For most of us, some of our favorite holiday memories involve homemade candy.
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Years ago, I made a huge batch of various homemade candies with a little girl in our family. Recently, she told me that this is one of her fondest memories, and she said that she never knew that you could make all of this stuff in your own kitchen until then.
Maybe you even helped your mom or grandmother with their homemade candy recipes. Every family has their favorites!
While homemade candy is great for the holidays, any day can be special when it has candy that has been made with love.
Homemade candy recipes can be a special treat or a fun snack to have around the house to feed a hungry group of kids (or adults!).
From homemade fantasy fudge to decadent divinity, there is something on this list of candy ideas for everyone.
Are you ready to learn candy making? Let’s dive in and explore these 31 fabulous and easy candy recipes.
1. Easy Homemade Divinity
Divinity candy is a hugely popular candy that is a staple in Southern homes during the holidays.
A cross between nougat, meringue, and fudge, we think divinity was invented by Karo corn syrup for marketing their product.
Traditionally, divinity is made with candied pecans and vanilla, but you can actually try some different varieties with this recipe.
For example, instead of vanilla extract, get wild and crazy and try peppermint extract. It sounds delicious!
Also, you can use walnuts if you prefer those over pecans.
2. Gummy Recipe
Homemade gummy bears are something you may have never thought about making, but it’s easier than you think.
The problem with a lot of gummy candies is that they can be unhealthy. We were able to find t his gummy bear recipe that is made with just three basic pantry ingredients.
To make these homemade gummy bears, you need fruit juice, high-quality gelatin, and honey.
If you prefer, you can use pure maple syrup instead of honey.
Also, you can create gummy candy in any shape you wish. Use straws to make gummy worms, for example.
3. Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Chocolate-covered pretzels are a beloved holiday tradition.
One thing we love about this recipe is that it’s kid-friendly, so everyone in the family can get in on the fun of preparing homemade candy recipes.
Dip your pretzels in both white chocolate bark and milk chocolate bark (or dark chocolate bark).
You can make these chocolate pretzels with or without sprinkles, and you don’t have to learn how to make candy.
For these chocolate-covered pretzels, you can use whole pretzels or pretzel sticks and rods.
4. Easy Buckeye Recipe
These fun easy buckeyes make great Halloween candy because they can look like eyeballs.
However, buckeyes are yummy any time of the year and they are one of the most beloved no-bake candies.
The filling will remind you of peanut butter fudge, but it’s usually a bit softer.
Use a toothpick to dip your little balls into the melted chocolate.
Also, you can dip these in white chocolate hot chocolate, too.
5. Peppermint Patties Recipe
Are there people out there who don’t adore peppermint patties? Maybe, but we’ve not met them!
Mint and chocolate are the perfect pair with homemade peppermint patties.
This is one of the super easy candy recipes, too.
The actual patties need only four ingredients: powdered sugar, butter, peppermint extract, and corn syrup.
For this recipe, you form your patties by hand, so there’s no need to roll everything out.
When the patties are completely chilled, dip them in dark dipping chocolate. Top them with chocolate sprinkles or other sprinkles.
6. Easy Crockpot Candy
Who knew you could make delicious candy recipes with chocolate and nuts in your slow cooker?
That’s right, whip out your Crock Pot because we are about to make some wonderful homemade candy.
To make this easy candy recipe, all you do is toss all of your ingredients into the slow cooker and let it melt.
Once everything is melted, stir it all together and then spoon it out onto waxed pepper.
Then, sprinkle it with sea salt or sprinkles.
7. Easy Homemade Lollipops
Lollipops are so easy to make, especially if you take shortcuts.
To make lollipops, you need some silicone candy molds (silicone is oven-safe). You can find them at kitchen stores or on Amazon.
For quick and easy lollipops, you can simply break hard candy and put it in the molds. Then, bake them in the oven just until they melt.
Also, you can find some excellent lollipop recipes online and we love this one.
These homemade lollipops are made from corn syrup, sugar, cinnamon or cherry flavoring, and water.
