If I had to sum up my party-planning ethos, it’s that I want a Pinterest aesthetic, but the easy and cost-effective way. Over the years of planning my kids’ birthday parties, I’ve discovered that candy melts are a surprisingly versatile and cheap way to make a big impact for party food. Today I’m sharing four easy party treats that use candy melts. These candy melt ideas are all super simple to make, and can be customized with different color combos of melts, adding different types of sprinkles, and more. You’ll definitely want to pin these simple candy melt recipes to you party planning boards. Once you see these ways to use candy melts, you’ll find that the inspiration for using them for holidays and parties is endless!
Where to buy candy melts and how they work
You can find candy melts at party supply stores (like Party City), craft and hobby stores (like Michaels and Jo-Ann), in the party section of big stores (like Walmart), or on Amazon (affiliate link). The most notable brand of candy melts is Wilton, but some of the stores mentioned above have their own generic store brands, which work just as well in my opinion.
Candy melts come in the form of round wafer discs in a huge variety of colors and shades. They easily melt in the microwave in a bowl. I usually heat them in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until the candy coating is melted and smooth. At this point you can either dip things into them, or pour it into a bag for piping and drizzling. You can allow it to re-harden at room temperature, or stick them in the fridge or freezer for quicker work.
The color variety and ease of use make candy melts perfect for almost any party theme! Here are four ideas for candy melts for parties.
DIY cupcake toppers
Speaking of versatility, silicone molds are another great tool for different party themes. They come in many fun shapes and can be used in a number of different ways. As you might remember from my DIY crayon party favors, you can use the molds for crayons and crafts, ice cubes, or food. Pouring candy melts into silicone molds creates colorful and shockingly easy edible cupcake toppers. I used this easy DIY cupcake toppers method for these bacon cupcakes I made for my husband’s birthday, as well as for LEGO brick cupcakes for my son’s LEGO birthday party. Here’s how to make candy melt cupcake toppers.
Like all of the candy melt ideas, start by melting your candy coating wafers in a microwave-safe bowl. You can use one color or multiple colors depending on your party theme.
Spoon the melted candy into silicone ice cube tray molds.
If your tray is small or you only have one tray, I recommend placing the silicone mold in the freezer for 15 minutes to speed the drying/hardening process so that you can quickly move on to the next batch.
After they’ve hardened, you can easily pop these candy melt cupcake toppers out of their molds.
Place your DIY cupcake toppers on top of prepared cupcakes, and it’s party time! This candy melt idea could not be easier.
Pretzels dipped in candy melts
Another super quick candy melt recipe idea for a party are pretzels dipped in candy melts. The saltiness of the pretzels with the sweetness of the candy coating is super crave-worthy, and we never have any left over after a party. See an example of how we used them for my son’s rock n’ roll-themed first birthday party.
Start out by melting your desired color(s) of candy melts, then dip mini pretzels halfway into the candy coating.
Place the pretzels dipped in candy melts in a single layer on a sheet of waxed paper, then if desired, add some sprinkles to the top (nonpareils looks great for mini pretzels, but regular sprinkles work great as well) while they are still wet.
Let sit until they harden, or expedite the process by transferring the waxed paper sheet of pretzels dipped in candy melts to the fridge or freezer. If you plan to do this, it’s helpful to have the waxed paper on a baking sheet or cutting board before you start adding the pretzels on top.
Serve the pretzels dipped in candy melts in a bowl, or add a few of them to clear plastic treat bags (affiliate link) tied with ribbon to use as party favors or classroom treats.
Decorated Rice Krispie treats pops
One of my favorite candy melts recipes is decorated Rice Krispie treats pops. These dipped Rice Krispie treats are such a hit that we’ve used them for both Sawyer’s rock n’ roll birthday party (topped with sprinkles) and his tiger-themed birthday party (piped with stripes). You can save time by using the pre-made individually wrapped Rice Krispie treats (and can cut them in half to make it go further), or you can save money by making your own sheet of Rice Krispie treats and cutting into bite-size rectangles.
