Homemade Tootsie Rolls


Homemade Tootsie Rolls


I’m VERY excited about this post.

But let me honest, I kind of don’t like Halloween, and actually had plans to skip over the entire holiday all together and move straight into November/Thanksgiving-ish recipes until, well, until I got the idea to make tootsie rolls. Tootsie rolls saved Halloween. (Or at least my Halloween.)

I’m kind of like the scrooge who stole Halloween. Halloween always feels like a lot of work. Costume brainstorming, costume making, costume buying…and also, Halloween is like legit scary. I was the 8-year old who exited the haunted house SOBBING, like, uncontrollable crying. Scary things scare me!

Oh and scary movies? They scare me A LOT. And this is someone who went to film school, too, and has a very clear understanding as to how movies are made, but for some reason the part of my brain that gets scared can’t apply logic to the swamp thing coming out of a lake that eats people, and I believe it’s real.

I haven’t seen a scary movie all the way through since I was 12 years old. All the cool kids in school took the Wes Craven film class. NOT ME!

But I do like candy. So Halloween always gets me just a little.

Homemade Tootsie Rolls

Let’s talk tootsie rolls. Oh my. I’m excited.

How to Make Tootsie Rolls

This recipe took me a few tries to get right. They’re slightly softer than your typical store-bought tootsie roll. The chocolate flavor is more pronounced and I made them less sweet than the original.

And while making your own candy may seem like a task and half, these things couldn’t be similar. No oven or stove involved, just kneading a few ingredients together.

Homemade Tootsie Rolls Recipe

The Must-Ingredient

The only possible kicker is tracking down dry milk powder. I found mine at Whole Foods in the baking aisle and used this one from Organic Valley.

Dry milk powder shouldn’t be confused with instant milk powder. The two are very different. Dry milk powder is simply dehydrated milk. It’s actually a good thing to have in your pantry in a baking pinch.

I even got all “into the season” and made Halloween candy wrappers. WHO AM I?

This wasn’t fancy and didn’t take much time. I cut out parchment paper into 3 1/2 x 2 3/4-inch squares. I painted the edges orange with edible paint and wrapped them up. That is all!

Happy Halloween (I think)!! Hope you make these Homemade Tootsie Rolls.

Homemade Tootsie Rolls Recipe

Homemade Tootsie Rolls

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serving Size: 34 pieces
Calories: 86kcal
Homemade Tootsie Rolls Recipe are surprisingly easy to make. This homemade version has a few simple ingredients and tastes exactly like tootsie rolls.


  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup dry milk powder
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • In a large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, dry milk and salt.
  • Add the corn syrup, melted butter and vanilla extract to a small bowl. Using a fork, whisk vigorously until everything is completely combined.
  • Stir the syrup mixture into the dry mixture. It will at first appear like there isn't enough liquid to bring the tootsie roll dough together, but keep going. Using your hands knead the mixture together for a few minutes. Eventually it will go from powdery to chocolatey and smooth. Form the dough into a round disc.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/2-inch slices. Take one slice and roll it into a long, thin rope; cut the rope into 1-inch tootsie rolls. Transfer the cut tootsie rolls to a baking sheet or cooling rack. Repeat the process until you've formed about 30 tootsie rolls. Place the tootsie rolls in the fridge for 1 hour and until firm. Wrap the tootsie rolls in parchment or wax paper that are 3 1/2-inch x 2 1/2-inch squares.
CourseCandy, Dessert
CuisineAmerican, Halloween
Keywordhomemade tootsie roll, tootsie roll, tootsie roll song, what is a tootsie roll
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Tootsie Rolls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 86
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen


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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Margherita October 25, 2012 at 12:18 am

    I just have to buy some milk powder and then I-m gonna make these for Halloween!

  • Reply Nicole October 25, 2012 at 1:35 am

    What the WUT?! No candy thermometer involved?! Ugh. That always deters me from making stuff like taffy…but these sound amazing. Makin’em!

