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10 Homemade Candy Recipes That Aren’t Just Full of Sugar

Candy? Really?

If you’re trying to get fit and healthy, don’t you have to avoid that stuff?

Well, the store-bought junk isn’t going to do you any good, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon all manner of sweet and tasty treats.

Yes, you can eat “naughty” foods and still get the body you really want.

In fact, allowing yourself small indulgences like these homemade candies can even help you avoid the dietary burnout and bingeing that prevents so many people from losing fat effectively.

This is one of the reasons why flexible dieting is so popular these days, and why you shouldn’t feel bad if you want to work little sweets into your meal plans.


Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Protein Cups

Picture courtesy of Protein Treats by Nicolette

If you want to upgrade from Reese’s peanut butter cups to an organic or healthier version, the cost of candy at the store doubles. Everything tastes better with high-quality ingredients, but you’re not necessarily maximizing nutrition.

Make your own chocolate nut candies at home, and it’s possible to mix in oats to slow down digestion, plus a scoop of whey protein powder just because you can.

Serves 10


1/2 cup raw almonds

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein powder

3 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted, divided

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (or agave nectar)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup sugar-free dark chocolate chips

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 221

Protein: 5 grams

Carbs: 20 grams

Fat: 15 grams

   Get the Recipe

Raw Caramel Apples

Picture courtesy of This Rawsome Vegan Life

These homemade candy apples are delicious and plenty big enough to share. Plus, you don’t have to worry about cooking caramel sauce on the stove, or melting a corn syrup candy for the coating.

This raw caramel is made from dates and coconut oil, which is sticky enough to cover the candy apple in chopped nuts. Then, it’s drizzled with a homemade chocolate sauce, which is delicious but optional.

Serves 2


Caramel Apple:

2 apples, skewered

1/4 cup dates

Ground cinnamon

Salt to taste

Water as needed

1/4 cup finely chopped nuts

Chocolate Peanut Butter Sauce:

2 Tbsp. cacao powder

2 Tbsp. agave syrup (or maple syrup)

2 Tbsp. peanut butter

3 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 629

Protein: 9 grams

Carbs: 75 grams

Fat: 39 grams

   Get the Recipe

Arnold Palmer Gummies

Picture courtesy of Sweet Treats

Making your own hard candy requires some real skill, but if you go with a soft gummy candy, it isn’t any more difficult than mixing up a batch of Jello. You’ll just need more gelatin so that it’s firmer and not sticky once it sets in the mold.

This homemade gummy fruit is made with tea and lemon juice to taste like an Arnold Palmer. For another flavor, just use two cups of another liquid, like juice.

Serves 18


1 3/4 cup steeped tea

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (grade B)

4 Tbsp. gelatin powder

Few drops of lemon essential oil (or a couple strips of lemon peel)

 Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 12

Protein: 1 gram

Carbs: 2 grams

Fat: 0 grams

   Get the Recipe

Sugar-Free Coconut Candy

Picture courtesy of Sugar-Free Mom

Luckily, it’s possible to make a satisfying candy without over-reliance on sugar. This Paleo candy gets its rich flavor from the all-natural fats found in coconut, so you won’t need much sweetness from liquid stevia.

Get more healthy dessert ideas in the Sugar-Free Mom: Naturally Sweet and Sugar-Free Recipes for the Whole Family, including classic fudge and chocolate glazed donuts.

Serves 16


2 cups coconut butter

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. vanilla liquid stevia

All-natural orange food coloring (optional)

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 240

Protein: 2 grams

Carbs: 8 grams

Fat: 25 grams

   Get the Recipe

Healthy Caramel Corn

Picture courtesy of Real Food RN

Homemade caramel can be tricky to make because it often involves melting the individual sugar granules down to a syrup. Heat it wrong, and you have a grainy caramel sauce.

What make this recipe awesome is that the coating is made from maple syrup, which means it’s already smooth and silky. This makes a big batch of caramel corn, which is great as a healthy Christmas candy to gift away.

