented, you can mix up which fruit goes on each skewer. Make sure to only go as high as you can dip in your pot.
- All one fruit - A single strawberry or a row of grapes makes a nice presentation.
- Mixed fruit - create a cute pattern with your fruit alternating back and forth ⅓ up the skewer.
It is important to use a candy thermometer when making this dessert.
Candied fruit is best when first made. If needed, store any extra candied fruit in and airtight container in the refrigerator in order to maintain the hard shell. Humidity and moisture will break down the hard sugar coat. If kept properly, the candied fruit will last up to two weeks.
Cleaning the pan
When boiling sugar and water, the syrup mixture can get stuck to the bottom of the pan. To clean, sprinkle the scorched bottom with baking soda and then cover with water. Bring the water to a boil for 20-30 minutes. This will help loosen the burnt on sugar.
Use a candy thermometer when boiling the sugar water. Other methods to check the temperature of the sugar water are not as reliable and may cause you to burn your sugar water. If the temperature of the sugar water doesn't get hot enough, the dipped fruit will have a sticky and gooey coating but the will not have a hard shell you are looking for.Print
A method to candy fruit like strawberries, grapes, blueberries, and oranges. It is similar to the Hawthorn candy which is a Chinese street food.
Different from other candied fruit, this method is a hard sugar syrup that surrounds the fruit. This recipe does not use corn syrup.
This candied fruit has a sweet taste from the sugar coating and depending on the tartness of your fruit, it can have a sweet and sour taste to it.