25 Homemade Holiday Candy Recipes That You Have to Try!

Holiday cookie baking definitely dominates at my house. But there’s something to be said for the joy of being presented with a plate or parcel of tasty homemade candy at wintertime celebrations and get-togethers.

Vertical image of a collage of holiday candies, with text in the center of the image.

It’s easy enough to grab a package of your standard miniature store-bought bars, wrapped in snowflake-bedecked foil, or dyed red and green for a limited time only. But these Christmastime convenience foods can’t hold a balsam-scented candle to the real deal.

And so, I present the following roundup – Foodal’s favorite holiday candy recipes that you can make at home.

You’ll find something to satisfy every taste, and these range in difficulty from a quick mix and shape to more complicated multi-step masterpieces.

So strap on those ruffled red and white aprons and roll up your ugly Christmas sweater sleeves. It’s time to whip up some sweet holiday goodies!

Here’s a quick overview of the handpicked selections we have in store:

With a blueberries-and-cream flavor that’s wildly delicious, these gluten-free cookie dough truffles are made with almond flour and dried fruit, enrobed in sweet white chocolate.

Horizontal image of candies with white chocolate coatings and dried and fresh blueberries.
Photo by Nikki Cervone

Craving a holiday-themed red-and-white treat instead? You can sub in dried cranberries or chopped dried cherries for the blueberries.

We share the recipe on Foodal.

2. Candied Ginger

Chewy, sweet, and a little spicy, these old-fashioned candies double as a tummy tamer after a big meal – or on a jittery morning when one’s stomach is in need of settling before a visit to see Santa.

Horizontal image of a glass full of candied ginger on a marble countertop.
Photo by Nikki Cervone

Candied ginger makes a fantastically flavorful ingredient in quick breads and muffins as well. Just chop a handful and stir it into your batter!

Find the recipe now on Foodal.

3. Chewy-Gooey Caramels

At least a few readers out there are nodding knowingly and thinking to themselves, “Uh huh… this one’s the kicker!”

Homemade caramel can be difficult to pull off, to say the least. But with our detailed directions, you’ll be fine!

Horizontal image of cutting squares of homemade caramel on a wooden cutting board.
Photo by Kendall Vanderslice

Kendall includes instructions for adding the flavorings of your choosing, mixing things up a bit in terms of texture, and she even explains how to stop the process early to make a delicious sauce that’s perfect for topping holiday pies, ice cream, or warm-from-the-oven caramel apple scones.

Get the recipe now on Foodal.

4. Chili Pepper Bark

Like a warm mug of Mexican-style hot chocolate, this homemade bark is packed with red-hot chili pepper flakes and ground cayenne that will warm you up from the inside out after a long snowball battle out in the cold.

Vertical image of a wooden plate with squares of chocolate topped with dried cherries and sea salt.
Photo by Fanny Slater

Dark chocolate is blended with extra cocoa powder, the aforementioned chilies, paprika, and a dash of cinnamon for a tasty treat topped with dried cherries and flaky salt.

We share the recipe.

5. Chocolate and Marshmallow-Covered Caramels

This incredible recipe is perfect for “almost homemade” mavens and from-scratch aficionados alike, since you have the option to make your own marshmallows and caramels first to prepare these sweet and chewy treats, or you can minimize the work required and start with a boost from store-bought versions.

Horizontal image of caramel and marshmallow covered in chocolate on parchment paper.
Photo by Raquel Smith

Either way, the results are sure to be delicious.

Find the recipe on Foodal.

6. Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow Pops

The kids are going to love jumping in to help construct these!

Horizontal image of candies coated in chocolate and assorted sprinkles on sticks on a white plate.
Photo by Meghan Yager

And you’ll have fun too, decorating the marshmallows with your favorite combination of sprinkles, cookie crumbs, and tiny candies before allowing the coating to harden.

Get the recipe now.

7. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Do these truly qualify as candy? Well, I can vouch for this classification personally, having seen it firsthand.

