The Oil You Should Be Using To Help Thin Candy Melts

It's easy to spot candy melts at craft and cake decorating stores: Dozens of bags of these candy disks in every color of the rainbow fill shelves or displays. This decor goes by other names too: coating wafers, compound coating, summer coating, and confectionary coating. All are made from a blend of oil, sugar, and colorings; chocolate wafers will also contain a small amount of cocoa. Because they melt easily and harden into a smooth, shiny shell, they're a favorite ingredient for covering cake pops, making seasonal, molded candies, dipping pretzel sticks, and adding colorful drizzles and coatings to all kinds of treats.


While candy melts may be easy to melt (hence their name) there are still some dos and don'ts to follow to ensure a smooth coating and no disasters. When melted wafers are not as thin as you need for your particular, sweet project, it's tempting to add a spoonful or splash of something to fix it. However, the only ingredient you should reach for to thin candy melts is oil. The best variety of oil to use is refined coconut oil, which melts easily, reliably thins the melted candy coating, and because it's flavorless won't change the taste of the candy coating. 

With candy melts, a little oil goes a long way

How thin or thick candy melts turn out is due to a number of factors, including: high-humidity environments, if the candy melts have been sitting in the pantry for too long, or how cold the room is where you're working. Adding a little bit of refined coconut oil to the candy wafers will help thin the mixture while keeping the smooth texture. Start with just a teaspoon of coconut oil to the melted candy wafers and stir until it's blended in; add another teaspoon if it's still not thin enough. Be careful not to add too much oil though, as this will prevent the candy melts from hardening and setting properly. 


If you don't have coconut oil, you can use a little vegetable shortening (such as Crisco) instead. Never use water to thin candy melts because it will cause the candy coating to seize into a hard, grainy mass that can't be saved. This goes for other ingredients that contain water such as milk or butter; even the tiniest amount of water will ruin your candy melts.

This oil product is also a favorite to use when working with candy melts

For those who work with candy melts often, there's another oil product that will help control the consistency of this candy coating: paramount crystals. Made from palm oil, paramount crystals are small, flat, white flakes that are shelf-stable and stay solid at room temperature. When added to melted candy coating, the flakes liquify to thin the mixture and make it easier to work with. Paramount crystals give candy melts a smooth finish and are flavorless as well. The cake decorating company Wilton sells their own version of paramount crystals under the name EZ Thin. 


Stocking up on a few bags of candy melts makes it easy to whip up colorful treats and add fun decor to desserts, especially for holidays. (Green and red for Christmas, pastels for spring ... you get the idea.) And, adding a jar of refined coconut oil or a bag of paramount crystals to the shopping cart means you'll never be stuck scrambling to fix thick or goopy candy melts. You'll achieve a smooth candy melt finish and sheen no matter what the humidity or temperature in your kitchen.