Oct 30

Kinda Corny: Homemade Candy Corn

in Candy, Dessert, Recipes by Type

I mentioned recently that one of my all-time favorite seasonal treats is candy corn and I make sure that we always have some in the house. A couple of you asked about candy corn, wondering what it was. So in honor of today being National Candy Corn Day (seriously, there is a holiday for everything!), I thought I would give you a little insight into one of my favorite treats.
Candy corn are little corn kernel shaped pieces of candy, usually tri-colored (yellow base, orange center, and white tip), made primarily from sugar, corn syrup and honey. This sweet little treat has been around for more than 100 years (invented in the 1880s by an employee of the Wunderlee Candy Company). It used to be made by hand, but is now primarily machine made. (See The History of Candy Corn) Now candy corn can be found in a variety of colors (you can even find pink, red, and white corn for Valentine’s Day) and shapes. Although I prefer the traditional yellow, orange, and white kernel shaped variety, my second favorite are the mellowcreme pumpkins.
You can make your own candy at home, though the taste and texture of these candies is a bit different from standard candy corn–they are softer than waxy store-bought candy corn, and have a sweet vanilla and slightly marshmallow taste. The only hard part is the shaping of the candy which is time-consuming. If you’ve got kids, however, they will love helping you shape the candy and coming up with their own original shapes and designs. Because I was feeling particularly unambitious when I made my candy yesterday, I shaped mine into pumpkins, as this is probably one of the quickest shapes to make, but I have included instructions for making kernels as well!

Candy Corn Adapted from CDKitchen
Makes 1 3/4 lbs. of candy (recipe can easily be doubled)
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. white corn syrup
1/3 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. powdered milk
food coloring (optional)
Let mixture stand until slightly warm to touch, about 20 minutes (though could take longer depending on the temperature of your kitchen).To shape into traditional kernel pieces:
1. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces; place each piece in small bowl.

1. Combine sugar, butter, and corn syrup in pan and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Turn heat to medium and boil 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

2. In a separate dish, combine powdered sugar, salt, and powdered milk. Add all at once to the mixture in the pan. Add food coloring if desired.

2. Add several drops of yellow food coloring to one piece of dough. Using plastic gloves to protect hands, knead food coloring into dough until smooth and color is even. Repeat using red and yellow food coloring (to make orange) with second piece. Leave last piece white; knead dough until smooth.

3. Roll each piece into a thin rope (don’t roll too thin or dough will break). Push three ropes together to form long rectangle. Using sharp knife, cut ropes into triangles. Using fingers, shape candy corn as desired.

4. Store at room temperature in airtight container, separating layers with pieces of waxed paper to prevent sticking.

To shape into mellowcreme pumpkin pieces:
1. Add several drops of orange food coloring (or a bit of red and a bit of yellow–that’s what I did!) to dough. Using plastic gloves to protect hands, knead food coloring into dough until smooth and color is even.

2. Roll out dough into small balls and set on sheets of wax paper.

3. Push a small green candy sprinkle into top of each ball for a stem (I used the holly leaves from a Christmas holly berry and leaf mix).
4. Store at room temperature in airtight container, separating layers with pieces of waxed paper to prevent sticking.

Coming Tomorrow: Why do I write?

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie October 30, 2008 at 4:14 pm

LfM, you never cease to amaze me!


Phoe October 30, 2008 at 4:54 pm

How cool!


Semsavblanc October 30, 2008 at 6:14 pm

Those candy corn remind me of teeth. Thanks for sharing yet another part of your life with us. And the pizza dough throwing?? Really too funny. I can just imagine you and Mr Fuji doing the photo shoot. What a lovely thing for a couple to share! Rare and funny moments that we take for granted.
Love it all!!


Lorraine E October 30, 2008 at 11:22 pm

Ooh you are too clever! How brilliant to make your own :)


diva October 31, 2008 at 4:21 am

how creative! we’re having trouble finding candy corn in england and corn syrup is quite a special one to find as well which is annoying..awwww. these are so pretty x


Hello Sweety October 31, 2008 at 4:57 am

Oh, ohh, ohhh! LOL. They look as if you could eat them off the page. Glad I have some other goodies to tide me over tonight. Will try making these soon!



Bob October 31, 2008 at 10:54 am

Holy crap girl, what *don’t* you do? Heh, that’s awesome. I can’t eat them anymore, my mom used to put out bowls of them on Thanksgiving and I had one too many holiday meals completely ruined because I didn’t have any appetite left after gorging on those things.


Madeline and Family October 31, 2008 at 11:21 am

I really enjoy your blog. I haven’t looked at it in a while and wow, there was a lot of things that I had missed. I wanted to comment on everything. So, hopefully this covers it. Thanks for being so dedicated.


Sharon November 4, 2008 at 7:28 pm

I can’t even begin to tell you how in awe I am of this post! Candy corn is my hands down favorite.


Hillary November 5, 2008 at 3:46 pm

I don’t actually like candy corn (as you might be able to see here) but it’s really cool to see how they were made. My boyfriend was just telling me how he loves those candy pumpkins!


Katy November 11, 2008 at 10:05 am

how cool!!!!! it’s so hard to get candy corn when it’s not halloween — what an awesome idea!


Joyti November 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Wow, your Halloween candy is very impressive. I love the look of the pumpkin mellowcreme pieces, so adorable.


Rebecca April 8, 2012 at 6:22 am

If you plan on coloring your batch all one color (like the pumpkins) add your food coloring to the liquid before you add it to the dry ingredients. a LOT less kneeding and do extra color everywhere (i do this when making marshmallow fondant and it takes a lot less color, and so much less kneeding)


Chris August 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I was just wondering how you cook the candy? What temperature to cook the slurry to?


A.J. September 15, 2012 at 10:39 am

Well, it is awesome! This is one of the only REAL candies that I actually like, and I have no clue why! I am NOT a candy person!

MY only thing is (and I may just be missing something, or having a REAL slow mental day…) it tells you the ingredients… BUT I see no actual directions for MAKING the candy mixture!

Now, for people such as I am, ones that don’t do a lot of candy making, OR eating, but find something like THIS that they love… can you please explain how to do THAT part? or… hahaha, at least WHERE it is on the page???????????


thank you!


A.J. September 15, 2012 at 10:42 am

OK. It was a moment… and NOT completely me! The actual WAY to make it didn’t show on my computer when I first loaded the page. *ugh* so, AFTER I posted this, hahaha, I reloaded page… AND *WA-WA-WAHHHHHHH* THERE IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SO, pardon my slow computer, and my fast excitement!

Awesome and massivly easy! lol!

thank you! i love your foods!!! <3


Emily October 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Is it just me, or are the directions out of order? It looks like the steps to make the dough got mixed in with the shaping steps. Has no one else noticed this?


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