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Candy Corn Upside-Down Cake

Candy Corn Upside-Down Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place 1/3 cup of the butter in a 9-inch square baking pan, and place it in the oven until melted (it is fine to do this as the oven preheats). Remove the pan from the oven and gently tilt so that the butter coats the entire bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter. Sprinkle the candy corn evenly on top.

In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the remaining butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs, mixing until incorporated. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, in 2-3 additions, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl with each addition. Beat on low speed until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the pan, taking care not to dislodge the carefully planted candy corn.

Set a cookie tray under the cake in the oven, in case the candy bubbles or drips. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, 45-50 minutes.

Immediately place a heatproof serving plate upside down over the pan; in one swift, sure motion, flip the plate and pan over so that the cake is now on the plate. Leave the pan in place for several minutes so the gooey mixture can drip down over the cake. After the dripping is done, lift off the pan. Serve still slightly warm. Store, loosely covered, at room temperature.

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Candy corn are one of the most iconic Halloween candies out there. Some people love them, and some people hate them, but everyone seems to know exactly what the orange, yellow and white triangular candies are. I happen to be a fan of the slightly honey-flavored fondant candies, and put them out in candy jars both as a snack and for their colorful look.

These Candy Corn Cupcakes are candy corn in cupcake format. They’re orange and yellow miniature cupcakes (because candy corn are so small!) with a point of white icing on the top to give them that signature candy corn shape. They taste like regular vanilla cupcakes instead of candy corn, so everyone can enjoy them even if they don’t like the candies that inspired them, but definitely capture the colors of the season.

I made these by dividing up vanilla cupcake batter and dying one portion yellow and one portion orange. I piped the orange batter into mini cupcakes pans and topped it with the yellow batter, then baked them. Once the cupcakes baked, I cooled them and unwrapped them before frosting, and flipped them upside down so that the wide, yellow portion of the cake would be the base of my candy corn – just as it is in the real candies – and the cupcakes would have a more recognizable candy corn shape. Make sure to store these cupcakes in an airtight container once you’ve unwrapped and frosted them. Since the sides of the cake are unprotected, they will dry out a bit on the edges if they sit out for too long. As long as you store them in an airtight container, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Make sure to use enough food coloring that you get bold, bright colors in your cake. Gel food colorings will give you the darkest colors, while you will need to use more regular (liquid) food coloring for the best color. Be generous with the colors and you’ll get great results.

These cupcakes can also be made as full size cupcakes, layered and decorated the exact same way as the mini cupcakes. They look great as full size cupcakes, but the mini cakes will always look a bit more like actual candy corn because they’re so much closer in size to the real thing. Still, if you do opt for the larger cupcakes, just put the batter into full size cupcake liners and add 3-4 extra minutes or so of baking time.

Candy Corn Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
yellow and orange food coloring
vanilla buttercream frosting, for topping (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 36 mini muffin tin cavities with mini paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually incorporate one third of the flour mixture followed by half of the buttermilk. Add another third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining buttermilk and the last of the flour. Mix just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Divide the batter, transferring a little less than half of the batter into a medium bowl. Add orange food coloring to this bowl and mix (use enough to make a dark orange – amounts will vary based on the type of food coloring used) it in. Add yellow food coloring to remaining batter and mix well.
Divide orange batter evenly into prepared muffin cups (it is easiest to use a piping bag or ziploc bag with the corner cut off). Pipe yellow batter on top of the orange, filling each cavity about 3/4 full.
Bake for 11-14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
When cupcakes are cooled, remove them from their wrappers and turn them over, so the yellow portion is on the bottom. Pipe a small point of vanilla buttercream (using a piping bag or ziploc bag with the corner cut off) on top of each mini cupcake to finish the look.
Store in an airtight container.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 tbsp milk
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Cream butter with an electric mixer until soft. Add vanilla and milk, then gradually blend in sugar until frosting reaches a fluffy, spreadable consistency.

