9 Candy Melts Substitutes [Healthy & DIY Options]

Do you ever see a recipe on Pinterest and think to yourself, “I have to try that. Like, now.”? I do. It looks so good and you think you have all the ingredients you need, so you go to the kitchen prepared to create the best cake pops you’ve ever had in your life until you realize.. you’re missing an ingredient.

You accounted for all of the ingredients you’d usually use to make a cake, but not the outer shell. If all you’re missing is candy melts- put your keys down. Leave your pajamas on. There are at least 10 things you could use instead that you may already have at home. 

Whether you’re in a pinch, looking for a healthier alternative or a substitute that is suitable for your diet or just wanting to experiment, there are so many different ways to coat candy without candy melts. You can even make your own candy melts if you prefer. While some substitutes may be a bit more difficult to master, others are very simple.

If you’re looking for something quick and easy, you could give melted marshmallows, icing, chocolate, or a milk sugar and vanilla mixture a shot. Trying to stay more health-conscious, you could stick with the yogurt or kinako substitutes. If you’re feeling creative and have a little extra time, maybe try your hand at couverture chocolate. 

We narrowed down your choice to 9 quick and easy substitutes below.

Candy Melt Substitutes 

1. Icing – The Best Substitute for Cake Pops

If you want to make cake pops and you already have icing at home, you can use that. You can heat up the icing in the microwave a few seconds at a time to make it easier to stir. Be careful not to microwave the icing for too long, because it can change the texture. If it does, you will have to refrigerate the icing before you try again.

The consistency should still be a little bit thick, but you should be able to slowly pour it. It shouldn’t come out fast or be runny. You can dip your cake pops in the melted icing as you would with candy melts, or you can also spread icing directly on the cake pops with a knife. 

2. Almond Bark 

Almond bark is a confection made with vegetable fats and added colors and flavors. It tastes like chocolate, but it isn’t chocolate. It is generally used in the place of chocolate to cover things like pretzels, nuts, or granola, giving it the name ‘almond bark.’ You can buy vanilla or chocolate-flavored almond bark in stores.

Some stores even carry keto almond bark. Almond bark is used in the same way that candy melts are so it makes it a good substitute. All you have to do is melt the almond bark and it is ready to use. This is an inexpensive substitute that can make colorful creations easily due to its white color. 

3. Compound Chocolate 

Compound chocolate is an easily meltable and more inexpensive form of chocolate. It is made up of vegetable oil, sweeteners, and cocoa. Rather than cocoa butter, compound chocolate is made with palm kernel oil and coconut oil. You can heat compound chocolate and use it to dip or coat candy. If the chocolate is thin, you can also add vegetable shortening to make it a little bit thicker. 

Candy Melt Substitutes 

4. Kinako (Soybean Powder) and Sugar 

Kinako is roasted soybean flour. This flour is typically used in traditional Japanese cuisine. The name “kinako” means yellow flour in Japanese. The use of the word kinako started appearing in cookbooks in 1336. Kinako has a nutty flavor. It can be mixed with heavy cream and sugar to create a whip that can be used in the place of candy melts.

This soybean powder can be used in all sorts of baked goods, including pie crust, muffins, cupcakes. If you are open to trying new things and aren’t opposed to different flavors, creating treats with kinako might be up your alley. 

5. Marshmallows

In a quick pinch, you can melt marshmallows and use those as a cake pop coating. Alternatively, if you have a jar on hand, you could also use marshmallow fluff. This may not work for every recipe, but it can be pretty useful for some. Given it’s marshmallow flavor, it may not be the substitute that you want to use for some recipes, but there are some recipes where the melted marshmallows may shine.

This would be a great candy melt substitute for s’mores flavored cake pops. Melted marshmallows or marshmallow fluff can also be a good dip for things like fruit. 

6. Couverture Chocolate 

If we’re talking real chocolate, couverture chocolate is the best for melting and dipping due to the cocoa butter to cocoa ratio. It contains 31% cocoa butter. Couverture chocolate can create some of the most impressive candy with its shiny look and crunchy texture. This is high quality chocolate that can make amazing treats. It comes in three varieties: white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate.

