How to Melt Candy Melts

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!

Pink Wilton Candy Melts

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wilton candy melts

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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.


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!


Dorinda Spiers

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.


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


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


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!


I have not used coconut oil, but it seems that it would work just fine. Just use small amounts to start with and see how it goes.

Katherine Smith

Thanks so much for the tips. I was really worried about using them to dip cookies in and now I feel so much better that it doesn’t seem so daunting. Thanks.


After melting candy melts and leaving overnight do i then have to melt them again before using ? also do i leave them out of the fridge?


Yes, they will cool quickly and you can reheat them as many times as you need, just remember smaller amounts of chocolate will not take as long to warm up, so heat in short intervals, 10-15 seconds with stirring in between. Good Luck!


I have used many different brands of candy melts, mostly in molds and for cake pops but have always had a hard time with them being too thick and making the cakepops too heavy and sliding down the sticks… I never knew to try adding shortening until just now. But I’m absolutely hooked on the Velata meltables, they have a much smoother taste and don’t require adding anything to them to work perfectly for cakepops. They can only be purchased through a Velata rep but it’s SOOOO worth it!! They even have seasonal flavors which so far have all been delish!!!


I find heating your melts on the defrost setting for a couple of minutes at a time works great.


I used a mini slow cooker for my melts, it worked great for cake pops! It was the perfect temp and did not have any trouble with coating them. I make sure my cake pops are cold and the melts set up fast. I have used coconut oil with chocolate chips to coat with, it works great and is a healthier choice than shortening.


I use small amounts of vegetable oil at a time to get it smooth, if necessary.
I also have found it easier to use a ceramic bowl to heat the candy melts- the heat keeps longer and tend to not chill quite as quickly.
When done, I use small candy molds to reshape them into small pieces that I can store and reheat for another project.

Dawn mildenstein

Microwaves have a tendency of scorching chocolate. Always use a double boiler.
Paramount crystals are the best thing to use in chocolate to thin it down. Works better than shortening.


I find the easiest way is to simply pour the melts into a dish, place the dish on my warming tray and walk away for about 30 minutes. They stay on the tray until I’m finished using them and they always stay nice and warm and melty.


Does anyone know where I can get good food coloring to use with candy melts?
sometimes you cant make the color you need with the melts and they say you can use food coloring but not waterbased and thats all I have ever been able to find.
would the shortening work in that instance too?


I’ve successfully used Wilton’s gels in very small amounts. There are available at Joann and Micheal’s in addition to I prefer Americolor for cakes, icing and fondant, but I have never tried to used them in candy melts.


Will this be runny enough to put into a decorating bag like the kind you use for cake frosting ? I’m trying to make chocolate creeper faces to apply to rice crispys


Why do I sometimes find unmelted tiny little dots? At first I thought it was the Crisco not melting, so I tried using vegetable oil. And they were still there. I realized they are actually the candy melts!! Are they getting top hot? Or what??? Help!!!


Also, what are the best candy melts and how can they be purchased in bulk?

Janeth h

Hi there….
Im having a hard time melting the chocolate, im using wilton. its not melting enough to dip the cake pops, i wasted 3 bags of chocolate and still cant do it. I did 1 min stir and then every 30 sec, I also added vegetable oil to thinner and nothing works. pleeese help!!!

Leah D

Add more shortening… like a couple tablespoons worth and make sure your cake pops are cold


Does anyone no if they are coming out with pumpkin spice candy melts anymore

Laura W

As a Food Science teacher, I would advise against using vegetable oil. The difference is that both shortening and coconut oil are solid at room temperature and have low melting points. Because you want your coating to be a solid at room temperature, it is counter-intuitive to add a liquid, and may mess up your texture completely, to add something that is a liquid at room temperature.


Why my cake pops cover doesn’t hardens?
SometimesI am adding a paramount crystals and sometimes I am adding vegetable oil.
Do I need to put them in the fridge after they ready or do I kipe them outside?


My daughter ‘s party is in three weeks – can I begin making her candy pops now? It’s candy melts only without anything else in it.
Will they go bad?

Senior Chris

Can the candy melt molds be used with a a hard candy lollipop – temperature of liquid being poured is about 275. degrees F


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