Honeycomb toffee

Honeycomb toffee, sponge toffee, cinder toffee or hokey pokey is a sugary toffee with a light, rigid, sponge-like texture. Its main ingredients are typically brown sugar, corn syrup (or molasses or golden syrup in the Commonwealth of Nations) and baking soda, sometimes with an acid such as vinegar. The baking soda and acid react to form carbon dioxide which is trapped in the highly viscous mixture. When acid is not used, thermal decomposition of the baking soda releases carbon dioxide. The sponge-like structure is formed while the sugar is liquid, then the toffee sets hard. The candy goes by a variety of names and regional variants.

Honeycomb Toffee
Cinder Toffee.jpg
Alternative namesSponge Candy, Sponge toffee, cinder toffee, seafoam, golden crunchers, hokey pokey
Main ingredientsBrown sugar, corn syrup (or molasses or golden syrup), baking soda
A street seller in Asakusa Tokyo offering hand-made karumeyaki

Owing to its relatively simple recipe and quick preparation time, in some regions it is often made at home, and is a popular recipe for children. It is also made commercially and sold in small blocks, or covered in chocolate, a popular example being the Crunchie bar.

Regional namesEdit

Honeycomb toffee is known by a wide variety of names including:

In various culturesEdit

Taiwan or Hong KongEdit

In Taiwan or Hong Kong, it is called swollen sugar (膨糖,péngtáng or 椪糖,pèngtáng).


In China, it is called honeycomb sugar (蜂窩糖;fēngwōtáng). It is said to be a popular type of confectionery among the post-80s in their childhood.


In Hungary, it is known as törökméz (Turkish honey) and is commonly sold at town fairs.

New ZealandEdit

The New Zealand name for honeycomb toffee is "hokey pokey". A very popular ice-cream flavor consisting of plain vanilla ice cream with small, solid lumps of honeycomb toffee is also known as hokey pokey.


The same confection is a traditional sweet in Japan known as karumeyaki (カルメ焼き), a portmanteau of the Portuguese word caramelo (caramel) and the Japanese word yaki (to bake). It is typically hand-made, and often sold by street vendors.[citation needed]

South KoreaEdit

Korean name
Revised Romanizationdalgona
Revised Romanizationppopgi

Dalgona (달고나) or ppopgi (뽑기) is a Korean candy made with melted sugar and baking soda.[12][13] It was a popular street snack in the 1970s and 1980s, and is still eaten as a retro food.[14] It has a different name for each region.[15] When a pinch of baking soda is mixed into melted sugar, the thermal decomposition of the baking soda releases carbon dioxide, which makes the liquidized sugar puff up, and it becomes a light and crunchy candy once cooled and hardened.[16] Typically, the creamy beige liquid is poured on a flat surface, pressed flat, and stamped with a patterned mold. Eaters try to trim their way around the outline or picture on the snack without breaking the picture.[16] If the trimming is completed successfully without breaking the candy, the consumer receives another free dalgona.Modern cafes in Seoul now serve novel beverages where dalgona is heaped on top of iced tea or coffee[17], and pastries such as scones.[18]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Connelly, Andy (2010-09-24). "The science and magic of cinder toffee | Andy Connelly | Science | guardian.co.uk". Guardian. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  2. ^ "Two local chocolate makers battle over use of 'fairy food'". JSOnline.com. December 22, 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Papers Past — Evening Post — 19 December 1927 — THE TRUANT STAR". Paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. 1927-12-19. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  4. ^ Chelsea's team of cooks, added 25 May 2011 (2011-05-25). "Chelsea Sugar - Hokey Pokey". Chelsea.co.nz. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  5. ^ "Hokey Pokey - New Zealand Kids Recipe at KiwiWise". Kiwiwise.co.nz. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  6. ^ "Popular Kiwi recipes – pavlova, anzac biscuits, roast lamb, pikelets etc". Kiwianatown.co.nz. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  7. ^ "Food - Honeycomb recipes". BBC. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  8. ^ "Hill Top Candy". hilltop candy.com. 2015. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  9. ^ S.W.R.I. (1977). S.W.R.I. Jubilee Cookery Book. Edinburgh: Scottish Women's Rural Institutes; Reprint of 8th Edition (1968), p179
  10. ^ "Sponge Candy: Chocolate, With a Center of Honeycomb". BuffaloChow.com. January 1, 2008. Archived from the original on December 31, 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  11. ^ "Sponge Toffee Recipe". CanadianLiving.com. Fall 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  12. ^ AsiaToday (31 January 2017). "Korean Cuisine Introduced at JNU International Food Festival". Huffington Post. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  13. ^ Cho, Chung-un (24 February 2017). "[Eye Plus] Forgotten past relived at Tongin Market". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  14. ^ Seoul Metropolitan Government (2010). Seoul Guide Book. Seoul: Gil-Job-E Media. p. 150.
  15. ^ "'뽑기' '달고나' 어떻게 부르셨나요?". JoongAng Ilbo (in Korean). 14 April 2015.
  16. ^ a b Sohn, Ji-young (3 December 2015). "Creative, eye-catching goods available at Seoul Design Market". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  17. ^ Chan, Bernice. South China Morning Post https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/food-drink/article/3078561/story-behind-dalgona-coffee-coronavirus-social-media-craze. Retrieved April 29, 2020. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "띵~ 할만큼 달아서… 코로나 두통이 날아가네". news.chosun.com (in Korean). 2020-03-10. Retrieved 2020-04-04.