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Homemade Conversation Hearts Recipe

‘Tis the season for conversation heart madness. Every Valentine’s Day, we’re bombarded by the chalky, sugary treats with sweet messages.

Well, chalky no more. You can easily make your own homemade conversation hearts that taste delicious and even better than the store-bought version.

Homemade Conversation Hearts Photo

And, you can personalize your hearts with your favorite flavors and with your own messages (love or like or hate, I won’t judge).

Ever wonder how the first conversation hearts came to be? Back in 1847, a Boston pharmacist, Oliver Chase, invented a machine to quickly make lozenges by flattening dough and cutting out wafers.

Homemade Conversation Hearts Picture

He left the pharmacy business to start the company that would eventually become the New England Confectionary Company (NECCO). In 1866, Oliver’s brother, Daniel, inspired by the rise in popularity of Valentine’s Day cards, devised a way to print messages on the candy with red vegetable dye during the cutting process.

These would become the Sweethearts candy we know and love. In 1902, the heart shape was first available.

Homemade Conversation Hearts Image

And the company is still adding new phrases as the years pass. #LOVE and WICKED COOL, TWEET and TXT ME are more recent additions.

If you really love conversation hearts, check out these conversation heart cookie pops. Or try these stamped conversation heart cookies.

Homemade Conversation Hearts Pic

The recipe here is very simple. You only need three basic ingredients: Unflavored gelatin, water, and confectioner’s sugar.

File 1 Homemade Conversation Hearts

A pinch of salt helps to balance the sweetness. Optional flavoring or extracts add a little something to the candy.

File 2 Homemade Conversation Hearts

Either flavor the entire batch or divide the dough and flavor each color differently. Here, I flavored the entire batch with orange extract (so good, I recommend it).

File 3 Homemade Conversation Hearts

Choose any gel paste food colorings to tint the candy. You’ll only need a drop or two. It’s best to stick with pastel colors so the food pen messages show clearly. (For more information on food writers and where to find them, click here.)

File 4 Homemade Conversation Hearts

The hearts will need to dry at least overnight before you write your messages, so be sure to allow that time before handing out these awesome treats.

These candy hearts are so delicious, I just had to write some messages to myself to justify how many I gobbled up. 

Homemade Conversation Hearts Photo

Homemade Conversation Hearts Recipe

Meaghan Mountford
Homemade conversation hearts are easy to make and taste so much better than the store-bought Valentine’s Day treat. And bonus: You can make your own candy messages.
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Prep Time 40 minutes
Drying 8 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 40 minutes
Servings 75 1 candy heart
Calories 35.3 kcal


  • 1 Unflavored Gelatin
  • 0.33 Cold Water
  • 1.5 Confectioners Sugar about 6 cups
  • Salt
  • Flavorings or Extracts optional
  • Gel Paste Food Coloring
  • 1-1/2 inch Heart Cookie Cutter or comparable size
  • Edible Writers


  • Pour the water in a microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Microwave the water and gelatin in 15 second intervals until fully dissolved (for me, this took three intervals).
  • Pour the water and gelatin mixture in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the flat beater. On low, mix in the confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time until a dough forms.
  • Add a dash of flavoring and/or extract of your choice, if desired, to the entire batch, or add different flavorings and extracts to divided dough.
  • Divide the dough and tint desired colors by kneading one to two drops of food coloring into each section of dough.
  • On a surface dusted with confectioner’s sugar, roll the dough out about 3/8-inch thick. Cut out hearts and place on a baking tray lined with parchment or wax paper.
  • Let the hearts dry one to two days before adding your messages with the edible writers. 


Calories: 35.3kcalCarbohydrates: 9.04gFat: 0.02gSodium: 0.1mgSugar: 8.88g
Keyword Candy, Copycat, Easy, Homemade Candy, Homemade Gifts, Microwave, Valentine’s Day
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