8. Homemade Caramels
When it comes to caramel, nothing is better than delicious sea salt caramel chews.
You likely already have all of the ingredients you need to make these caramel chews: heavy cream, unsalted butter, light corn syrup (Karo), sugar, water, and flaked sea salt.
A candy thermometer is needed for this recipe, but it’s easy as long as you watch it closely.
This is important: this recipe doesn’t do well if you double or triple it because when you double a recipe, it can affect the timing. When you’re making homemade caramels, timing can be everything.
9. Easy Microwave Cashew Brittle Recipe
If you don’t like peanuts or if someone in your family has a peanut allergy, we’re here to save the day with this easy microwave cashew brittle recipe.
Cashew brittle is so delicious that you may decide you prefer it over peanut brittle.
Thanks to the microwave cooking technique used to make this cashew brittle, you don’t have to worry about a candy thermometer.
You need granulated sugar, light corn syrup (Karo or similar), chopped cashews, butter, baking soda, and vanilla extract.
10. Southern Pecan Pralines
We challenge you to try to visit any Southern city and not end up eating a pecan praline.
You need a candy thermometer to make these, but trust us, pecan pralines are totally worth the little bit of trouble you will need to go to.
This pecan pralines recipe calls for both white granulated sugar and brown sugar, and that’s a great combination.
Heavy whipping cream is also best, but you can also substitute half and half, milk, and even evaporated milk.
The butter is totally necessary and you won’t regret the extra calories (just this once).
11. Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
We all love peanut butter cups, and they are super decadent when you make homemade peanut butter candy.
Even better, homemade peanut butter cups allow you to have full control over all the ingredients.
For example, you can use natural peanut butter and high-quality chocolate, something you don’t get in the store-bought Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
You can even add a layer of salted caramel to the center if you want to really make these homemade peanut butter cups shine.
12. 3-Ingredient Microwave Peanut Butter Fudge
Peanut butter fudge is so decadent.
We love the creamy texture and the explosive peanut butter flavor in this homemade fudge.
The second best thing about this fudge (after the flavor) is how easy it is to make.
This peanut butter fudge recipe calls for just three ingredients and takes just five minutes to make.
Oh, and it’s made in the microwave. You don’t even have to dirty up a saucepan to make this peanut butter fudge.
All yo9u need is creamy peanut butter, unsalted butter, and powdered sugar.
13. Cool Whip Candy
Who said making chocolate truffles had to be an all-day chore?
Using Cool Whip, you can whip up these gorgeous little truffle candies in no time at all.
We love that these chocolate truffles bring soulmates chocolate and peanut butter together.
To make these Cool Whip candy truffles, all you need is Cool Whip, semi-sweet chocolate, creamy peanut butter, and powdered sugar.
You can roll this Cool Whip candy in sugar the traditional way, or vary things up with some coconut flakes, nuts, unsweetened cocoa powder, sprinkles, and more.
14. Lemon Drop Candies
When you’re craving a zesty pop of flavor, reach for this homemade lemon drops recipe.
The ingredients are remarkably simple: fresh lemon juice, sugar, water, and honey.
Yellow food coloring is optional, and you definitely want to have some powdered sugar on hand for sprinkling on the lemon drops.
What makes this recipe work well is letting go of perfection. This recipe requires a candy thermometer, but you only have to reach 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
These little homemade lemon drops can be beautifully imperfect. Rustic shapes are great, too.
15. Samoa Truffles
If you love Samoa Girl Scout Cookies, we’ve got something on this list that’s going to delight you.
These Samoa truffles will take you back to cookie season and now you can get that delicious Samoa taste year-round.
To make these Samoa truffles, you need to toast your coconut flakes, but don’t worry. It’s super easy.
The toasted coconut flakes give these truffles the perfect nutty flavor and just enough crispiness.
This recipe calls for vanilla wafer cookies that are crushed.
Be sure to use high-quality dark chocolate.
16. Microwave Peanut Brittle
Peanut brittle is another homemade candy that used to be a huge production back in the day.
However, in the modern era, all you need to make the perfect peanut brittle is a microwave oven.