When dipping something long into candy melts, I find that it’s more efficient to use a cup or some other narrow dish as opposed to a wide bowl. To make the dipped Rice Krispie treats, simply dip your cut rectangles halfway into the melted candy coating.
One option for these decorated Rice Krispie treats is to let the first color of candy harden, then drizzle or pipe on designs with an alternate color of candy melt.
A second option for these decorated Rice Krispie treats is to add sprinkles to them while the candy coating is still a bit wet.
Add 4-inch lollipop sticks (affiliate link) to the non-dipped end to make them into Rice Krispie treats pops. Let the candy coating dry and harden completely with the pops sitting on waxed paper.
These dipped Rice Krispie treats pops are easy to grab for party guests, and an easy candy melt recipe to prepare.
Dipping OREOs in candy melts
I first tried dipping OREOs in candy melts for these kid-friendly St. Patrick’s Day snack ideas. Since Sawyer loves OREOs, we used candy melt dipped OREOs for his tiger-themed birthday party that year, too. Like the candy melts recipes above, these are easy and versatile. You can dip OREOs into different colors and call it a day, or you can top the melted candy with sprinkles or pipe on a different color of candy. When you start to imagine all the things you can dip into them, you’ll start coming up with endless ideas for candy melts!
To make these, start by dipping OREOs in melted candy melts. You can dip them completely or halfway. I personally like the aesthetic of partial dipping for a pop of color.
Set your dipped OREOs on a sheet of waxed paper. If you are adding sprinkles (I think nonpareils look great on dipped OREOs), you’ll want to add the sprinkles while the candy coating is still wet. You can transfer the sheet of waxed paper to the fridge or freezer to expedite the drying/hardening process.
Serve the OREOs on a plate or bowl (I like to use a few different colors in the party or holidays theme). Dipping OREOs is a super fun way to use candy melts!
More party food ideas:
- DIY Cupcake Toppers with (wait for it) Bacon Cupcakes
- Crock Pot Party Meatballs (the easiest slow cooker chili and cranberry sauce meatballs recipe)
- 15 Fun and Easy Christmas Party Food Ideas
- Camping-Themed Party Food Ideas
- Quick and Easy Party Appetizers Using Pretzel Crisps
- Super Easy Football Party Food Ideas
- Sparkling Rose Sangria recipe
- Hot Dog Bar Toppings and Recipe Ideas
- Easy Tailgate Recipe: Brown Sugar BBQ Mini Sausages
- Recipes for Planning the Ultimate Football Homegate
- Easy, Kid-Friendly Halloween Party Food Ideas
- OREO Cookie Balls Christmas Lights
- Candy Cane Spritzer cocktail recipe
- New Year’s Cocktail Guide
- Mint Swirl Shamrock Brownies for St. Patrick’s Day
- Quick and Easy Low-Carb Party Appetizers (all with four ingredients or less)
- Easy, Kid-Friendly St. Patrick’s Day Dessert Ideas
- Dublin Kiss shot recipe (St. Patrick’s Day shot with Jameson and Baileys)
- Tater Tot Mini Cheeseburger Bites
- Easy 15-minute, four-ingredient football tailgate party recipes
- Coach Nik’s Guacamole
- Out-of-the-box charcuterie board idea: Get (pea)nutty!
- Instant Pot Feta, Spinach, and Artichoke Dip
- Air Fryer Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Sriracha Mayo
Kid’s birthday party ideas:
- Bendy and the Ink Machine-Themed Birthday Party
- Construction-Themed Birthday Party
- Despicable Me / Minion Birthday Party
- Dinosaur-Themed Birthday Party
- Disney Cars Birthday Party
- Emoji-Themed Birthday Party
- Ice Cream Social Birthday Party
- Jungle-Themed 1st Birthday Party
- LEGO Movie Birthday Party
- Minecraft-Themed Birthday Party
- Pokémon-Themed Birthday Party
- Power Rangers-Themed Birthday Party
- Rock n’ Roll Themed 1st Birthday Party
- Thomas and Friends / Thomas the Train Birthday Party
- Tiger-Themed Birthday Party Planning Ideas