What Is Candy Corn Made Of—And What Is It Supposed to Taste Like?!
Here's what you're really eating.
Ah, candy corn. The delicious-to-some, repulsive-to-many Halloween staple we love to hate. If you’ve ever wondered what makes candy corn taste so…candy corn-like, you’ve come to the right place.
What Is Candy Corn Made Of?
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It may taste like an unholy mixture of glue and old icing, but candy corn is actually made of 12 ingredients. Here’s what you’re actually eating:
- Corn syrup
- Confectioner’s glaze
- Sesame Oil
- Artificial flavor
- Yellow 6
- Yellow 5
- Red 3
What Is It Supposed to Taste Like?
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Now that we know what’s in candy corn, let’s tackle another Halloween mystery: What the heck is it supposed to taste like—did anyone ever even assign it a flavor?
The country’s utmost authorities on candy corn are likely employed at Jelly Belly or Brach’s. Both candy companies produce their own version of the tri-colored treat, but I dare you to tell which one is which in a blind taste test.
A quick search of Brach’s website resulted in this ambiguous description: “Our classic delivers on the iconic, unique rich texture and real-honey flavor Candy Corn connoisseurs stand by.”
Finally, I stumbled upon an answer a Jelly Belly spokesperson gave Thrillist back in 2016: "Candy Corn was modeled after corn in shape, but not taste. The actual flavor of Jelly Belly’s (formerly known by the family name, Goelitz) Candy Corn is a wonderful blend of creamy fondant, rich marshmallow and warm vanilla notes. When combined, these flavors create the distinct Candy Corn flavor. The texture is as important as the flavor. Our Candy Corn is creamy and smooth; never coarse. It should be like biting into butter."
There ya have it. Candy corn is supposed to be a creamy and buttery blend of marshmallow and vanilla.
Candy Corn History
Candy corn first appeared in the 1880s. It was common for candy companies of the time to create agrarian-inspired treats to appeal to farmers, who made up 50 percent of the American workforce.
You could also buy candy made in the likeness of turnips or acorns, but it was the corn kernel-shaped variety (then marketed as “chicken feed”) that took the country by storm.
Read more about the long, strange history of candy corn here: How Halloween’s Most Divisive Candy Came to Be.
How to Make Candy Corn at Home
If you’re a little put off by store-bought candy corn’s extensive ingredient list (we don’t blame you), you can make a copycat version in the comfort of your own home. Find our super easy recipe below.
Get the recipe: Spooky-Sweet Candy Corn