How to Melt Candy Melts

Posted by on Apr 9, 2013 in Cake Decorating | Comments


Sometimes following the package instructions just doesn’t cut it! Case in point: candy melts can be tricky, frustrating, and irritating!

I am going to try to help make candy melts a little bit easier to use by giving you a few tips and tricks that I have learned through trial and error. Hopefully these tips will make your life a little easier!

Candy Melts

First, what are candy melts?

Candy melts are made of sugar, milk solids, vegetable oils, flavorings and colors. In addition, chocolate candy melts have cocoa powder added. Candy melts are also referred to as confectionery coating or summer coating. They act a lot like chocolate but do not require tempering like pure chocolate does.

Candy melts are made by many companies and vary a lot in quality and price.

For our purposes, we are going to use Wilton and Merckens since they are the easiest to get ahold of and the most widely used. Candy melts come in many colors which can be combined and melted together.

We are going to make pink melted candy melts today, by adding a little bit of red to a bag of white candy melts. We are also going to use the microwave to melt them, as I find this is the easiest way to melt them.

Melt Candy Melts

A few tips to know before getting started

  • Get to know your microwave- only heat your candy melts at 30-50% power, not any higher than that!
  • Colored candy melts are very concentrated, you don’t need tons of colored disks to get a bright color. Add them to white candy melts to get the color you desire.
  • Be very patient while warming your candy melts and plan for them to take about 20-40 minutes to be melted properly.
  • You can easily get the candy melts too hot; they will get thicker and clumpier the hotter they get.
  • It goes against everything we know about chocolate, but sometimes letting candy melts sit and cool will help more than stirring them.
  • It is easier to melt more candy melts at once rather than less.
  • Fresh candy melts seem to work better than candy melts that have been stored for a while (3+ months).

Melting candy melts

Step 1:

Place your candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 minute at 50% power.

Candy Melts in Bowl

Step 2:

Stir. They won’t look melted, but that is okay, stir anyway. Place back in Microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power.

Stir

Step 3:

Stir again. It will still be thick, but stir well for about a minute. Place back in the microwave for another 30 seconds at 50% power.

Stir Again

Step 4:

Stir again for about 1-2 minutes, then check the temperature on your candy melts. They should not be warmer than your body temperature. If they are warmer, just set down the bowl and let them sit for a few minutes to cool off. There still may be clumps, which is okay, just walk away and let it sit for a few minutes. I know it is hard to do, but it is best.

After a few minutes try stirring again and you will find the clumps are melting and it will be getting thinner.

If the candy melts are cooler than your body temperature place it back in the microwave for 20 seconds at 30% power. Stir, then check the temperature again. Repeat until you have nicely melted candy melts!

Heat Candy Melts

Step 5:

Sometimes candy melts do not cooperate the way we want them to. Rather than thinning out and becoming smooth, they clump or have “elephant skin” like the candy melts below.

Unclump Candy Melts

Shortening to the rescue! If you find your candy melts are too thick, add a spoonful of shortening.

Shortening for Candy Melts

The shortening will be clumpy at first, but once it is stirred in, let it sit for a few minutes. The warm candy melts will melt the shortening, which will in turn thin out the candy melts. It is a beautiful circle! If after about 5 minutes the clumps are still not gone, heat the candy melts in the microwave for another 20 seconds at 20% power.

Great Candy Melts Melted

Now you have thin and beautiful candy coating, just waiting to be turned into modeling chocolate or cake pops, or anything else you can imagine!

Comments

  1. julia says:

    Thank you

  2. Cristina says:

    Great tips! Thank you!

  3. Dorinda Spiers says:

    I use candy melts all the time. I use a double boiler. Just put some water in the bottom and bring it to a simmer, turn off the heat and put the candy melts in the top and stir. You can add 1/3 cup of caro syrup pore onto a piece of plastic wrap fold edges up around the melted candy, let sit over night and you have candy you can make into anything. you will have to work it to make it softer.

  4. Michelle says:

    Thanks for this tip, I heated my candy melts in the microwave & thought at first that I had burnt them, there were no instructions on the packet. I ended up putting the bowl over a bain marie of water on the stove & just left them there for about 30 mins, stirred & hey presto, they were melted & smooth, thank goodness because I had no extras in case I stuffed them up. Cheers

  5. Sharon says:

    Thank you – I now have a better understanding of how to use candy melts.

  6. Stephanie says:

    Thank you very much for these great instructions! I was trying to make some candy Lego blocks and mini figures for the top of cupcakes at my son’s Lego Ninjago themed party. I was eager to get started so I just followed the instructions on the bag but I ended up over heating them and they were all clumpy. I then did some looking online and thanks to your instructions (“just walk away”), I was more patient and knew what to expect.

    They worked out great! Thanks again!

  7. laurie says:

    will coconut oil work the same as Crisco?