Maple Syrup Crystals

Maple syrup – made from maple tree sap – is composed of water and sugar. Boiling the maple syrup removes water by evaporation. This means that the sugar molecules get packed more closely together. Heating up the syrup also makes the molecules move faster. When you pour hot syrup onto a cold pan, the sugar molecules slow down, combine, and then harden into solid maple sugar crystals. If you live in a snowy place, try pouring this mixture over snow! The best part is, you can eat the crystals once you’re done with the experiment! Heads up: A grownup is needed to help operate the stove!

  1. Ages: 9 - 16

  2. <30 minutes

  3. A little messy

  4. Grownup needed


Materials you'll need

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    Assemble your materials.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    Put your pie pan or baking sheet in the freezer. Then pour 1/2 cup maple syrup into a small saucepan.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    Place the saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the syrup becomes foamy and thickens, about 10 minutes.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    Remove the cookie sheet from the freezer. Turn off the stove. Then using oven mitts, dribble the hot syrup out of the saucepan and onto the cold pan. Wait about 5 to 10 minutes for the maple syrup crystals to harden. (You can put it back in the freezer to make this process go faster.)

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Final result!

    Use a spatula to pull the crystals off the pan. Examine your creation and then eat them!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

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