Displayed like fine jewelry in a case beside the caramels and truffles at the local shopping mall, don’t even get me started on how much the chocolate-covered strawberries cost when you buy them there!

Horizontal image of a man holding a tray of chocolate-covered strawberries.
Photo by Shanna Mallon

If juicy and flavorful strawberries are in stock at your local grocery store, snag a few pints and make these with your favorite high-quality chocolate. They’re quick to prepare, and super impressive.

Find the recipe on Foodal.

8. Chocolate Crunchies with Cranberries and Pecans

Crisp rice cereal is the crunchy star of these candy-coated delights, studded liberally with toasted pecans and dried cranberries.

Vertical image of rows of crispy candies in mini white cupcake liners on a slate board next to pieces of cereal.
Photo by Nikki Cervone

You can even sneak in a healthy boost of added fiber if you like, by opting for the brown rice version of your favorite cereal, and keep your eyes peeled for unsweetened dried fruit to reduce the sugar content just a touch.

Get the recipe here.

9. Coconut Dream Truffles

With no cooking required and just six ingredients, you’ll love these nutty and sweet truffles.

Horizontal image of snack balls in white muffin liners on a white plate on top of a colorful napkin.
Photo by Fanny Slater

Raw almonds, coconut and coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, and a touch of salt are pulsed in the food processor, shaped into balls after chilling in the fridge to firm up the mix, and rolled in shredded coconut.

We share the recipe on Foodal.

10. Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles

Nutella fans will rejoice when they sink their teeth into these homemade treats! Milky, nutty ganache truffles are rolled in toasted chopped hazelnuts for the perfect bite.

Horizontal image of a hand reaching out for a truffle on a tray.
Photo by Felicia Lim

You can even make these completely from scratch with our recipe for homemade hazelnut spread, if you like.

Learn how to make these truffles at home with our step-by-step instructions.

11. Date and Coconut Cacao Bliss Balls

Seemingly naughty noshing that’s packed with healthy nutrients? Sounds like pure bliss, if you ask me.

Horizontal image of two rows of small chocolate mounds on parchment on a wooden cutting board in front of bowls of ingredients on a blue towel.
Photo by Fanny Slater

And these bliss balls deliver as promised, made with chewy dates, nutty almonds and cashews, chia seeds, raw cacao powder, and coconut.

Find the recipe now on Foodal.

12. Date Truffles

Maybe coconut’s not your favorite? Go your own way with your choice of date-based truffles flavored with peppermint and rolled in cocoa powder, or omit the mint and cover them in finely chopped roasted pistachios.

Horizontal image of a plateful of assorted truffles.
Photo by Shanna Mallon

Make a batch of each type, and everybody’s happy!

We share the recipe for both versions here.

13. Deluxe Homemade Dark Chocolate Truffles

What makes these truffles “deluxe”? You could keep things simple… but there’s really no reason to limit your creativity here!

Coat them in whatever you like, from cocoa powder and chopped toasted nuts to cinnamon and sugar or crushed peppermint candy.

Homemade chocolate truffles with various coatings are arranged on a piece of parchment paper in the foreground, with a small blue and white ceramic dish of more of the candies in the background in front of a gathered beige cloth, and decorative greenery, holiday baubles, and pine cones, on a dark brown wood surface.
Photo by Meghan Yager

Get out those candy boxes and paper wrappers, make a big batch of the truffle base, and start cranking out a few of each flavor for homemade sampler boxes that your loved ones will adore finding under the tree.

Get the recipe on Foodal.

14. Easy Chocolate Candy Bark

Maybe the chili-spiced version described above wasn’t quite to your taste. And that’s alright! Here’s another option for you to try.

A piece of parchment paper topped with homemade chocolate bark decorated with red and green candy, on a brown wood surface with decorative pine cones, artificial greenery, and white baubles.
Photo by Meghan Yager

This crunchy bark is ready for Christmas, bedecked in crushed red and green M&Ms, and drizzled with stripes and squiggles of melted white chocolate. You can even dress it up with thin strips of homemade candied citrus peel – keep reading to learn more about that.

