12 Healthy Homemade Candy Recipes

In celebration of Halloween, I thought I would share this list of Homemade candy recipes using healthier ingredients. Almost all of these recipes are gluten and dairy free, so they are great for those with allergies. But they taste so good, everyone will want some.

I love that these recipes are so simple to make! Just be careful with the couple of recipes that call for making a sticky syrup out of honey or maple syrup. I use my back burner and make sure all children are out of the kitchen as it can cause serious sugar burns.

1. Mock Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: I created this recipe for my then 3-year-old daughter. They were an instant hit with both her and her friends.

2. The Easiest, Healthiest, Most Scrumptious Fudge Ever: The title says it all. This fudge is so much easier to make than traditional fudge and much healthier, too. I’ve made it with the more common sweetener, honey, with great results as well.

3. Nature’s Candy Bar (pictured at top): I called these Nature’s Candy Bar because they feature dates, which are rich in natural sugar. A chocolate coating doesn’t hurt either.

4. Candy Bar: This chocolate-covered candy bar looks amazing! I would recommend simply substituting the agave syrup in this recipe and the next with the less refined sweetener, honey.

5. Mock Mounds Bar: Mounds bars used to be my favorite candy bar. Now I can have a a healthier version guilt-free.

6. Cracker Toffee (pictured above): My daughter and I made this super easy recipe last year as part of our Christmas candy platter. They are rich, delicious and so easy.

7. Old-Fashioned Caramel Corn: I adapted my husband’s favorite caramel corn recipe from his younger years to only include unrefined sweeteners (no corn syrup here!) It is a certain favorite at parties.

8. Caramel Apples: This recipe uses cream and honey to create a rich caramel coating for apples. It’s perfect for this time of year.

9. Dairy-Free Caramel Apples: This recipe doesn’t use any dairy but a combination of honey and maple syrup. How delicious does that sound?

10. Honey-Sweetened Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nuts: These make a very special gift, and very yummy snacking.

11. Maple Magic Candy: All you need for this recipe is maple syrup. If you’ve ever had maple syrup candy before, you know how amazing it is.

12. Decadent Chocolate “Larabar” Truffles: (pictured above): These truffles were inspired by Larabars, but morphed into truffles; perfect as an afternoon pick-me-up.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. says

    I’m going to be downer and remind everyone that sugar is still sugar, even when in less or unprocessed forms. (I’m slightly disturbed when people post up recipes that call for 3/4 c honey and then claim they are “healthy.” No, they are still dessert/treats. There. Rant done.)

    Now, enjoy your chocolate, nuts, and dates.

    • KimiHarris says


      All things in moderation. I don’t think all sugar is equal, if I did, I might as well buy Snickers. I have thought to make disclaimers like “more healthy” etc, but that often can cause more confusion. Perhaps what would help make this more clear is saying “healthier”.

      As far as 3/4 cup of honey, I feel I can trust my readers to know that if they consume the whole batch of fudge made with 3/4 cup of honey, it is no longer a healthy treat for them. If you eat a small square of it, you will be consuming less sweeter than most people put in their tea.

      • KimiHarris says

        Here is a reply to a previous comment asking why homemade candy recipes are healthier that might be helpful.

        That’s a good question. There are a couple of reasons I consider these “candies” healthier, but still certainly a treat. First, they are lower in sugar (natural or otherwise). Most candies have very high sugar amounts. These, for the most part, do not. In fact, that is something to keep in mind when you make these recipes as several of them are so low in sweeteners, it might be not quite sweet enough for those used to eating regular candy bars.

        Secondly, except for the sugar in the dark chocolate used in the recipes, these use unrefined sugar. While it is still certainly sugar, it still retains its natural minerals and vitamins which can make it less stressful on the body to consume. I just wouldn’t recommend them to diabetics. The sugar is also not bleached, an unnecessary refining process. Third, many conventional candies contain GMOs in the form of GM beet sugar. I personally have chosen to avoid GMOs when possible. Making candy at home with organic sweeteners allows me to do so. And finally, most candies have a lot of dyes, additives, and hydrogenated oils. By making your own, you can avoid these ingredients.
        In the end, in my house, sweets are still a special treat! But I feel much better feeding my child lightly sweetened, dark chocolate covered nuts, than store bought candies. 🙂

        • Nutritionist Sarah says

          Not to mention that anything with fructose in it that is not the fructose that is present in whole food fruits, whacks the liver directly (that is a scientific term: “whacks” :)). BIG difference in my professional opinion, from, say, a small piece of fudge or other sweet, made from raw honey.

