Picture of Corn Starch Candy Molds
 Intro: Candy Molds from corn starch

On my first attempt to make hard candy I discovered that the selection of molds available locally was pretty limited. Either the molds were not for high temperature or they were teddy bears or lollypops. So I decided to make my own. 

I have seen corn starch mold used for industrial candy production so I figured it was worth a try.

Step 1:

Picture of
candy molds - 31.jpg
What you need:

1/2 sheet tray - to hold the mold
1/2 sheet size cooling rack
Full Sheet tray - help to contain mess
Tape measure
Hot Glue gun
Corn starch - 4 lbs for 1/2 sheet tray
Powdered Sugar
Square dowel to hold the positive shape
Some kind of positive shape that can be attached to dowel. I used 1" jewels from hobby lobby. I'll call them a die as you can use any shape that you can find to make the mold.
Calipers - if you are really a geek

Molten Hard candy - you can find multiple instructables on this topic

I measured the 1/2 sheet tray. It's inside dimensions are 17.25"x12.25".
The dowel is 36" long. I need it to be at least 13" long so it can be used as the 'stamp'. To make it easy I cut the dowel in half to 18"
WendyB103 months ago
Ok so in theory couldn't you take a chocolate mold and push it into the cornstarch for the same effect? If you found a chocolate mold you really liked? Or use it with melted paraffin wax to create wax versions then press then into the cornstarch?
Msjcali4 months ago
Can you please help me? I've never done anything like this before! I'm making tiny tiaras for the top of cake pops and would like to make tiny edible diamonds to use for accents. I was wondering if I can use this method Bc obviously the diamonds need to sparkle so the powdered sugar won't work. Any tips?! I cant find edible ones that are small enough! Thanks for the help! :)
SinAmos2 years ago
Great stuff!
matstermind5 years ago
use legos!
i was thinking the exact same thing. I pictured a bunch of little leggo guys.
that'd be cool too, I was thinking lego bricks. (maybe with the holes on the underside for stackable ones)
These are jellies but close enough.
if i remember correctly, i was thinking of that when i posted the comment
You'd probly be able to use the mold for hard sweets.
perezm310683 years ago
Why does the corn starch not stick/mix with the liquid candy and stay mixed when it hardens?
beehard444 years ago
what if you turn the cornstarch into a non Newtonian fluid, put it in the tray, dio your die in, wait 'till it hardens and use that?
maybe it'll be sturdier but the problem is when you remove the candies from the mould...
sandds (author)  beehard444 years ago
The only way I'm aware of to allow a water/cornstarch to 'harden' would be to allow it to dry out completely while the mold is still in place. This would take a long period of time, unless, just a guess, you put it in an oven at 200F for a long time to drive off the water.

My experience with water/cornstarch mixtures is that they will go bad after a couple of days out in the open...and that's not Good Eats.
Well done instructable.
ammazur4 years ago
Fantastic! I was having the same problem finding a decent mold, and this will work great. Thanks for posting it. :)
shortone5 years ago
Would this work for gummy candy as well? I saw below someone mentioned gummy worms.... would this technique work? Thanks :)
danlab shortone4 years ago
it should work for gummy candy, as this is the method most commonly used for industrial production of gummy candy, pouring the molten candy into the mold would just be a bit harder because of the increased viscosity of gummy.
I was wondering if you could use melted chocolate in the mold instead of melted sugar
sandds (author)  btheskullcrusher5 years ago
I would think that this technique would not be ideal for chocolate. The ability to knock off the corn starch helps a lot with the look of the candy. I would think that the corn starch would really embed itself into the chocolate and you would get lumpy, dusty looking globs. Most hobby or confectionary stores have tons of chocolate molds. The temp of the chocolate is in the low 100's whereas the sugar (hard crack) is over 300. Sugar molds have to be made out of special plastic to withstand the heat. The selection of shapes available locally is usually not very good. That's why I use this method. If you have anything made from foodsafe plastic you can use it for a chocolate mold. I saw on a cooking show the other day a bakery guy use small plastic takeout containers to make 'chocolate boxes'. He just coated the inside with melted chocolate and popped em in the freezer. Made a very nice looking product.
Doctor What5 years ago
 Great!  Could you use powdered sugar instead of corn starch for the molds?
Powdered sugar won't work if you are making hard candy.  The heat of the syrup will melt some of the sugar and will distort the original shape.
I would think that the powdered sugar would might, just a bit, and alter the shape of your mold. I've seen this on one of those 'How it's made/Do it' shows and they use corn starch and after it's sifted they use a little 'food grade' mineral oil and tumble the 'candy' (was gummy worms on the show I saw) and that gives them a shine (and slime).
sandds (author)  Doctor What5 years ago
 In theory I think you could but I'm not certain that it would hold the shape as well. Powdered sugar is usually a mix of sugar and corn starch to help prevent clumping. Not that powdered sugar is expensive but starch costs $0.78 per pound at the store.

Also when you clean up you won't have the potential of a big sticky mess in your vacuum or when you are wiping up the counter or floor. 

Olivia5 years ago
I've seen cornstarch used in industrial candy-making applications in a factory and always wondered if it could be done at home.

Apparently it can! You've saved me a lot of my own experimenting and mess making. ;)
CADMan645 years ago
 This is a great one.  I make hard candy over the holidays the old way scoring by hand.  I'm definitely going to try this.

In step 7 you show a store bought mold.  Where did you find this?  I've search for a plain square mold like you show but haven't found one.  Also, how does the store bought plastic mold hold up to the 300 degree candy? I've been leery of using a plastic mold.

sandds (author)  CADMan645 years ago
 I found it at Hobby Lobby. They seem to have very limited stock of the square ones. It was about $3. It says on the mold that it's rated for high temp. All the high temp ones that they have are opaque white. They have lots of other molds there but they are for chocolate or other under 200F applications. These tend to be the colorless transparent ones. 

The lack of availability for something (high temp) other than teddy bears, rememberance ribbons or lollypops, is what made me want to do this in the first place. 

Hope this helps a little in your quest.
Sunbanks5 years ago
I am so glad you posted this instructable, it will come in handy very soon! :D 
frollard5 years ago
I saw this technique being used to make jelly bean jelly centers - makes total sense now that you show it in detail :D

I LOVE making candy.  This is next on my to-do list.
>> the next step is making a heated manifold to pump the candy into each mold cavity without letting it harden too much.

Very in an original way.

Bandaids5 years ago
would this help when making peanut brittle when i have troble getting it off a non stick pan such as using that as a base and then laying the peanuts then pouring the carmlized sugar
sandds (author)  Bandaids5 years ago
 I would recommend a Silpat with a little cooking spray on it for a tray liner. If you want to go with something a little (or a lot) cheaper you can try parchment paper as a tray liner. It's built for the high heat and should be very 'non-stick' but flexible so you can peel it away after cooling the brittle.
implaxis5 years ago
Excellent!  Just what I needed.  Thanks!
Rintintin5 years ago
Don't you need to dry the corn starch before using it?
By the way, nice instructables.
sandds (author)  Rintintin5 years ago
 I did not find that necessary. However, when you are making hard candy you need to have the humidity pretty low in the first place or everything will end up sticky and gummy. 
Ninzerbean5 years ago
 Wonderful 'ible!
RobFS15 years ago
Wow! Very nice. I have always thought this would be cool to do but never knew how.