25 Candy-Making Tools That’ll Sweeten Up Your Kitchen
If you're learning how to make candy, you'll need these candy-making tools to churn out great chocolates, caramels, lollipops and more!
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Not using a candy thermometer is the first mistake many budding candy makers commit, according to our Executive Culinary Director Sarah Farmer. This handy implement can measure up to 400°F and allows you to check the temperature and the stage of the cooking sugar solution. This is important when a few degrees of difference can turn your nougat into taffy!
Why it made our list: This digital thermometer with easy digital readout, comes with pre-programmed settings for all kinds of candy, and it has a sturdy clip to attach to the pan or pot.
Don’t just go grabbing any old pan—a high-quality, thick-bottomed pan is essential when it comes to making candy. Your ideal candy pan should be at least 3 quarts and heavy, and should distribute heat evenly to keep your caramel from scorching or burning. (Turns out there’s plenty of things to remember when it comes to making caramels!)
Why this made our list: Made from sturdy copper, this pan has an extra thick 2.5mm exterior that heats quickly and evenly, and a non-reactive stainless steel interior that’ll make it easy to clean up all the sticky residue!
If you want to get that perfect shape for your truffles, lollipops and chocolates, molds are the way to go. With gifting season right around the corner, there’s nothing that says ‘Merry Christmas’ better than a box of beautifully shaped handmade chocolates or a batch of tasty lollipops! Here’s how to melt chocolate the right way,
Why it made our list: This beautiful 4-piece silicone set of flower-shaped molds is perfect for making chocolates and candies that’ll look like they came straight from the store. It’s ovenproof and dishwasher-safe, but pro tip: water is the enemy of chocolate, so skip the washing and try wiping it clean with a dry cloth instead.
If you want to make your sugar and chocolate melting adventures even easier, invest in a melting pot. Made with a powered base and an inner melting pot, these take the fuss out and allow you to whip up fondue, chocolate bark, lollipops and sweet sauces with ease.
Why it made our list: This small but powerful melting pot can melt your candy in under 10 minutes, has two convenient pouring spouts and a removable silicone pot that makes for super easy cleanup! Plus, it has our Test Kitchen’s seal of approval.
Ask any pastry chef their go-to surface for tempering chocolate, and it’ll be marble. A marble pastry board helps to cool down chocolate quickly and makes it easier to work with. Plus, if you pop it into the fridge it’ll hold onto the cold far longer than any other surface.
Why it made our list: Made from 100% pure marble, this affordable pastry board has non-slip rubber feet for grip and protecting your kitchen countertop.
Wait, you mean there’s more than one thermometer? Yep. Candy thermometers are great, but when it comes to perfectly tempered chocolate, it’s best to up your game with an instant read thermometer to keep it from seizing.
Why it made our list: With an accurate read within 2-3 seconds, an intelligent backlight and a rotating head that shows you the temperature no matter its position, this thermometer will help you make gorgeously tempered chocolate, perfect for drizzling all over these French Kiss Truffles.
Want your candy to have beautiful drizzles of melted chocolate or homemade caramel? A good squeeze bottle (or two) is an essential tool for any candymaker looking to create beautiful, decorative designs.
Why it made our list: This BPA-free set comes with 2 bottles of different sizes – one with a thick tip and one with a thin tip. Just fill them up with melted chocolate or candy coating, pick your drizzle thickness and voila—you have candy that both looks and tastes wonderful.
A liquid measuring cup is essential for achieving the perfect pour into your candy pot, as well as for getting precise measurements. As an added bonus, you can also fill it up with melted or tempered chocolate and drop in candies to coat—its depth and shape make it perfect for dipping!
Why it made our list: This classic 3-piece set is made from high-quality tempered glass, can be popped in the microwave, oven, freezer AND the dishwasher, and has measurements in ounces and cups. Bonus: it comes with its own set of BPA-free lids!
A pastry brush does a small but important specialized job—you use it to brush off any candy that has splashed up on the sides of your pot. A quick sweep with a water-moistened brush keeps the thin layer of candy from crystallizing and burning, protecting your main batch and preserving its taste. Pro tip: Sarah recommends silicone bristles over boar bristles, which can singe easily.
Why it made our list: Available in 2 sizes, this sturdy brush has multiple layers with gaps in the center to hold liquid better, making it perfect for doing a quick sweep around the pot. It can also be used for egg washes, greasing pans and a variety of other baking and candy-making tasks.
Silicone, begone—unless you want a melted hunk of rubber on your hands! The only way to stir candy at 300°F is with a sturdy wooden spoon.
Why it made our list: These sturdy, long wooden spoons come in a set of 2 so you can utilize them for any quantity of candy (and switch in case of a mess). Made from beechwood in a responsible manner, they’ll leave your cookware scratch-free and shiny.
The microwave is great, but if you really want to get serious about chocolate, this double boiler is where it’s at. This nifty vessel is essentially two pans placed on top of each other, with the latter holding water and preventing the full heat of the stove from reaching the upper pan full of chocolate.
Why it made our list: A thick aluminum core surrounded by stainless steel ensures fast, even heating all around, keeping your tempering chocolate from burning. Plus it’s compatible with all sorts of stovetops, including induction, and the best part is that it’s dishwasher safe!
