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The Secret to Making Mouthwatering Freeze-Dried Candy at Home

The Secret to Making Mouthwatering Freeze-Dried Candy at Home

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Welcome to a detailed step-by-step guide explaining the latest trend in the world of candy and treats.

Freeze-dried candy is a fun and satisfying treat you can enjoy whenever you want or serve to your little ones and friends.

The combination of the sweetness of your good old candy and a little crunch with much more flavor makes it one of the most popular ways to enjoy various candy types.

It only gets better because the freeze-dried candy doesn’t take much time or effort to prepare.

Now, it’s time for the questions you’ve come here for: how do you make freeze-dried candy from scratch? What are the tools you’ll need?

Keep reading to learn more about preparing these delicious and flavorful treats that everyone will adore.

Why is Freeze-Dried Candy So Popular?

Of all the trends on TikTok and YouTube, freeze-dried candy has become extremely popular, especially among teens and kids.

It’s delicious, full of flavor, and easy to prepare, so what’s not to like about it?

But that’s not the only reason.

People use the sweet and colorful candy to create satisfying and relaxing ASMR videos that also serve as an inspiration for DIY enthusiasts.

Nevertheless, there are other reasons that make people want to try these tasty and flavorful treats.

  • The freeze-drying process adds a new crystallized, crunchy texture to your traditional candy.
  • After freeze-drying, the candy will dissolve in your mouth instead of becoming gummy.
  • When the candy has dried, the flavor intensifies, whether you’re working with sweet or sour candy.
  • Freeze-drying candy can be a fun DIY project to try with your little ones.
  • The change in the texture can be an amazing way to try your favorite treats.
  • Freeze-dried candy is easier to transport and your kids can enjoy these treats on a day out.
  • Your candy will last for a long time after removing the moisture, and you can mix different flavors to create your unique freeze-dried candy.
  • Unlike freeze-dried vegetables and fruit, you don’t have to rehydrate your freeze-dried candy before eating it.
  • Freeze-dried candy doesn’t need to stay frozen. You can safely store and consume your candy at room temperature.

What Do You Need to Make Freeze-Dried Candy?

The good news is that making freeze-dried candy is pretty straightforward.

I totally believe it’s a fun activity for kids at birthday parties or on holidays when they’re bored.

Here’s what you need to make your homemade freeze-dried candy.

Freezer-Dryer Machine

This is probably the main obstacle you might have to deal with.

A freeze-drying machine is a unique appliance that removes the moisture from the candy by lowering the air pressure while freezing the treats.

This appliance is different from a freezer that doesn’t remove the moisture. A freeze-drying machine places the food in a vacuum to dry it while keeping it at a low temperature.

Then, the water changes to vapor in a process known as sublimation that makes your candy crunchy and more long-lasting.

Nevertheless, the machine comes with a hefty price that puts off most people. As an affordable alternative, you can use dry ice to make freeze-dried candy.


I love how you can turn marshmallows, gummy candy, skittles, caramel bars, chocolate bars, taffy, and various kinds of fruit into freeze-dried candy.

Since candy isn’t the healthiest treat, adding fruit to your candy collection is a good way to increase its nutritional value.

Culinary Tools and Appliances

All you need is a cutting board, knife, and baking sheet to get the candy ready for the freeze-drying process.

Using a food processor isn’t mandatory, but it’s a good way to mix different types of candy together after chopping. This way, you can indulge in more flavors with every bite.

You’ll also need high-quality freezer bags for freezing your candy before drying if you’re using dry ice.

Airtight Containers

Once you’re done, store your freeze-dried candy in airtight containers. Ensuring that your candy has no access to moisture guarantees that it will last for a long time.

How to Make Freeze-Dried Candy

There are two ways to prepare freeze-dried candy from scratch.

My favorite one is using a freeze-drying machine, which is naturally quite expensive.

The machine is straightforward and will do all the work on your behalf, and buying it makes perfect sense if you enjoy different types of freeze-dried food.

