There are tons of yummy desserts to make with candy, and I've been on a mad search for the best of them. I have a bunch of new pastry and dessert tools to try out, so you can imagine what my kitchen's been looking like! Whether you're looking for desserts made with candy for a birthday party or if you're planning ahead for Halloween and its surplus of sweet treats, I bet you'll love these. Foodies who enjoy experimenting and baking mavens who enjoy colorful delicacies will all do back flips for some of these finds, so take a look at these amazing candy dessert recipes and get ready to hit the candy aisles!
Even before I start, let me preface this by saying that you can take a lot of these desserts to make with candy and use whatever candies or candy bars you prefer. You can honestly adapt them in many ways. For instance, this decadent recipe calls for an Oreo crust, in addition to Snickers bars, but you might prefer a traditional graham cracker and butter crust to cut the sweetness. As it stands, though, if you're looking for something gooey and utterly delicious, this is it!
24 chocolate sandwich cookies (such as Oreos)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 regular-size Snickers bars, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup caramel sauce, optional
1/4 cup chopped roasted and salted peanuts, optional
Make crust: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mist a 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray. Wrap bottom and sides with 2 large foil pieces. Pulse cookies in a food processor until crushed. Pulse in butter. Press into an even layer in pan. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.
Make filling: Place a roasting pan filled with 1 inch hot water on oven's center rack. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar; beat for 1 minute. Beat in eggs. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Beat in vanilla, lemon juice and cornstarch.
Sprinkle Snickers over crust. Pour batter into pan; place in water bath. Bake until cake is set around edges but still jiggles in center, about 55 minutes.
Remove cake from roasting pan; remove foil. Place cake on a rack to cool. Cover and chill until firm, 4 hours or up to 1 day. When ready to serve, drizzle top with caramel sauce and top with chopped peanuts, if desired.
I love peanut butter, so naturally I'm a fan of peanut butter cups as well. As such, this has to be my favorite dessert to make with candy – when there are any cups left over, of course! This is a stunningly beautiful cake, even with the addition of black beans! The cake itself is gluten free, and then you've got ganache and, wonder of wonders, peanut butter frosting. Peanut butter frosting! If you like, you can easily cut up some peanut butter cups and include them in the cake!
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup Dark Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup strong black coffee
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Creamy Peanut Butter Icing:
1-1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
8 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
2-1/4 c. powdered sugar
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
chopped peanut butter cups, for the top of the cake
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 2 x 9″ cake pans with butter and flour or parchment paper. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl of electric mixer. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl. With paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splash guard that comes with mixer). The batter will be liquidy. Pour into prepared pans.
Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pans in the oven. Bake 15 minutes longer or until a toothpick comes out clean – approximately 35 minutes total. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool.
For the Peanut Butter Icing:
Place the peanut butter, butter, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Turn the speed up to high and beat for 2 to 3 more minutes, until frosting is light and fluffy. Feel free to adjust the amount of cream and powdered sugar to get the texture you want.
For the Ganache:
Place the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla; let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.
To assemble the cake:
Turn one of the cooled cake layers upside down on a cake board or serving platter. Spread the peanut butter icing on the cake and place the other cake layer right side up on top of the icing. Smooth out the sides. Spoon the cooled ganache on top of the cake and let it drip down the sides. Sprinkle with chopped peanut butter cups.
Looking for a simple sweet treat that takes no time to assemble? Here you go! The Milky Ways are awesome, because you get all that caramel and nougat, but you could easily substitute the candy bar of your choice. Come to think of it, I think I originally heard of this concoction on a very, very old (but classic!) episode of Roseanne...
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chopped Milky Way Midnight bars (about 10 oz.)
Combine sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt in a pan. Slowly whisk in milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking. Boil for 1 minute.
Whisk yolks to blend in a large bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly pour half of hot milk mixture into yolks. Whisking vigorously, pour yolk mixture back into pan. Bring back to a boil and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Stir 1 1/2 cups Milky Way bars into pudding. Pour into 6 bowls or custard cups.
Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly on surface of pudding, and chill until set, at least 2 hours or overnight. Just before serving, sprinkle with remaining chopped Milky Ways.
I like this recipe mainly because the cookies are gorgeous. However, this is also one of the best desserts to make with candy when you want to get rid of some extras. It calls for Snickers, but really, any kind of candy bar would work. The sugar cookies help cut the sweetness, and the candy in the center makes a lovely surprise – especially when the cookies are still warm!
1/2 tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough, softened
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
24 miniature Snickers candy bars
Red and green colored sugar
In a small bowl, beat cookie dough and flour until combined. Shape 1-1/2 teaspoonfuls of dough around each candy bar. Roll in colored sugar.
Place 2 in. apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Yield: 2 dozen.
Kit Kat bars are just magical – I love that crunch! Sometimes the best part of experimenting with desserts made with candy is getting to use your favorite chocolate goodies. As a result, this cake is tons of fun to make. Mind you, it's a bit of a chocolate overload, but if you're a fan, then you won't want to miss this. Cookie dough lovers ought to be quite pleased, too! The best part is that it's surprisingly easy and, as you can see, doesn't require a whole lot of ingredients.
