Wondering what to do with the extra Halloween candy corn? Make Candy Corn Caramel Sauce! This is an easy recipe for caramel sauce made with candy corn candies as the sugar, and butter and cream to make it silky and creamy. The caramel sauces tastes just like classic caramel, but with a fun color twist, perfect for Fall!
Candy Corn Caramel Sauce
I find candy corn to be a controversial Halloween candy. You are either in camp love it, or absolutely despise it. I find myself in the latter. Which is unfortunate because candy corn is supposed to have flavors of honey, butter, and vanilla – and I love each of those flavors! However, I have yet to discern any flavor other than sugar in the little candies. Sorry if you are in camp love it!
All of that aside, because candy corn is made of mostly sugar (and a few other ingredients to make them shiny and colorful), it only seems fitting that the disputed candy can be made into caramel sauce. Caramel starts off as sugar and as it heats and melts, it thickens into a luscious sweet syrup.
What does Candy Corn Caramel Sauce taste like?
For someone who passes on the triangles candies, I find the caramel sauce they make delicious. Again, because the candy is made (mostly) of sugar, the result is what you would expect of a creamy and smooth caramel. Candy Corn Caramel Sauce tastes like caramel. There aren’t extra flavor undertones – unless you add them.
In addition, we follow the same principles to make caramel sauce:
- Cream and butter are added to make the caramel sauce silky and smooth.
- Salt is added to balance the flavor and not make the caramel sauce cloyingly sweet.
How To Make Homemade Caramel
Making homemade caramel sauce is relatively fast and easy – as long as you understand that cooking delicate sugar requires your full attention. Sugar cooks and melts quickly and as such, it can also burn quickly. Which is why I recommend staying by the sugar’s side while it is cooking.
I have included quite a few Tips below in the post (keep reading!), but a few key tips to get you started on how to make homemade caramel sauce:
- Use a good saucepan to heat the caramel evenly.
- Exercise caution when heating caramel as melted sugar is VERY hot.
- Heat until you have a bubbly and thick caramel. Being careful not to over cook and burn it (it will smell burnt!). I would advise to cook until the sugar has reached a copper or amber color, but because the candy corn has color to it, it will be hard to discern these colors.
- If you want to be precise, you can use a candy thermometer and the sugar will start to turn to caramel at about 340F degrees.
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What You Need To Make Candy Corn Caramel Sauce
- Candy Corn Candy – I used a bag of Autumn Candy Corn and any variety will work.
- Water – The water helps dissolve the candy corn.
- Heavy Cream – I have used both heavy cream and milk and both work to make caramel sauce. For this recipe, to give the caramel a thick and rich flavor, I recommend heavy cream.
- Unsalted Butter – Butter makes the caramel sauce silky and creamy.
- Salt – Salt is a must to balance all of the sweetness in the caramel sauce.
- Heavy Bottom Saucepan – I highly recommend a good saucepan, especially when cooking sugar. A heavy bottom saucepan distributes heat evenly which is important when making caramel to ensure the caramel doesn’t burn in spots. I use All Clad cookware, and even though it is a little more pricey, it is a worthy investment if you cook and bake a lot.
- Silicone Spatula – A good silicone spatula can withstand the heat of the caramel.
- Jar or Heat-Proof Container – Storing the caramel in a glass jar with a lid makes it easy to heat and serve.
Tips For Making Homemade Candy Corn Caramel Sauce
Use good equipment to make caramel sauce
- Be careful! – Hot, melted sugar is VERY hot. Use a spatula that is long enough to reach the bottom of the saucepan without having to stick your hand in the pan. And, as tempting as it may be, don’t sneak a taste of the caramel as it is cooking.
- Use a good saucepan – Sugar burns very easily and quickly. A good, heavy bottom saucepan will ensure the sugar melts evenly. There is nothing worse than having half of the sugar burn while the other half hasn’t even melted. I’ve linked the saucepan I use in the Cooking Equipment above, and in the recipe. A good saucepan is worth the investment!
- Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon – I like to use a silicone spatula to make caramel sauce because it can withstand the heat, the handle doesn’t get hot, and it is easy to clean. A wooden spoon also works. I don’t recommend metal because the handle will get hot.
