Vegan Candy Corn
Updated: Oct 10, 2021
I LOVE being vegan. It’s great on so many levels for so many reasons. And for the most part, I don’t miss all the candy I used to eat. (Sometimes I do, but not as much as I thought I would.) But there is one candy that only comes around once a year that I REALLY miss. And that is Candy Corn. I’ve really been missing it this year, especially for some reason. So, I did what any vegan would do. I Googled vegan candy corn expecting to see at least one company have some. (Even if it was at an exorbitant amount of money. But shockingly, there were NONE. You read that right. No company, even the allergy, and vegan-friendly ones didn’t have Vegan Candy Corn.
Which is why we’re here. I decided to make it myself. (It can’t be that hard… right…??) So with a little research, some failing, and then some more research, I found a recipe that’s surprisingly easy. I just had to switch out the butter with vegan butter (I used Earth Balance because it’s one of the best vegan kinds of butter I think) and I switched out the nonfat milk powder (which is apparently a thing) for soy milk powder (which is also apparently a thing). I found the soy milk powder at Natural Grocers for about 9 dollars, which I thought was pretty good. I wouldn’t recommend getting it from Amazon because it’s double the price. You can also get it off of Iherb for about the same price as Natural Grocers.
So, the thing with candy is it can be a little tricky sometimes. But if you follow my instructions, you’ll be fine. And honestly, this recipe is pretty easy as far as candy goes.
Make sure you know what your elevation is so you can adjust your temperatures accordingly. If you’re not sure how to convert the temp for your elevation, here’s a link to a blog that explains it very well. https://mountainscholar.org/bitstream/handle/10217/182134/AEXT_ucsu2062c162012.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y I also have a chart down below that converts everything for you.
Boiling Water Temps at Altitude
For every 500 ft about sea level you are, the boiling temperature decreases by 1 degree F. (Water boils at 212 degrees F at sea level.)
Once you know what your water should boil at mathematically, you can test your thermometer. Especially if you have an old candy thermometer, you should test it before making candy so you know if it’s off by a few degrees. You can then adjust the numbers accordingly. Ex: If you live at sea level, your water will boil at 212 degrees. Once the water is boiling, stick your thermometer in and see what temperature it says. If it reads, 210, then you know to add 2 degrees to whatever it says when making the candy.
It’s also a good idea to boil water yourself and see what temperature it boils at. That way you know exactly how much to adjust the temperature.
Once you know what your water boils at and how accurate your thermometer is, you’re good to go.
Tips for dealing with sugar:
Check your thermometer and make sure it’s accurate
Know what your elevation and what temperature your water boils at
There’s a great website here to help you figure out the temperature difference:
Make sure you wash all the sugar crystals off of the sides of the pot using one of the two methods
1. Brush down the sides of of pot with a pastry brush and water until there are no more clumps of sugar on the sides
2. Place a lid on for a few minutes so the steam can help get the sugar crystals off (you might still have to use method #1)
Silicon baking mats help your candy to not stick, but you can absolutely use wax paper, but again, both options will make your life much easier
You can also use the ice water method. Once the temperature gets close to the soft ball stage (235 F) take a small bit of the mixture and put it in ice cold water. If it forms a ball and keeps that shape when you pull it out of the water, it's good to go.
2 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/3 c powdered soy milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 c granulated sugar
2/3 c light corn syrup
1/3 c vegan butter
1 tsp vanilla
In a bowl, combine the powdered sugar, salt, and powdered soy milk and whisk together
In a medium saucepan, combine the vegan butter, light corn syrup, and granulated sugar and place on medium heat
Stir continuously until the mixture starts to boil, then clip the candy thermometer onto the side and let it get to 235 degrees F*
While that’s boiling, make sure to wash the sugar crystals off the sides of the pot using a pastry brush and water brushing down the sides
Once that gets to it’s temperature (235 at sea level), take it off the heat, put the vanilla and dry ingredients in the pan and mix until well combined (You’re going to have to use your muscles as the mixture gets thicker near the end)
Once it’s well combined, pour the batter(?) onto a silicone baking mat or wax paper (I HIGHLY recommend getting silicone baking mats because they’re AMAZING)
Separate the dough into three sections
Put a few drops of food coloring in two of the three sections and mix them until well combined (you can use your hands or a spatula)
Once the doughs are cool enough, roll them into thin long logs and layer them white, orange, then yellow. (I got mine a little backwards haha oops.) (there are good pictures on the blog mentioned above, and I demonstrate it in my YouTube video, so go check it out)
You can either make the strip into a triangle and cut it into small wedges, you can keep the strip flat and cut it diagonally so the triangle is facing you (example is in the youtube video attached below), or you can do the target method that I did in my video.
Make sure you put them on wax paper or another silicone baking mat to keep them from sticking to each other.
Let them dry out for a few hours. You can keep them in a container (ideally separated from each other so they don't stick) in the fridge or on the counter for about a week. (Mine have been loosely covered with plastic wrap sitting on my counter for about a week and they still taste amazing.)
Original recipe: https://hoosierhomemade.com/homemade-candy-corn-recipe/
Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHSW1Qjx9eY