Making Glass From Sugar (Gingerbread Goblet of Fire)

Why Sugar Glass?

For some reason, in an undergraduate design class I took at CMU, we attempted to make sugar glass one day. I say "attempted" because it did not work at all. But, thanks to the fact that the winter holiday season celebrates the construction of useless objects from dessert foods, I had a second chance.

Sugar Glass Recipe

For this adventure, I used a recipe from the most trusted of internet sources, Making sugar glass is straightforward. Acquire the following:

  • 790 g granulated white sugar
  • 475 mL water
  • 240 mL light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (which is a powder btw, not a cream)

Pour everything into a nice pot equipped with a candy thermometer (this is necessary to get the right hard candy consistency). Slowly heat the mixture with occasional stirring until it begins to boil. Then, continue heating to 149 C or the "hard crack" temperature.

Quickly poor the hot sugar solution onto a greased baking tray and allow to cool.

Smash the sugar and use for fantastical gingerbread creations.

The Goblet of Fire

As a certified wizard, I decided to use the sugar class to construct a "goblet of fire" as seen in the HP series, complete with actual fire (insert safety disclaimer here).

Basically, grab yourself some gingerbread, glue it together in a mechanically sound configuration with some icing, and apply candy. I left a space at the top to fit a shot glass and glued on pieces of the sugar glass around it. Fill the shot glass with some isopropanol and relive all of your favorite Harry Potter adventures.

The final product is shown in the video below. It works great as long as you don't leave it lit for more than ~15 seconds at which point the sugar will start melting. (It also may be a robot with his head/hair on fire. Take your pick.)


So back in December before Trump had officially taken over the oval office, some friends and I had the great idea to inject some political humor into our department Christmas party which included a gingerbread making contest. Unfortunately, we did not win (THE ELECTION WAS RIGGED), and things have gotten a lot more sad lately in the white house. But I digress; here is some bonus images of our gingerbread Trump Tower, complete with protesters and the Cheeto in chief himself.