Oct 17, 2010

Lemon Flavored Candy Corn

Prefer your candy without corn syrup, gelatin, eggs, beeswax, or artificial color? Why not make your own? Add your own flavorings to make this old classic an updated favorite!

To tell you the truth, candy corn was never one of my favorites.  In fact, I would go out of my way to avoid them as a kid, in favor of more exotic flavors.  I think you either love them or hate them.  The one saving grace is their undeniable cuteness, with those brightly tri-colored, trianglular shapes- so indicative of Fall and of course, Halloween.

A Little History
Did you know that candy corn was invented in the 1880's?  It was meant to mimic kernels of dried corn, and became widely popular due to its revolutionary tri-colored look.  The candies were made by hand with large vats, and the candy mixture was then poured into cornstarch molds in three stages to form the colors.  Today, they're still made with cornstarch molds, but automated machines crank out more than 20 million pounds that are sold annually!

Vegan Lemon Candy Corn
Note: To make traditional vanilla flavored candy corn, just omit the lemon. Experiment with other extracts to make variations of your own.

1/4 C. Earth Balance Margarine*
1 C. sugar
3/4 C. brown rice syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/3 C. soymilk powder
1/4 tsp. salt

For coloring:
Yellow: 1/4 tsp. tumeric
Orange: 1/4 tsp. tumeric + 2 tsp. beet juice (from canned beets)

You can make these any size you like, and if you get tired of making candy corn, it makes a good fondant for cupcakes or to make other shapes (a lot like playdoh).  

*These turned out a little on the soft side, so next time I might reduce the amount of margarine.  For fondant, it's perfect.  
I'm pretty sure this makes over a pound of candy- pretty time consuming by yourself, so make it a fun project to do with friends or kids!
Sift together the powdered sugar, soymilk powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.  Heat margarine, sugar, brown rice syrup, extracts, and lemon juice in a saucepan, and stir until boiling and frothy.
Take saucepan off the heat, and add the dry mixture until well incorporated (a few lumps are ok).
Using separate bowls, divide the mixture into half, then divide one of the halves into half (to make three dough balls, one twice as large as the others).  Note: You can make equal parts if you like, but you'll need to adjust the coloring,  Into the large dough ball, add the beet juice and tumeric to make it orange.  It won't be bright orange, so if you want more vibrant color, add food coloring if you must.  Also add 1-2 T. of additional powdered sugar.  To one of the smaller dough balls, add tumeric to make it yellow (don't worry, you won't taste any of these). When cooled enough to handle, knead each one until smooth and color is even.  If it's too sticky, you can add a little powdered sugar, but not so much that it won't stick at all. If it's too dry, add a few drops of water.
Now you're ready to roll!  Spread a VERY light layer of powdered sugar onto your flat work surface.  Make ropes of equal thickness of the white and yellow, and a larger rope of the orange (for the middle).  Press the ropes together gently, then lightly roll the top with a rolling pin to flatten a bit and to further press together.  Then cut into triangles as shown above.
Finally, mold corners with fingers if desired.  Place them in a single layer on parchment or wax paper, and let dry.  DO NOT pile them up until they're dry, or they will stick together! These were deliciously lemony, with a good chewy texture and shiny outer shell.
I got bored with making candy corn, so I made myself a Fall Sweater... 
have fun with it!


  1. Fantastic...and the sweater is adorable!

  2. You could be my hero. An actual healthier version? Love the flavors!

  3. Wow! Such a cute idea! I would have never thought to make homemade candy corn .. they are adorable and the lemon sounds great.

  4. Oooh how fun! I haven't had candy corn in ages! Thanks for sharing. The cute candy sweater is tempting me to track down some soymilk powder just so I can indulge in sugary Halloween nostalgia. ^^

  5. I'm not a big fan of commercially made candy corn, but your homemade version looks totally awesome (and your little sweater looks even awesomer!) Cute idea to flavour it with lemon, too. Love it.

  6. This is SO COOL! Thank you for sharing! :-)

  7. I was wondering if home made candy corn could be made the other day! Great post :)!

  8. Hmm, now that's a flavor twist I wasn't expecting for candy corn! Although I must admit I have a nostalgic soft spot for the original, I do really like the sound of your reinterpretation- Much more exciting and sophisticated (if candy corn ever can be), to be sure!

  9. How much fun are these?!

  10. You have the greatest sense of humor! Fall sweater had me on the floor! GREG

  11. Wow! That is impressive confectionary. And the sweater is awesome; so creative!

  12. You are so talented and creative with food design!

  13. These are too cute!! You are so creative :)

  14. I am so subscribing to your blog. Such creative ideas!

  15. The three colors of original candy corn were also three different flavors. Try to find THAT anywhere today!

  16. What a fantastic recipe! I had to feature it on my blog!
    Happy Halloween!

  17. Awesome recipe! Mind if we feature it, and your photos, in an upcoming Halloween-themed Meatless Monday post on our blog? With full credit, of course! Shoot me an e-mail at: caroline AT museumofanimals.org

  18. Wow! Very creative recipe! I'm super impressed!!