Peanut Butter Cornflake Candy

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Have you ever eaten Peanut Butter Cornflake Candy? I have. One time. It was delicious. I can honestly say it is one of the best candies I have tried. Ever. Okay, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration but I seriously loved this candy and every time I see it on the shelf I think about that first bite and smile.

Old-Fashioned Cornflake Candy Is the Humble No-Bake Treat To Make Right This Second

Cornflake Candy

Almost every person under the Southern sun has a grandmother, aunt, or mother known to make a batch or two of cornflake candy, particularly around Christmas and Easter. Made with just four ingredients and a whole lot of love, these hand-held treats make the most of humble items like sugar, corn syrup, peanut butter, and cornflakes—and still satisfy that sweet tooth like nobody’s business. The best part? All the old-school recipes passed down for generations don’t even call for any baking. No oven required. 

Southern women love to make these crowd-pleasing clusters into festive wreath shapes during the holiday season—dyed green and dotted with baby red M&M’s—and into cute little Easter stacks topped with pastel Cadbury Mini Eggs. The simple recipe is so easy to make that they’re also known to whip them up on any Wednesday afternoon when a sugar low hits. 

The short list of ingredients are combined in a similar way to homemade Rice Krispies Treats, but dropped onto a sheet pan like drop cookies for ultimate ease. No matter the batch size, these treats always call for equal parts corn syrup, sugar, and peanut butter, because we like to keep things simple down here. Follow these quick steps to have a batch of your own old-fashioned cornflake candy in minutes.

How to Make Cornflake Candy:

For an average-sized batch of about 12 to 18 candies, depending on your drop preference, you’ll want to use one cup of corn syrup, sugar, and peanut butter. Melt the sugar in the corn syrup on the stovetop before adding peanut butter, stirring until smooth and melty. Using whichever brand of cornflakes you prefer, add one cup at a time, mixing to combine. You can use any amount from 4 to 6 cups; we try to find a sweet spot of at least 5 cups. (Less cornflakes mean slightly more gooey candies, which can turn out to be a mess when storing.) While the mixture is still warm, quickly drop big spoonfuls into clusters on a greased or parchment paper-covered sheet pan. Let clusters cool until set and firm—then watch them disappear from the plate!  

Even better, you can customize your candy in tons of different ways. Many like to add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the sugar mixture for added flavor, and others prefer to coat the cornflakes in chocolate or butterscotch in lieu of peanut butter. For that, sub in semi-sweet chocolate chips or butterscotch chips. You can also add coconut flakes, nuts, or food coloring dye to your heart’s content. 

Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies

This recipe for no bake peanut butter cornflake cookies is the best. It’s so easy, and makes the most delicious, chewy cornflake candy. Top them with your favorite sprinkles, and your’ve got a perfect Christmas treat.

Why I love this cornflake cookies recipe

I love a good no bake recipe, and these peanut butter cornflake cookies are no exception. In fact, they’re perfect because they were already dairy free and I didn’t have to make a single substitution.

They’re also super fun to make with kids because they’re a bit messy, take barely anytime, and they’re topped with sprinkles. We used rainbow nonpareils for the batch in the photos, but we’ve done regular sprinkles and Christmas-colored ones too.

The best part about these cornflake cookies though? You only need 5 ingredients.

Ingredients

Peanut butter: normally, when I’m baking with peanut butter, I recommend a more processed peanut butter, but for this recipe, we used our go-to natural peanut butter from Costco, and it worked great.

Corn syrup: I used light corn syrup in these cookies, but if there’s a reason you don’t want to, or you don’t have any on hand, I think honey or brown rice syup would work really well.

How to make peanut butter cornflake cookies

Mise en place. Line two baking sheets with parchment, and measure your ingredients out. Get your sprinkles ready, because you need to work fast once you mix the cookies or your sprinkles won’t stick.

Make the sugary coating. Add the sugar, corn syrup and peanut butter to a large saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until the sugar melts and everything is smooth.

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the sugar mixture into the bowl with the cornflakes and stir until they’re evenly coated.

Shape the cookies. Next, scoop out balls the size of two tablespoons (or use a cookie scoop). Transfer them to your lined baking sheets and top with sprinkles immediately. Adjust the shape of your cookies if necessary.

FAQs and tips for making cornflake candy

How long will no bake cookies stay fresh?

These cookies should stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. Store them in an airtight container for best results.

Can you put no bake cookies on aluminum foil?

I wouldn’t recommend this unless you use non-stick foil or grease the foil before placing the cookies on it. Otherwise, your cookies will stick.

Why do my no bake cookies turn out gooey?

Similar to candy making, if you don’t bring your liquid to a full boil, the mixture will not reach the right consistency when it’s cooled.

What temperature do you bake no bake cookies at?

You don’t have to bake them, but the liquid does need to reach a boiling temperature (see above question).

How long does it take for no bakes to set?

It should only take them about 20 – 30 minutes to set, about the time it takes for them to come back to room temperature.

Do you keep no bake cookies in the fridge?

You don’t need to keep them in the fridge. They should be perfectly fine in an airtight container at room temperature.

Cornflake Candy (Super Easy!)

Cornflake Candy combines crunchy cornflakes with creamy peanut butter in a decadent old-fashioned traditional southern candy that everyone will love!