Even when this chocolate is exposed to air, it doesn’t develop “bloom”, a white coating that usually develops on chocolate with time. In order to use couverture chocolate correctly, tempering is essential. Tempering is a specific way of melting chocolate in order to maintain a shiny, crunchy shell. To begin this process, you will heat white chocolate to 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the chocolate has been thoroughly heated, you will place the bowl of chocolate into an ice bath. At the moment the temperature drops to 82 degrees, you will gently reheat to 88. Once it reaches the correct temperature, your chocolate has been tempered.

This can be a process of trial and error and it may not be the preferred option for a beginner, but if you’re up for the challenge of tempering you can create some beautiful goodies with couverture chocolate. 

7. White Chocolate 

Candy melts are actually made to emulate white chocolate, so using the real thing works just as well! It doesn’t melt as easily as regular chocolate due to its low melting point. You can melt the white chocolate using a microwave or the double boil method. The double boil method is where you boil water in one pot and insert a second pot to melt the chocolate in the boiling water.

Whatever you choose, make sure to melt the chocolate at a low temperature and regularly stir. White chocolate has the same added benefit as almond bark- the ability to easily make colorful candy coating. You could create any color or flavor using food coloring and flavor extracts in the chocolate. 

8. Powdered Sugar, Milk, and Vanilla 

This mixture of ingredients can come together to make some pretty impressive cake pop coating without the use of candy melts. To create the icing, you will mix 2 cups of powdered sugar with 5 tbsp of milk and 1 tsp of vanilla. This recipe is very simple, using ingredients that you more than likely already have at home, and it is also super versatile.

You can substitute the milk for plant-based milk to make dairy-free cake pop icing, or lactose-free milk if you are lactose intolerant.  You can also make the icing any flavor or color you choose using food coloring and extracts. This recipe is a good baseline and can be altered to create some amazing treats. You could use this recipe all year round, adding seasonal flavoring and colors as appropriate. 

9. Yogurt 

Yogurt can serve as a cheaper and healthier option for candy melts. There are endless flavor opportunities when you use yogurt as a substitute and you can also choose yogurt that fits your eating habits, such as a non-dairy or a keto yogurt. Much like the chocolate and candy listed above, you can use yogurt to cover treats like pretzels and cake pops.

You can create your own candy melts for future use using yogurt, too. Yogurt chips make a firm frosting which makes them a great substitute for candy melts. When you use yogurt as a substitute, remember to keep your treats cool so they don’t melt. 

What are Candy Melts? 

Candy melts are a confectionary ingredient that you use for decorating and baking. They can be of different colors and flavors. When you melt the candy, it can be used as a coating for different baked treats. It can also be used to dip, drizzle, or mold. Candy melts are usually made of two ingredients- sugar and oil.

The sugar is to give the candy a sweet flavor, and the oil aids the melting process. They can be melted almost into a liquid, and it becomes shiny as it hardens. Some candy melts may have added flavors as well. You can buy candy melts at Walmart, craft stores, and party stores. 

How to Use Candy Melts?

Candy melts are very simple to melt and are great for beginners. They can be microwaved, double-boiled, or melted in a candy melting pot. You can thin the melted candy with vegetable shortening if you need to.

With candy melts, you shouldn’t use milk, butter, or any liquid to thin your candy or it will become unusable. The melted candy can take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour to dry depending on how big the baking project is. 

What Can You Make With Candy Melts?

One of the most common uses for candy melts is to make cake pops. These are bites of cake on a stick that are coated in candy and usually decorated. The candy melts act as a shell for the cake pop, encasing the flavor and providing a fresh surface to decorate. You can use candy melts as a dip or drizzle, covering popcorn, pretzels, or fruit.

You can also use candy molds to create toppers for baked goods or just candy to enjoy. There are endless treats that you can create with candy melts. If you don’t have them on hand, there are some things that you can substitute instead. 

Make Your Own Candy Melts at Home! 

Making your own candy melts at home is actually pretty simple. All you will need is white chocolate, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and colorings and flavorings of your choice. To make the melts, you will melt the white chocolate at a low temperature, add coloring, and transfer the chocolate to a piping bag.

Make all of the candy melts you want, refrigerate them, and give it time to harden. Once they’ve hardened you can store your homemade candy melts in a container.  

Related Guide 

There are So Many Options Out There. 

There are so many alternate ways to make candy-coated treats without using candy melts. Experiment with some of these substitutes and find what you like best. You might be surprised to find how well some of these methods work.

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