Every good cook, baker and candy maker needs their own set of bowls for mixing. Many default to stainless steel bowls, which are light, easy to work with and simple to clean, but some prefer heavy-duty glass mixing bowls, which are made from sturdy tempered glass and, importantly, are usually microwave and oven-safe.
Why they made our list: These 6-piece stainless steel bowls are durable, light and ergonomically designed, with a nesting option that saves storage space. If you prefer glass, this classic 3-piece set is wonderfully designed, with non-porous glass that won’t absorb odors.
If you want your chocolate bark or marshmallows to be super smooth, an offset spatula is worth the investment. Also known as a pallet knife, this tool has a long, narrow flexible blade with a rounded end and a handle to hold on to. The long blade makes it easy to smoothen candy into the corners and loosen it once it’s cooled, especially when it comes to sticky stuff like gumdrops.
Why it made our list: This long-bladed 9-inch angled spatula can reach into the corners of even a 15×10 pan, has a soft-grip handle that’s easy on the fingers, and comes with handy markings.
A sifter is a necessity for every baker looking to produce perfectly mixed cakes and biscuits that just beg to be drizzled with chocolate and caramel. The fine mesh removes any lumps and allows the dry ingredients to combine more evenly.
Why it made our list: This cute mini flour sifter is a reliable model made from durable, sturdy stainless steel and is 100% BPA-free.
The secret to pretty (and delicious) truffles lies in a good set of dipping tools. These little instruments are great for making everything from chocolate-coated pretzels to chocolate-covered angel-food candy. If you can’t get your hands on a set, Sarah has an easy hack with a fork and spoon—just keep your candy on the tines of the fork and pour chocolate over using the spoon. Tap the fork gently to get rid of any access chocolate, and voila!
Why it made our list: This set includes a 3 prong fork, cradling spoon and spear, and is made of sturdy metal and plastic. Plus, it looks super cute in the kitchen!
A candy funnel is the perfect way to slip caramels, chocolates and sauces into molds or pots. Easy, convenient and mess-free, a good funnel can ensure even distribution and a smooth pour for perfectly shaped candies.
Why it made our list: This classic 3-piece funnel set comes with a detachable strainer, is dishwasher and high-heat safe, and nests for easy storage.
When it comes to candy (and baking), precision is key. While the measure assigned to cups might change, grams and ounces always remain exactly the same—which is why you should invest in a kitchen scale that can measure your ingredients down to the last milligram.
Why it made our list: This sleek 11-pound capacity scale measures in both grams and ounces and has an easy-to-read digital display with optional backlight. This nifty display also pulls away from the main scale, making sure bowls and ingredients don’t cast a shadow on the numbers.
Pop Sticks (for Lollipops or Cake Pops)
Lollipops and cake pops can be heavy, so it’s best to invest in a set of sturdy sticks that’ll make sure they don’t go rolling off!
Why it made our list: Made from sturdy paper, this 100-count set of lollipop/cake pop sticks is a great friend to bakers and the environment.
Say goodbye to parchment paper and welcome the Silpat baking mat! These reusable silicone baking mats are master heat distributors, so your baked goods cook at the same rate on the top as they do on the bottom. Plus, they’re eco-friendly!
Why it made our list: Silpat is a French brand known for their fantastic silicone baking tools. These baking mats are one of their signature products, and while they’re great for baking, they can also be used for shaping chocolates and caramels, or for hardening this delicious Kahlua fudge.
It goes without saying that every baker and chocolatier needs a good sturdy baking sheet with a cooling rack. Baking sheets are, of course, any home cook’s best friend, but a cooling rack is equally important—it stops your baked goods from absorbing residual heat, gives them great texture, and of course, is essential for drizzle work!
Why it made our list: This is Taste of Home’s very own line of bakeware! The raised feet of the cooling rack allows for air to circulate underneath baked goods, promoting an even cooling process while the narrow wire grid keeps smaller foods from slipping through.
A bench scraper isn’t just limited to dough—you can also use it to scrape cooled chocolate, cut through candies and a variety of other tasks that a budding candy maker might come across. This flat, rectangular piece of metal is a handy tool in any chocolatier’s arsenal.
Why it made our list: This stainless steel scraper has a convenient handle that lets it lie flat on the cutting board, has a handy ruled edge and is super affordable!
The golden rule: use a deep bowl and a great, heat-resistant silicone spatula to ensure you don’t leave any of the good stuff behind while mixing. It’s always best to invest in a variety of sizes when it comes to spatulas. (And as we said before, don’t use them to stir hot candy!)
Why it made our list: This zester has a blade made specifically for taking off the rind and leaving behind the bitter white pith, and comes with an easy-to-grip BPA-free plastic handle.
If you’re making lollipops and brightly colored hard candies, natural food coloring is a great alternative to artificial colors. While artificial colors ‘pop’ better, these are great if you’re looking to make a move away from preservatives and additives.
Why it made our list: This natural food coloring is made from 100% vegetables and spices, and while it might give you a more muted color, it’s a great choice for anyone looking out for allergens or trying to keep away from chemicals.
Put the final touch on your candies, caramels and chocolates with some great wrapping materials! Cellophane paper is a great way to keep candies fresh, and bright twist ties bring a festive touch. By the way, this is how long fudge lasts.
Why they made our list: These translucent cellophane wrappers are great for showing off your gorgeous caramels and chocolates, while the metallic ties add a touch of brightness.