We share the bark recipe here.

15. Homemade Toffee

Crunchy, buttery homemade toffee is one of the stars of the homemade candy world, and it’s easy to make at home with our expert tips.

Horizontal image of a wooden bowl lined with parchment paper and filled with pieces of hard caramel candy on a cooling rack next to a white towel.
Photo by Nikki Cervone

Whether you’re snacking on it as is, using it as an ingredient in other recipes, or covering it in chocolate and nuts for gift-giving, you’re going to want to bookmark this recipe and bring it out again each year at candymaking time.

Get the recipe now.

16. Jelly Squares

So, chocolate isn’t your thing? That’s forgivable… I guess. More for everyone else!

Fortunately, you still have options. Like these delightful jewel-toned jelly candies, made with real fruit juice.

Horizontal image of assorted fruit jelly squares on small plates next to metal tongs.
Photo by Nina-Kristin Isensee

They’re gelatin-based, with just a little bit of added sugar. Bonus points if you make these with fresh, homemade juices. Even fruit and veggie blends can be used to make delightful treats.

You could just stick with the traditional classics like cherry and grape. But if unexpected flavors are your thing, this is the perfect recipe for you. Maybe beet and fennel candy will become a new holiday tradition!

Find the recipe on Foodal.

17. Marzipan Hazelnut Chocolates

Sweet marzipan coated with chocolate, with a surprise within – a whole hazelnut is hidden inside each one.

This recipe is so easy to follow. Plus, you’ll get the rundown on the history of marzipan and understanding variations in quality, determined by the ratio of almond paste to sugar, in our expert guide.

Horizontal image of marzipan hazelnut truffles.
Photo by Nina-Kristin Isensee

For something a little different, try stuffing a homemade candied cherry inside each one instead.

Get the recipe now on Foodal.

18. Peppermint Bark

For those who just can’t get enough peppermint, this is a must-make.

Vertical top-down image of triangles of peppermint bark.
Photo by Nikki Cervone

Mint-flavored dark chocolate ganache is sandwiched between layers of white chocolate and sprinkled with crushed peppermint candy. Cut the bark neatly into triangles and pack them into cellophane confectionary bags tied with a bow for gift-giving.

We share the recipe here.

19. Peppermint Marshmallows

Maybe minty hot cocoa is more your style? Whip up a mug of cocoa or pair jars of homemade hot cocoa mix with a batch of these babies.

Horizontal image of squares of peppermint swirl marshmallows.
Photo by Nikki Cervone

Making homemade marshmallows is one of those things that it still seems like few people have tried. But once you give it a go, despite all their sticky messiness, you’ll fall in love with the pillowy softness and unbeatable flavor of these made-from-scratch treats.

Take a look at the recipe now.

20. Pumpkin Pie White Chocolate Truffles

There’s no hard and fast rule that says pumpkin spice season has to stop at the end of autumn. And these pumpkin pie truffles are a welcome delight at any time, from Thanksgiving through New Year’s.

Horizontal image of a plate of chocolate balls in a light graham cracker dusting.
Photo by Nikki Cervone

The fudgy truffle filling is made with sweetened condensed milk and pumpkin puree. And don’t forget to roll them in graham cracker crumbs for the perfect finishing touch!

Check our our step-by-step instructions.

21. Sweet and Sour Candied Citrus Peel

Have you ever made candied citrus peel before? Start saving those rinds, because now’s the time!

This special homemade confection requires a bit of time and effort to pull together, but it’s a wonderful way to use up those fruit peels – and winter is citrus season, after all.

Whatever your pleasure, orange and lemon, lime and grapefruit, or any other type of citrus fruit that strikes your fancy can be candied. All you need to do is reserve the peels.

Horizontal image of homemade sugared citrus peels in holiday tins.
Photo by Allison Sidhu

Go sweet with granulated sugar or take the sour route with citric acid powder for something a little different. You could even give these fruity sugar-soaked strips a dip in dark chocolate.

