Is candy corn vegan?

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Halloween is known for many things – the scary outfits, the grim appearances, and the candy. Candy has occupied an integral part of Halloween for many decades, and the classic candy corn has been no exception, but is candy corn vegan? 

In this article, we look at vegan candy corn, key ingredients that make it vegan, as well as how you can make your plant-based, vegan-friendly candy.

Let’s get into it.

Is candy corn vegan?

Candy corn is one of the most divisive Halloween treats out there, with people either loving it or hating it. You might be wondering if the tricolour triangle-shaped dessert is vegan-friendly.  Candy corn is not ideal for a vegan diet, to put it bluntly.

The primary reason candy corn isn’t vegan friendly is due to some of its ingredients. However, each brand utilizes different ingredients. Fortunately, candy corn contains so few ingredients that you should be able to identify if the brand you bought used any animal products simply by looking at the label.

If you follow a vegan diet, you might think the key elements in candy corn—sugar and corn syrup—give you the green light. The most well-known brands of candy corn use gelatin in their products. Gelatin is made from the tendons, ligaments, and bones of animals. Therefore it’s not vegan. Even if they don’t utilize gelatin, other brands frequently employ confectioner’s glaze or shellac, both made from insect excrement (don’t think about it too hard). Candy corn often contains honey, which is a vegan lightning rod in and of itself. Some people can eat it, while others cannot.

There don’t seem to be any brands that make vegan candy corn, either. The solution? Make your own. This sounds like a tremendous and fun-full activity in any case. When looking for a vegan candy corn recipe, all you want to do is make sure there aren’t any additional non-vegan ingredients in there. Keep reading for some delicious vegan candy corn recipes you can try out.

Read: Is Lindt dark chocolate vegan?

Top Vegan-Friendly Candy Ingredients

To begin, we’ll look at cocoa butter. It appears to be vegan-friendly, but due to the butter, it may not be. Isn’t it true that if anything has butter, it must also have dairy? Well, it may not always be milk-based butter. Cocoa butter is vegan since it is made from the fat component of the cocoa bean. Who’d have guessed?!

Vegan-friendly components that you could notice on a candy ingredient label are listed below. These ingredients are vegan-friendly:

  •         Dark Chocolate
  •         Cocoa Butter
  •         Carnauba Wax
  •         Organic sugar
  •         Rice milk
  •         Brown Rice Syrup
  •         Palm Fruit Oil (some vegans would go for it, and some wouldn’t. it’s a controversial point)
  •         Soy Lecithin

Now, let’s review some of the candy ingredients that aren’t vegan friendly

Vegan Candy Corn

Non-Vegan Friendly Candy Ingredients

Classic candy corn is a staple of Halloween celebrations, but it may not suit all dietary needs. When shopping for this delightful dessert, vegans and vegetarians should be aware of the ingredients to avoid.

If any of the following components appear on a candy label, the candy is not vegan and should not be consumed by vegans.

  •         Gelatin
  •         Carmine
  •         Shellac
  •         Bone Char
  •         Milk Chocolate
  •         Beeswax
  •         Honey
  •         Casein
  •         Whey
  •         Albumen
  •         Confectioner’s Glaze
  •         Food Grade Wax

To be completely safe, you must read the candy label and be aware of all ingredients.

Vegan Candy Corn Recipes

Vegan Recipe 1

Prep Time 30 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes


  •         150 g Organic Powdered Sugar (1 ¼ cup)
  •         3 ½ tbsp Tapioca Starch plus more for coating
  •         80 ml Agave (⅓ cup), or corn syrup or honey
  •         100 g Organic Sugar (½ cup)
  •         2 tbsp Water
  •         28 g Vegan Butter (2 tbsp)
  •         ¼ tsp Salt
  •         ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
  •         Gel Food Coloring of choice