Microwave peanut brittle is nearly foolproof if you follow the instructions carefully.
The ingredient list is simple: granulated sugar, light corn syrup (Karo), salted peanuts, butter, baking soda, and vanilla.
One thing you need to be sure you do is to use a glass bowl. We like making our microwave peanut brittle in the large 8-cup glass Pyrex measuring cup.
17. Scottish Tablet
Although it’s similar to fudge, Scottish tablet has a consistency that is a bit harder than fudge, which is soft.
Scottish tablet is sweet and sugary with a grainy texture that will absolutely melt in your mouth.
Originally, this classic Scottish candy was made with cream and sugar. However, these days, Scottish tablet is commonly made with butter and sweetened condensed milk.
To make Scottish tablet, you need granulated white sugar, full-fat milk, sweetened condensed milk, and butter. That’s it!
18. Saltine Cracker Toffee
Also known as Christmas Crack, this saltine cracker toffee is shockingly delicious.
You will see this homemade candy called other things, too, such as toffee bark, faux toffee, fooler toffee, cracker toffee, and more.
This sweet treat gives us everything we crave because it’s salty, crunchy, buttery, and sweet.
Best of all, saltine cracker toffee has just five ingredients and is ready in 15 minutes.
To make this toffee candy, you need saltine crackers, brown sugar, butter, milk chocolate chips or morsels, and pecans or walnuts as a topping.
19. Fantasy Fudge Recipe
Back in the old days, you needed a candy thermometer to make fudge.
Thankfully, there are wonderful fudge recipes out there now that make fudge so easy to make.
Fantasy Fudge is a classic and what we love about it is that it’s a no-fail recipe.
The key ingredient in Fantasy Fudge (besides chocolate chips) is Marshmallow Cream, sometimes known as Marshmallow Fluff.
To make Fantasy Fudge, you need a few things in addition to the ingredients we’ve already listed: butter or margarine, white sugar, evaporated milk, pecans or walnuts, and vanilla extract.
20. Caramel Chocolate Pecan Turtles Candy
If you think turtles are too difficult to make, you’re going to fall head over heels in love with this recipe.
The caramel is made in the microwave, for one thing, and that makes this recipe a winner in our book.
Many recipes for chocolate pecan turtles use storebought caramels that are melted, but it’s just as easy to make this microwave caramel.
The ingredients for this recipe are toasted pecans, salted butter, brown sugar and white granulated sugar, vanilla extract, pecans, light corn syrup, and high-quality chocolate.
21. Homemade Jelly Beans
In a world where Jelly Bellies exist, why make homemade jelly beans?
Well, we can think of a couple of reasons. First, for the accomplishment. We love a challenge.
But most importantly, anytime you make something from scratch in your own kitchen, you have full control over the ingredients.
With homemade jelly beans, the sky is the limit with the flavor options.
You can make all of the favorites kids love (think bubble gum and popcorn), or you can make adult flavors like rum and coke, whiskey, or beer.
22. Chocolate Peanut Butter Grahams
When you make these addictive candy cookies, no one will ever need to know how incredibly easy they were to make.
Guess what you need to make these delicious little candy cookies? Three ingredients: creamy peanut butter, graham crackers, and a pack of chocolate candy coating.
You can also use white chocolate candy coating to make these cookies.
Also, you can use any cookie or cracker to make these little gems. They’re wonderful when they’re made with Ritz crackers, too.
23. Copycat Churro Toffee Disneyland Recipe
This copycat recipe of Churro Toffee is nearly exactly like the version you get at Pooh’s Corner right in Disneyland’s Critter Country.
At Disneyland Churro Toffee is only sold during the holiday season, so it’s a real treat to be able to make this copycat recipe at home.
The Disneyland version comes encased in a block of white chocolate, and this recipe doesn’t have that.
To make this candy recipe, you need butter, granulated sugar, salt, vanilla extract, white chocolate chips, and cinnamon.
24. Scotcharoos (Oh Henry Bars)
Scotcharoos, or Oh Henry Bars, are also known as Rice Krispie treats made with peanut butter.
