Candy Apples

Candy Apples

Have you ever tried to bite into a candy apple?

I don’t think it’s humanly possible.

And after whipping up a dozen of them last weekend, I’m even more convinced it’s just one of those foods that doesn’t make sense—like naming miniature candy bars as “fun-size.” There’s nothing fun about having less candy.

But with Halloween right around the corner, I couldn’t resist trying my hand at the homemade version of one of fall’s classic desserts. It turns out giving my friends candy apples was more of a trick than a treat, as I handed them out then enjoyed the hilarious scene that ensued. Their teeth were slipping and sliding across the slick red surface like tennis shoes on an ice skating rink. Eventually my caveman instincts kicked in. Me use knife. Me cut apple. Me eat apple in slices.

Candy Apples

After tripping leaping over the practicality hurdle, we enjoyed slice after slice of the sweet and crunchy snack-on-a-stick. My sister, ever the attorney, suggested I include a legal disclaimer with this recipe stating that I am not responsible for any injuries and/or broken teeth caused by the candy apples. But I, being the glass-is-half-full kinda gal that I am, like to think of them as a dessert that’s simply keeping dentists around the world in business.

Candy Apples

Candy Apples

Candy Apples

Candy Apples

Yield: 12 candy apples

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 30 min


12 small red or green apples, any variety
12 lollipop or popsicle sticks
3 cups white sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
½ teaspoon red food coloring

Equipment: candy thermometer


Wash and thoroughly dry the apples (See Kelly's Notes below). Insert the lollipop sticks or popsicle sticks so that they are firmly positioned in the apples. Set the apples aside on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and coated with cooking spray.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a boil and cook the mixture until a candy thermometer reaches 300ºF (the hard crack stage).

Remove the candy mixture from the heat and carefully stir in the red food coloring (it may splash, so stand back). You may have to add more than the designated ½ teaspoon, depending on the quality and strength of your food coloring.

One by one, carefully dip the apples into the candy mixture, swirling to coat them thoroughly and allowing any excess to drip back into the pan. Transfer the coated apples to the prepared cookie sheet and allow them to cool until the candy has fully hardened.

Kelly's Notes:

Apples often come with a waxy coating, which will prevent the candy from sticking to the surface. To remove the wax, simply boil 6 cups water with 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Quickly dip the apples in the boiling mixture for 5 seconds then thoroughly dry them. The candy will stick in an instant!

If the candy mixture gets too hard during the dipping process, simply re-heat it over medium heat and continue coating the apples.

Serving the apples in colorful cupcake wrappers is a fun way to jazz up your Halloween party spread.




38 Responses to “Candy Apples”

  1. #
    Amelia from z tasty life — October 12, 2011 at 10:53 am

    The other plus is that they are gorgeous and make for great halloween decoration!!!

    • Kelly replied: — October 12th, 2011 @ 11:12 am

      Agreed! Thanks so much for stopping by and would love to catch up soon!

  2. #
    Bev Weidner — October 12, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Look. At. THAT.

    I need to see my dentist soon anyway, so let’s do it!

    • Kelly replied: — October 12th, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

      They were worth every sticky, cling-to-your-teeth bite :) Great meeting you in Nashville!

  3. #
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — October 12, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    fabulous!!! Can’t wait to show my kids. Just put this on pinterest. Hope your week is good

  4. #
    Jackie — October 12, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Love the way those apples look! Yummy!!

    • Kelly replied: — October 12th, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

      Thank you, Jackie! Just checked out your blog and put the Vanilla Bean Cake on my baking “must-make” list.

  5. #
    Jackie — October 12, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    OK, is there any way NOT to sing that “Candy Apples On A Stick…” Song from when we were kids when reading this post?!

    Great post, If I burn myself, or gain weight, I won’t take legal action, I swear.

    • Kelly replied: — October 12th, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

      Haha, thank you, Jackie! I was also thinking about that song … and please do be careful and stand back when adding the food coloring. I almost got an accidental red sugar tattoo (talk about a gory Halloween).

