Candy melts are a versatile, colorful confectionary ingredient that is primarily used in baking and decorating. They are typically used as a coating or even poured into molds to make a quick setting treat.
If you are reading this, chances are you used candy melts that are too thick for coating or dipping purposes. This causes the surface to appear streaky which is not ideal.
To make candy melt smoother, add a small amount of coconut oil or vegetable shortening to the candy melts and mix thoroughly. Slowly heating the candy melts in a double boiler or for 30-second intervals in the microwave can help control the consistency.
For more information on why some candy melts get thick, different ways to thin them, and other ideas for using candy melts, keep on reading!
4 Methods to Thin Candy Melt
You will find that each candy melt has a certain thickness to it as it melts. For some treats, this is desirable; for dipping and coating, not so much.
Start with small amounts and work up. Adding too much shortening or oil can ruin the batch of candy melt. Start with 1/2 teaspoon or 1 teaspoon. Using too much oil can result in the candy melt not hardening as quickly or as firmly.
Adding more heat is one way to get the candy melts to thin out a little. However this could cause it to burn, so what are some ways to thin out candy melts?
Here are a few ideas, each with varying degrees of success. Try out what is most convenient for you and readjust.
1. Vegetable Oil
A small amount of Crisco or other vegetable oil should be enough to thin out most candy melts. A low-flavor oil such as coconut oil or canola will work just fine. Olive oil has a distinct taste that could make the candy melt taste off.
It is easy to add too much oil even when adding a small amount. If this happens, adding more candy melt can usually fix an overly thin melt.
This option is listed first because it is a common ingredient everyone has in their household. However, some candy melts do not set properly if incorporated with vegetable oils.
Vegetable shortening is a solid fat (at room temperature) that is used similarly to butter. For the most part, it is odorless and tasteless, making it perfect for thinning out candy melts. If I had no access to Wilton’s EZ Thin, I usually turn to vegetable shortening.
Add small amounts gradually until the candy melts have reached the desired consistency.
3. Wilton’s EZ Thin
This product is made from palm oil flakes and an emulsifier. After adding it to melted candy melts and stirring, the consistency becomes perfect for dipping and covering small treats.
If you are making cake pops, this will help you get that thin, smooth exterior. The thinner the candy melt, the quicker it dries and set. Keep this in mind when using sprinkles or other decorating confections.
To use EZ Thins, I would melt the candy melts and EZ Thins separately. Slowly stir in the melted EZ Thins together with the candy melt. Eventually, any lumpiness will go away. Remember to add small amounts at first; it is really hard to undo it when you add too much (except by adding more candy melt.
4. Cocoa butter
Similar to shortening, cocoa butter typically comes in a solid form. This method is mentioned last because cocoa butter is expensive compared to the other ingredients. However, it is more aromatic and smooth compared to vegetable shortening.
Cocoa butter is best used with chocolate-tasting candy melts or other low-flavor. If you don’t want to have a hint of chocolate taste in your candy melt, it is probably best to avoid using cocoa butter to thin out candy melts.
Why Is Candy Melt So Thick?
It is common for candy melts to melt in varying consistency. As the heated candy melt is stirred, there can be lumps and goops. When it comes to using candy melts, it is important to keep the temperature high and evenly spread.
When you use candy melt along with shortening or oil, the heat spreads faster and more evenly.
Unlike chocolate, candy melts can set and harden quite quickly, especially in colder conditions such as leaving it on a cold countertop. It is important to keep the melts warm for the best consistency when dipping.
A candy melt pot such as this Wilton’s Melting Pot is perfect for keeping candy melt and chocolates at a warm, dipping temperature. This one, in particular, comes in 2 modes of temperature: melt and warm.
What to Dip In Candy Melt?
Now that you know how to thin out candy melts, here are some tasty treat ideas you can dip for a delicious covered treat:
Pretzels – Something about that salty crunch along with the smooth sweetness of candy melt makes this a great combination. It is easier to get a smooth coat with thinned candy melts compared to unthinned. You could use a piping bag to drizzle on a different colored candy melt as pictured below.
Fruits – Coated fruits such as strawberries and apples are a classic. One tip is to fully pat the fruit dry before dipping. This way, there is less water seeping into the coating. For some candy melts, water can cause seizing.
What kind of food coloring can you use in candy melts?
As long as it is a oil-based food dye, it is fine to use to color candy melts. Avoid using water or gel-based food coloring as this can cause the candy melt to seize up.
A few drops of an oil-based food coloring should be enough to get a change in color.
How much oil to add to candy melt?
The consistency that I usually go for is one where the candy melt drips off a spoon with a honey-like consistency. This is enough to get a thin yet supple coating on cake pops.
Can candy melts be used for drip cakes?
Yes, it involves making a ganache-like mixture by adding heavy whipping cream.
Ingredients: One 12oz packet of candy melt and 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream.
Method: Heat whipping cream in a microwave or pot (enough so it doesn’t boil or foam). Then stir in chopped candy melts until it reaches the appropriate drip consistency. Let it cool and thicken before dripping onto a cake.
How long does it take for candy melts to harden?
When making small designs such as pouring into molds, anywhere from 5-20 minutes in the refrigerator.
When dipping and coating something, 10-60 minutes. Thicker coats or candy melts with a lot of fat added can take longer.
Some oils or shortenings can increase the amount of time for candy melts to set.