There is such a thing as too much vegan Halloween candy—if only for the fact that Thanksgiving and Christmas are right on this frightful holiday’s heels. When you’ve hit the Halloween motherlode, there’s only so much time before it’s on to pumpkin pies and candy canes.

Donating candy is a noble option if you literally have bags of it left, but if you just have that in-between amount (too much to go through on your own yet a pitifully small amount to donate) it’s time to start baking (and sharing those baked goods).

Is Halloween candy vegan?

Before you grab your oven mitts and start baking, we recommend sorting through your Halloween haul first. Sorting your treats into piles of vegan candies and non-vegan candies will help ensure pesky animal ingredients don’t sneak their way into your baked goods.

When sorting, keep your eyes open for any candies containing gelatin, eggs, carmine, honey, dairy (listed as milk, milkfat, butterfat, or whey), and confectioner’s glaze (also known as “shellac”). Sort these into your non-vegan pile and do away with them however you please. 

Vegan recipes for leftover Halloween candy

From reinvented candy bark to awesome vegan brownies, here are seven sweet ways to use your leftover Halloween candy. 

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1 Vegan Crazy Shake

Perhaps you’ve seen these extravagant milkshake creations at a Black Tap Tavern location, or you may have come across these architecturally sound desserts by way of Instagram.

As wild and complex as a crazy shake may seem, you can definitely make one at home. We used the recipe for New Leaf’s Choc’ Rockin’ Vegan Freakshake as a jumping off point and added extra candy from there. This particular sweet monstrosity features a deep chocolate milkshake topped with a vegan store-bought brownie, chocolate sandwich cookies, chocolate chips, whipped cream, and nut butter cups.

Have extra vegan gummy worms? Throw those on to balance out the chocolate with a fruity punch. Get creative and let your leftover candy dictate your masterpiece.

Note: you will want someone to share this with … and two extra-large straws.
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2 Caramel apples

Bought way too many Cocomels caramels? Melt them down with a splash of coconut milk to make caramel apples.

You could go plain caramel or use the sticky caramel coating as an adhesive for other Halloween candy. Vegan chocolate drops, crushed nut butter cups, mini marshmallows, and even smashed cookies are excellent additions to otherwise basic caramel apples.
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3 Vegan Dirt Cake

Often called Dirt and Worms or Dirt Pudding, this super simple dessert is the perfect canvas for all your leftover Halloween gummies. This particular recipe features a creamy vanilla base, but you can always substitute the homemade pudding layer for a trusty box of vanilla or chocolate instant mix (try Simply Delish).

Whether you’re five or 50, there’s something so appealing about this pudding-meets-crushed cookie treat. Note: while gummy worms are the traditional topping, any gummy will do.
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4 Vegan M&M Cookies

Swap out chocolate chips for chocolate gems in your next batch of cookies. These easy vegan M&M-studded treats will take care of any lingering candy-coated chocolates, and if you’re not quite ready for more sweets, go ahead and make the dough and freeze it until the craving calls.

This solid recipe can also be a vessel for other chocolate-based candies—from chopped nut butter cups to coconut bars, it all works when folded into this buttery batter.

Note: Mars’ M&Ms aren’t vegan, but if your Halloween haul includes YumEarth’s Choco Yums or UNREAL’s Dark Chocolate Gems, you’re in the clear.
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5 Peanut butter cup brownies

Vegan nut butter cups are a perfectly engineered food product, but even perfection can be, well, perfected. Magic happens when you take tender, gooey brownies and stud them with chunks of chocolate-covered nut butter.

Pro tip: in addition to swirling the nut butter pieces inside the batter, you’ll also want to dot a generous amount on top to get those mouth-watering pools of melty nut butter and chocolate. These are bakesale worthy—nay, sell-at-the-farmers’-market good.
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6 Candy bar-stuffed cupcakes

Cupcakes are fine, but have you noticed on every televised baking show, there is always a filling? That surprise pop of flavor and texture elevates the humble cupcake into a divine dessert.

Here’s how to hack it: use your favorite vanilla or chocolate cupcake recipe and fill the paper liners as usual. Before baking, pop a half-inch chunk of any caramel or chocolate-based leftover candy on top (no need to push it down, the batter will rise and cover the candy as it bakes).

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, frost with your favorite buttercream or dip in vegan ganache, and garnish with finely chopped candy.
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7 Candy bark

When it comes to chocolate bark, anything goes. Pretzels, popcorn, gummies, dried fruit, chopped candy bars … whatever you have leftover, throw it on.

Note: this recipe from Alter Eco below calls for a white chocolate drizzle—be sure to use vegan white chocolate, or omit entirely.

To make the base for the bark, melt plain or salted chocolate bars, smooth onto parchment paper, then toss on your leftover candy. Allow the bark to cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then crack into delicious, shareable shards.
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For more sweet vegan baking ideas, read: