Learn how to hand-paint chocolate lollipops for Easter using colored compound chocolates (Candy Melts). It's such a fun Easter activity for kids and these lollipops are the perfect addition to an Easter basket.
Painting chocolate lollipops requires a bit of patience, a little bit of practice, and a willingness to have some fun.
Happily, I can tell you that I have had a lot of fun over the years making Easter lollipops.
I am sure I have created well over 20,000 of these cute candies in my lifetime. I have been making them for (gulp!) over 40 years now.
I'm excited to teach you how to make these Easter lollipops at home. I am going to share step-by-step instructions for painting Easter chocolates, but I did create a video where I paint birthday party lollipops including a unicorn.
You might want to watch it before reading the instructions below.
[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id="Q51F8NS9" upload-date="2019-05-16T18:53:10.000Z" name="How To Paint Candy Lollipops" description="Hand painted chocolate lollipops are great treats to make for birthday parties, holidays, and any special occasion. " player-type="default" override-embed="default"]
This is a great project to do with kids.
I learned how to paint these lollipops when I was a young girl and it became a lifelong passion for me. It's still one of my favorite projects to do in the kitchen.
I do recommend that you read my chocolate-making tips page before you begin.
For this project, you will want to use compound chocolate.
What is compound chocolate?
- Compound chocolate is chocolate that is made with palm kernel oil (or other vegetable oil) instead of cocoa butter.
- It is also known as confectionery coating, candy melts, melting wafers, or almond bark.
- In this post, I may refer to this type of chocolate as candy coating, chocolate, confectionery coating, or candy melts.
- You can find compound chocolates at craft stores like JoAnn Fabric's and Michaels, grocery/discount stores like Walmart, cake & candy decorating stores, and online.
- They are available in white, milk, and dark wafers (or blocks) as well as colored and flavored wafers.
Colored Candy Melts
To make lollipops for Easter, you will want candy coatings in a rainbow of colors.
You can either purchase the colored wafers or you can color white wafers using candy colorings. I do a bit of both.
The colors you need will depend on the candy molds you choose to use, so purchase your colored wafers or your candy colorings based on the lollipops you plan to make.
- Most white candy melts have a cream or slightly yellowish tint.
- For some reason, white candy melts that are colored with pink candy coloring tend to fade over time, so I always buy the pink-colored wafers.
- If the wafers you buy are really hot pink, just add a bit of white coating to it to tone them down. Wilton has a nice light-colored pink candy melt.
Best brands to use:
I use Peter's confectionery coatings (Peter's White Caps, Peters Westchester-Milk, Peters Eastchester-Dark) and Wilton Candy Melts to make my lollipops, but you can use Ghirardelli, Guittard, Merkens, or Make 'n Mold. You can even use almond bark
Hand-painted Chocolate Easter Pops
- compound chocolate/candy melts in white, milk, dark, and colored varieties
- candy coloring*
- lollipop sticks
- You MUST use oil-based chocolate coloring to color your compound chocolate (candy melts).
- Do not use liquid coloring from the grocery store or icing coloring. If you add water-based coloring to chocolate it will seize up (harden).
Each small lollipop will take approximately 1 ounce of candy and larger pops will take about 2 ounces, so purchase your coatings according to the number of lollipops you would like to make
Special equipment needed:
- electric skillet (this will make this process so easy)
- glass jars, coffee mugs, or glasses
- paintbrushes (use new or food only brushes, I recommend plastic handle brushes)
- candy molds- Lamb, Eggs, Easter Assortment, bunny, Carrot, bunnies, hatching chick (here are a few links to purchase some of the molds, but you can also find them at craft stores and candy decorating stores)
Some of the products used in this project can be found on Amazon. I earn a small commission when you make a purchase using the links in this post.
You will need to melt and color your confectionery coatings. There are several different methods to do this, listed below.
When I am making a lot of lollipops I use an electric skillet filled with warm water to keep small jars of colored compound chocolate melted.
That way I don't have to continually re-melt my candy. I usually make a lot of lollipops at one time, so I melt a big bowl of white coating in the microwave, then pour the melted coating into small jars and color them.
If I'm only using a small amount of colored candy melts, I will just melt them in a jar in the skillet.
Melt candy melts wafers in the microwave.
Every microwave is different so this is just a guideline, but it is safest to go slow and stir often. I always use high power for short bursts of time.
- Pour 16 ounces compound chocolate wafers into a microwave-safe bowl.
- Heat on high power for 30 seconds, remove from microwave, and stir. Your wafers won't look melted much at all at this point but if you stir vigorously the chunks will indeed start to become liquid.
- Continue to heat for 20 seconds. Now your candy will look more liquid, but you will have chunks remaining.
- Stir vigorously and the heat from the melted chocolate will indeed melt the chunks.
- If, after stirring for a while you still have chunks of chocolate remaining, heat for 10-15 second intervals, stirring in between each until melted.
- Do not rush this process. Candy coatings burn easily. If you do burn the coating, throw it away and start over in a clean bowl.
Melting Confectionery Coating in a Skillet:
- Fill your skillet with some warm water and set the temperature to "WARM".
- Fill glass jars, coffee mugs, or ramekins with some candy melts.
- Place the jars in the water-filled skillet.
- Make sure the water comes up about halfway on your shortest jar.
- You can keep your compound chocolate (candy melts) melted all day using this method, just stir the chocolate throughout the day to keep the chocolate near the top of the jar from hardening.
- And be sure to replenish the water as it evaporates.
- Most importantly, be careful that you don't spill water in the chocolate, or it will seize up and become too thick to use.
- So, if you pick up a jar to move it closer to you, put a towel under the jar as you move it, so drops of water don't end up in other jars of the chocolate.
- You cannot use this method with pure chocolate, as pure chocolate (made with cocoa butter) needs to be tempered (heated and cooled at specific temperatures).
Melting candy melts in a double boiler.
- Fill a pot with about an inch of water.
- Set the pot on the stove over LOW heat.
- Fit a bowl snuggly over the pot so that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
- Fill the bowl with candy melts.
- Allow the chocolate to melt slowly, stirring often.
- You can melt an entire bag of candy melts using a Wilton Melting Pot.
- Fill the silicone bowl with the candy melts and turn the heater on low heat.
- Stir often, until melted.
- You can melt the wafers using the high setting, but I'd stir the candy melts every few minutes. Then once almost melted, turn the heat down to low.
Coloring Confectionery Coating:
- Pour some melted white compound chocolate into a jar.
- Squeeze in some candy coloring (Start with a drop or two if you aren't familiar with the strength of the coloring.) Stir.
- If you are using candy coloring (icing coloring) from a jar, stick a toothpick into the jar, pull out some coloring and stir it into the chocolate.
- DO NOT put the toothpick back in the jar of coloring or you will contaminate the coloring. Use a new toothpick every time you want to get more coloring.
Note about thick candy melts.
- If you add coloring and your chocolate becomes thick add some Paramount Crystals or Wilton EZ Thin, stirring after each addition until thin and smooth.
- Create all of the colors you want to use in your lollipops.
- For Easter, I like to use pastel colors for some of the pops and more vibrant colors for others.
- You can adjust colors while you are working by adding more coloring (for brighter colors) or by stirring in some white candy melts (for more pastel colors).
- Get your candy molds and paintbrushes together and clean your freezer, so you have some space to place the molds.
- Before you begin painting, decide what colors you want to use for the features and what color you want for the background.
- If you choose to make a white bunny, do not paint any of the features white, as they will just blend into the background color.
Painting chocolate into a candy mold.
- You can paint all or just some of the features on your mold.
- Here I started by painting the mouth with bright pink chocolate.
- Dip a paintbrush into the chocolate and dab it into the indentation on the candy mold.
- Add more chocolate to your brush as needed to fill in the entire indented area.
By dabbing the chocolate (as seen at the top of the picture) you will end up with a nice opaque area. If you brush the chocolate on (bottom of the picture), it will harden, streak, and leave you with a see-through area.
Also, always dip your brush down into melted chocolate and not along the sides of the jar, to pick up nicely melted chocolate.
If you end up with hardened chocolate on your brush, just dip it in the melted chocolate and allow it to sit for a minute to melt away the hardened chocolate from the brush.
- Using a different paintbrush for each color, paint more details on the candy mold.
- I used a lighter pink for the bunny's nose and milk chocolate for the eyes. I wanted to create a layered effect for the bow tie.
- In order to layer the colors, I first painted on the yellow polka dots, then put the mold into the freezer for 2-3 minutes to harden the yellow dots.
- When you remove the mold from the freezer, it will be very cold and look very cloudy.
- Allow it to warm to room temperature before proceeding.
- For the areas that require two colors, paint the next layer of color directly over the first layer. I painted purple on top of my yellow polka dots.
- Carefully turn the mold over and look to see if you have covered the entire area.
- Check to see if there are any holes or air bubbles (see the lower right side of the bow) and fill in those areas.
- After fixing the bow tie, I painted the ears (not shown) then put the candy mold back in the freezer for a few minutes.
- Before filling the mold, allow the mold to warm up to room temperature.
- Then spoon whatever colored chocolate you've decided to use for the background into the mold.
- I usually spoon some in, then tap the mold gently on the table, allowing the chocolate to spread and fill in areas like the ears.
- It's best not to overfill the mold, so tap as you go. Once the mold is filled, you need to tap it on the table a few times to remove any air bubbles that may have formed.
- Don't fill in the indentation that is for the lollipop stick.
- If you do overfill your mold, you can use your finger to wipe off the excess candy or wait until the candy is hardened and you will be able to shave it off with a knife.
- Add a lollipop stick by setting the stick in the indentation and gently pressing it into the candy.
- Use your finger to roll the stick around so it gets completely coated in the candy.
- Place the lollipop in the freezer for 5-8 minutes. It may take a bit longer if you are opening and closing your freezer a lot during the process.
- As the chocolate cools and hardens it will shrink slightly and retract from the mold. You can tell if the lollipop is hardened by carefully holding the mold up over your head and checking to see the candy is one even color.
- If you see dark spots, that means the candy is still wet in those areas. Freeze the candy a few minutes longer. You can also check to see if the lollipops are ready by very gently tugging on the lollipop stick. If the chocolate moves, it should come out of the mold easily.
- If it sticks, it is not ready. Don't tug too hard, or you may pull a lollipop out before it is completely hardened.
To un-mold your candy, you have a few options
- Gently tug on the stick and pull the candy out of the mold
- Place your hand over the candy, turn the mold upside down and allow the candy to fall out of the mold into your hand.
- Place a baking sheet over the candy, turn the mold and the baking sheet upside down allowing the candy to fall out onto the baking sheet.
- If you have overfilled the candy mold and the lollipop has excess chocolate around the edges, allow the candy to warm up to room temperature.
- Then use a small knife to carefully cut off the excess candy.
- If you have a lot of excess chocolate and it is very thick, you may want to heat up your knife by running it under really hot water (then drying it) or by holding the knife blade over a flame.
- Then as you cut off the excess the knife will melt the chocolate, as you go, making it easier to remove. Brush off any crumbs using a pastry brush.
How to store chocolate lollipops?
- Store your hand-painted chocolate Easter pops in a cool place preferably in an airtight container.
- You can package them in clear cellophane bags and tie them with a colorful bow.
- Add these adorable pops to your Easter baskets or give them as gifts.
- This same technique can be used to make Easter bunnies.
Below is a very brief explanation of this recipe. The step-by-step tutorial above is much more detailed. I'd recommend you read it first.
Use compound chocolate (candy melts) to make hand-painted Easter lollipops like bunnies, chicks, lambs, carrots, ducks, and more.
- 16 ounces melted compound chocolate (in a variety of colors)
Dip a food-use-only paintbrush into colored candy melts.
Dab the candy melts into the indentations in the plastic candy mold, coloring the desired area. Example: paint an Easter bunny's nose with pink candy melts.
Use another paintbrush to pick up another color and dab it into the mold. Example: paint dark chocolate eyes.
Repeat this process until you have decorated the indentations in the mold with colored candy melts.
Freeze the mold for a minute or so just until the chocolate hardens.
Remove the mold from the freezer and let it come to room temperature.
Fill the mold with compound chocolate (in the desired color). Example: fill a bunny mold with milk or white candy melts.
Tap the mold to remove air bubbles.
Insert a lollipop stick.
Freeze for 5-10 minutes until hardened.
Remove the chocolate lollipop from the mold.
Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before packaging in a cellophane bag.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
This post was originally published on April 20, 2011.
I oftentimes will paint my candy molds with this colored chocolate, then fill the molds with pure tempered chocolate. Sometimes the painted features pop off, but for the most part, it works.
So, go have some fun painting lollipops for Easter or any special occasion.
If you'd like to learn more about working with compound chocolate or pure chocolate,
be sure to check out my online video chocolate-making lessons at The Sugar Academy.
Hosting a chocolate-making party for kids is so much fun.
Be sure to check out my How to Host a Candy Making Party post for great tips.
Now that you have learned how to paint chocolate lollipops,
you can use those skills to make Unicorn Cakesicles.
Or these cute Caramel Chocolate Fudge-Filled Hatching Chicks.