    • Reply rj3624 December 25, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Hi Nicole… I too have always not make candy cause of not having a candy thermometer.. but yesterday I found a site that had the visual photos of what the consistency should be like without a thermometer… I decided to half the recipe for taffy just to try it and not waste a lot if it didn’t come out and omg they turned out perfect… here’s the link… I am now NOT afraid to make any type of candy.. today I made tootsie roll lollipops with my grandkids… NO CANDY THERMOMETER LOL 🙂


      and here’s the written guide 🙂

      Thread 223-235* F
      The syrup drips from a spoon, forms thin threads in water for Glacé and candied fruits
      Soft ball 235-245* F
      The syrup easily forms a ball while in the cold water, but flattens once removed for Fudge and fondant
      Firm ball 245-250* F
      The syrup is formed into a stable ball, but loses its round shape once pressed
      for Caramel candies
      Hard ball 250-266* F
      The syrup holds its ball shape, but remains sticky for Divinity and marshmallows
      Soft crack 270-290* F
      The syrup will form firm but pliable threads for Nougat and taffy.
      Hard crack 300-310* F
      The syrup will crack if you try to mold it for Brittles and lollipops
      Caramel 320-350* F
      The sugar syrup will turn golden at this stage for Pralines

    • Reply jesse September 22, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      lol no stove , oven or cooking em…. why need thermometer?

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar October 25, 2012 at 4:24 am

    So fun! These are awesome sounding!

  • Reply Aimee @ ShugarySweets October 25, 2012 at 4:26 am

    OMG, I need to make these. My hubby’s favorite candy, ever! Thanks for the recipe!!

  • Reply [email protected] Totes Delish October 25, 2012 at 5:47 am

    Girrrrrl this is awesome! I love that there isn’t that much corn syrup in these, but they look nice and chocolaty!

  • Reply cindy October 25, 2012 at 6:19 am

    These are so cute and I bet they are way better than the other kind. I am the same way about scary things–they are scary!! Haunted houses make me feel like I am about to get murdered, for real.

  • Reply Amanda October 25, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Heather over on SprinkleBakes just did Tootsie Rolls for Small Batch last week. Alas, I just found out I have a milk allergy…no tootsie rolls for me 🙁

    • Reply Deej June 3, 2014 at 12:29 am

      Might be you never see this, but there is an alternate recipe with no milk in it for you and others who can’t do milk products! 🙂 You melt 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips and mix with 1/2 cup light corn syrup and 2 1/2 teaspoons warm water, then put the “dough” between wax paper and press it down (with hands or spoon) to 1″ thickness and let it rest overnight (at room temperature). Cut it into strips the next day, roll them into round “logs”, and cut off pieces at whatever length you want. 🙂

  • Reply Emily @ She Makes and Bakes October 25, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Dude. Awesome. I love this. And I don’t watch scary movies either….I totally have nightmares!!

  • Reply Amy October 25, 2012 at 8:13 am

    True story: I liked Tootsie Rolls so much as a little girl that my family called me Tootsie Roll. Definitely doing to make these!

  • Reply [email protected] October 25, 2012 at 9:33 am

    So adorable!

    I’m personally very into Halloween, but I only like scary things when I’m in control of them. Scary movies? Yes. My husband jumping out from behind the doorway in the dark? NO.

  • Reply Katie @ Blonde Ambition October 25, 2012 at 9:39 am

    This is amazing. Baaasically, it sounds like you took tootsie rolls and made them awesomer. Softer, AND more chocolatey? Win.

  • Reply Stacey October 25, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I’m the same way about Halloween. I loved it so much as a kid because my parents were really into making awesome themed costumes for the whole family (nerd alert!), but as an adult I find it stressful. Also, scary movies- I can’t even stand previews for them. EEEK! I’m a giant chicken.

  • Reply Homemade Tootsie Rolls | Vegetarian Food and Recipes | Scoop.it October 25, 2012 at 10:08 am

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  • Reply Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes October 25, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I feel ya on the Halloween thing – I will NEVER understand how anyone can enjoy scary movies. How is it fun being tortured and having nightmares as a result? No thanks! haha

  • Reply Lori @ RecipeGirl October 25, 2012 at 10:19 am

    This is awesome! How on earth did you figure out how to make a recipe for Tootsie Rolls?? I’m impressed!