With just 5 ingredients, and 30 minutes, these peanut butter cornflake cookies are a fun holiday no bake dessert for kids of all ages!

candy with bite missing

Vintage Cornflake Candy

One of my favorite holiday sweet treats has always been these Cornflake Candies. I remember when I was a kid, getting so excited when my mom would make these simple cookies because it meant the holidays were near.

So, I finally decided it was time to share this quick and easy classic southern dessert! While they are the perfect holiday dessert, they can be made and enjoyed year-round!

Plus, with a few simple additions, you can dress these cookies up to fit any holiday or event you may be attending.

This delicious cornflake candy is a no bake treat that requires only 15 minutes of hands-on prep time, is made with 5 ingredients, and is gluten-free!

And one thing is for sure, these cookies will quickly disappear because they are so addicting that the whole family won’t be able to get enough of them!

Why this recipe is so great:

  • No Bake! You don’t even need a candy thermometer.
  • Fun to make with the kids.
  • Gluten free (check the ingredient labels)
  • Just 5 ingredients!
labeled picture of candy ingredients

Ingredients Needed

Cornflakes – Use your favorite brand of cornflake cereal. Name brand or generic will work fine.

Peanut Butter – While this recipe calls for creamy peanut butter, feel free to use crunchy if you’d like an extra layer of crunch!

Corn Syrup – Light corn syrup is used to create that smooth texture and shine on the candy. If you would prefer to leave out the corn syrup, you can substitute honey or brown rice syrup, however; both these ingredients will change the taste of the final product.

Butter – Salted or unsalted will work for this recipe so use what you have on hand!

Sugar – Use your favorite brand of granulated white sugar.

sugar and butter in a pot
mix sugar, syrup, and butter

How to make Cornflake Candy

ONE: Prepare cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Place cornflakes in a large bowl and set aside.

TWO: In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat combine sugar, corn syrup and butter until sugar dissolves (do not boil mixture). Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter.

peanut butter pouring over corn flakes
pour over flakes

THREE: Pour peanut butter mixture over cornflakes and mix until combined.

FOUR: Using a medium cookie scoop, portion out 16 cornflake candy balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Allow candy to completely cool and then enjoy!

parchment paper with cornflake candy

How long does Cornflake Candy last?

Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Can I put them on aluminum foil?

Yes, you can place them on aluminum foil, however, I would recommend you spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray to ensure you can easily remove them when hardened.

You can also use the “non-stick” version of foil.

Why do they turn out gooey?

The most common cause is because the candy didn’t reach a full boil before adding the peanut butter.

There is a chance there you don’t have enough cereal. If there seems to be an excess of candy coating, try adding an additional cup of cornflakes to the mix.

cornflake candy on white paper

Do I need to refrigerate Cornflake Candy?

No, they do not need to be refrigerated.

Once the candy has completely cooled, store in an airtight container at room temperature.

I would recommend placing a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper between the pieces and layers to ensure they do not stick together or become uneasy to separate when ready to enjoy.

They will last for 2 weeks in a container.

How long does it take for the candy to set?

Depending on how warm a day it is when you make, it can take between 20-30 minutes for the mixture to completely set.

I would highly recommend making sure they are completely hardened before you enjoy otherwise you will have one epic mess on your hands!

Can I add a chocolate drizzle?

A melted chocolate drizzle is a wonderful addition to these cookies. To make a drizzle, melt a ½ cup of chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments being sure to stir between each.

Once chocolate is melted, drizzle over the cornflake candy with a fork or pour into a zippered bag, cut the tip off, and squeeze in long lines over the candy.

Let the chocolate set up completely before storing or you can smear the chocolate.

hand holding candy

Tips for No Leftovers

  • Use plain cornflakes. If you use frosted flakes it will be too sweet.
  • Add in chocolate chips, coconut, or peanuts along with the corn flakes for more texture.
  • You can press these into a buttered pan and turn them into bars.
  • Mix in a teaspoon of almond or vanilla extract for more flavor.
  • Cornflake candy is great crumbled over ice cream!
  • Honey can be substituted for a portion of the corn syrup.
  • Top with fun and festive sprinkles if desired.
  • Try this recipe with Fritos, popcorn, or rice Chex cereal!

Cornflake Candy

yield: 16 COOKIES

prep time: 15 MINUTES

additional time: 15 MINUTES

total time: 30 MINUTES

Cornflake Candy combines crunchy cornflakes with creamy peanut butter in a decadent old-fashioned traditional southern candy that everyone will love!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 cups Corn Flakes cereal

Instructions

  1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place the corn flakes in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a small sauce pan and melt together over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil.
  4. As soon as the mixture starts to boil, remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter.
  5. Pour peanut butter mixture over cornflakes and mix until combined (be careful not to crunch up the corn flakes too much).
  6. Using a 1.5 – 2 tablespoon cookie scoop to create cookie balls.
  7. Place cookie balls on prepared parchment paper and let cool completely.
  8. Store until ready to enjoy.

Notes

Use plain cornflakes. If you use frosted flakes it will be too sweet.Add in chocolate chips, coconut, or peanuts along with the corn flakes for more texture.You can press these into a buttered pan and turn them into bars.Mix in a teaspoon of almond or vanilla extract for more flavor.Cornflake candy is great crumbled over ice cream!Honey can be substituted for a portion of the corn syrup.Top with fun and festive sprinkles if desired.Try this recipe with Fritos, popcorn, or rice Chex cereal!

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