Homemade Candy Corn Recipe

Learn how to make candy corn using my homemade candy corn recipe. Making traditional candy corn at home can be a fun and rewarding exercise. The process, though a bit time-consuming, results in a sweet treat that’s totally satisfying in every bite.

This colorful homemade candy comes very close to the taste and appearance of commercial candy corn. Some candy lovers have said it tastes even BETTER than the store-bought corn! It will add a unique personal touch to your celebrations.

Easy Homemade Candy Corn Recipe

© by Don Bell

Homemade Candy Corn KernelsHave Fun Making Colorful Homemade Candy Corn
(Source: ©123rf/southernlightstudios)


1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup (2-1/2 ounces) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups powdered icing sugar
1/3 cup powdered milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Red and yellow food coloring

In a large saucepan combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Bring to a boil over high heat while stirring constantly, then reduce heat to medium and continue boiling for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Remove mixture from heat and add vanilla extract.

Combine the icing sugar, powdered milk, and salt in a separate bowl and add to the mixture in the saucepan, mixing thoroughly. Allow the dough mixture to sit until it's cool enough to handle.

Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and place each part in a small mixing bowl. Add orange food coloring to one part (a combination of yellow and red) and yellow food coloring to another part, leaving the remaining part uncolored or white.

Knead the dough in each bowl until smooth and stiff enough to hold its shape, and the colors are even. Wearing plastic gloves can help prevent your hands from being stained by the food coloring.

Still using your hands, roll each part into a long, thin rope, making each rope of equal length. You may need to use a long countertop or tabletop covered with a strip of waxed paper for this. You'll also need to be careful when rolling as the ropes can easily break if you form them too thin.

When you're done, lay the three ropes of dough along side each other with the orange dough in the middle and carefully press them together to make a long, narrow rectangle.

A gentle, light rolling with a rolling pin along the length of the rectangle helps to press the rope edges together, but be careful not to flatten the dough so the rectangle stays as narrow as possible, plus you'll also want the kernels plump looking and not flat.

Candy Corn KernelKernel

Finally, cut the dough into triangles or "kernels" using a sharp knife and gently smooth and shape the kernels with your fingers, if needed. Allow the kernels to sit for a while and become firm.

You'll end up with over a pound of homemade candy corn, some with yellow tips and some with the traditional white tips. There's no getting around it, kneading the dough and forming the ropes IS time-consuming and hard work, but the results are worth it.

Traditionally, each piece of candy is about the size of a kernel of dried corn, but by learning how to make candy corn, yours can be made the size of today's Giant Candy Corn confection.

Homemade Candy Corn Recipe Variations for Celebrating Holidays

Over the years, different food colors were added to the candy corn fondant for celebrating the different holidays.

Halloween Candy Corn

Traditionally colored with a white tip, orange center, and a yellow base.

Thanksgiving Candy Corn

Colored with a white tip, orange center, and brown base, with chocolate flavoring added to the brown.

Reindeer Corn for Christmas

Colored with a white tip, green center, and a red base.

Cupid Corn for Valentine's Day

Colored with a white tip, pink center, and a red base.

Lucky Corn for St. Patrick's Day

Colored with a golden yellow or white tip, and a shamrock green center and base.

Bunny Corn for Easter

Colored with a white tip and pastel shades of pink, purple, yellow, or green for the center and base.

Party Corn for Celebrating

You can develop your own color combinations for birthdays and parties. Simply choose your favorite colors let your creativity flow.

Make Chocolate Dipped Candy Corn Patties

Candy Corn Patties Dipped in ChocolateCandy Corn Patties with Chocolate for Halloween
(Source: ©123rf/southernlightstudios)

Now here's a great idea: Make your candy corn dough (fondant) by following the homemade candy corn recipe instructions above, but instead of rolling the dough into 3 ropes of orange, yellow and white, roll the dough into 3 thin "sheets" of orange, yellow and white using a rolling pin.

Then, cut each sheet in small rounds using a cookie cutter. Place an orange round on top of a yellow round, then place both rounds on top of a white round, or place them in whatever color combinations you prefer for your patties.

Finally melt some dipping chocolate in a double boiler and using a small fork to support them, carefully dip your patties into the melted chocolate.

Hold them over the chocolate until they've almost stopped dripping, then set them on a pan to dry and firm. Enjoy!

Make Candy Corn Pumpkins

Homemade Candy Corn Pumpkin

First, make your candy corn dough (fondant) by following the homemade candy corn recipe instructions above. Once you've learned how to make candy corn, you'll find other uses for the fondant.

The fondant-like dough when colored orange is great for hand molding into tiny Halloween pumpkin candies that can be used for decorating cakes, cupcakes, desserts, or for simply eating on their own.

Save a tiny bit of the dough and color it green for shaping the stems. Shape the pumpkin's side ridges with a table knife. The tiny candy pumpkins are perfect for decorating a Halloween cake.

About the Homemade Candy Corn Recipe

Candy corn has a long rich history dating from the late 19th century. It became a cherished Halloween tradition, a symbol of autumn, and a nostalgic reminder of childhood.

The beloved confection is said to have been invented in the United States by George Renninger in the 1880s, and it was all originally made by hand. Nowadays, it's mass produced by Jelly Belly® using a recipe unchanged since about 1900.

Making your own candy corn isn't only about creating a tasty treat; it's about keeping tradition alive, and it's the satisfaction of making a unique confectionery treat from scratch. Your family and friends will be absolutely amazed that you made it yourself, so make plenty and get ready for the compliments.

Thanks to this homemade candy corn recipe, you can enjoy this unique confection the year-round, at other holiday times too. You've only to change the kernel colors to suit the special occasion. It's certain to become a tradition at your house.

Don't forget to explore other traditional Halloween recipes and create additional fond memories.

Candy Corn Game

Simply fill a small sealed plastic bag with candy corn kernels and have the party goers guess how many kernels of candy corn are in the bag without handling it. The winner takes all or if there's a tie, the winners get to share the sweet prize.

You Might Like These

Check This Out

Join Grandma's Dessert Club Today and…

Grandma McIlmoyles Little Dessert Book

Download your FREE COPY of Grandma McIlmoyle's Little Dessert Book. Also receive regular club Bulletins with delicious recipes straight to your inbox, and more.

My special Gift to you!

"Love your Grandma's Dessert Club Bulletins! I look forward to each issue." —Sharon, USA

Like This Page? Please Share It

Learn How to Make Candy Corn at Home. Pin for later!