This Candle Trend Is a Little Kitschy, But I Can Make You a Believer

published Oct 24, 2022
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Table full of food candles in Alyse Whitney's apartment
Credit: Alyse Whitney 수지

When living room. No matter how many people I’m hosting, it’s always packed with a smorgasbord of savory bites, fruits, vegetables, and sweet treats. None of the food is edible, though — it’s all made of wax. Instead of “Is it cake?” people have to play a game of “Is it a candle?” when they pick up a baguette, fried chicken wing, ear of corn, lemon, Swiss cheese wedge, or another piece from my personal wax museum.

Credit: Alyse Whitney

I have been collecting realistic food candles for a few years now, and below are some of my favorites from a slew of talented makers that I own or plan to buy next. Most of them are either scentless or infused with a fragrance that is more appealing than the food itself — no garlic-scented candles here — with the exception of some of the sweets. I have never burned any of my food candles because they are just decor for me, but all of them are made to be burned if you so choose. Get ready for the cutest, fool-the-eye styles on the market that also make great gifts, especially for the foodies and/or design lovers in your life.

Credit: YUi Brooklyn

1. Giant Garlic Candle

This unscented soy and beeswax candle could ward off vampires and is the perfect home accessory for #garlicgirls. Don’t know the hashtag? I suggest you check it out immediately (and buy one of these bulb designs).

Buy: Big Garlic Candle, $49.00 from Yui Brooklyn

Credit: Mann Candles

2. Fried Chicken Wing Candles

There’s a gloriously craggly crust on these wings that look ready to be dipped into some wax bleu cheese — or paired with Mann’s boxed-style mac and cheese candle. You never have to worry about these “wings” getting soggy either, unless you choose to burn them, and then, it’s part of the charm.

Buy: Fried Chicken Candles (Set of 3), $14.00 from Mann Candles

Credit: Friends NYC

3. Baguette Candle

Let’s get this bread! This Italian-made, two-wick candle would be a great centerpiece for your next dinner party, perhaps next to a real bread basket and fancy butter?

Buy: Baguette Candle, $39.99 from Friends NYC

Credit: Eartherella

4. Cannoli Wax Melts

Holy cannoli! This almond biscotti–scented wonder both looks and smells like the classic Italian treat. 

Buy: Cannoli Wax Melts, $21.99 for a Set of 2 from Eartherella

Credit: Amazon

5. Strawberry Mochi Candles

This strawberry-scented candle set has one whole mochi and one cut-in-half mochi that showcases a beautiful strawberry inside. Bonus: The pieces comes on a reusable yellow tray to plate up real mochi after you burn them.

Buy: Strawberry Mochi Candles, $19.99 from Beluga Design Co. on Amazon

6. Surf & Turf Candle

Chavonna “Bang” Ross is an incredible tattoo artist (featured on “Ink Master” season 9) and makes some of the most hyper-realistic array of food candles I’ve ever seen. This design, which is scented with clean linen rather than steak and shrimp, is just one of her many composed dishes made entirely of wax. I’m eyeing her lo mein scoopable wax and Danish butter cookies tin to buy next, and I’ve spent hours scrolling through every page of her site to curate my little wax museum.

Buy: Surf & Turf Candle, $40.00 from Bang’n Candles

Credit: East Fork

7. Gruyere Cheese Candle

This realistic cheesy wedge was my gateway food candle. I got it and a bundle of grapes to make a candle charcuterie board. Now that I also have a baguette, all I need is a capicola candle to complete my collection.

Buy: Gruyere Cheese Candle, $38.00 from East Fork Pottery

8. Fruit Loops Cereal Candle

This piece is the most on-the-nose replica of a food, with the look and scent matching the nostalgic cereal. Ardent makes a whole collection of different cereals, and you can even snag a six-pack of minis (Apple Jacks, Cookie Time, Cinnamon Crunch, Fruit Loops, Peanut Butter Puffs, and Berry Crunch) to choose your favorite — just like those mini cereal box packs from childhood! Keep ’em all or gift one of each to a friend.

Buy: Fruit Loops Cereal Candle, $34.00 from Ardent Candle

Credit: Mann Candles

9. Lemon, Orange, and Corn Candles

I love this set, aka a three-pack of “Lemmie Lem, Corny For You, and Orange You Glad We Met?” that looks like you just stepped out to the market. Again, you could break these up and gift them individually, or display them all together.

Buy: Market Mix Pack, $25.00 from Mann Candles

Credit: Friends NYC

10. Spaghetti Candle

I’m contemplating burning this one to see if the bowl is reusable; it comes in a gorgeous Italian vessel. Unfortunately, it doesn’t smell like Nonna’s kitchen but would probably delight your grandma nonetheless. 

Buy: Spaghetti Candle, $59.99 from Friends NYC

Credit: Eartherella

11. Rice Krispie Treat Wax Melt

This wax melt will add some snap, crackle, and pop to your home. It smells like toasted marshmallows and is one of the few I actually will be melting and not just using as decoration. I just paired these with Eartherella’s Cosmic Brownies and Zebra Cakes wax melts for a fun, throwback snacks–themed gift for a friend and packaged all the pieces up in a lunch box for even more nostalgia.

Buy: Rice Krispie Treat Wax Melts, $19.99 for a Set of 2 from Eartherella

12. Personalized Birthday Cake Candle

Get a personalized candle that will last a lot longer than the ones you put on a birthday cake! It comes in strawberry shortcake or vanilla scents and can be customized with any name or short phrase that will fit on the 3.5-inch mini cake. You can also add a fun smiley daisy for $2 more.

Buy: Personalized Birthday Cake Candle, Starts at $37.00 from Uncommon Goods