Frostings, Glazes, Etc.,  Christmas,  Sweets

Small Batch Sugar Glass

Sugar glass is the perfect medium for gingerbread house windows. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s just dangerous enough — that sugar gets really hot — to make it kind of exciting. This is one to do without kids around, so if you have kids I suggest you 2020-it-out and plop them down in front of an episode of Doc McStuffins (or Mira, Royal Detective, both favorites of my niece’s) and get to work.

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Small Batch Sugar Glass

  • Author: Matthew Smedal
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: Enough to pour 10-12 gingerbread house windows
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American


Sugar glass makes the perfect window for your gingerbread house. Watch the cooking temperature carefully, you’re aiming for small window (see what I did there?) of temperature. The hotter the sugar gets the more amber colored it becomes. This is totally useable (it’s caramel), but it will loose its transparent, glass-like luster at this stage.


  • 225 grams granulated (or superfine) sugar
  • 150 grams light corn syrup
  • 100 milliliters water*
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • High-temperature instant read thermometer (like a Thermapen) or a candy thermometer.


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat and place your gingerbread house pieces (with windows already cut out) on it. This is REALLY important as the sugar will stick mercilessly to anything other than parchment paper or silpat.
  2. Measure all your ingredients in the pot you’ll cook the sugar in. Make sure the pot is fairly heavy duty as that sugar is going to get HOT. Without stirring, cook the sugar until it begins to boil. As the sugar cooks you can pick up the handle of the pot and swirl the mixture, but avoid stirring as that can cause crystals to form, and you want a smooth final product.
  3. The sugar will go through a few phases as it boils, and if you did this a lot you’d start to recognize them (they all have names and people are happy to tell you about them). You’re looking for a temperature between 290°F and 300°F (that’s 145°C to 150°C, also known as the “hard crack stage”). Watch for: the type of bubbles bubbling to the surface to change quality. I know this sounds insane, but it will happen.
  4. Once the sugar hits its temperature turn the heat off and IMMEDIATELY pour (or spoon) the sugar into your cut-out widow panes. If there are large air bubbles you can pop them with a toothpick. The sugar will set in about two hours.


* Turn your Pyrex measuring cup around, there will be milliliters on the other side.

Why is this recipe only in grams / where are my cup measurements? Honestly, it’s just easier to weigh everything into the pot that you’ll cook the sugar in. Have you ever tried moving corn syrup out of measuring cup? Not worth it. Also, I found a 25lb bag of superfine (castor) sugar at a restaurant supply store recently and have taken to always weighing our sugar as a cup of superfine is a LARGE cup of granulated sugar. Add to that kitchen scales are cheap and accurate these days. Lyndon and I love the smaller OXO scale as it’s super accurate (it weighs water within a gram of our Pyrex measuring cup’s milliliter mark, take that science labs everywhere), it’s small, and the batteries last forever. We have two, actually. One in black, and one in white.

Keywords: sugar glass, gingerbread houses

One Comment

  • Joy Wingard

    I’m a casting associate for Holiday Baking Championship Gingerbread Showdown on Food Network. We’re looking for highly skilled gingerbread artists, as well as incredible bakers for this season of the show! I’m wondering if you’d be a fit and interested? I can be reached at [email protected]

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