*Note: You may end up with a few cupcakes that are all yellow or all orange if you didn’t divide your batter evenly. Not to worry – they will still taste good! Also, if using full size muffin cups, you should make 12-15 cupcakes.

Candy Corn Simple Syrup

Candy corn is a fall staple that almost all of us buy in the weeks leading up to Halloween. The colorful candy corn kernels are a great way to brighten up your candy dish or your seasonal tablescape, even if you’re not a big fan of eating them. Whether you’re a fan or not, there have probably still been times when you found yourself with an extra bag or two that you didn’t know what to do with. My new favorite way to use leftover candy corn is to make Candy Corn Simple Syrup.

Simple syrup is a liquid sweetener made from equal parts sugar and water. It is common used to sweeten cocktails, coffee and tea drinks because, unlike granulated sugar, it blends instantly into other liquids, even if the drink is already cold. This simple syrup isn’t quite as “simple” as the original recipe, but it is easy to make and I can just about guarantee that you’re going to love it. It is made by dissolving candy corn – which is mostly sugar – in water, then adding in honey and a touch of vanilla. I add in additional honey and vanilla because candy corn is already flavored with these two ingredients, and adding in extra amplifies their flavor and really makes the resulting syrup taste just like candy corn – perhaps even better!

The syrup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week or two and used to sweeten any kind of drink that you might be able to think of. Pictured here is a very simple (and non-alcoholic) candy corn themed drink that is made with crushed ice, unsweetened pineapple juice and candy corn simple syrup. The syrup and the juice should be layered over the ice before serving so that you can clearly see the colors, but the ingredients should be stirred together before you drink it so that your pineapple juice becomes infused with the flavor of honey. You can also use the syrup to make a Candy Corn Latte, which is a great way to start your morning, or to make a Candy Corn Swizzle cocktail, a rum-based variation of this recipe, as a more grown-up treat for Halloween entertaining!

Candy Corn Simple Syrup
1 cup candy corn (approx 6 oz)
1 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Combine candy corn, water and honey in a small saucepan. Bring just to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the candy corn, but do not bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature slightly if needed. When the candy corn is dissolved, remove mixture from the heat and stir in vanilla extract. Allow to cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Candy Corn Pineapple Punch
3 tbsp Candy Corn Simple Syrup
6 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
crushed ice

Add a small scoop of crushed ice to the bottom of a large glass (a hurricane glass, if you have one) and add in Candy Corn Simple Syrup. Fill glass top the top with more crushed ice. Pour in pineapple juice and make sure that a little of the ice, which will be the white layer in the candy corn look, is still visible at the top of the glass. Serve immediately.

How to Turn Candy Corn Into an Easy Glaze for Cakes

Candy corn is a polarizing candy of the season. You either love it or hate it, and weirdly, often both. I, for example, do not like candy corn, and do not buy candy corn. But if there is a bowl of candy corn anywhere in my vicinity, I will eat it at a scale that is staggering, as if possessed, powerless against its pull. So, you will understand the gut-wrenching dilemma when a friend last year gifted me a bag of candy corn around the holidays.

I did not open the bag, knowing that I would eat it all while deriving no pleasure from it. I tossed it onto the shelf where I stash the candy in my pantry and forgot about it. Until the sweet potato pound cake happened. While testing sweet potato pound cake recipes, I found myself searching for an autumnal glaze to drizzle on top. Sick of your basic confectioner’s sugar and milk drizzles, not wanting the punch of a lemon icing, but something different, I went digging in the pantry for inspiration. And stumbled into the bag of candy corn.

Candy corn is just sugar and flavor and corn starch and gelatin. So, what would happen if I tried to melt it down and use it for a glaze?

Just what you would expect. A lovely pale orange glaze that I could drizzle over my pound cake with the flavor of candy corn, which worked shockingly well with the spicy sweet potato cake.

