Learn how to make Tanghulu candied strawberries with this fun recipe! It’s one of my kids’ favorite treats. 

A beautiful photo of shiny candied strawberries on bamboo skewers.

If your Tik Tok “for you page” is filled with fun and easy recipes, or you have tween/teen girls as I do, you might be familiar with Tanghulu. 

I first discovered this fun treat when my 11-year-old daughter showed me the recipe on Tik Tok. Since then we’ve made it several times. My kids absolutely love making and eating Tanghulu fruit. Here we will look at what it is and how to make it. 

Fruit Tanghulu being sold on the street in Beijing, China.

Image: Shutterstock. Hawthorn Tanghulu in Beijing, China.

What is Tanghulu? 

Tanghulu is a skewer of crispy candied fruit. Though it may be new to those of us in North America, it’s actually been a popular street food treat in China long before Tik Tok.

Tanghulu is often made with Hawthorn Berry, which is also used in traditional Chinese medicine. Hawthorn berry is a bit like a crab apple in appearance, sweet and tangy, and works well candied. However, there are plenty of other fruits that work well candied too. 

A cutting board topped with strawberries, blueberries, kiwi slices, bamboo skewers, and a bowl of sugar.

What You’ll Need 

  • Candy thermometer 
  • Skewers (or lollipop sticks) 
  • Small saucepan 
  • White sugar 
  • Water 
  • Fruit 

Fruits that Work Well for Tangulu 

  • Hawthorn berries 
  • Strawberries 
  • Grapes 
  • Peeled kiwi, thickly sliced 
  • Kumquats 
A close-up photo of boiling sugar and water with a candy thermometer that registers 300 degrees F, or Hard Crack stage.

How to Make Tanghulu Fruit 

Making Tanghulu fruit or strawberries is easy and fun. The trick is to use the correct water to sugar ratio and bring it up to the “hard crack” stage, which is 300 degrees F. This will result in fruit that’s coated in a thin layer of hard candy that cracks when bitten into. 

While it’s possible to get the temperature right without a candy thermometer, it is much more difficult, so I highly recommend using one. The skewered fruit gets quickly dipped into the hot sugar mixture and set aside to harden, which happens almost immediately. 

Homemade Tanghulu strawberries on a white plate.
Yield: 1 pound (about 15 strawberries)

Tanghulu

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Learn how to make Tanghulu fruit, the popular Chinese candied strawberries, with this fun recipe. All you need is sugar and water, and some fruit!

A close-up photo of tanghulu candied strawberries.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • bamboo skewers

Instructions

  1. Rinse and gently dry strawberries by patting with a paper towel or air drying. Skewer one to three strawberries on each bamboo skewer. Fresh strawberries are patted dry with a paper towel.
  2. Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan. Water and sugar in a small saucepan.
  3. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Continue boiling until the mixture reaches 300°F (hard crack stage). It will be light amber in color. You can test that it's ready by placing a few drops of the sugar mixture into a glass of cold water. It should solidify immediately. A candy thermometer sits in a saucepan filled with boiling sugar and water to make tanghulu.
  4. Turn off the heat. Carefully dip the skewered strawberries into the hot sugar mixture. Turn to coat or use a spoon to help cover each berry. A skewered strawberry is dipped into hot sugar and water to make Tanghulu strawberries.
  5. Transfer to a plate or piece of parchment paper to dry. Tanghulu hardens very quickly.
  6. Tanghulu strawberries are best enjoyed as soon as they cool, as the fruit will begin to bleed over time.

Notes

Other Tanghulu Fruit Options

  • Hawthorn berries
  • Grapes
  • Peeled kiwi

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 85Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 21gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.