What Flavor Is Candy Corn, Actually?

It’s after Labor Day, which means it’s Halloween season. And even though there are many, many amazing Halloween candy options out there, there is still one that reigns supreme in our collective Halloween consciousness. I don’t speak of orange creme Oreos or bite-size Snickers. No, I speak of candy corn, the tricolored triangular treats that are synonymous with the spooky season as jack-o-lanterns or monster masks. These candies are simply everywhere—but are they anybody’s favorite? What are the flavors of candy corn? Are candy corn colors different flavors? Let’s find out.

What is the flavor of candy corn?

Sure, I could walk you through the ingredients list of candy corn in the hopes of determining some vague sense of flavor profile, but why not just go to the source itself? Thrillist did just this in 2016 and contacted the folks at Jelly Belly who—and I did not know this—are one of the main purveyors of candy corn. They responded thusly: 

“Candy Corn was modeled after corn in shape, but not taste. The actual flavor of Jelly Belly’s (formerly known by the family name, Goelitz) Candy Corn is a wonderful blend of creamy fondant, rich marshmallow, and warm vanilla notes. When combined, these flavors create the distinct Candy Corn flavor. The texture is as important as the flavor. Our Candy Corn is creamy and smooth; never coarse. It should be like biting into butter.”

So, fondant, marshmallow, and vanilla—with a texture of butter. Is that what candy corn tastes like to you? 

Are candy corn colors different flavors?

I know, I know, I just named a trio of flavors associated with candy corn: fondant, marshmallow, and vanilla. You might be tempted to think that each of these flavors correlates to one of the colors of candy corn—orange for fondant, yellow for marshmallows, white for vanilla, say—but that would be incorrect. In fact, each section of candy corn contains a mixture of all these flavors, and are themselves identical except in color. 

What is candy corn flavor?

Okay, now that we’ve established what flavors are in candy corn, what exactly is “candy corn flavor?” For example, if you go out and buy a container of candy corn-flavored syrup (it exists), what exactly are you getting? They’re not just melting candy corn, so how do they get to this taste sensation? 

Some clues are provided by the website for a candy corn-flavored whiskey. They describe it like this: “On the nose first you will notice a soft aromatic presence of vanilla, nutmeg, almond, oak, allspice, and lavender. More on the nose you will pick up the sweetness that comes from real cane sugar.” 

No fondant or marshmallow to be found here, so it’s clear that a sugary, vanilla-y mix is your best bet when it comes to emulating candy corn flavor. 

So there you have a primer on candy corn flavor. Did this make candy corn sound more delectable than ever, or equally disgusting? As for me, I’ll probably be sticking to the Reese’s.

About the Author

Matt Crowley

Matt Crowley is a comedy writer living in Los Angeles. He likes maple-flavored snacks, loves every kind of cheese, and is slowly learning to accept mushrooms.

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  • I love Candy Corn.