Easy Tanghulu Recipe (2024)

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This Tanghulu recipe is one of the best and simplest ways to enjoy fresh fruit. It takes a simple fruit then uses a sugar mixture coating to give it the ultimate crunchy texture. This sweet treat is easy, beautiful, and delicious!

Since you are here, you have to check out this strawberry milk recipe, this strawberry blondie recipe, as well as this strawberry shortcake cookie recipe.

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Easy Tanghulu Recipe (1)

I have been seeing this sweet treat a little everywhere on social media in the united states in the past year so I knew I had to try and make it and share an easy way for you to make it at home too!

You can use whatever fruit you have on hand, but make sure to check out the what fruits work best for Tanghulu where I make sure to answer all your questions.

This is the most popular treat that you can make at home in no time.

With this recipe, you’ll learn how to make popular street food from Asian countries at home in no time!

What is Tanghulu?

Tanghulu is a popular Chinese street food that you can find throughout northern china. It is made by adding fruits to bamboo skewers and dipping them in sugar syrup then in an ice bath creating a hard candy shell that pairs so perfectly with the softness of the fruit.

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What does tanghulu taste like?

Tanghulu tastes sweet and fruity or tart depending on the fruit you use. I think the best part of it is actually the texture. It’s crunchy with a burst of soft juicy fruit in the center.

Why do you need to make this recipe?

  • It is such an easy and simple recipe.
  • You can use this fun recipe as a baseline and switch up the fruits you make it with according to seasonality.
  • It doesn’t use any corn syrup.
  • This recipe makes for a super fun candied fruit snack for your little ones.
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Ingredients for this tanghulu

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this tanghulu recipe. Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full detailed ingredient measurements.

  1. Imperial sugar granulated sugar
  2. Water
  3. Fresh strawberries or any fruits you’d like.

Make sure to grab some heady-duty wooden skewers for this too.

Why imperial sugar?

When making simple recipes like this one I like to go with the highest quality ingredients and Imperial Sugar delivers just that.

How to make Tanghulu

This is how you can make this at home. Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full detailed instructions!

  1. Wash the fruits and pat them dry.
  2. Insert the pieces of fruit onto the wooden skewers and set them aside.
  3. In a medium-sized pot, add the sugar and water together and bring to a boil over medium heat. We want the mixture to get to 300F. This will take anywhere between 5-10 minutes. If you don’t have a thermometer test the sugar mixture with a spoon. Dip the spoon in the mixture then back into the ice-cold water, if it hardens it’s ready.
  4. Dip the fruit in the sugar candy coating then shake off any excess sugar.
  5. Dip the fruit skewers into the hot sugar syrup and tap the skewer onto the top to get rid of any excess syrup.
  6. Quickly dip the fruit into a bowl of ice water to allow the hot syrup to harden.
  7. Place the on a parchment paper lined baking sheet or plate to let them cool down even more then take a bite and enjoy that sweet crunchy shell!
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Frequently asked questions – FAQ

How to store Tanghuly fruits?

This is one of those treats that is best served immediately after making (well a few minutes after so you allow it to set). If you need to store it for later, place it in an airtight container in the fridge to keep the candy shell intact. It will store for about 1 day.

What are the best fruits for Tanghulu?

Traditional candied fruit in China uses hawthorn fruit. After doing a ton of research it seems like we have something similar in Algeria. They usually are ready around early or late fall. They look like small cherry tomatoes with a darker color, aren’t too sweet, and have the texture of an apple. I am super addicted to them so now that I know that I might be able to find them in a Chinese store I will be on the lookout.

As far as what is the best fruit to use in this recipe, I would recommend anything that can stick to a wooden skewer easily and isn’t insanely mushy. I love making strawberry tanghulu, but grapes, blueberries, pineapple chunks, kiwi slices, and even orange wedges work well for this.

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How long does tanghulu take to harden?

Once the mixture reaches the right temperature (300F) it should harden immediately after being dipped in the cold water.

Can I make tanghulu without a thermometer?

Yes! I think this is one of the reasons why most people don’t try making this sweet treat. Often sugar can be a bit complicated to work with, especially when making caramel or trying to make a hard candy shell. All you need to do is combine the sugar and water together over medium-high heat. Allow the mixture to boil for 7-10 minutes then dip a spoon in there and transfer it to a bowl or ice cold water. If it hardens, th mixture is ready.

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Easy homemade tanghulu recipe

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Easy tanghulu recipe at home

This easy tanghulu recipe allows you to make the most delicious candied fruits at home in no time.

Print Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes mins

Total Time 15 minutes mins

Course Dessert

Cuisine Chinese

Servings 10 servings

Calories 84 Calories



  • Wash and dry your fruit fully before starting.