  • Reply Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking October 25, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Whoa! You are amazing! These are so cute. I truly dislike Halloween. The last scary movie I saw was Paranormal Activity and I am still having nightmares! I also hate coming up with costumes. I usually overthink it and nobody knows what/who I am.

  • Reply NicoleD October 25, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I am not into Halloween, either, and I’m so glad you said that it sounds like a lot of work because I say that to myself every year! Of course, I am all behind these homemade tootsie rolls 🙂 Love!

  • Reply Jessamyn October 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Scary movies scare me too!! I don’t understand why people ENJOY being scared!?!?

  • Reply Christina @ The Beautiful Balance October 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Such a cute idea! I wish these did not have milk powder and I would be gobbling them up.

  • Reply Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen October 25, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Wow! For someone not too into Hallowe’en, it looks like you’ve found the spirit of it!

  • Reply Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen October 25, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE tootsie rolls! Awesome recipe =)

  • Reply Jana October 25, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    I wonder if there is a substitute for the milk powder for those who don’t want dairy. Anyone
    have any ideas?

    • Reply Adrianna October 27, 2012 at 10:46 am

      I was just digging around, and it seems you might be able to substitute dried soy milk. You can find a few options on Amazon and I imagine you can find some at any health food stores. And I for sure have no idea what the results would be like, so if you do it, please let us know!

  • Reply Good Things | Coffee & Sunshine October 26, 2012 at 1:07 am

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  • Reply Nerd With Taste October 26, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I love this! Tootsie Rolls are my favorite candy, and my moms. Her birthday is soon, so I think I found the perfect gift!!!!! THANKS!!!! ~ nerdwithtaste.wordpress.com

  • Reply Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe October 26, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Adrianna, you are my hero. I have loved Tootsie rolls since I was a wee one, and I would have never ever ever not in a million years thought to make them myself. Amazing!
    PS. You’re so creative – those wrappers are ca-ute!

  • Reply Nancy October 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    are you saying that dry milk powder is not the same as non-fat dry milk? Tootsie rolls are one of my favorite candies and I’d love to try these, but I want to make sure I have the correct ingredients first.

    • Reply Adrianna October 27, 2012 at 10:52 am

      There’s non-instant dry milk powder and instant dry milk powder. Go with the NON-INSTANT. You should be good!

  • Reply Kelly October 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I have mine in the fridge as I type! I can’t wait to have my daughter try them. They are her all time favorite. I am not a big fan but she is and so is my hubby.
    They were very easy to make.
    Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Reply Adrianna October 26, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      EXCITED! Hope they like ’em!

  • Reply Wanda October 26, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Oh, I’m making this tootsie rolls. My girls loves them. Being able to make them will win me a lot of points with my girlies. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply Hilary October 26, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Mr. Turtle, how many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?

    (old man voice)
    I’ve never made it to the center without biting; ask Mr. Owl.

    LOVE IT!!!!

  • Reply Danielle October 26, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Halloween – I”m in it purely for the candy! I don’t do the scary stuff either, but candy…I love! These tootsie rolls look amazing! Who knew you could make the at home. Love it! : )


  • Reply Ashley M October 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I want to make these this weekend.. would dark cocoa work just as well or should I increase the sugar? I’m a dark chocolate fiend! Also, how long do you think these would last? A week or so? Can’t wait to make these.

    • Reply Adrianna November 5, 2012 at 11:56 am

      Yes dark cocoa would work just great. I’d leave the sugar as is. And these should last a week in an airtight container.

  • Reply Carrie @ the cook's palette October 28, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Wow! These look amazing! I’m always super intimidated with candy, but these look like a cinch. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply gigi October 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    what an amazing idea! look forward to making this. xx. gigi. food and beauty blogger @ http://www.gigikkitchen.blogspot.com http://www.gigikkitchen.blogspot.com//

  • Reply Averie @ Averie Cooks October 29, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Pinned! They look so good. I saw a recipe on TheKitchen or maybe it was Food52 last week…now I see these…I am craving them now!

