Introduction: Homemade Candy Hearts

Picture of Homemade Candy Hearts

I always looked forward to getting those tiny boxes filled with candy hearts for Valentine's Day. I distinctly remember the chalky hard texture that made them so enjoyable.

Making candy hearts turned out to be much easier than I had anticipated. If you have ever worked with or made fondant it is a very similar texture but dries much faster.

I was amazed that the flavor and texture was almost identical to the store bought candy hearts. I made my hearts a little bigger than the real thing to save some sanity and time! They are each about the size of a quarter.

They do take some patience as they have to dry for 48 hours!

Step 1: Candy Heart Recipe

Picture of Candy Heart Recipe

Candy Heart Recipe - adapted from
3/4 t. Powdered Gelatin
1/4 c. Clear Soda, of your choice
3 c. Powdered Sugar

Food Coloring
Flavored Extracts

In a small mixing bowl dissolve gelatin in soda. After about 5 minutes, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water to melt the gelatin completely - until you can't see any granules.

Use a hand or stand mixer and mix in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Keep adding the powdered sugar until you have stiff fondant-like dough. It will be somewhat sticky.

Step 2: Add Flavoring and Coloring

Picture of Add Flavoring and Coloring

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface dusted with powdered sugar and knead until smooth adding more powdered sugar if necessary.

Divide dough into as many portions as you would like colors/flavors.

Make a sort of bowl shape out of one of the pieces of dough. Pour in flavored extracts and add food coloring.

I made my candy hearts peppermint-vanilla (light pink and dark pink hearts) and vanilla bean (white hearts). It would be fun to try other flavorings like banana, orange, cherry, sour apple, etc.

Knead in the colors and flavors until well combined. Taste a piece of dough and add more extract if there is not enough. :)

Step 3: Roll and Cut Dough

Picture of Roll and Cut Dough

Roll the dough to about 1/4” thickness and cut out shapes using small cookie cutters.

**I like to use square wooden dowels as guides for my rolling pin to make sure the thickness is the same throughout. This will make drying even amongst all of the candy hearts.

Arrange the candies on a parchment lined baking sheet and let dry for 48 hours. I know this is a long time but it takes that long to get them hard. Flip the hearts over occasionally to assure even drying on both sides.

Step 4: Stamp Messages

Picture of Stamp Messages

Once the hearts are completely dry you can stamp them with what ever message you would like.

**You can see in picture #1 that the hearts are not dry if they are two-toned. Do not stamp these hearts until they are dry!

Using a clean and new paint brush spread a thin layer of food coloring onto a small saucer. Press small, clean and new letter stamps into the food coloring and stamp onto the hearts! Repeat until you have stamped all the messages you want.

Let the food coloring dry before eating to avoid red lips and tongue!! :P


MyklaynD (author)2017-03-24

How can I make them softer

Mary mouse (author)2013-02-06

Hi! Please could you tell me what t. stands for and also if clear soda and powdered gelatin go by any other name!!? I'm a Brit and don't understand but would love to make these! :P Thanks!

wold630 (author)Mary mouse2013-02-06

Hello there!

t. stands for teaspoons. Clear soda would be like Sierra Mist, 7-Up, Sprite, any soda product that is clear so don't use Pepsi or Coke since they are dark in color and will muck up the colors in the end product.

I'm not sure what else powdered gelatin would be called. Basically just unflavored gelatin like you would make jello with.

I hope this helps and happy heart making!

Mary mouse (author)wold6302013-02-07

Hi :)
Thanks that really helps!
Now I just need to find some time!!

pbrux (author)Mary mouse2016-02-02

I know Im WAY late in the convo, but grenetin is another name for gelatinz

Banananana (author)2015-08-30

Thanks for the great recipe! Question: the ones I made are not turning out bright white - they are kind of off-white. Any tips for making them bright white? And also - is it necessary to use soda or does water work ok too?

Xoxo_amber_xoxo (author)2015-07-21

these are super cool and east to make the perfect gift after I made them they looked so tempting but i couldn't eat them they weren't dry ???thx so much for the recipie

dthorn made it! (author)2015-03-26

Instead of using clear soda, I opted for lemon flavoured lift, I didn't add colouring because I was using a food spray on them, the details turned out amazing after being sprayed!!
I have trialled some sprayed before they dry and I am going to trial some after they dry in preparation for my sons Cars party. I will be using these as cupcake toppers for his daycare "cake" and the rest I will be using as party favours in little bags, instead of your standard store brought lollies (which will bring my party cost down). I can't wait to see how much of a hit they are with the kids! I have also though about using different coloured sodas to compliment the food sprays. McQueen (raspberry or creaming soda) Mater (Cola) Flinn McMissile (Bubblegum) and Francessco (lime). This lets me skip the step of adding food dye & flavouring (depending on how this batch works out). As a trial of the soft dough had the distinct flavour of lemon.
I understand that this is for valentines day but this post helped me so much as I was fretting about cup cake toppers and came across this.
It's super easy to do, all that's left is the 48 hour drying period.
Thank you so much for sharing you are a party saver!!!

