Homemade Candy Corn

candycornIt never crossed my mind that I could make this iconic Halloween candy. I was happy to have stumbled across the recipe on Serious Eats website (www.seriouseats.com). Of course the homemade version is miles better than any store bought variety, plus it is super easy. Warning, this makes a lot and is addictive. Be ready to share, or risk a sugar overload.

All of the recipes I found for home made candy corn called for powdered milk. That is not something I keep around so I substituted whole milk. It worked great.

1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup white corn syrup or brown rice syrup
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Food coloring


  • Combine sugar, syrup, milk and butter in medium-sized pot, bring to boil stirring constantly.
  • Once a gentle boil is reached, turn heat to medium and boil 5 minutes. If you have a candy thermometer, cook until the temperature reaches 230ºF. Swirl the mixture in the pot occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl. Add vanilla.
  • Add the powdered sugar and salt to the hot mixture; stir well until the powdered sugar is thoroughly incorporated and smooth.
  • Let the dough cool until it is firm enough to handle, about 10-20 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, let it cool longer.
  • Divide the dough into three parts and set each third into a separate bowl.
  • Add 2 drops of yellow food coloring to one bowl (for the yellow), one drop of red and two drops of yellow to another bowl (for the orange), and leave the third bowl uncolored (for the white).
  • Knead the dough until the color is even (use rubber gloves so you don’t stain your hands).
  • Working in batches, on a sheet of waxed paper roll each color of dough into a long, slender rope about 1/4 inch wide. The wider the ropes, the larger your candy corn.
  • Set the three ropes of dough side-by-side and slightly press them together. Lay a piece of waxed paper on top and gently roll with a rolling pin. Gentle is the key word here; you don’t want to flatten them. This will help keep the layers together.
  • Using a sharp knife, or pizza cutter, cut the dough strips into small triangles.
  • Let the finished kernels sit for an hour or two in single layer on a cookie sheet to become firm.
  • Store in airtight container.