20 Easy Candy Recipes Perfect for Beginners (2024)

Whether you are a seasoned pro in the kitchen, a curious new cook, or a budding scientist, candy making is a delicious and exciting educational experience. Plus, whipping up a batch of homemade candy is a labor of love that allows you to make thoughtful homemade gifts for friends and family. We promise you'll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment after trying your hand at making the confections in this gallery.

These easy candy recipes run the gamut from a quick and tasty bark that’ll satisfy a sudden hankering for chocolate to immersive candy recipes like caramel-nougat swirl sticks. Once you've gotten the hang of making your favorite candies, you might even consider perfecting them for this year's round of holiday gifts. Candies have a longer shelf life and are usually easier to ship compared to baked goods. Plus, a recipe typically yields enough treats for many more recipients.

Without further ado, grab your candy thermometer, put on an apron, and start making some sweet confections.

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Easy Chocolate Fudge with Pretzels

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Your sweet tooth will thank you for making this velvety fudge with a salty pretzel crunch. The ingredient list is simple, and these are excellent party pleasers.

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Candied Meyer Lemon Peel

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For an unexpected twist that's equal parts tangy and sweet, look no further than this easy candy recipe for sugary, delightfully chewy lemon peels. All you need is sugar, Meyer lemons, and some cream of tartar. These add a nice touch to trail mix, as well.

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Spiced Cashew-Coconut Brittle

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You've had peanut brittle, but this creative recipe adds a little more oomph to your the candy making process. It's got that same decadent and nutty flavor, but with a pinch of black pepper, cinnamon, and coconut.

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Easy Fudge Bites

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These easy fudge bites are bound to be a hit at any gathering. The melt-in-your-mouth morsels combine marshmallows, milk, chocolate, and butter, and are topped with crushed peppermint candy, toasted walnut bits, and finely chopped pistachios.

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Fruit Jellies

If you're new to the art of making treats, start with an easy entry into the world of fruit-based candies. There's no better place to start than with these super-simple jellies that require only four ingredients and take less than half an hour to prep.

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Fruit Wraps

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This DIY version of a lunchbox favorite offers a more wholesome alternative to the store-bought stuff and is a great project to try with kids. The natural pectin found in the fruits helps to set it into a chewy fruit leather.

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Candied Citrus Peel

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Orange, lemon, and grapefruit peels are candied in sugar syrup and coated in sugar to add sparkle and crunch. The candied peels can be dipped partway in melted chocolate or enjoyed as-is with after-dinner coffee.

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Peanut Brittle

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After you master fruit-based candies, move on the world of brittle, bark, and toffee. We suggest you start with a classic: Peanut brittle is a crowd favorite and is great for holiday gift-giving. Package in decorative tins for a pretty presentation.

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Honeycomb Brittle

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This honey-sweetened brittle has all the appeal of peanut brittle and is a better choice for gifting when you don't know the allergy status of the recipients. Package the crunchy treat in a cellophane bag sealed with this festive fold-over "Seasons Eatings" gift label.

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Basic Bark

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Got 15 minutes? Then you can make this easy chocolate bark. That's a good thing as looking at these recipes may activate your sweet tooth all of a sudden! This recipe has a "choose your own adventure" topping style, taking it from basic to brilliant in no time at all.

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Fleur de Sel Toffee

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Toffee is sweet, snappy, and buttery. What more could a person want? The answer is a light sprinkling of flaky sea salt, which cuts through any hint of cloying sweetness and elevates this simple recipe into an elegant gift-worthy treat.

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Dipped Chocolate Truffles

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Trends come and go (cake pops, anyone?) but chocolate truffles will never go out of fashion. The rich ganache at the center of these chocolate-enrobed truffles is easy to make. You can always stop there and use this recipe to make simple truffle balls instead, or sharpen your chocolate-tempering skills to make a treat that rivals the finest store-bought chocolates.

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Chocolate-Dipped Luxardo Cherries

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The hidden gem found inside each of these chocolate-covered confections is a Luxardo cherry, store-bought Italian candied marasca cherries that are steeped in syrup. They're coated in tempered chocolate, a classic technique well-worth learning—it stabilizes the chocolate and creates a glossy sheen with a snappy texture.

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Classic Caramel Candies

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When it comes to making a caramel that will be firm enough to slice into bite-size, wrappable candies, taking the sugar to right temperature stage is critical. Make sure you have a good candy thermometer at the ready before you start, and head here for a step-by-step guide to everything caramel.

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Simple Chocolate Fudge

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If you didn't grow up eating fudge from the local candy shop, then you may not know that fudge isn't just a block of melted chocolate. In fact, it doesn't even need to have chocolate to be considered fudge, but we think it's awful nice when it does. Fudge has a creamy and smooth texture that results from manipulating the sugar crystals in the recipe through heat and stirring. Start with this beginner's recipe for fudge, then level up with our triple chocolate variation.

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Candy Gems

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These hard candies are a shining example of the many things you can make with just granulated sugar and a few other pantry ingredients.

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Citrus Zest Lollipops

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Here's another beautiful hard candy to try: The fresh citrus zest is what makes these treats really pop. Make quick work of zesting by using a microplane.

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Pistachio-Honey Torrone

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Italy's answer to nougat, that's torrone. The chewy, fluffy, whipped-like confection that's most famous in the States for its role in a Milky Way bar. Nuts are standard in a torrone, and you can go further—and make it festive for the holidays. Our cranberry-studded version is a guaranteed winner.

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Homemade Marshmallows

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While you can't beat the convenience of store-bought, whipping your very own marshmallows into existence is an experience worth trying at least once; plus, the creamy flavor and fluffy texture just can't be beat. Once you've mastered the mallow, try your hand at making your own Peeps!

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Caramel-Nougat Swirls

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If this collection of recipes is like a 101 class in candy, consider this recipe the final exam. These twists combine two candies in one, so while a little challenging, it won't be brand new if you have had success making caramels and nougat.

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20 Easy Candy Recipes Perfect for Beginners (2024)
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