MicioGatta (author)2014-09-22


bliang2 (author)2013-07-31

I sorry that this is not really related to the previous post but it it possible to make 'transparent' Candies in any way? And if you keep kneading the dough, will it still harden? And if you leave it too harden, how long will it take on average? Thanks for answering my previous question too! :D Sorry for the bombarding of questions, 'cus this stuff its too awesome... by the way, you're great ^^

wold630 (author)bliang22013-07-31

The candies will take 2-3 days to harden depending on humidity levels. This specific recipe will not create a transparent candy. If you choose not to color them they will be white.

bliang2 (author)2013-07-30

Will the dough dry if you leave it untouched for a few minutes/half an hour or something?

wold630 (author)bliang22013-07-30

Yes. But if you wrap it in plastic wrap or keep it in an airtight container it should be fine for an hour or so. If you leave it out the dough will start to harden on the surface and you will get cracking when you try to cut the shapes out.

colt711 (author)2013-02-07

how do I send this to my Niece via E mail ?

wold630 (author)colt7112013-02-09

Copy and paste!

colt711 (author)wold6302013-02-09

paste on to what?....sorry to sound so dense, but computers aren't my strong suit....

wold630 (author)colt7112013-02-10

Google it. You'll see.

t217265 (author)2013-02-04

Love it!

wold630 (author)t2172652013-02-04


rgage (author)2013-02-03

could you just use flavored gelatin in step 1?

wold630 (author)rgage2013-02-03

You could sure try it but with the amount so small I'm not sure you would be able to taste it after adding so much powdered sugar. I think you would still have to add flavoring.

dkiehl (author)2013-02-03

Have you tried a food dehydrator to accelerate drying? maybe set your oven to 170, let it get up to temp, turn off oven, let the oven drop to 120 deg place hearts on a cookie sheet, then place them into the oven until dry.

wold630 (author)dkiehl2013-02-03

I have done it both ways. The dehydrator still took over 24 hours at 120. The oven would be worth a try maybe set a bit hotter.

I8mAll (author)2013-02-03

Hey, Sweet dude!

wold630 (author)I8mAll2013-02-03

You said it!

Nabil (author)2013-02-03

I hope I'm not the only one thinking in stamping not so nice words on those cute pink candy hearts muahaha

wold630 (author)Nabil2013-02-03

So evil!!!

suayres (author)2013-02-03

Very nice! I especially like that you can flavor them to your own taste. Also, an aside: for those who have corn allergies (as does my daughter), most confectioner's sugar contains cornstarch. BUT, most health food stores, as well as stores such as Trader Joe's, sell confectioner's sugar made with tapioca starch instead. Also, an acceptable substitute for corn syrup would be 100% cane syrup, or the easier-to-find Lyle's golden syrup. Thank you for this recipe--for the first time in years, my daughter will be getting conversation hearts for Valentine's day. Again, THANK YOU!

wold630 (author)suayres2013-02-03

I have seen a lot of recipes that have corn syrup and lots of other additional ingredients. I like this one because of its simplicity!

Good information for those of us that didn't know about the corn issues!

herquiltness (author)2013-02-03

Brilliant! Luv u. Be mine!

wold630 (author)herquiltness2013-02-03


JamesMD (author)2013-02-03


amy-sue (author)2013-01-30

I LOVE this... I was just thinking yesterday that I wanted to customize some Valentine's candy with special messages. There are companies that you can order customized hearts and chocolates from, but its ridiculously expensive. This is a perfect solution!

wold630 (author)amy-sue2013-01-30

Thanks, I didn't know you could order custom hearts. They are way too easy to make to waste your money.

straycatmeow (author)2013-01-30


wold630 (author)straycatmeow2013-01-30

Thank you!

scoochmaroo (author)2013-01-29

Ha! I saw a recipe for these in one of my magazines and was going to make them this weekend!

wold630 (author)scoochmaroo2013-01-29

They were much easier than I expected. Maybe your recipe will be a bit different and they won't take so long to dry! It was hard not to eat them over the 48 hours they had to dry but they were worth it. It makes a ton and they are just like the real thing.

Also, I've seen food coloring markers used instead if stamps. That would make it a bit more personal with hand written messages.

scoochmaroo (author)wold6302013-01-30

When I made altoids, it took about three days for them to dry to the right consistency, but they were still tasty. I had also thought about using lettered stamps, but had the red markers on hand. I like the look of the stamps better!

LauraLauraLynn (author)2013-01-30

I really like your instructable here. I think I will make some candy hearts too!

wold630 (author)LauraLauraLynn2013-01-30

Thank you. The hearts are easy and fun to make!

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-01-29

Those look spot on! Awesome :)

wold630 (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-01-29

Thank you! My tiny alphabet stamps were perfect for the messages.

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi, I'm Jen! In my free time I'm a crafter, food lover, cake decorator, and Etsy shop owner. I also can't stop ... More »
More by wold630:Bat Napkin FoldingBlackout Menu for HalloweenMotorcycle Tips, Repairs, & Restorations
Add instructable to: