How to Make Conversation Hearts at Home for a Sweet Valentine's Day

Store-bought conversation hearts are cool, but you can make 'em even sweeter in your own kitchen. With this recipe, you can customize colors, flavors and sweet sayings for Valentine's Day — what's not to love?

Homemade Conversation Hearts

Yield: 50 to 100 hearts, depending on size

What You Need


  • 1 packet (¼ ounces, or 2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 pounds (a typical weight for a large bag) confectioners' sugar, plus extra for dusting your work surface
  • Assorted flavoring extracts of your choice (we used clear vanilla extract)
  • Assorted food colors of your choice (we used liquid food coloring)


  • Heart-shaped cookie or fondant cutters
  • Plastic wrap
  • Rolling pin
  • Gloves
  • Edible markers


1. Make the Dough

Place the corn syrup, gelatin and water in a small saucepan. Heat on medium heat for 30-60 seconds, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.

Pour the gelatin mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the confectioners' sugar one cup at a time, mixing until completely incorporated. Pause to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as you add more sugar. 

Pro Tip

Don't use a hand mixer. The dough will be so thick that mixing it will be difficult with the less powerful mixer.

You'll see the mixture progress from a thin consistency, like a glaze, to a thick, opaque dough with a texture like clay. When you handle it, it'll be very firm but pliable.

2. Knead

Dust your work surface and hands with confectioners' sugar. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and knead as if it were bread dough. Add more confectioners' sugar as needed to prevent the dough from sticking. Knead until the dough is no longer sticky, but smooth with a satin-like sheen on top.

3. Color and Flavor

Divide the dough by how many colors you want to create and roll each into balls. Cover the dough with plastic wrap until you're ready to use.

Pro Tip

If you'd like to flavor and tint all of the dough the same flavor and color, you don't have to divide the dough. Simply knead in about 1 teaspoon of flavoring and several drops of your chosen color.

While wearing gloves, knead your first ball of dough with a few drops of food coloring and a small dot of flavoring until the color is evenly distributed.

Pro Tip

You don't need much food coloring to get the traditional pastel hues of conversation hearts. For flavor, 2-4 drops should be enough if you've divided your dough into 4 or 5 portions, depending on how strong you'd like the candies to taste.

Repeat this step until all the dough is flavored and colored. When not in use, cover the dough in plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out.

4. Shape the Hearts

Dust your work surface and rolling pin with more confectioner's sugar and roll out the dough to your desired thickness. For fat candies, roll to about ⅓" thickness. For thinner candies, ¼" thickness works well.

Good to Know

The thinner the dough is rolled, the more fragile the finished candies will be.

Cut out hearts from the rolled dough. The size of the hearts is up to you — you can use tiny cutters for an authentic look, though take note they'll be harder to write on.

Pro Tip

This dough isn't well suited for re-rolling, so cut the hearts as close together as possible. If you do try to re-roll, the dough might crack.

5. Let Them Dry

Wait 24 to 48 hours for the hearts to dry before writing on them. If you write too soon, they will bleed (even if they firm up quickly). You can do a test by writing on the bottom of one and letting it set for 10 minutes. If it doesn't bleed, you can start writing your words of love on top.

Let the hearts dry for 30 minutes after writing. Then they're ready to gift!

Find Your Next Project

Sweet talk your loved ones with more Valentine's Day treats.

Pour your heart out this Valentine's Day, but let a quintessential holiday treat — conversation hearts and an adorable Kawaii character — do all the talking. Whether you bring 'em to a Galentine's Day party or gift 'em to your special someone, these delicious sweets are sure to make everyone swoon.
Lynlee North Beckett
Spill your heart with cute cake pops that look like conversation hearts but taste way better. These Valentine's Day treats can be made with any cake batter and don't require any shaping, so they're a simple make — even if you've never baked cake pops before.
Kris Galicia Brown
It's almost Valentine's Day, meaning love is in the air and your cake pops. Make a batch of these cuties and gift to your sweet-toothed sweetheart.
Lynlee North Beckett

January 21, 2020
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How to Make Conversation Hearts at Home for a Sweet Valentine's Day