As a certified candy corn enthusiast, it is my honor to showcase ways you can incorporate this polarizing holiday candy into any beverage of your choosing. This recipe for candy corn simple syrup is one of the best ways you can create flavored beverages that will wow (or disgust) your guests during the Halloween season! It’s great for all ages and makes any beverage so much more fun!
This candy corn simple syrup was inspired by my candy corn infused vodka, which caused nothing short of chaos among my social media followers. I knew I had to create something that candy corn lovers of all ages could enjoy, so this simple syrup was truly a calling I was born to answer. 🤣 Use this syrup to create a homemade candy corn soda, or a candy corn latte to get your day started with a festive touch!Jump to Recipe
💕 why you'll love this candy corn simple syrup recipe
🎃 festive & fun. This syrup is made from dissolving candy corn into water. The vibrant colors and flavors of the candy corn become a syrup once melted, and that syrup is perfect for adding to all of your beverages throughout the month of October (and beyond)!
🥳 party perfect. Talk about a conversation starter. Candy corn is super polarizing— people seem to love it or hate it, so imagine the commotion at your next holiday party when you whip out a bottle of this candy corn simple syrup!
nostalgic. There’s nothing like the sweet taste of candy from your childhood to whisk you back to simpler times. Try it in your morning coffee to remind you of the days before your Outlook inbox was overflowing.
- candy corn - you will need a bag of candy corn for this recipe because that’s where all the flavor and color comes from within this simple syrup. There is no additional sugar added to this simple syrup, unlike with other simple syrup recipes, because candy corn itself is so sweet!
- filtered water - Use water without impurities for the best flavor profile. Filtered water works best for simple syrups since the water will not be cooking at a rolling boil to remove impurities that may be present in unfiltered water.
Step 1: Pour 1 cup of water into a 1.5-quart saucepan.
Step 2: Heat the water over medium heat until warmed, and add in 1 cup of candy corn.
Step 3: Continue to heat the mixture over medium to medium-low heat.
Step 4: Stir the mixture as it heats to evenly distribute the candy corn as it melts. This will take about 5 minutes. Burned candy corn can absolutely ruin your day!
Step 5: Once the candy corn is melted completely, remove the pan from the burner and allow it to cool slightly, for up to 30 minutes.
Step 6: Next, strain the simple syrup through a fine mesh sieve to remove any candy lumps that didn't dissolve.
Step 7: Finally, pour the mix into a storage bottle.
Step 8: Store your finished candy corn simple syrup in the fridge for up to two weeks, or freeze it for longer-term storage.
Hint: I love dividing this syrup into two smaller squeeze bottles and freezing it all month long.
💡tips & tricks for getting it right
🍽️ serving tips
While you might see other folks out there on the internet telling you to use your simple syrup on anything from pancakes to cocktails, I am here to keep things real with you. Simple syrups are best used in beverages because of their thin consistency. They don’t work as well for drizzling on foods because they are so thin, and not as thick as sauces or actual syrup. You can go ahead and use them as you like, but be aware that this syrup will soak into foods very quickly, and you may find yourself needing a lot of it, especially on pancakes and waffles.
Use this in place of regular simple syrup in any cocktail recipe. It works especially well in rum, vodka and tequila-based recipes! If you want to go the extra mile, whip up a batch of candy corn infused vodka!
- candy corn vodka sodas - add this simple syrup to a classic vodka soda for a fun and flavorful twist!
- candy corn margaritas - you read that right! Try this simple syrup in place of agave in a margarita recipe for a Halloween margarita everyone will remember for years to come.
- candy corn mules - candy corn and ginger beer go very well together! Try adding this syrup to a mule for a sweet take on a classic cocktail.
In addition to cocktails, this simple syrup works perfectly in mocktail recipes too! I love using it in iced coffee.
- homemade candy corn soda pop - if you remember the tiny Jone's sodas that used to be available during the Halloween season, you'll know my inspiration for this homemade soda!
- candy corn lattes - add candy corn simple syrup to your morning latte for a festive pick-me-up!
- candy corn milkshakes - add this simple syrup to a blender with vanilla ice cream and milk for a seasonal milkshake!
Cooking & baking:
Keep baked goods moist: Use this simple syrup to brush layer cakes and keep them moist between layers! This candy corn simple syrup would be so tasty on a vanilla cake with marshmallow cream filling! 🤤
Homemade shave ice topping: This syrup works very well as a homemade shave ice topping. Get extra festive by topping it with whipped cream and candy corn!
Make extra as gifts: Buy a set of 8-ounce glass bottles and make a double or triple batch of this syrup to gift to family and friends! It also makes a great hostess gift or party favor! Can you imagine sending your guests home from a Halloween party with a little bottle of this candy corn syrup?! How cute! 👻
ℹ️ troubleshooting tips
- Taste your finished syrup to make sure it is sweet enough for you. If you need a little more of a sugary kick, add it back to a saucepan to dissolve some sugar into it. You can add in sugar or honey, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it gets to your desired sweetness level.