A long time ago, there was a candy bar with the name of Oh Henry.
These delicious bars are as easy to make as Rice Krispie treats, but they have a couple of extra steps because they are layered bars.
To make Oh Henry bars, you need sugar, corn syrup, crispy rice cereal, creamy peanut butter, butterscotch chips, and chocolate chips.
25. Stained Glass Candy
To make this stained glass candy, you need a candy thermometer.
This hard candy is not difficult to make, but you have to carefully watch your candy thermometer.
Flavorings can be any type of flavored oil, from raspberry to peppermint.
You can get super creative with flavors. Consider green apple, strawberry, banana, and more.
Also, feel free to experiment with different colors to make this delightful candy. The more colorful stained glass candy is, the better!
26. Homemade Mallomars
Mallomars are classic cookies that are usually bought at the store.
However, it’s not difficult to make homemade mallomars from scratch.
To make these mallomars, you need a buttery and crunchy graham cracker, a silky layer of vanilla marshmallows, and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate on top.
When you’re whipping your marshmallows, don’t whip it too much or it can cool down. That will cause it to set before you get a chance to pour it into your pan.
27. Homemade Gumdrops
For some reason, we always thought making homemade gumdrops must be extremely difficult. We were delighted to learn that we were mistaken.
Essentially, gumdrops are flavored sugar syrup and gelatin. How easy is that?
You can make homemade gumdrops in whatever colors and flavors you want.
The key to getting all of these fabulous colors is Jello.
However, this homemade gumdrop recipe has a secret ingredient: applesauce.
You can use silicone molds to make homemade gumdrops or just use a cookie sheet.
28. Homemade Junior Mints
Junior Mints are so addictive, and the good news is that you can make your own at home.
These homemade Junior Mints take a bit of time to make, but they’re incredibly easy, so don’t feel daunted by this simple recipe.
We love that these homemade Junior Mints are made with cream cheese.
The mint extract and powdered sugar are perfect, and you can use semi-sweet chocolate or dark chocolate to make them.
29. Muddy Buddies (Puppy Chow)
It seems like everywhere we go during the holiday season, there is a big jar of Puppy Chow candy sitting on the counter.
Well, we can’t resist, so we don’t.
This recipe has more peanut butter, more chocolate, and more powdered sugar. What’s not to love?
Rice Chex is used to make Puppy Chow (you can also use Corn Chex), and you want to be sure you don’t use a sweetened cereal.
To make this homemade candy recipe vegan, you can try making it with vegan butter.
30. Candied Orange Peel Recipe
And to think some people just toss their orange peels, right?
Candied citrus peel is yummy and it even lasts for several months in the freezer.
Besides being a great candy, candied orange peel also makes an excellent cake decoration.
Candied orange peel can be a time-consuming homemade candy, but we found an easy recipe that we’ve fallen in love with.
You don’t even need a candy thermometer to make this candied orange peel.
Feel free to use this recipe to make candied lime or lemon peels, too.
31. Homemade Almond Joy Candy Bars
It’s incredibly easy to make homemade Almond Joy candy bars and this homemade candy recipe really does taste exactly just like the original Almond Joy bars.
In fact, you may even hear people say that this homemade candy tastes even better than the store-bought candy bars.
To make homemade Almond Joy candy bars, you need sweetened condensed milk, shredded sweetened coconut, vanilla extract, roasted almonds, dark chocolate chips (or your choice of chocolate), and coconut oil.
This recipe calls for liners for cupcakes, but you can make these candy bars in any shape you like.
Are you up for a challenge? Watch the video below to learn how to make a homemade candy cane.
30+ Easy Homemade Candy Recipes (+Chocolate Covered Pretzels)
- 1 bag pretzel rods or pretzel twists
- 1 lb. white almond bark or candy melts
- 1 lb. semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
- Various sprinkles
- Melt the chocolates in a microwave or over a double boiler.
- Use tongs to coat each pretzel with the chocolate mixture.
- Lay on waxed paper to cool.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.
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