Tips for the candy corn
- Any candy corn color works – Candy corn is just sugar – lots and lots of sugar. The different colors of the candy corn are for appearance. I used and Autumn Mix candy corn (the candy has a mix of orange, yellow, white, brown, and pumpkins), but traditional yellow, orange, and white candy corn will turn out the same.
- Chop the candy corn – The candy will melt and dissolve faster if it is chopped. I tested the recipe using whole candy and it just took too long to melt!
Making the caramel sauce
- Stir the caramel sauce – Stirring the candy while it is melting aids in the melting process and keeps the candy from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Additionally, stirring while the caramel is heating does the same.
- Note – You may have been told not to stir caramel while it is heating because it may cause crystallization, but I have not experienced this using candy corn. Likely because there are other ingredients in the candy that make crystallization less of a risk.
- Keep an eye on the caramel – Sugar can burn quickly. I don’t recommend multi-tasking while making the caramel sauce. You will know you have reached a good consistency for the caramel when you drag a spatula through the caramel and it creates a part down the middle.
- Don’t forget the salt! – Candy Corn Caramel Sauce is sweet. Using a little salt balances out some of the sweetness.
- Store in a glass jar – I recommend transferring the caramel sauce to a glass jar when it is done cooking. This way you don’t have caramel stuck to your pan. Additionally, the glass jar makes re-heating the caramel easier – just stick the jar in the microwave and heat for a few seconds.
- The caramel sauce will thicken as it cools – The cooked caramel will be loose and it will thicken as it cools.
Common Questions For Making Candy Corn Caramel Sauce
The caramel sauce tastes like regular caramel. Some may find it to be a touch sweeter, but adding salt balances out the sweetness.
Yes! Vanilla extract would be a great addition, and if you experiment with other flavor extracts, let me know!
Yes, the little pumpkin candies will turn out the same. They are made with the same ingredients, just a different shape. I still recommend chopping them.
Yes! Sugar will start to turn to caramel at about 340F degrees. Normally, you can tell you have caramelized the sugar when it turns a copper/amber color. However, because the candy corn has color in it, it is hard to see these colors.
I have tested making caramel with whole milk and coconut cream (from a can). Both will work. In fact, my Homemade Maple Syrup Caramel Sauce uses canned coconut cream.
It does not – unless you use too much. The salt helps to balance out the sweetness of the caramel sauce.
The caramel sauce can be re-heated in the microwave for a few seconds. For this reason, I recommend storing the caramel sauce in a heat-proof jar or container.
More Halloween Dessert Recipes
- Milky Way Chocolate Pudding
- Candy Corn Pudding Parfait Dessert
- Gingerbread Halloween Skeleton Cookies
- Chocolate Halloween Cupcakes with Spooky Filling
Candy Corn Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup candy corn, chopped
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a medium heavy bottom saucepan add the chopped candy corn and water. Heat over medium-low heat until the candy is melted, stirring occasionally to move the candy around to dissolve it and keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Note – I use a silicone spatula to stir the caramel.
- Once the candy has melted, turn the heat up to medium high and heat the candy until it starts to bubble and thicken, and the water has evaporated. This may take up to 5 to 7 minutes. Stir the caramel occasionally to heat evenly and make sure it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Note – Hot sugar is very hot. Please use caution when making the caramel sauce! If you like to use a candy thermometer to know when the sugar is ready, heat to 350F degrees.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the heavy cream. Stir to mix and return the heat to medium high and continue to heat and stir until the caramel starts to bubble and thicken – about 2 to 3 minutes. Note – You will know you have reached a good consistency for the caramel when you drag a spatula through the caramel and it creates a part down the middle.
- Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the butter and salt. Carefully transfer the caramel to a jar (or heat-proof container) and let it cool to room temperature. The caramel sauce will thicken more as it cools.
- The caramel sauce is ready to use once it cools, or it can be stored in a sealed jar/container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To serve, the caramel sauce can be heated in the microwave for a few seconds and drizzled over your favorite treat. Enjoy!