Candy Melts!

12/27/13

It’s ok. It’s happened to all of us. You finally mastered cake pops using chocolate candy melts, you’re feeling pretty damn good about yourself, and then you decide to move on to purple thinking it’s going to be a breeze. It’s a candy melt so it should behave the same, right? Yeah….that’s the day you find out that purple is a massive dick. It behaves nothing like the chocolate candy melts and you’re on the verge of tears.

After a couple years of making cake pops and cake balls, I finally decided to compile a list of what brands I prefer in each color. It sucks that every color is better in a different brand, but that’s the life of a cake popper-every damn thing has to be a pain in the ass. Hopefully this list will help you on your ventures. I’ve only used Merckens, Guittard A’Peels and Wilton’s. I’ve heard good and bad things about Make and Mold, but I haven’t used it. As for almond bark, I find it to be sweeter than what I prefer. Word.

Rainbow Candy Melts

Remember: Candy melts behave differently in different climates, have different finishes depending on age, and pretty much act like a sullen teenager. If you want instructions on melting candy melts, this is how I go about it.

All candy melt photos shown are of  Merckens Candy melts purchased from The Biggest Little Cake Shoppe. It doesn’t mean it’s what I prefer, but they are the prettiest out of the bag.

RubyWoo

RED (I’m in Reno, and didn’t have a red melt to take a picture of because I forgot to buy a bag. My bad. Here’s a picture of red lipstick).

Hands down, Guittard A’Peels is my favorite red candy melt. It melts smoothly and is easy dippable (is that a word???). The only caveat is A’Peels can be finicky and crack easily. So make sure your cake ball isn’t too cold, and your candy melts isn’t too hot. And don’t try to look directly at the cake pop as it’s drying. It’s like making eye contact with Medusa.

Pink Candy Melt

PINK:

Baby Pink: Wilton’s pink mixed with Merckens Super White or Guittard A’Peels White. This makes an awesome blush color as well.

Hot Pink: This photo is Merckens, but I personally don’t like the way it melts or dries. Your favorite white mixed with Wilton’s Pink CANDY food coloring has been my go to (Or Wilton’s Pink candy melts mixed with Wilton’s Pink CANDY food coloring for a super vibrant hot pink). The pink CANDY coloring is available in the 4-pack of CANDY food coloring along with green, violet and black. Why do I keep typing CANDY in all caps? Because regular food coloring will not work with candy melts. It has to be oil based or powdered. If you’re that kid that has to make your own mistakes to learn, have at it. But you’ll be sad/pissed/irritated.

Orange Candy Melt

ORANGE: 

Merckens. This is one of the colors I tend to add a bit of Paramont Crystals to, and sometimes I find the coverage to be a bit translucent so I end up double dipping. Yaaaaayyyyyy…..

Yellow

YELLOW:

This is one of my least favorite colors to work with. No matter what brand I use, I end up adding an exorbitant amount of paramount crystals to. So, I end up choosing between Wilton’s and Merckens depending on the finish I want. Soft, pale yellow that remind you of chirping chicks? Merckens. Bright, happy sunshine yellow? Wilton’s. Even brighter, happier yellow? Add yellow CANDY food coloring or powdered food coloring to Wilton’s.

Green Candy Melt

GREEN:

This one is a toss-up between A’Peels and Merckens. I like the way the A’Peels melts, but the Merckens has a sturdier finish. They’re both a nice solid green color. Sooo…that’s all on green.

Blue

BLUE:

Sky Blue: I prefer Merckens because it tastes better, but Wilton’s is totally acceptable to work with. They both melt great, require little Paramount Crystals, and are a great base for other shades of blue. Except Navy Blue. If at all possible, don’t try to make that ish. Just buy it pre-colored.

Navy Blue: Merckens. FTW. Paramount Crystals necessary. Clasen’s has a nice one as well, but it’s harder to come by in my neck of the woods.

Purple

PURPLE:

I LOATHE PURPLE. I cannot begin to describe the disdain I have for this God-forsaken color. If you have followed me for some time, you know that I had to make a hell of a lot of purple cake ball cakes…I even had one order where someone ordered 26 (TWENTY-SIX) purple and white cake ball cakes. No matter what, this damn color will crack or dry splotchy. And the moment you think all your pops are good to go, they will start cracking like a perp in an interrogation room.

Lavender-Wilton’s. I use Wilton’s lavender. If you need a deeper purple, you can add the Americolor or Wilton’s Candy coloring (OIL BASED) or start with Merckens and add coloring if dark, dark purple is needed.

CUSTOM COLORS:

Instruction on custom colors would take another blog post, as it does require discussion about the color wheel. It’s late and I’m sleepy. In the meantime, here’s a fancy color chart from Shop Baker’s Nook using Merckens Candy Melts (oh hey, they sell Merckens candy melts too! HOLY CRAP THEY HAVE GREEK YOGURT FLAVORED WAFERS!). It’s a great resource to get you started on custom colors. Don’t forget that colors on your monitor may look different than real-life, so don’t be cursing my name if you try this out. Click on the photo to expand it.