    • Reply Adrianna October 29, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      ‘Tis the season!

  • Reply Sarah @ Miss CandiQuik October 29, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Um, yes!!! These sound easy and awesome. The best of both worlds. So glad I found these!

  • Reply Nerd With Taste October 29, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I hope you don’t mind I had to make these and blog about them! I LOVE THEM AND AT ALL 34 BY MYSELF!!!!!!!! Thank you. The pounds are worth it! (: ~ nerdwithtaste.wordpress.com

    • Reply Adrianna October 30, 2012 at 10:13 pm


  • Reply Jim October 30, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Did you get this recipe from Heather Baird from Sprinkle Bakes?

    • Reply Adrianna October 30, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      I did not.

  • Reply Sara @ The Cozy Herbivore October 30, 2012 at 8:59 am

    YES! Spoken as someone who’s job involves making candy every day, I must confess that I’m a little sugared-out and avoid candy in my real life as much as I can. But these look AMAZING. I have a weakness for Tootsie Rolls. And you’ve made them less sweet than the originals? Swoon.

    Love the wrappers too!

  • Reply Kris October 30, 2012 at 10:35 am

    I have never read such a perfect summary of my feelings toward Halloween. Even the film school part!

  • Reply Cass @foodmyfriend October 30, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Omg you are way too cute! These look incredible. i’ve never had tootsie rolls but I think that these would be perfect for my Christmas edibles 🙂 NoM!

    • Reply Adrianna October 30, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      If you changed the wrappers, they’d be perfect for XMas!

  • Reply Annalise November 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    I totally agree with you about Halloween on all counts. I don’t do costumes, I can’t do scary movies. I CAN do candy. And these homemade tootsie rolls have just blown my mind.

  • Reply Becca November 2, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    I just have to say, I’m 26 and I can’t stand watching Freddie Cougar movies. I saw one by accident once when I was 3 and I’m haunted to this day! I saw someone this Halloween wearing his costume and I freaked out a little.

    • Reply Adrianna November 2, 2012 at 10:09 pm

      When things like this happen to you at age 3 they’re traumatizing. 🙂

  • Reply Eileen November 3, 2012 at 6:06 am

    I actually made homemade tootsie rolls a while back. The recipe I used was entirely different than yours. Now you have me curious – I’ve got to see how they differ. Love the cute little wrappers – where did you find them?

  • Reply Eileen November 3, 2012 at 6:08 am

    I just saw the part about the papers you made ( that I entirely skipped over). How creative!!

  • Reply Cynthia November 6, 2012 at 7:40 am

    WHOA! Homemade + tootsie rolls = bow down in praise & PINNED! 🙂

  • Reply Mercedes November 6, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Tootsie rolls have always been one of my all-time favorite candies, and I, like everyone else love that this doesn’t involve the trickery of using a candy thermometer!

  • Reply rj3624 December 25, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Thanks so much for this easy to make recipe… me and my grandkids made tootsie roll lollipops with this recipe today and they turned out PERFECT!!! Thanks soooo much 🙂

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  • Reply Andy May 20, 2013 at 4:08 am

    hi everyone im in australia yes im a man and im trying to impress my mum with the tootsie rolls, i order them always from our international online candy store,
    ok please forgive me im not too good at cooking sweets so can somone give me a step my step idiot proof recipe with photos including temperatures for room or air or fridge settings

    thank you

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme May 20, 2013 at 8:39 am

      Hi Andy,

      I’m sorry I don’t have step-by-step photos for you but if you follow the instructions it should work. Let me know if I can be of any further help!

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  • Reply Tess @ Tips on Healthy Living October 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    I might have a hard-time passing these out on Halloween– they look just too good to give away! If you were too make these healthier, what ingredients would you substitute?

  • Reply Ashley Gonzalez October 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I’m Soo excited for this recipe I absolutely loooove tootsie rolls and I’ve always wondered how to make them myself. I will definitely try this recipe on Saturday!!! Thanks for sharing ☺️

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