Serves 16


12 cups popped popcorn

1/2 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 121

Protein: 1 gram

Carbs: 15 grams

Fat: 7 grams 

   Get the Recipe

Healthy DIY Chocolate Coating

Picture courtesy of Desserts with Benefits

Most candy coating unfortunately has more than melted dark chocolate. Other ingredients like oil or butter are mixed in to make it easier to work with and softer to bite into.

With this homemade version, you can turn anything – even your favorite protein bar – into chocolate-covered candy. And the best part is, by making your own, this chocolate coating is sugar-free.

Serves 15


2/3 cup raw cacao butter

1/2 cup powdered erythritol

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8 tsp. xanthan gum

1 tsp. vanilla-flavored stevia extract

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 48

Protein: 1 grams

Carbs: 2 grams

Fat: 5 grams

   Get the Recipe

Sweet Potato Candy

Picture courtesy of Real Healthy Recipes

Instead of making candied yams, you can turn sweet potatoes into a healthy candy. This recipe is an upgrade from old-fashioned potato candy, which is made by sweetening plain mashed potatoes and thickening the mixture with powdered sugar until pliable, like edible Play-Doh.

It’s flattened out and covered with peanut butter, or your sweet spread of choice, then rolled up to be sliced into candy with swirls in the middle.

Serves 50



1 1/2 cups cooked sweet potato

2 cups arrowroot starch

1 cup coconut sugar

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. coconut milk


1/4 cup raw almond butter

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

Dash of sea salt

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 50

Protein: 0 grams

Carbs: 12 grams

Fat: 0 grams

   Get the Recipe

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Picture courtesy of Kate’s Healthy Cupboard

When you’re getting into candymaking, chocolate truffles are a great place to start. They don’t need to be fancy like the ones that cost $3 a pop. Truffles originally got their name for looking like the mushroom.

When unearthed, the small round delicacy is covered in soil, like basic chocolate truffles are dusted in cocoa powder. So if they don’t look perfect, who cares? They’ll taste just as great, especially with chocolate chip cookie dough in the center.

Serves 12



1 cup almond flour

1/4 cup vanilla egg white protein powder (or almond flour)

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut milk

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup pure honey (or powdered sugar)

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Chocolate Coating:

2/3 cup dark chocolate chips

1 1/2 Tbsp. cacao butter (or coconut oil)

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 185

Protein: 3 grams

Carbs: 14 grams

Fat: 13 grams

   Get the Recipe

Homemade Tootsie Rolls

Picture courtesy of The Prairie Homestead

There’s nothing like classic candy to bring joy to a regular day. It’s like a piece of childhood we can still get as a grown-up. But unfortunately candy rarely tastes like it did when we were kids, and knowing the ingredients is enough to seek out alternatives that have more flavor and nutrition.

Original Tootsie Rolls are made from corn syrup and hydrogenated oil with some cocoa and artificial flavors thrown in. This made-from-scratch chocolate candy outdoes the real thing and is easy to make.

Serves 24


1/2 cup raw honey

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. coconut oil (or butter), melted

1/4 cup organic powdered sugar

Pinch of fine sea salt

1 cup tapioca flour

1 drop orange essential oil (or 1/8 tsp. orange extract)

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 52

Protein: < 1 gram

Carbs: 12 grams

Fat: 1 gram

   Get the Recipe

DIY Herbal Cough Drops

Picture courtesy of The Nerdy Farm Wife

Rock candy is like more science experiment than cooking, where you just leave string or a wooden stick to slowly attract the crystallized sugar.

But if you want a versatile hard candy recipe, try this one using a mix of honey and cane sugar. Depending on the flavor of tea and extract you choose to add, you can make homemade cough drops or just a tasty candy like lemon green tea.

Serves 50


1 cup pure cane sugar

1/2 cup pure honey

1/2 cup strong herbal tea

1/2 tsp. peppermint extract (or to taste)

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 25

Protein: 0 grams

Carbs: 7 grams

Fat: 0 grams

   Get the Recipe

What did you think of these homemade candy recipes? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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