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.




  1. 2


    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!

  2. 4


    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.

  3. 5


    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).

  4. 6


    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.

  5. 7

    Kate says

    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…

  6. 9


    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.

  7. 10


    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!

  8. 12


    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)!

  9. 14


    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.

  10. 16

    Robyn says

    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.

  11. 17

    sassy says

    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

  12. 18

    Evangeline Julian says

    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 :-)

  13. 19

    rehana says

    Hi… ur toffee apples look sooo lovely… I want to findout is corn syrup n liquid glucose the same thing or is it diffrent?

  14. 20

    Christine says

    Hi, I’m planning on doing candy apples as part of a party favour for my son’s birthday party. As I’m doing the cake/food/decorating all on my own (while my husband occupies the birthday boy), I’m wondering how far in advance I can make these? How long will they keep for?
    Thank you!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — April 26th, 2015 @ 5:36 pm

      Hi Christine! I have made them one day in advance before and they’ve help up, although they definitely be best enjoyed the same day they’re made. Hope that helps!

  15. 21

    Chelsea says

    Does it work with other colors such as blue or green

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — May 13th, 2015 @ 11:53 am

      I’ve never tried adding food color to the sugar base, so I can’t say with certainty if it’d work. Let me know if you give it a shot!


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