Watch: 5 Ways to Use Candy Corn

I was winging it, but basically, I took a bag of candy corn, about 1tenounces, and added a couple ounces of half and half (because I had it in the fridge, but milk would work fine), and heated them together in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until melted. I removed it from the heat and let rest at room temp until cooled, then whisked in just enough confectioners’ sugar to thicken slightly, maybe a third of a cup, since I like a less liquid glaze, along with a pinch of salt and some orange zest to balance it out so that it wasn’t just sweet on sweet. If you like your glazes sort of sheer and barely there, you can use it straight.

That’s it. The whole shebang.

So, if you find yourself in possession of some leftover candy corn this season, any seasonal loaf, Bundt, pound cake or muffin would benefit from this glaze. From apple to cranberry, pumpkin to ginger, or any nut-based sweet bread, this glaze works pretty much with anything you can imagine. It’s good enough to make you actually buy a bag of candy corn.

Alton Brown's Candy Corn

Candy corn is a Halloween stable. It can be found on any store shelf this time of year. However most of that candy corn isn't any good. Most of it tastes like wax to me. So I never buy the stuff. But when Alton Brown shared a recipe for candy corn on the Good Eats episode "All Hallows Eats" I decided to give candy corn another try. Below you will find my notes from preparing this recipe. For the full recipe, visit the Food Network website.

1. The candy corn is made with many kitchen stables like corn syrup, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. The only thing you may need to seek out is gel paste food coloring. This food coloring is a gel that makes really vivid colors without adding liquid to the candy. You can buy this stuff at cake decorating shops or online. I purchased mine at Baker's Nook in Saline, Michigan.

2. The recipe calls for a 2 quart sauce pan and a candy thermometer. Make sure you don't use a pan smaller than that or you might have some boil over. The candy thermometer is a must so that you heat the candy up to the right temperature to get the desire texture. My candy corn came out a little on the soft side which make it more difficult to shape. Next time I might go just a couple degrees higher to take care of that problem. Making candy is often a trial and error process.

3. Alton uses a butter cutter to slice up the candy in pieces. This is the first time I have ever seen a butter cutter be of any real good use. Since I don't own one, I was left with cutting the candies one by one with my bench scrapper.

4. Alton used a silicone mat to help roll and shape the candy. Even thought it was upside down I could clearly tell it was a Slipat mat. Having a Slipat on hand to roll the candy out will be a big help. Since mine was softer than Alton's I could not just roll it out on my counter top without it sticking a bit.

5. This recipe has room for many variations. You can change the colors to whatever you like. Also you could change the vanilla extract to another extract or oil. I am thinking of trying this again using a citrus flavored extract or oil.

This is not a recipe for a beginner, no candy recipe really is, but it's a good place to start in the candy world. You have to be ready that it may not turn out the way you want it the first time (as my first batch was a bit too soft). But don't be discouraged. Keep at it. Cause if you can pull it off you will have the chance to impress all your friends and family with your own homemade candy corn.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 14 drops red food coloring, or as needed - divided
  • 22 drops yellow food coloring, or as needed - divided
  • 6 drops green food coloring, or as needed
  • 2 cups prepared white frosting
  • 12 pieces of yellow, orange, and white candy corn
  • 12 pieces of brown, orange, and white candy corn

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.

Place cake mix in a bowl, and pour in water and vegetable oil add 3 eggs. With electric mixer on low speed, beat the cake mix with water, oil, and eggs until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Pour half the cake mix into a second bowl divide the remaining cake mix in half, and place into 2 separate small bowls.

Color the largest portion of the cake mix orange by mixing in 4 drops of red food coloring and 6 drops of yellow food coloring. Into a second, smaller bowl of cake mix, mix in 10 drops of red food coloring, 12 drops of yellow food coloring, and 6 drops of green food coloring, to color that bowl brown. Into the last remaining small bowl of cake mix, stir in 5 drops of yellow food coloring to color that bowl yellow.

