Kohakutou Crystal Gummy Candy

Kohakutou is a Japanese candy made from Agar Agar. It is made by pouring flavored jelly into a dish and allowing it to set before cutting or tearing into crystal shapes. The candy develops a crunchy outer crust after a few days but remains delightfully chewy inside.
kohakutou candy cut into crystal shapes on a white background

Kohakutou candy recipe

Kohakutou is a Japanese candy made from Agar Agar and translates to “amber candy”. Kohakutou is made by pouring flavored jelly into a dish and allowing it to set before cutting or tearing into crystal shapes. The candy develops a crunchy outer crust after a few days but remains delightfully chewy inside.

kohakutou candy cut into crystal shapes on a white background

I first saw this recipe on Emmymade in Japan’s YouTube channel. I was fascinated by the crystalizing gummies and thought they would be great for a geode cake. 

How do you make Kohakutou?

Making the kohakutou is actually really simple. You dissolve the agar agar into the water and bring it to a boil. This is different than using gelatin, you would never boil gelatin, only bloom and then dissolve it. 

making kokakutou in a saucepan

Then you add in the sugar. Let the sugar mixture boil for 2-3 minutes. There is a lot of sugar because of two reasons. 

  1. This is candy. Candy is usually very sweet and full of sugar
  2. There needs to be a high amount of sugar to start the chain reaction of crystalization

Take the mixture off the heat and add in some flavoring. I used cotton candy flavoring because I didn’t want to color my jelly and cotton candy was clear. I also added a small amount of citric acid to add a little tartness to the candy and cut the sweet taste.

kokakutou in a small container with drops of food coloring

Pour the sugar mixture about 1/2″ thick into a lightly oiled container. I ended up using two containers. Add a few drops of liquid food coloring and swirl it together. 

I noticed that the color likes to sit on top of the jelly so I had to use a skewer to kind of make circles going from the top of the jelly down to the bottom. I decided not to fully mix it because I liked the swirls.

swirling colors together to make kokakutou

Put the mixture into the fridge and let it chill for a few hours. Mine set in only one hour. 

How do you make edible crystals?

Once your mixture is set, you can pull it out of the container and slice it into crystals shapes.

set kokakutou candy out of the container

I started by cutting my jelly into strips, then into 1″ tall rectangles. I used my paring knife to cut the tip into a point so it resembled a crystal shape. 

I put the cut off pieces onto a tray as well to use later. No waste!

cut kokakutou into crystal shape

When the crystals are fresh, they are very clear and super pretty. Very firm and pretty transparent. You could honestly use them on a cake just like this but they started getting a crystal skin on them fairly quickly. 

After one day, this is what they looked like. 

crystalized kokakutou

What does Kohakutou taste like?

We all were dying to try the crystal candy and I actually thought it was really good. The texture is not as chewy as regular gummy candy but still very good. I love the contrast between the gummy center and the crunchy exterior. 

kokakutou candy on a white background

The crystals will continue to get a thicker crust over a few days. I painted my edges with a touch of gold paint and thought they looked really beautiful. 

kokakutou broken open to show the gummy inside

These edible crystals would be amazing on a geode cake or as favors. I have so many ideas! The best part of these crystal gummies is that they are really inexpensive to make. I used the recommended brand of agar agar (telephone brand) and it was about .80 a packet. Way cheaper than isomalt and a lot easier on the teeth. 

How long does Kohakutou candy last?

You can store the candy in an airtight container at room temperature for about two weeks before they start to dry out and get too hard. 

Want more gummy candy ideas? Check these out

Wine Gummy
Real Gummy Bear Recipe
Beer Gummy

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
kohakutou candy cut into crystal shapes on a white background

Kohakutou Crystal Gummy Candy

Kohakutou is a Japanese candy made from Agar Agar. It is made by pouring flavored jelly into a dish and allowing it to set before cutting or tearing into crystal shapes. The candy develops a crunchy outer crust after a few days but remains delightfully chewy inside.
4.91 from 64 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 6 mins
chilling: 2 hrs
Serves: 100 crystals
Calories: 53kcal


  • 12 grams (12 grams) agar agar (telephone brand)
  • 14 ounces (397 g) cool water
  • 24 ounces (680 g) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1/4 teaspoon) candy flavoring
  • 1/8 teaspoon (1/8 teaspoon) citric acid optional - adds a tart flavor
  • 3 drops (3 drops) liquid food coloring I used Americolor airbrush color


  • Saucepan
  • Container


  • Place cool water into a medium-sized saucepan
  • Sprinkle agar agar powder over the water and let it absorb for 5 minutes
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly with a spatula
  • Sprinkle in your sugar and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes
  • Remove from the heat and add in candy flavoring and citric acid
  • Pour the mixture into a heatproof, glass dish that has been lightly oiled to prevent sticking
  • Add a few drops of liquid food coloring on top and swirl with a toothpick. You can blend fully or leave it streaked
  • Place the container into the fridge for 2-3 hours until set
  • Remove the set gummy from the container and cut into crystal shapes using a sharp knife
  • Place the crystal gummies onto a parchment covered cookie sheet and let dry at room temperature for 2-3 days until a hard crust forms on the outside


The recommended brand of Agar Agar is "telephone" brand. If you use a different brand of Agar Agar your results may not be the same. 
For the best possible results, read through the blog post and recipe to avoid common mistakes.
Use a scale to weigh your ingredients (including liquids) unless otherwise instructed (Tablespoons, teaspoons, pinch etc). Metric measurements are available in the recipe card. Scaled ingredients are much more accurate than using cups and help ensure the success of your recipe. 
Metric measurements (grams) are available by clicking the small box under the ingredients in the recipe card labeled “metric”
Practice Mise en Place (everything in it's place). Measure out your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready before you start mixing to reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something out.
Try to use the same ingredients as the recipe calls for. If you must make a substitution, be aware that the recipe may not come out the same. I try to list substitutions where possible.


