Fireworks in Your Mouth

Create an explosion in your mouth by adding little bits of crackling candy to your favorite foods for the 4th of July. POP ROCKS® are small pieces of hard candy that have been gasified with carbon dioxide under super-atmospheric pressure [1]. When these sugar bits become wet, the gas is released creating popping, cracking and fizzing sounds and tingling sensations within your mouth. Normally the moisture is provided inside your mouth for a private explosion, but we decided to begin the explosion sounds on a tray in front of guests for everyone to enjoy.

We decided to add them to three items that are already on most picnic menus: watermelon, cupcakes and lemonade. Although all three are festive, since watermelon is mainly water it kept those little candies popping the loudest and longest and was therefore voted the favorite. Following are instructions to add a little sizzle to a gathering.

pop rock watermelon

Fireworks in Your Mouth

All of these are simple to make, the important part is that you make them right before serving so that the pieces of candy will crackle and pop when tasted. If they are allowed to sit around, they will absorb moisture from the foods and eventually become silenced.

Make Sizzling Watermelon

To make popping watermelon start by spreading the entire package of pop rocks onto a sheet of waxed paper or a tray in lines about the size of watermelon slices. Cut a chilled watermelon into triangles and press one edge of each slice against the pop rocks. Work quickly and get them to the table as soon as possible, their eat by date is explained below the picture.

These POP ROCKS® will snap, crackle and pop for at least 10 minutes with continued intermittent popping for about 5 more minutes. They also continue to pop once in the mouth. Set out a whole tray of these and enjoy the concert for a few minutes, but be sure to eat them before the music is over. Once the noise is gone, there’s just a sweetness at the edge of the melon (that we did not enjoy).

We picked up some orange and green candies that were half price because they were called “pumpkin patch”. Since these candies are not cheap, we took a gamble on this package. We then realized that, despite the name, these candies were actually orange and apple flavored rocks. Turns out that these flavors and colors were quite complementary and the perfect choice for our watermelon slices.

Fireworks in Your Mouth

Make Firework Cupcakes

We tried using the candy inside cupcakes. These do not create the concert of noise that we experienced with the watermelon, but did create a little action if consumed soon after creation.
Here’s instructions for making firework cupcakes:

1) Make and bake your favorite cupcake batter.
Vanilla is a good choice so that the flavor of the pop rocks will explode and not be muttled with another flavor. We used candy cane and blue raspberry flavors here. To be real, the flavors don’t really matter with these little bits, it’s the explosion that counts.

2) Cut a hole in the center of each cupcake with a paring knife and then add about half a teaspoon of POP ROCKS® into the center of each hole.
Then, cut off the bottom part of the tiny cupcake hole piece and place it back onto the cupcake covering the candy and making a flush top to the cupcake.

3) Frost the cupcakes.

4) Sprinkle the frosting with more POP ROCKS®.

Serve these cupcakes immediately. They don’t store well.
The centers of the cupcakes will become harder and the frosting colors will become runnier as the candy absorbs more and more moisture from the cake and the frosting. Plus, the sizzle will be completely gone.

Fireworks in Your Mouth

Make Sizzling Lemonade

Color, sparkle and pop also makes for a great rim on the glass of a favorite drink. To make drinks sizzle, simply moisten the rim of the glass by running a wet finger or towel around the edge and then dipping the rim into a small plate of the candies. Fill the glass with lemonade and things will begin to sizzle. Don’t worry if some rocks fall into the glass as that will create the sounds while you serve the drinks. Try strawberry pop rocks with lemonade or try green apple mixed with rock salt to rim a margarita glass.

For more 4th of July ideas, check out these cookies and layered drinks.

To find out how long candy lasts, visit our candy page.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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