How to Freeze Dry Candy using Easy Methods

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When it comes to preserving the sweet pleasures of life, candy lovers often find themselves asking one question: How to freeze dry candy to make it last longer while preserving its deliciousness? 

So, you’re curious about how to preserve your favorite sweets for the long haul? Well, freeze-drying could be your best bet! This method of preservation not only prolongs the lifespan of your candy but also enhances its flavors and textures. Think of it as an exciting adventure to transform conventional candies into something even more sensational. Great for family activities, camping trips, or as a staple in your emergency food stash, freeze-drying candy is truly versatile.

In this article, we’ll explore different methods to freeze dry candy, ensuring that you can enjoy your favourite sugary treats for extended periods without losing their flavor and texture.

What is Freeze-Drying?

Freeze drying, or lyophilization, is a process where moisture is removed from food through sublimation. Subli-what, you ask? Sublimation is the transition of a substance from a solid state directly to a gas, bypassing the liquid phase. So, imagine turning an ice cube into a puff of vapor without it melting first. That’s what’s happening to the water in your candy!

It’s a technique that eliminates moisture from food, helping it stay good for years on end. Yes, you read that right—up to two decades! It’s like a magician’s trick where water disappears without leaving a trace of its presence. In the case of candy, freeze drying can result in a crisper, sweeter, and overall more delicious treat. Mind you, this works best with candies that are sugar-based; steer clear of sugar-free and chocolate-based candies for optimum results.

Why Freeze Dry Candy?

Why would anyone want to freeze dry candy? Well, there are several good reasons. Firstly, it extends the shelf life of your favorite candies, keeping them fresh for a long time. Secondly, freeze dried candy is lightweight and easy to store, making it a perfect option for hikers and campers. Lastly, it retains the candy’s taste and appearance, so you can enjoy it just as much as when it was fresh.

Apart from the obvious joy of experimentation, freeze drying your candy offers a multitude of benefits. For starters, you can use these candies as a delightful topping for your favorite desserts, such as ice cream or a vegan whipped cream alternative.

Got plan for camping? Why not include some freeze dry candy in your packing list? Its extended shelf life makes it an ideal snack to carry. What’s more, these candies are hassle-free when it comes to storage; a room-temperature environment will suffice.

Last but not least, consider incorporating freeze dried candy in your emergency kit. These high-energy sweets can be life-saving for those who live in areas that are susceptible to natural disasters.

Common Methods to Freeze Dry Candy

1. Dry Ice Method

Sure, specialized freeze drying machines offer top-notch results. However, they come with a hefty price tag, with some costing upwards of $2,000. So, let’s dive into two cost-effective methods you can use to freeze dry candy right in your kitchen.

  • Grab a compostable freezer bag (easily found online or in stores) and place your selected candies inside.
  • Next, pop the unsealed bags into a large cooler.
  • Carefully cover the candy with dry ice, ensuring you’re wearing thermal gloves to protect your hands. Make sure the weather report shows zero humidity for the day.
  • IMPORTANT: Don’t seal the cooler. Dry ice can build up pressure and we definitely don’t want any surprises.
  • After a 24-hour period, open the bags and transfer your now freeze dried candy to a new reusable freezer bag. Store them in a cool, dry place.

Remember, safety first! Always follow safe handling guidelines for dry ice, as advised by health authorities.

2. Freezer Method

  • Lay your chosen candies on a baking tray and stash them in your freezer.
  • Leave them in there for about two to three weeks.
  • Once the time has passed, remove them and place them in reusable freezer bags, storing them in a cool and dry spot.
  • Conduct a test by letting a piece reach room temperature. If it turns dark or black, it’s not quite there yet. A successful freeze dry will maintain the candy’s original color.

3. The Vacuum Chamber Method

Another method to freeze dry candy is by using a vacuum chamber. This method is quicker than traditional freeze drying and involves placing the candies in a vacuum chamber.

  • Position the candies on a tray inside the vacuum chamber. Seal the chamber and start the vacuum pump. The low pressure inside the chamber causes the moisture in the candy to evaporate at a lower temperature, preserving its structure.
  • Maintain low temperatures during this process to prevent the candy from melting. The result is crispy, freeze dry candy that retains its original taste and appearance.

4. Drying Candy with Liquid Nitrogen

For a more dramatic approach, you can freeze dry candy using liquid nitrogen. Be cautious when handling liquid nitrogen, as it is extremely cold.

Wear protective gear and place the candy in a container suitable for liquid nitrogen. Quickly immerse the candy in the liquid nitrogen and allow it to freeze for a few minutes. Remove it carefully and let it come to room temperature. The rapid change in temperature results in a freeze-dried candy that’s both crunchy and flavorful.

Pros and Cons of Each Method

Home Freeze Dryer– Convenient and user-friendly.– Expensive initial investment.
– Consistent results.
Dry Ice– Relatively cheap.– Not as consistent as a machine.
– Easily accessible.– Risk of burns if handled improperly.
Vacuum Chamber– Precise and efficient.– Expensive and not typically for home use.
– Can handle larger batches.– Requires knowledge to operate.

Tips for Best Results

Preparation Steps

  • Ensure candies are evenly spaced.
  • Pre-freeze candies for better results.

Storage Tips

  • Store in airtight containers.
  • Keep away from direct sunlight and heat.


Freeze drying candy opens up a world of possibilities for preserving your favorite sweets. Whether you opt for the traditional freeze dry method, vacuum freeze drying, or the liquid nitrogen method, you can savor your candy stash for longer without compromising on taste or texture. So, why not give it a try and enjoy your sugary delights whenever the mood strikes?

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