Hokey Pokey - Nigella Lawson | Cupcake Project
Home  »  Recipes  »  Candy  »  

Hokey Pokey – Nigella Lawson

Hokey pokey, as far as I knew, was just a song. However, I have learned that hokey pokey is also a candy, with a recipe popularized by Nigella Lawson.

Hokey Pokey is also a key ingredient of Minko’s cupcake for Groom 2.5 (read Cupcake Love Connection to see what this is all about). If she wanted to put Groom 2.5 in the mood, it worked! When he heard the name “hokey pokey,” he got a giant grin on his face. “You put it in, you put it out.” That’s what it’s all about!

Did Groom 2.5 Like the Hokey Pokey?

Sadly, it turned out that Groom 2.5 did not like the hokey pokey. It had the consistency of brittle, which he does not like. But do not fear, love will conquer all. When the hokey pokey was put in the “Do the Hokey Pokey Cupcake,” the texture was completely different and he didn’t mind it at all.

Hokey Pokey by Nigella Lawson

Below you’ll find Nigella Lawson’s hokey pokey recipe as sent to me by Minko.

Join the free mailing list to receive the latest recipes, tips, and tricks by email!
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Hokey Pokey – Nigella Lawson

Hokey pokey, as far as I knew, was just a song. However, I have learned that hokey pokey is also a candy, with a recipe popularized by Nigella Lawson.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword hokey pokey candy, honeycomb candy
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 83kcal
Author Stef


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tbs golden [dark corn] syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp bi carb [baking] soda


  • Put the sugar and syrup into a saucepan and stir together to mix. You can't stir once the pan's on the heat.
  • Place the pan on the heat and let the mixture first melt and then turn to goo and then a bubbling mass the color of maple syrup - this will take 3 minutes or so.
  • Off the heat, whisk in the baking soda and watch the syrup turn into a whooshing cloud of aerated pale gold. Turn this immediately onto a piece of baking parchment or greased foil.
  • Leave until set and then bash at it, so that it splinters into many glinting pieces.


Warning (see pics at bottom of this post):
What makes it work:
The recipe works better if you use 3 T of corn syrup rather than 4.
You need to wait. Do not touch the mixture in the pot for even longer than the 3 minutes the recipe recommends. I waited about 6 minutes the second time. It will look like it is starting to burn.
Don't spread the mixture after you pour it on the parchment - just pour it and leave it.


Nutrition Facts
Hokey Pokey – Nigella Lawson
Amount Per Serving
Calories 83
% Daily Value*
Sodium 236mg10%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Sugar 21g23%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!


When I followed the recipe the first time, I ended up with this:

No bashing at it would make it shatter. It was a dentist’s nightmare – super sticky, stretchy candy.

I did a bit of research and came across Pennypincher’s Pantry. Pennypincher had made Nigella’s hokey pokey recipe and had about 50 comments from people, many of whom had made the recipe multiple times before getting it to work. I read all the comments and tried again (see the notes section of this recipe). It worked perfectly!

Love it? Share it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

21 comments on “Hokey Pokey – Nigella Lawson”

  1. Kimsays:

    My mom used to make this. I loved when it would bubble up. Good times.

  2. Anonymoussays:

    Do you happen know if this Hokey Pokey is like the Australian candy ‘Violet Crumble’ only without chocolate on the outside? (or maybe Minko would know) I get that candy and World Market, and would love if it was this easy to make at home! Can’t wait to see the corresponding cupcakes. :-)

  3. Naomisays:

    “You put it in, you put it out.” That’s what it’s all about!

    Umm, excuse me, Groom 2.5 (and Stef, for publishing this), this is becoming closer to an NC-17 blog day by day :P.

  4. This is one of my favorite fun things to make, just so crazy when it starts swelling up! I only heard of it called ‘hokey pokey’ in new zealand, in the uk it is covered in wonderful cadburys chocolate and called a crunchie. nom nom!!

  5. Minkosays:

    Yup Hokey Pokey is the british name for honeycomb and is the same stuff that is in a violet crumble and crunchi chocolate bars

  6. It called puff candy or honeycomb in Scotland,

  7. I’ve never heard of hokey pokey before but reading through the recipe, I’m sure I’d love it. And I just love mood food!

    You are so awesome with all your wedding wonderments!

  8. Anonymoussays:

    In the U.S. it’s usually called fairy food, angel food candy, sponge candy, or honeycomb candy. It’s my favorite. :)

  9. Traceysays:

    Yum! I’m going to have to try it this weekend.

  10. Maggiesays:

    I love honeycomb candy, which I think is the same thing. I gotta give this a try. Making homemade candy is so much fun.

  11. It’s also called seafoam. Awesome dipped in melted chocolate. Just make sure you cover all of the hokey pokey or it will start to break down.

  12. Ricosays:

    I saw when Nigela made it on TV it sure looked delicious …further more that lovely tin she had with the colourful vegetable paper made it look amazing…but I am afraid I probably would do the same eat it all before giving it to someone..hehe well done is not as easy as it looks

  13. Pillesays:

    I’ve made it once, using the same recipe by Nigella, and it turned out perfect :) I love it crumbled over cakes – looks like a gold dust :)

  14. Amandasays:

    I made this from the original recipe, and it failed miserably. (Still a Nigella fan, though!)
    I did a google search for suggestions and found your site–thanks so much, as upon trying to again, I am excited to have found a fantastic, easy, fast, and economical recipe! Thank you!!

  15. Anonymoussays:

    I just made it and it was not a real success. We ate it, but it was a cross between sticky toffee and honeycomb. I notice on another site when I googled that Nigella specified a 15 ml tablespoon. Im pretty sure that is what we have in Australia, but I shall measure my spoons before attempting it again.

  16. Jennysays:

    *sigh* Mine tasted burnt. Should I have turned the heat down once it reached boiling?

  17. Helensays:

    I think maybe the problems some have with this recipe is using corn syrup rather than golden syrup – they’re not the same thing and have different properties. Corn syrup is made in the production of cornstarch whereas golden syrup is a kind of inverted sugar from cane sugar. It is very common here in the UK unlike corn syrup, which can only be found in specialist stores and I suspect the opposite may be true in the States

  18. Lhorranssesays:

    I did it only with sugar, it worked well. I don’t see the interest of putting corn syrup…

Show All Comments

Stay Connected!

Join my mailing list - and receive a free eBook!

Sign me up!
Gray Logos Representing Media Where Cupcake Project has Appeared
Next Post