1 (18 ounce) package refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough, prepared recipe favorite chilled
6 cups whipping cream
2 1/2 cups chocolate chips, divided
14 Kit Kat bars
2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
Whipped cream or whipped topping
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line bottom of 9-inch round cake pan with parchment or wax paper. Press cookie dough in bottom to 1/2 inch thickness. Bake approximately 18 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool completely.
In a large bowl, put 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and 5 cups whipping cream. Microwave on HIGH for 4 – 5 minutes until chocolate is soft. Remove and stir well until chocolate and cream are mixed well. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
Melt remaining chocolate chips with butter and stir until smooth.
Place large cookie in center of 10-inch spring form pan. Cut candy bars long ways and dip on end in chocolate mixture. Place vertically between cookie and sides of pan. Continue until all candy bar pieces are used.
Chill 20 minutes.
Whip cream and chocolate mixture until stiff.
Chop remaining candy bars into chunks. Take cookie shell and place one-third of mousse on bottom. Sprinkle chunks on top. Repeat layers, ending with mousse. Chill in freezer overnight.
Top with whipped cream and chunks of candy bar.
Return to freezer.
When ready to serve, remove from freezer and let stand in refrigerator 30 minutes before slicing.
More peanut butter! This recipe is so easy, but it tastes absolutely amazing. I mean, it's incredible – plus the end results are gorgeous. You might even like to try this one at the end of a dinner party, although if you have kids who love cheesecake, these minis will definitely be a hit. I'll be honest, for a no-bake recipe, the prep is pretty involved, but it's well work the effort – especially if you like Butterfingers!
9 oz mini size butterfingers (about 24 mini size Butterfingers)
3 oz pretzels
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
8oz cream cheese, softened
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
½ cup Buttercup and Pretzel mixture
Chocolate Pouring Glaze:
2/3 cups dark chocolate
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
4-5 tablespoons water, warm
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting:
¼ cup cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons peanut butter
5 tablespoons powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons whole milk
Combine Butterfingers and pretzels in a food processor bowl or blender and process until finely ground. Measure out ½ cup Butterfinger and Pretzel mixture and set aside.
Press remaining mixture into pan and bake at 350 degrees F for about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool. (No need for butter the chocolate will melt and bind the crust together.)
Pour ¼ cup of cold water into a shallow, heat-proof bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water and set aside for five minute until gelatin blooms. Place bowl of bloomed gelatin in microwave at 50% power and heat for 10 seconds. Mixture should be hot, but not steaming. Make sure mixture is liquefied and no lumps are visible. Set aside.
Place heavy cream into a stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on high until medium peaks form. Set aside.
Add cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, salt, Butterfinger and Pretzel mixture, in a bowl and beat until smooth.
Add one tablespoon of gelatin into cream cheese mixture at a time and gently fold to combine. Add heavy cream mixture and fold to combine.
Transfer mixture to a pastry bag and pipe into wells. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours to set or overnight for best result. For smooth and even sides, use an offset spatula and run it along the edge of the removable bottom, using that as a guide, continue all the way around the mini cake until you end up where you started.
Chocolate Pouring Glaze:
Place chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. Let chocolate and cream sit for 2-3 minutes to melt without stirring. Then slowly stir mixture to combine. Add powdered sugar and mix to combine. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until pouring consistency is reached. Set aside and let sauce cool to warm.
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting:
Combine all ingredients and beat to combine.
Pour warm glaze on top of cheesecake and pipe a dollop of peanut butter cream cheese frosting on top. Return to fridge for an hour or until 20 minutes before serving.
Don't worry, not all of the desserts to make with candy involve chocolate – at least, not totally. These festive caramel apples really use any kind of candy you can imagine, from gummy bears or worms to red hots. If it tastes good with sweet caramel and tart apples, you can definitely use it. While caramel apples seem like a fall treat, you'll love these all year round – especially for school fetes and birthday parties!
1/4 cup gummy worms
1/4 cup Halloween sprinkles
1 (1.4 oz.) chocolate and toffee bar, crushed
1 (1.5 oz.) bag Reese's pieces
1/4 cup candy corn
1/4 cup small cinnamon candies
8 small apples
1 (14 oz.) bag soft caramel candies, each unwrapped
1/4 cup heavy cream
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place candy (except caramels) in separate small bowls. Insert a craft stick into stem end of each apple.
Place caramels and cream in a heavy saucepan and heat on medium-low, stirring, until caramels have melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
Hold an apple by its stick over pot and spoon caramel over apple to coat, allowing excess to drip back into pot (if caramel gets too stiff, reheat for a minute or 2 to loosen). Press candy into caramel on apple and place apple, stick side up, on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining apples and candy. Let apples stand until caramel has cooled, about 10 minutes.
So many of these desserts to make with candy are so colorful and fun. They're sure to be rich, so you might want to save them for special occasions. Of course, you can always scale the recipes so they're smaller, or choose something that doesn't use an excess of M&Ms or candy bars. It all depends on your palate and what might work best for your dessert plans, or the event for which you're baking! What's your favorite dessert made with candy? Feel free to share personal recipes, too!
Top Image Source: pinterest.com
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