  1. Sift together the powdered sugar and tapioca starch in a mixing basin. Set aside.
  2. Combine the agave, sugar, water, vegan butter, and salt in a small pot. Cause it to boil, stirring regularly, over medium heat.
  3. Stop stirring after the mixture reaches a boil, connect a candy thermometer, and continue cooking until the temperature hits 240F. You’ll want to keep an eye on the thermometer because if it’s too cold, the candy corn will be too loose, but if it’s too hot, the candy corn will become gritty.
  4. Pour in the vanilla extract and give it a good stir. Stir the syrup mixture into the powdered sugar mixture until it is evenly distributed. Allow it cool for five to ten minutes, or until you can touch the mixture without burning yourself. Do so on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  5. Make three pieces of the mixture. (If using the wheel cutting method, make the yellow dough part larger than the white dough portion.) Work the white dough slightly to ensure smoothness. 6. Remove from the equation. Slowly add the gel food dye a couple of drops at a time to the other two components, working well between each addition until desired colours are achieved.
  6. To use the rope method, roll each colour into an even rope and push it together with the other three strings to create three stripes. To make triangles, cut in alternate directions.
  7. To use the wheel method, take a little piece of white dough and roll it into a 12-inch ball before placing it on the work surface. With the orange dough, make a rope and wrap it around the ball, then repeat with the yellow dough. Cut the wheel into eighths after flattening it to make sure it’s even.
  8. Allow the candy corn to cure for 4 hours after liberally coating it with more tapioca starch.
  9. For up to a week, store in an airtight container.

Vegan Recipe 2


  •         1 cup sugar
  •         2/3 cup agave nectar
  •         5 tablespoons vegan butter
  •         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •         2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  •         1/3 cup powdered soy milk
  •         A pinch of salt
  •         Vegan red and yellow food colouring


  1. Bring the sugar, agave, vegan butter, and vanilla to a mild boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring periodically, for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat after 5 minutes. If you overheat your dough, it will become rock hard and worthless.
  4. Sift together powdered sugar, powdered soy milk, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Toss the dry ingredients into the pan and stir well. Allow 20 minutes for the mixture to become slightly warm to the touch. Knead until the dough is smooth.
  5. Prepare a wax paper surface. Make three equal portions of the dough.
  6. Add a few drops of yellow food colouring to one piece of dough and knead it in until the dough is smooth and the colour is consistent. With the second piece, use red and yellow food colouring (for orange) and leave the last piece white, but knead it until smooth.
  7. Roll each piece into equal-length ropes (do not roll too thinly, or the dough will break) and join the three strings to form a long rectangle.
  8. Cut the strands into triangles using a sharp knife. You are free to create whatever shape you choose.

Vegan Recipe 3

Prep Time:30 mins

Cook Time:0

Total Time:30 mins


  •         1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  •         1/4 cup light corn syrup
  •         1 tablespoon coconut oil melted
  •         1/4 cup powdered sugar
  •         1 cup all-purpose flour plus more for mixing
  •         yellow and red food colouring
  •         parchment paper


  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine corn syrup, vanilla, and coconut oil.
  2. Mix in the powdered sugar until thoroughly blended, then gradually add the flour until it forms a thick dough-like texture.
  3. Place the dough on a cutting board coated with parchment paper and divide it into three halves. Fill one ball with yellow food colouring and another with orange (or a mix of red and yellow). Leave the third dough ball alone (this will be the white portion of the candy corn).
  4. To make the dough less sticky and easier to deal with, wrap it in parchment paper and place it in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Take the dough out of the freezer and roll it into three thick ropes, which you could arrange in rows.
  6. Cut the dough into triangles with a knife and store it in the fridge or freezer.


So, there you have it. This article has covered key questions like, “is candy corn vegan?” as well as, “can vegans eat chocolate?”

With the recipes in this article, you can produce your own vegan candy corn that is completely safe for consumption by vegans. 

Damoy Robertson
Damoy Robertson
Damoy Robertson is an entrepreneur and founder of The Vegan Review. Damoy is dedicated to spreading veganism to the masses which he believes will enable people to make better, more informed decisions concerning the way we all interact with animals and our planet.