Honeycomb Science

Have you ever wondered what makes the bubbles in honeycomb? This super simple kitchen experiment is a fun and tasty way to explore bicarbonate soda reactions.

Safety Warning:

When making honeycomb the temperature of the sugar mix in the pan gets extremely hot. Always supervise children with this experiment and never touch the contents or the pan.

What You Need:

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • 3/4 cup of caster sugar

  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda

  • Stove

  • Saucepan

  • Baking tray

  • Baking paper

  • Candy thermometer (optional)

  • Taste testers

What You Do:

  1. Line baking tray with baking paper.

  2. Add honey, water and  sugar to a saucepan stir the contents and heat gently until sugar dissolves.

  3. Continue to heat gently and stir often. The mix will start to bubble.

  4. Keep a close eye on the colour of the syrup mix. Once it starts to turn to a darker amber brown (when it reaches 150 degrees if you have a thermometer) remove it from the stove. This usually takes between 5-10 minutes.

  5. Add your bicarbonate of soda and stir it in. The mixture will instantly foam up.

  6. Quickly transfer your honeycomb mix to the baking tray lined with baking paper.

  7. After about an hour you can break it into pieces.

  8. Transfer to the mouths of your willing taste testers. Enjoy!

How It Works:

You have  probably figured out that bicarbonate soda is the magic ingredient in honeycomb.

Usually with bicarb experiments we react the bicarb with an acid to brake it down and release carbon dioxide while honey is an acid in this case it is mainly heat that causes the reaction. The heat from the sugar mix breaks down the bicarb forcing it to release carbon dioxide gas. This gas is what causes the bubbles in honeycomb, and the bubbles make the mix expand to create the light, bubbly texture we know as honeycomb.

What Next?

If there is any honeycomb left (unlikely!) you can store it in an airtight container or coat it in melted chocolate. You can also try experimenting with the amounts of the different ingredients what do you think would happen if you added twice as much bicarbonate soda.