I know it’s only early October, but if you’re like me, you’re already filling candy dishes with festive sweet treats of the season.
In my house, the little pumpkin-shaped glass dishes brimming with candy corn are more than mere “eye candy”, though.
I want my family (and maybe even me) to be able to indulge a little, too, if the sweet tooth strikes!
For those of us who need to avoid certain ingredients, candy-filled holidays like Halloween can be a scary time.
There are haunting labels to read and creepy cross-contamination risks to consider. It can be a frightful challenge!
But just because we can no longer simply grab bags of our favorite confections from store shelves doesn’t mean we miss out on all the goodies. It just takes a bit of research and planning.
Guess what? I’ve taken care of that part, so all that’s left is for you is to enjoy your favorite goblin grub.
That’s right! Many all-time favorite treats of the season are available in gluten free (and other allergen-free) versions. Some are even naturally gluten free.
Here’s my Top 5 list to get you in good spirits!
Top 5 Gluten Free Halloween Candies
I’m sharing links to websites and vendors where I can for your convenience. I do not receive any compensation at all for suggesting any of these products to you. Always remember to carefully read labels and check sources for any candies or other foods before consuming them on your special diet as manufacturers can change ingredients and production methods at any time without notice.
1. Candy Corn – Most well known brands (like Brach’s) contain wheat, traces of peanuts and/or tree nuts and other allergens.
Fortunately, now we can enjoy this ultimate autumn treat free from gluten, peanuts and tree nuts thanks to A and J Bakery. (Note: A and J Bakery candy corn does contain eggs, soy protein and artificial dyes.)
2. Caramel Apple Pops – These gooey-tart lollipops are from Tootsie Roll Industries and are available in most grocery and drug stores by the bag. These pops are gluten free, nut free and peanut free, but do contain soy and milk ingredients.
You can read the full allergen and nutrition information from the Tootsie Roll Industries website here.
3. Starburst Fruit Chews – These super-fruity candies from Wrigley are indeed gluten free. While there are no indicators of gluten (or other allergen) cross-contamination with Starburst, always double-check before you chew. You can find more information on their website.
4. Chocolate – There’s lots of amazingly delish fancy chocolate out there that is gluten free, but you’re not likely to find that in your trick or treat sack.
We’re talking Halloween candy and that means the classics.
The most recognizable chocolate in the US is by far Hershey’s. For those of us who are gluten free, there are plenty of sweet choices when it comes to Hershey’s chocolates!
From traditional chocolate bars to Kisses to York Peppermint Patties, Hershey’s has a long list of gluten free goodies we can enjoy. For their allergen statement and a full listing of gluten free confections, visit their website. (Note: although Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are listed as gluten free, Hershey’s does say this excludes seasonal shapes, so be sure to avoid those Reese’s Pumpkins!)
5. More Chocolate! – OK, so Hershey’s isn’t the only chocolatier making yummy treats we’d like to enjoy this Halloween. Two other major contributors to the chocolate candy pipeline are Nestle and Mars.
Nestle supplies brands like Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Raisinets and Wonka Pixy Stix, all of which are gluten free (but may contain other allergens, so be sure to read labels carefully!)
Also note, only original Butterfinger bars are gluten free. All other varieties (like Crisp, Giant, Snackerz, etc.) do contain gluten.
Mars supplies brands like M&Ms (all are gluten free EXCEPT pretzel, and bags labeled “May Contain Wheat” which seem to be cropping up all over this month on flavors like coconut and mint), Dove, Milky Way (Original Milky Way bars are NOT gluten free; however, the Midnight and Caramel varieties are), Snickers and 3 Musketeers Bars (both Snickers and 3 Musketeers are gluten free).
Note: Mars has devised an in-house policy on allergen labeling, which you can find here. I recommend you read the Mars policy, then carefully read the product labels to make the best decision about which Mars products you consume.
Now, Halloween isn’t going to be so scary after all!
You can even incorporate some of your favorite allergen-free candy into fun treats like my super-cute Gluten Free Candy Corn Cupcakes. Here’s how:
Gigi’s Gluten Free Candy Corn Cupcakes
Gluten Free Cupcake Recipe (I like using my gluten free pumpkin cupcake batter colored yellow to appear as candy corn base; you could also use a great product like Better Batter mixes for your gluten free cupcakes!).
Gluten Free Candy Corn (See #1 above for source.)
1. Make cupcakes in mini muffin pan.
2. While cupcakes cool, make frosting (colored orange for center of candy corn).
3. Make whipped topping.
4. Assemble cupcakes by frosting, then topping with whipped topping.
5. Garnish with candy corn or your favorite white, yellow or orange candies.
(PS – Don’t forget to visit me at GlutenFreeGigi.com where you can sign up for my FREE eLetter.)