MerckensColorChart

 

LAST NOTES:

  • Candy Melts are not the same as real chocolate. Real chocolate contains cocoa butter and must be tempered (but in all honesty tastes the best).
  • White Candy Melts-Merckens Super White or Guittard A’Peels (but A’Peels are tempermental). UM, I just recently discovered Ghiradelli Melts. Hello, dreamy!
  • Chocolate Candy Melts-Merckens Dark Cocoa or Ghiradelli Dark Cocoa melts. Yes. Yes. Yes.
  • Use Paramount Crystals to thin out your melts. You can also use shortening or vegetable oil, but I find Paramount Crystals are flavorless and won’t affect the firmness.
  • The more saturated you make the color, the more you are altering the taste.
  • When making pastel colors, start with your favorite white and add colored melts 1 disk at a time, or candy food coloring 1 drop at a time.
  • Use food coloring specifically for CANDY. This means oil based (Americolor or Wilton’s) or powdered (Linnea’s). Keep in mind powdered food coloring is harder to incorporate into your melts, especially in large quantities.
  • Dark Chocolate mixed with Navy blue makes a great black. You can even add some black CANDY coloring to deepen it. It’ll look grey while melted but will harden and cool to a chalkboard black.

Peace out!

 

 

Pam

19 Comments
  1. You are hilarious! I really loved your blog and how real it is. I actually love Mercken’s purple, but that could just be because I worked with Wilton purple for so long. The color I hate the most is orange, and then yellow. I can never, ever get an orange to work. I need to branch out more. BTW, you are missing out on not using Make n Mold. I use their super white and like their Navy Blue. I haven’t had the opportunity to try Guittard yet. I only have immediate access to Wilton and Make n Mold. If I want anything else I have to order it :/ Thanks for the post it was fun to read and awesomeness!

    1. Aw, thank you!!!! I go back and forth with Wilton’s and Merckens purple. At this point I think I just mix it all together and pray to the purple gods. I really need to try Make and Mold but the closest supply shop that carries it is an hour away. I GUESSSSSS I could shop online 😉

  2. I love how you write….it’s like I’m listening to a friend! Lol as a pastry chef/stay at home mom I’ve gone through the UPS and downs of cakes/cookies….now taking on cakepops and boy are they another crazy medium to work with lol. Thank you for all the tips and tricks!

    1. Thanks!!! We are all friends here on the interwebs! I’m finally branching out to other baked goods like chocolate chip cookies. Those are my absolute nemesis.

  3. I’ve been using only Wilton’s melts. I’ve been tempted to try others but have had the mentality that if its not broken, don’t fix it.. I have noticed that some colors are temperamental, but kinda thought it was just an off-day for me. I am convinced now that I need to venture out and do done experimenting with different melts.. Thanks for your post, you do amazing work, and love the way you write…

    1. Girl, if you have tamed the beast that is Wilton’s, you keep on keepin on. Try other brands, but at least you know you have Wilton’s to fall back on!

  4. I die. Can you be a writer forever? I am interested in your style of writing no matter the subject! You kill it. AND you kill the details. Damn girl! You da bomb! Can we be friends, like of real real?? Hahaha! Keep on keeping on sistah and I look forward to more of your rawness in script. Bam.

  5. I have only used wilton but I occasionally get cracking on the pops not always but is there something I am doing wrong with the melts

    1. It could be that your chocolate is too warm and/or the cake ball is too cold. Make sure the chocolate isn’t no warmer than your bottom lip and I usually let my cake balls rest at room temp for about 5 minutes before dipping.

  6. Wow! How dope is that, that you actually have a color chart for your preferred color and brands! Each one with an explanation. Damn girl… Glad to have found this :-) Happy Cake Poppin and Thx so much for your blog

  7. LOVE this blog post – saving to my favorites. I have particular trouble with yellow, and as fate would have it, that is one color my customers seem to want a lot of… Grrrrr…. I am going to try the paramount crystals and see if that helps. Thanks for this!

  8. Thank you!! I actually make cupcakes, but I decorate with candy molds. My daughter makes cake pops (we are a baking family). I appreciate the blog, lots of helpful ideas and I love the color charts. We use Wilton Candy Melts because they are available locally. We will check out the other brands as we have found some of the colors to be temperamental. So, again thanks for the information. Oh, and if I haven’t said it yet, Thanks.

  9. Hey, I don’t usually read these blog things, but I stumbled upon yours and really enjoyed it. I was just wondering how I can follow it? Do I have to have a blog to follow your blog?
    thanks, sorry I’m not tech-savvy :)

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