Invented in the 1880s, candy corn found commercial success in 1898 when their creator founded the Goelitz Candy Company. Without automation, production was labor intensive and limited to just a few months a year, but the popularity of the tri-colored fondant soared. Today, the Goelitz Candy Company is now known as the Jelly Belly Candy Company and although automation now allows for mass production, they still use the same recipe that started it all.

Making candy corn is surprisingly easy to do and kid-friendly. Try it for other holidays (pastels for Easter, red and green for Christmas, pink for Valentine’s Day). Dress them up however you like, candy corn is still an undeniable Halloween staple that can be enjoyed all year long.

Step 1

Mix First Three Ingredients

Combine 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/3 cup powdered milk and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a large bowl and set aside.

Step 2

Boil Sugar and Corn Syrup

Combine 1 cup sugar, 2/3 cup corn syrup, 6 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons water in a heavy pot over medium-high heat, stirring until boiling.

Step 3

Go Above Boiling

Continue to cook until a temperature of 230 degrees is reached, remove from heat and stir in vanilla (2-3 minutes).

Step 4

Combine Liquid and Dry

Pour liquid mixture into bowl with dry ingredients.

Step 5


Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth.

Step 6

Spread Out to Cool

Pour dough onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and allow it to cool until able to handle.

Step 7

Separate Into Three Sections

Divide into three balls, press an indentation into two. Add 15-20 drops of yellow food coloring to each and then add 10 drops of red to one to make orange.

Step 8

Work In The Color

Knead dough until pliant and color is even.

Step 9

Roll Out Sections

Tear off a small piece of orange dough and roll into a snake about 1/4” thick. Lay on parchment paper.

Step 10

Attach Sections

Roll a strand of yellow dough of the same length and width as the orange, and lay yellow strands against orange. Repeat with white dough, laying against yellow strands. Press gently together. Repeat process until all the dough has been rolled and pressed into tri-colored ribbons.

Use the back of a knife to press down on each set of strands lengthwise, forming a long wedge that is thicker on the white edge.

Step 11

Cut Triangles

Using a pizza roller or knife, cut each strand into short triangles. Break candy corn apart and allow to rest two hours to harden.

Candy corn may be eaten right away or stored in an airtight container lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Best when eaten on Halloween.