Spoon yellow cake batter into the bottoms of 12 prepared cupcake cups, filling them about 1/3 full. Spoon the brown batter into the bottoms of the remaining 12 prepared cupcake cups, filling them about 1/3 full. Spoon orange cupcake mix over the yellow and brown layers, filling the cupcakes about 2/3 full. Try not to jar or shake the filled cupcakes, to avoid mixing layers.

Carefully place cupcakes into the preheated oven, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Allow to cool.

Frost each cooled cupcake with the white frosting place a piece of yellow, orange, and white candy corn on top of each yellow and orange cupcake. Place a brown, orange, and white piece of candy corn on top of each brown and orange cupcake.

Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Immediately run a knife around the edge and turn over pan onto a serving platter.

Let the overturned pan rest for a few minutes, then carefully remove it.

Candy Corn Poke Cake Recipe

This recipe is super quick and easy to follow. You will have a sweet and moist cake in no time. The ingredients are easy to find and its perfect for any occasion, especially Halloween! So, be sure to write this one down!

Do Poke Cakes Have to Be Refrigerated?

You can have this cake at room temp for a short period of time. Though, this cake has a whipped topping and being so, makes it better to have in the refrigerator. This will also make for a longer lasting shelf life.

What Flavor is Candy Corn?

It has always been a mystery as to what Candy corn is supposed to taste like. However, according to the flavor of this sweet treat, its supposed to be a mix of three flavors. Those three flavors are marshmallow, vanilla and caramel.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ⅓ cups buttermilk
  • Yellow food coloring, optional
  • 1 ½ cup candy corn, divided
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • ½ cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped

How to Make a Candy Corn Poke Cake Recipe

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9吉 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until fluffy. Slowly add the sugar and beat until completely incorporated. Add the vanilla and eggs, beating after each egg is added.

To the mixture, add the flour in ½ cup increments, alternating each addition with buttermilk. Blend just until mixed. Do not overbeat.

If desired, add yellow food coloring and stir until combined.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared 9吉 baking dish.

Place in the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle returns clean.

Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack to room temperature.

Meanwhile, place ¾ cup candy corn and water into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the candy corn has melted. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Using a bamboo skewer, poke holes into the cake. Pour the candy corn syrup over the cake.

Trick or Sweet: Candy Corn Upside Down Cake

Recently, I asked my favorite Pineapple Upside-Down Cake recipe a serious question: "What would you like to be for Halloween this year?".

After considering various options, such as Doughnut Upside-Down Cake, Tarte Tatin, and various other options for the inverted dessert, we decided to go with something festive: Candy Corn Upside-Down Cake.

It was simple enough to do: just substitute candy corn for the pineapple requested in the original recipe. But what happened when I baked it up was a surprise: the brown sugar and butter topping fused with the melted candy corn to form some sort of unholy, monstrous Halloween caramel-sugar topping, which dripped back into the cake when inverted. The result? The entire buttery cake tasted like it had been basted in candy corn. And if you're a candy corn lover, that might just be a beautiful thing.

Even Unicorn agrees!


1. Prepare an 8 inch round cake pan by molding aluminum foil around the outside with the shiny side out.

Prep Pan for Brownies

Prepare an 8-inch round cake pan by molding aluminum foil around the outside with the shiny side out. Remove the foil, flip it upside down and use it to line the inside of the pan. Fit it into the pan and lightly coat with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Remove the foil and use it to line the inside of the pan. Fit it into the pan and lightly coat with cooking spray, then set aside.

3. Melt butter and chocolate together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat (Image 1) and set aside to cool completely before proceeding.

4. Place eggs and salt in a mixing bowl (Image 2) and beat on medium-high setting until light and foamy (about 5 minutes).

Melt Butter and Chocolate Together

Melt butter and chocolate together in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Set aside to cool completely before proceeding.