  • Add the fruits to a wooden skewer, I go for 1-3 fruits per skewer to make sure that I can dip them in the sugar mixture.

  • In a medium pot add the sugar and water and heat up over medium heat until the mixture is boiling and reaches 275-3290F. if you don't have a thermometer you can check if it is ready by dipping a spoon or wooden skewer and immediately dipping it in ice water. If it hardens it is ready.

  • When the sugar syrup is ready, turn the temperature down all the way then work quickly and carefully dipping the fruits in the sugar syrup, and rotate the skewer around to coat.

  • Allow the sugar to drip off the fruit before dipping in the ice water for 2-4seconds to allow the sugar mixture to harden. Serve immediately


If the sugar mixture crystallizes, add a little water then bring it back up to the right temperature and dip your fruits in it again. Be careful not to heat it up too much or you’ll end up with caramel and that is not what we are going for here.


Calories: 84CaloriesCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.003gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.03gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 35mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 21gVitamin A: 3IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 4mgIron: 0.1mg

Keyword candied fruits, tanghulu, tanghulu recipe

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Easy Tanghulu Recipe (2024)


Why is my tanghulu not hardening? ›

Why isn't my sugar hardening on my tanghulu? If the sugar isn't setting, it means that the sugar hadn't been heated to the right temperature. Make sure you check the temperature or consistency of the sugar water mixture before dipping your fruit.

What is tanghulu traditionally made of? ›

Tanghulu (also known as bingtang hulu) is a candied fruit snack originating from China. Traditionally, it uses red hawthorn berries dipped in a sugar syrup and served on a bamboo skewer, and they're often given to children on Chinese New Year as a symbol of happiness.

Is tanghulu healthy for you? ›

Tanghulu is rich in Vitamin C, pectin and chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, maslinic acid, oleanolic acid, quercetin, ursolic acid, chrysin, epicatechin and other organic acids and nutritional elements. The Chinese Hawthorn may have medicinal effects, such as reducing the effects of constipation and dysentery and ...

Why is my tanghulu sugar crystalizing? ›

The sugar will crystallize if you stir it while you cook it. Make sure you don't stir the sugar after it comes to a simmer. If it does crystallize, add another half cup of water and start the process again. If making chocolate tanghulu, once the cocoa powder is added, it will begin to crystallize.

Why can't you stir tanghulu? ›

For the best result, cover the pan with a lid and DO NOT STIR the sugar — stirring the sugar will make it crystallize and harden. If you sugar hardens, you can either retire that batch and start all over or add more water and remelt the hardened sugar until it reaches the right temperature to make chocolate tanghulu.

Is tanghulu supposed to stick to your teeth? ›

Start checking the mixture at around 5 minutes by dipping the chopstick in the pot, then immediately into the ice water. Bite the chopstick – it should crunch in your mouth. If it's still soft and sticks to your teeth, keep cooking! Watch the sugar mixture carefully because it's easy to burn.

Which fruit is the best for tanghulu? ›

Traditionally, tanghulu is made from hawthorn berries, which have a sour, crab apple–like flavor.

Is raw sugar good for tanghulu? ›

Normal cane sugar works fine, but I chose to use raw sugar since it was my first attempt at making tanghulu and raw sugar is harder to burn. Combine the water and sugar into a saucepan on low heat and stir until the sugar is mostly dissolved, but you are still able to see some granules in the water.

How long does tanghulu last? ›

Not to worry, you can keep tanghulu in the refrigerator and preserve its yummy candy shell. Store it in an airtight container with parchment paper lined on a single layer and not stacked since you want to avoid losing the hardened sugar coating. You can keep it in the fridge for up to three days.

Is tanghulu safe to eat? ›

Eating sweets like tanghulu is not conducive to good health. Recent statistics indicate that the obesity rate among people in their 20s has exceeded 25 percent. This may be related to increased sugar intake these days, and tanghulu is but one example of "unhealthy" food.

Why is my tanghulu sticky and not hard? ›

Test the sugar mixture by drizzling a small amount into the bowl of cold water. If it immediately hardens, it's ready to dip fruit in. Why is my tanghulu sticky? The fruit was either not patted dry, or the sugar mixture wasn't hot enough.

Why is my candied fruit not hardening? ›

If your candied coating isn't hardening, the candying mixture did not reach a high enough temperature.

Why is my crystal candy not hardening? ›

If the sugar mixture is not cooked to the proper temperature (the hard-crack stage 300-310° F {149-154° C.} or if you are working in a kitchen with high humidity, chances are your candy is retaining too much moisture.

Can you put tanghulu in the freezer? ›

Make Ahead. The skewers are always best when eaten immediately, but tanghulu can be stored in the freezer. Tanghulu is traditionally wrapped in a thin layer of rice paper for storing, but skewers may also be kept in a ziplock plastic bag.

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