FINALLY a vegan candy corn recipe that tastes just like candy corn, but without the waxy feel! This homemade candy corn recipe is completely dairy free and gelatin free, and uses maple syrup instead of corn syrup! Super easy to make and the perfect vegan Halloween candy for all of your autumn festivities!
Is candy corn vegan?
Unfortunately, the candy corn that you purchase in stores is not vegan. According to one of the most popular candy corn brands, the classic Halloween candy contains sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, gelatin, sesame oil, and artificial flavor. As we know, gelatin is NOT vegan, as it is derived from animals.
However, many homemade candy corn recipes still aren’t vegan, relying heavily on milk powder to create that chewy sweet confection.
Vegan candy corn ingredients
- Coconut milk powder: Much like traditional homemade candy corn, I wanted to use a vegan version of dry milk powder. Thankfully, brands like Edward & Sons have created a vegan product that works identically in recipes and is entirely vegan (and minimal!). I used their coconut milk powder, which worked perfectly. If you don’t like the taste of coconut, don’t worry- it’s really undetectably in this recipe.
- Powdered sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Maple syrup: This is replacing corn syrup found in traditional candy corn recipes. Contrary to popular belief on the Internet stating that you can’t use maple syrup to replace corn syrup in candy, I’ve proved that you can 😉 At least for this vegan candy recipe!
- Vanilla extract
- Kosher salt or sea salt
- Vegan butter: I recommend Miyoko’s for both the best texture and flavor. If you need nut free, opt for Flora Plant Butter or Earth Balance.
- Vegan food coloring: I recommend using liquid food color here, as it’s easier to work into the dough.
Homemade candy always requires a bit of extra equipment, but it’s well worth it. For these vegan candy corn, I recommend the following:
- Silicone spatula
- Kitchen thermometer or candy thermometer
- Silicone mat (to work the dough)
- Bench scraper (you can also use a sharp knife or pizza cutter)
- Parchment paper
- Food processor
- Baking sheets ( to chill the candy corn pieces)
How to make homemade candy corn vegan (overview)
For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.
Now let’s make this easy vegan candy corn recipe:
- Pulse together the dry ingredients.
This is just the coconut milk powder, powdered sugar, and sea salt. You’ll use a food processor for this for the best results.
- Heat the maple syrup.
Combine the sugar with the maple syrup, water, and vanilla, and cook for just 4 minutes. Then stir in the vegan butter, and cook until the heat reaches exactly 240F. Remove from heat immediately.
- Make the candy corn dough.
Add in the powdered sugar mixture, and use your silicone spatula fold together until you get a thick dough, almost like play dough! Spoon the dough onto a silicone mat and allow it to cool for 15 minutes so that you can handle it.
- Make the candy corn!
Divide the dough into three pieces, which we’ll color two of them orange and yellow respectively. Then roll each dough into a thin rope, and stack them together laying down. The color series should be orange, white, yellow.
- Slice and chill.
Use a sharp knife or bench scraper to slice the candy corn strand diagonally to create little triangles that will now be your homemade vegan candy corn! You can use your fingers to round out the edges a bit to help give them more of a shape. Place onto your baking sheet and chill for 5 minutes. Then enjoy!
Do I need to use a kitchen/candy thermometer?
I’ve tried to make this recipe without one just to see, and truthfully, you really do need it. The sugar syrup (in our case, maple syrup) truly needs to be heated to exactly 240F, as that’s the heat point where the sugars start to solidify but haven’t browned as much. Any cooler, and your candy corn won’t turn into a dough. Any hotter, and your colors won’t look like traditional candy corn.
There’s just no way to know that the syrup is 240F without one. You can purchase a kitchen thermometer or candy thermometer at your local grocery store or via Amazon!
What food color is vegan?
You can find vegan food colors, such as yellow and orange, at your local grocery store! I use Whole Foods 365 and mix the red and yellow together to create orange. Nomeca is also a great vegan food color brand, as well as Go Supernatural!
Here are some more vegan candy recipes you’ll love:
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If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!Print
FINALLY a vegan candy corn recipe that tastes just like candy corn, but without the waxy feel! This homemade candy corn recipe is completely dairy free and gelatin free, and uses maple syrup instead of corn syrup! Super simple to make and the perfect vegan Halloween candy for all of your autumn festivities!
- 30 grams (1/4 cup) coconut milk powder
- 260 grams (2 cups) powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 60 grams (1/4 cup) maple syrup
- 3 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp vegan butter
- Liquid vegan food colors: yellow and orange
- Recipe adapted from Alton Brown’s candy corn recipe. Please read all instructions before beginning.
- Prep: Make sure that you have a large silicone mat or parchment paper for rolling the dough. You’ll also need a saucepan and candy thermometer or kitchen thermometer.
- Mix the dry ingredients: In a food processor, pulse the coconut milk powder, powdered sugar, and sea salt together until just combined. Set aside.
- Heat the maple syrup: In a saucepan, stir the sugar, maple syrup, water, and vanilla extract on medium heat just until combined. Then cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove the saucepan lid, add in the vegan butter, and stir until it’s melted. Place the kitchen thermometer into the mixture. Allow the mixture to cook until the thermometer reaches 240F. Once reached, remove from heat immediately.
- Make the dough: Add the dry mixture to the saucepan, and use a rubber spatula to fold the dry into the wet until you reach a thick dough. Once the dough as been created, use the rubber spatula again to spoon the dough onto the silicone mat. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes, which will allow it to cool enough for you to handle it. While the dough is cooling, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. This will be for the candy corn to chill on.
- Divide the dough and color: Once cool enough to work with, you can use a large knife or bench scraper, and divide the dough into three (3) even pieces. Use the liquid yellow color to work into one piece, kneading the dough, then set aside. Use the liquid orange color to work into another piece, kneading the dough, then set aside. Leave the third as is.
- Make the candy corn: Take one dough and divide it in half. Roll one of the halves to be about 20-24″ long. Set the other half aside. Repeat for each color. Now take the rolled strands and line them up to be orange, white, then yellow. Use a knife or bench scraper, and cut diagonally to slice the candy into triangles. Continue until you’ve finished the strand. Lay the candy corn onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet, and round out the corners if desired. Place the baking sheet into the fridge. Then repeat once more for the three (3) remaining dough halves.
- Chill the candy corn: Once the candy corn have been chilled in the fridge for 15 minutes, you can enjoy and eat! Store any leftovers in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.