They’re perfect for gifting and enjoying as is or using in other recipes for homemade candy or baked goods.

Get the recipe on Foodal.

22. Vegan Cashew Cream Caramels

It may be abundantly obvious by now that various other delectable recipes that appear in this roundup also happen to be vegan. But we thought it best to point this out clearly for this recipe as well as the next one on our list, because vegan versions of certain types of candy can be tough to find!

Top-down shot of homemade caramels wrapped in wax paper that's twisted on either end, on a whitewashed wood surface.
Photo by Raquel Smith

There’s no dairy whatsoever here. And you’re going to love making your own vegan caramel candies at home with sweet and rich cashew cream.

Check out the recipe now.

23. Vegan Chocolate Pecan Toffee

Can you say indulgent? The dairy won’t be missed – not even for a second – when you make this terrific toffee.

A stack of five pieces of homemade lactose-free toffee with dark chocolate and toasted pecans, on a piece of parchment paper on top of a folded and gathered light blue and white cloth, with more candy in soft focus in the background.
Photo by Meghan Yager

Coat it in chocolate and sprinkle toasted chopped pecans on top or keep things simple and enjoy it as is.

We share the recipe on Foodal.

24. Whiskey Truffles

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’ve always been a whiskey girl.

But where I might be ragged on the edges (at times!), these truffles are smooth and sweet.

Vertical image of a stack of whiskey holiday truffles.
Photo by Felicia Lim

Skip the bottom-shelf options when you make these, and stick with the nice stuff that’s delicious and delightfully sippable.

If you’ve got a whiskey connoisseur in your life, make them a batch of these rich, deep, earthy chocolates this year. And save a few for yourself to enjoy.

Get the recipe now on Foodal.

25. White Chocolate Coconut Delights

Creamy, sweet, and delicious, these truffles look like miniature snowballs. And sure, we know – white chocolate and coconut aren’t everybody’s favorite…

But do you love this special flavor combo?

Horizontal image of white chocolate coconut delights.
Photo by Nina-Kristin Isensee

’Tis the season of giving and all that, but it couldn’t hurt to make a treat that gives you a guaranteed shot at hoarding them all for yourself, right? If there aren’t any other white chocolate coconut lovers in your crew, that is.

No, no, just kidding. Don’t be a Grinch. Sharing is caring – just make two batches!

And speaking of that shot… you can also make these boozy if you like!

Get the recipe now on Foodal.

So Much Candy, So Little Time…

Quick! What are you waiting for? Your family, friends, and neighbors are eagerly anticipating the arrival of these delicious homemade candies, so don’t let them down.

Horizontal image of a collage of assorted holiday candy with text in the center of the image.

And if you’re a little short on time, trust us – these make welcome additions to a gathering between holidays or a New Year’s Eve feast as well. You can even carry the fun into Valentine’s Day.

Just don’t blame us when you’re automatically assigned the role of chief candy maker from now on. And with great power comes great responsibility.

Which recipes will you make this year? What’s your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

And if you’re oven’s crying in the corner, don’t neglect her – take a look at these holiday baking favorites next:

Photos by Nikki Cervone, Nina-Kristin Isensee, Felicia Lim, Shanna Mallon, Allison Sidhu, Fanny Slater, Raquel Smith, Kendall Vanderslice, and Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on December 16, 2016. Last updated on December 6, 2022. Last updated on December 18, 2022.

About Allison Sidhu

Allison M. Sidhu is a culinary enthusiast from southeastern Pennsylvania who has returned to Philly after a seven-year sojourn to sunny LA. She loves exploring the local restaurant and bar scene with her best buds. She holds a BA in English literature from Swarthmore College and an MA in gastronomy from Boston University. When she’s not in the kitchen whipping up something tasty (or listening to the latest food podcasts while she does the dishes!) you’ll probably find Allison tapping away at her keyboard, chilling in the garden, curled up with a good book (or ready to dominate with controller in hand in front of the latest video game) on the couch, or devouring a dollar dog and crab fries at the Phillies game.

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