hands holding pearl sugar

There was one year while in college that I ended up working two jobs and one of them happened to be at a Belgian waffle/crepe/pizza shop. I was very busy, but had so much fun. A random skill I picked up while working there was how to make pearl sugar!

Pearl sugar is a specialty sugar that is very popular in Europe. Using heat and water, sugar crystals compress together to form larger clumps that don’t melt when baked into things such as waffles! Belgian liege waffles are one of the more common types where pearl sugar is used - but the sugar’s use doesn’t stop there! Try sprinkling the smaller bits onto other recipes to give a crystalized crunch as you take a bite!

These crunchy, sweet sugar clumps can really change things for a recipe (in a GOOD way).

blue bowl of pearl sugar


// makes about 4 cups //

3 cups granulated sugar
3 tbsp water


  1. Measure out your sugar and pour into a medium sized sauce pan. Add the water on top.

    pan filled with water and sugar

  2. Place the pan over medium-low heat and stir the sugar and water together until it resembles snow in look and texture.

    pan filled with water and sugar

  3. Continue stirring the sugar mixture as it begins to heat up. You can leave it be for maybe 30 seconds at a time but then you will need to continue stirring to avoid the sugar burning. Continue this process for about 10 minutes. You know your sugar is ready when larger clumps begin to form that almost appear transparent.

    pan filled with water and sugar

  4. The sugar will still be “soft” but once you see those larger clumps, you’re ready to dump and spread it out onto a cookie sheet.

    pearl sugar on a tray

  5. Allow the sugar to dry out for at least 30 min - 1 hour. It will get hard fairly quick and you can test it every so often to see where it’s at. After it is dried and hard, use a butter knife to break it up.

    pearl sugar and butter knife on a tray

  6. Store the sugar in an airtight baggie or container.

    bag filled with water and sugar

  7. Use it for you next Belgian waffle (or other) adventure! Enjoy!

    pearl sugar on a tray

    pearl sugar in a blue bowl