Nevertheless, if you’re not ready to spend thousands of dollars on a new appliance, you can opt for dry ice.

I’ll explain both methods in detail.

Using Freeze-Drying Machine

1- Select and unwrap your favorite candy to freeze-dry it, then add some fruit for a healthier option.

2- Cut the candy into bite-size pieces. You can also use a food processor to mix and match several flavors to create your unique freeze-dried candy.

3- Place your candy pieces onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and load it into the freeze-drying machine. It lowers the temperature to freeze your candy, then applies pressure to change the moisture into vapor.

4- Follow the machine’s instructions to ensure your candy is freeze-dried to perfection. It takes between one and two days to have crisp and crunchy candy.

5- Check progress and wait until your candy is completely dry, as any trapped moisture will make it go bad.

6- Store your candy in an airtight container and seal it to prevent access to moisture. Keep your candy in a cool, dark place as the light and heat can make it degrade.

Using Dry Ice

1- Prepare your candy by cutting it into bite-size.

2- Put your candy pieces in a freezer bag.

3- Freeze your candy until completely solid, then remove from the freezer.

4- Place your candy pieces on a parchment-lined baking tray.

5- Put your candy in the cooler with dry ice. It helps with flash-freezing, extending the life of your candy.

6- Keep your candy in the cooler for at least 48 hours, but make sure that the cooler isn’t completely closed.

How Long Does It Take to Freeze Dry Candy?

It usually takes 20 to 40 hours to freeze-dry your candy until it has reached the desired consistency.

This might be a bummer if kids are waiting to eat their candy on the spot.

Nevertheless, some types of candy can be ready within 6 to 8 hours, and I would recommend using those when you’re freeze-drying as a fun party activity.

Here are some factors that affect the duration of the freeze-drying process.

Type of Candy

As you’ve probably expected, moist candy types with a high water content will take more time before they’re freeze-dried. I’d personally go for soft and gummy candy if I don’t mind waiting for a couple of days.

But a lot of people aren’t as patient as I am, so you can work with hard candy like taffy that can be ready a lot earlier.

Size of Candy

Large candy pieces typically take more time to be freeze-dried.

This is why I highly recommend cutting your candy pieces into smaller pieces on a cutting board or in the processor before tossing them into the freeze-drying machine.

But cutting candy has another advantage. By mixing various types of your favorite candy, you’ll get plenty of flavors in every handful.

Machine Type

High-quality machines are more expensive but they will freeze-dry your candy faster. If you use dry ice, the process might take a few days.

Investing in a robust freeze-drying machine is a good decision because it will provide the best results.

Number of Candy Pieces

Always work in batches. It will accelerate the process of removing the moisture from your favorite candy.

But what happens when you just empty the candy bag into the tray?

The pieces might stick together and won’t look that visually appealing.

How Long Does Freeze-Dried Candy Last?

Freeze-dried candy can last for years, while traditional candy is good to eat between six and 12 months.

As a matter of fact, research shows that freeze-dried candy can last for more than 20 years when kept in ideal conditions.

If you don’t keep your freeze-dried candy in an airtight container, the high percentage of sugar might keep it good for a little while.

Yet, eventually, the mold and bacteria will grow and turn your candy stale.

What Can You Use Freeze-Dried Candy For?

Apart from munching on your freeze-dried candy, there are cools to enjoy these tasty treats.

  • Serve it as party favors.
  • Decorate ice cream, cupcakes, cakes, and muffins.
  • Add these candy pieces to your jelly and cold desserts.
  • Sprinkle it on top of your pancakes.
  • Blend your freeze-dried candy into milkshakes.

Final Thoughts

Freeze-dried candy is an excellent way to enjoy your favorite candy with a new texture.

The crispiness of freeze-dried candy makes it the perfect choice for parties and gatherings. Moreover, when you follow the right process, your candy can last for decades.

Although a freeze-drying machine is quite expensive, it’s totally worth it if you want to prepare freeze-dried candy regularly. It will also help you freeze-dry several types of fruit and veggies for healthy treats.

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