Serving: 5crystals | Calories: 53kcal (3%) | Carbohydrates: 14g (5%) | Protein: 1g (2%) | Fat: 1g (2%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 3mg | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 14g (16%) | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg (6%)
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @SugarGeekShow or tag #SugarGeek!

63 comments on “Kohakutou Crystal Gummy Candy

  1. They looks so gorgeous! Can’t wait to try this! Thank you!

  2. Saw this on your story on 4th March and could not wait for you to share the recipe.Gonna have to find me some Agar agar.?

  3. Thank you for sharing Liz. What is the shelf life of these crystals. ? Do you just store in a container?

  4. Can i use something else instead of agar agar??? gelatine maybe???thanks ..i am a big fan of your talent,you are amazing ? ?

  5. How lone do these candies last? Also what would be the best way to store them? Was thinking of making them for a party but wanted to put them into celo bags. These are great, thanks!

  6. They’re so amazing looking. I can’t wait to try them. Do you know if they can be stored for a later date or how long will they last?

  7. Could the mixture be poured into small mould shapes (like chocolate moulds)? Would it pop out of the moulds easily?

  8. Hi, Can you use fruit juice instead of water? I have passion fruit juice I would love to use.

  9. 5 stars
    Could the recipe be halved To make a smaller batch?? Thanks liz cant wait to try them!

  10. 5 stars
    Hey Liz just i made this recipe tonight for the second time (first time turned out great) however after 3 hours of it being in the fridge it still hasnt set, any idea what could have gone wrong? Only difference was i mixed the color through dont know if it was that , please let me know thanks

  11. I used to make agar agar dessert when I was little back in South East Asia. From what I recall, agar agar would turn watery over time.
    However, I’m excited to try your recipe and use them for geode cake. What’s the best “adhesive” to stick these crystals to fondant?

    1. It depends on the brand. These crystals do not turn watery. I used ganache at peanut butter consistency to attached them to my cake to make crystal clusters

  12. How to extend the shelf life? Like other candies having shelf like 6months to a year

  13. 5 stars
    I made them using a different agar-agar brand that I had at home and it didn’t work exactly the same, still very pretty but too soft inside. So I ordered the recommended brand and tried again. It worked like a charm! Still waiting for them to dry completely, but they are perfect! I’m in love with these crystals. Thank you so much for the tutorial, Liz!

  14. Hi Liz, I’ve been looking for the metric conversion box but can’t see it (perhaps I’m a bit blind!!??) If it’s not there, could it be added please?

  15. I want to make these but have a question about the weights – everything is listed in ounces with grams converted except the Agar Agar. Is that 12 grams or 12 ounces?

  16. My Crystal’s kind of explode into a millions pieces in my mouth. Its looks like jelly but it just breaks apart in two bites, very unlike gummy or jelly texture. What did I do wrong??

  17. 5 stars
    Hello Liz , thanks for the amazing recipe. I tried it but with agar agar flakes n it came out perfect. I did only half the recipe and got a lot of candy. It’s Eden brand n available in Canada. I bought it from whole foods. Thanks again

  18. In the next couple of weeks I am making a whiskey barrel cake with ice cubes (non colored) filling the top of the barrel. Will these kohakutou crystals work for this?

    Btw I love your cake and cupcake recipes and use them all the time!!

  19. Hello, I made these tonight. I’m a candy maker, so I use candy oil flavoring and gel food coloring. Do you think I need to use a water based food coloring for this recipe? And a liquid food coloring? Or does it matter? It seemed like the oil flavoring just grouped up in bubbles and the gel coloring did too. I just stuck them in the fridge, so I’ll have some results tomorrow. I’ll let you know how they turn out. Thank you!

  20. Can I somehow incorporate jam as a flavouring in this recipe?

  21. 5 stars
    I used agar agar from a whole foods shop online. I struck it lucky as it worked. Thank you. I only used half the ingredients and I have more crystals than I know what to do with 🤣 x

  22. The texture is off…did I maybe over cook it? It’s not chewy at all just breaks apart. I did use the telephone brand agar agar. I made them last night and they are also just sweating. Any trouble shooting advice before I remake them? They look amazing and the idea is so cool. Just want them to actual have a good mouth feel too. Thanks!

    1. The texture sounds right, they are not chewy like gummy bears. You can see in my video that they just kind of rip apart. I don’t know about the sweating problem.

  23. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe! I ordered agar agar from Amazon and it was not the telephone brand, they never hardened after 3 days sitting out, just stayed like jello. I reordered the telephone brand and it made all the difference. Thanks so much!

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