    • Joanna says

      If you are so freaked out by sugar, what the hell are you doing looking up candy recipes for? Just saying.

    • Becky says

      Read up on the health benefits of honey, maple syrup, molasses, etc… Then read about what refined processed sugars do to your health. Know the facts sugar is not equal in all forms.

  2. says

    Sugar is not a bad thing, unless one is a diabetic, and then it should be consumed in measured moderation. Please remember that one of the most important ingredients in breat milk is sugar. It has it’s place. People have made way too much of sugar. It is all of the wax and petrochemical ingrediants added to commercial candy that is worrisome to me. Thank you for sharing these wonderful ideas! A little sugar now and then helps the medicine of life go down all the more smoothly. (It also helps wash down all the fermented cod-liver oil!) Lighten up and LIVE a little!! These sweets will make it all the more worth it!!

    • Colleen says

      It’s not the sugar that is bad, it’s how it is refined. Poppy seeds aren’t bad for you, but it’s refined in the same process sugar cane is refined, and it turns into heroin. The sugar cane turns into an addictive, carcinogenic, chemical-filled sugar.

  3. says

    mmm! what an encouragement on a day like today- not all candies are created equal. 🙂 i love these recipes! kimi, just wanted to say a huge thank you for hosting those fantastic GAPS posts. i am a brand new gaps girl (and nursing mom) as of this weekend! thanks for all the help in getting there.

  4. Tina says

    You can make a slightly more healthful chocolate option by making your own chocolate as an option. I use unsweetened Dagoba baking chocolate, a little coconut oil and let that melt over warm water until blended, and then add a small bit of raw honey, mix well and
    then let cool to set. I use about a tablespoon of honey max for an entire unsweetened dagoba bar, if even that much. I use this for chocolate chips, baking chocolate, Halloween candy etc.

    • KimiHarris says

      Hi Tina!

      Thanks for sharing! I’ve done that too, however every once in a while adding honey has caused my chocolate to sieze. Have you ever had that happen? My 5 year old and I even like unsweetened chocolate, though. Yum!

      • Tina says

        HI Kimi,
        I haven’t had problems with siezing, but I don’t heat it much at all, just enough to melt the coconut oil and chocolate together, then stir the honey in to blend.

  5. jamie says

    Thanks for the reminder Stephanie. It is easy to read “healthy” and think that we can eat all we desire which for some of us is a major “no-no”.

  6. Paula says

    Thank you for all these delicious-sounding recipes! I’m supposed to be doing GAPS Intro, but ended up cheating this evening with the Halloween candy. I think next year, I’d better have a healthier, homemade option ready, so I won’t be so tempted. 🙂

  7. Tina Kalvelage says

    Honey is a monosaccharide meaning bees have digested it. Sugar and other sweeteners are di/polysaccharides and they cause havoc on the digestive tract because the bad bacteria that digest them form mucous which inhibits nutrient absorption. I follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and honey and saccharine are the only sweeteners allowed because they are digested by the good bacteria. Anyone have a recipe for just honey candy they would like to share? I’m trying to find a honey breath mint I can make.

    Thank you,

  8. Elana says

    Such a great list,
    FYI Caramel apples, I made just caramel chewy NON DAIRY candies with
    1 cup honey
    1 Cup almond milk
    1/2 cup coconut oil
    followed the heating instructions and stirred in
    1 tsp vanilla once removed from the heat
    poured into 9 inch square pan over baking paper to set, cut into squares with a greased knife and dipped in melted nondairy 72% chocolate

  9. says

    the third candy looked like meatballs which are so disgusting. i hate meatballs, but i loved the first one because it was chocolate. i love chocolate………………………..

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