- If you want a thicker syrup, use ¼ cup less water, or let the mixture simmer a bit longer. The resulting syrup will be more like a rich syrup than a simple syrup, and it also won’t totally harden in the freezer.
🧐 what is a rich syrup?
A rich syrup is a syrup that has a higher sugar content than water content.
- Simple syrup has a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water.
- Rich syrup has a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water, so if you use 1 cup of sugar, use ½ cup of water.
This will change the ratio of sugar to water, meaning if you want to freeze the syrup for longer storage, it won’t freeze completely solid. This can be useful for quickly defrosting the syrup, though! If you want to freeze rich syrup, opt to use a bottle over ice cube trays because things will get sticky.
⚖️ Scaling Tips
- This recipe can easily scale up or down, depending on how much syrup you think you’ll need.
🔆 top tip
Gift this candy corn simple syrup at your Halloween gatherings. Then, watch the faces of joy, surprise, or even disgust on your guest's faces!
♻️ substitutions & variations
Are you missing an ingredient? No problem. Check out these tried-and-true substitutions, or comment below with your question. I’m here to help you troubleshoot! Keep in mind, changing the candy corn out for another variety of candy will change the final color of your syrup. However, the flavor will be similar.
- candy pumpkins - if you can’t find candy corn near you, you can substitute candy pumpkins (sometimes called mellowcreme pumpkins). They are made from the same ingredients as candy corn.
- seasonal candy corn - in addition to using candy pumpkins, you can also use other seasonal candy corn flavors, like the fall mix, for this recipe.
Feeling like a rebel?! 😈 Feel free to stray from the recipe card using these variations, or leave me a comment with your own!
- vanilla - add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract to play up the vanilla flavor of candy corn in this simple syrup.
- honey - If you can possibly imagine this syrup being any sweeter, add in a tablespoon of honey to give this syrup an extra warmth and depth of flavor!
🧰 equipment needed & storage tips
🧰 tools needed
- heavy-bottomed non-reactive saucepan - you can use whatever saucepan you have on hand, I love this 1.5-quart saucepan from All-Clad. The heavy bottom ensures even heating throughout the cooking time! A non-reactive pan is a pan that is made from a metal that doesn’t react to acidic substances, like stainless steel or enameled cast iron.
- non-reactive mesh strainer - a fine mesh strainer helps you to separate any sugary granules from the liquid after simmering the mixture. Make sure to use a mesh strainer that is made of stainless steel, or use a nylon straining bag for this recipe.
- measuring cups - if you don’t have a kitchen scale, you’ll likely need some measuring cups. I love using this Anchor Hocking glass measuring cup set because the cups can tolerate the quick temperature changes that happen when I’m making simple syrups.
- kitchen scale - using a kitchen scale has so many benefits, from being more precise to helping you do less dishes! If you use a scale, you can put everything right in the pot as you measure it. No need to dirty up a bunch of extra dishes! I have and love this OXO kitchen scale.
Store your finished candy corn simple syrup in the fridge for up to two weeks.
If you want, you can freeze it for longer term storage. As with other simple syrups, it will not freeze completely solid, but instead remain kind of “gel-like” in consistency.
I used to describe candy corn as a warm vanilla honey flavor. After extensive research, apparently, the flavor profile is supposed to be fondant, marshmallow, and vanilla. 🤷🏻♀️ Fondant is used mainly as a cake decorating alternative to buttercream. It’s soft, chewy, and sometimes….not great. So I guess it is similar to candy corn after all!
Use this simple syrup in any beverage of your choosing, from cocktails to mocktails! You can also use it to keep layer cakes moist, by brushing it between the layers of cake.
When stored properly in the fridge, you can keep your simple syrups fresh for up to 2 weeks, sometimes longer. If you store it in the freezer, you can keep them up to 3 months. If you ever see any cloudy-looking particles or dots of dark material in your thawed syrups, throw them out.
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Candy Corn Simple Syrup
- 1 cup candy corn
- 1 cup filtered water
- Pour 1 cup of water into a 1.5-quart non-reactive saucepan.
- Heat over medium heat until warmed.
- Add 1 cup of candy corn and reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Cook until the candy corn is dissolved, stirring occasionally to keep the candy corn from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the candy corn is melted completely, remove the pan from the burner and allow it to cool slightly, up to 30 minutes.
- Pour the mix into a storage bottle.
- Store your finished candy corn simple syrup in the fridge for up to two weeks, or freeze it for longer-term storage.
🧯food safety & other information
Food safety is an important ingredient in any recipe for success! Here are some tips to keep you safe in the kitchen!
- While you can allow this syrup to sit at room temperature, don’t leave it out for longer than 4 hours at a time. This helps to inhibit bacteria growth that can happen from the sugars in the syrup. Read more about the temperature danger zone here.
- Use sterilized containers whenever possible. One way you can sterilize your containers is by boiling them briefly. You can also run them through your dishwasher with the sterilize feature activated. Or you can pour boiling water into the containers.
- Never leave a heating pan unattended on the stovetop.