  6. #
    DessertForTwo — October 12, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Absolutely beautiful!

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a true ‘candied’ apple. I’ve only had the ones dipped in chocolate and topped with 1000 pounds of toppings. I think it’s time I try the real thing. I’ll send my dental bills your way, mmmk? ;)

    • Kelly replied: — October 12th, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

      Go for it (the apples, not the dental bill)! I’m also a big fan of the 1,000-topping apples and grew up eating them from The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

  7. #
    Kate — October 12, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    I luv me some candy apples, but LOVE some caramel apples. Maybe it’s due to the ease of consumption that comes with the latter…

  8. #
    Gourmantine — October 12, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Oh my, they look sooo cute and tasty! And definitely the type of sweets to keep the dentist busy :))))

  9. #
    Brooks at Cakewalker — October 12, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Kelly, These Candy Apples look terrific. That glorious red color brought me straight over from Tastespotting in a hurry! Your presentation, notes and tips are spot on…I’m glad I stopped by.

    • Kelly replied: — October 13th, 2011 @ 12:03 am

      Thanks so much for your comment, Brooks! I hope you enjoy some other recipes on the site.

  10. #
    Anna — October 13, 2011 at 1:58 am

    Pretty red apples! Do you think Snow White’s evil stepmom (when she was in disguise) had her apples coated in candy too? You absolutely can’t resist an apple as red as the ones on your picture!
    Thanks for the tip to get the candy glaze to stick to the apple. “,)

    • Kelly replied: — October 13th, 2011 @ 2:10 am

      Thanks, Anna! I did some research on that one because I know that can often be a big problem area for candy apple recipes. I found the boiling water/vinegar combo to be the best solution!

  11. #
    kamran siddiqi — October 13, 2011 at 3:37 am

    *Swoon* That is all.

    • Kelly replied: — October 13th, 2011 @ 3:52 am

      Thank you, Kamran :) Would love an update on you!

  12. #
    Sook @ My Fabulous Recipes — October 13, 2011 at 4:38 am

    That is like the prettiest red color I’ve ever seen!

    • Kelly replied: — October 13th, 2011 @ 4:42 am

      Thanks, Sook! I just checked out your blog, and I’m so glad you stopped by – I’m loving your Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate (saving that one for winter in NYC)!

  13. #
    J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) — October 13, 2011 at 9:45 am

    I love these! The shininess makes me want to make these and it’s not even 6:00am yet. :)

    • Kelly replied: — October 14th, 2011 @ 2:32 am

      Thanks, Jenn!

  14. #
    Marc @ NoRecipes — October 20, 2011 at 1:28 am

    I’m with on this one! I put candy apples in the bucket with giant jawbreakers, and the pink sheet of crunchy rubber they call “gum” that shows up in a pack of baseball cards. It’s all fun and games until you try and eat one.

  15. #
    Caddü — October 22, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Mwoah yummy!! <3 *—-*
    Maybe i will try it hehe

    put that post in a "recipe collection"-post of my blog (:

  16. #
    Robyn — September 7, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Just curious, do you think the candy coating would stick if you cut the apples into “fun-size” pieces before dipping?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — September 7th, 2013 @ 11:06 am

      Hi Robin! I’ve never tried cutting the apples first, so I can’t say with certainty if it’ll work. I’m not sure if the candy coating would stick to the cut side since it’s not a dry surface.

  17. #
    sassy — October 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    many years ago, I actually found candy apples at a school fund sale that were made with a soft red clear taffy that looked just like the hard version you made.. never could find that soft recipe…. sure wish I had asked about it those many years ago…it was the BEST!!!! any chance of you trying to make it??? if so, put me on the top of your e-mail list. thanks

  18. #
    Evangeline Julian — January 24, 2014 at 2:04 am

    Omg this is an amazing recipe! I love it! Made it and sold it. It was gone within 10 minutes and people are wanting more! Haha and also a way I got the food colouring in without scalding myself is putting some on your stirring spoon then standing back and slowly stirring it in. That way its brought as close as you can without spitting back at you! And it didnt :-)


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