Add color and crunch to your holiday table with a simple recipe for Easy Homemade 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.
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.
And for all those with a love for this confection’s culinary cousin, check out my recipe for Easy Caramel Apples!
Craving more? Subscribe to Just a Taste to get new recipes, meal plans and a newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
And for all those joining in my fall dessert frenzy, don’t miss additional classic and creative recipes.
Pumpkin Pie Rice Krispies Treats: Get the Recipe
Easy Caramel Apples: Get the Recipe
Halloween Chocolate Chip Cookies: Get the Recipe
- 12 small red or green apples (any variety)
- 12 lollipop or popsicle sticks
- 3 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 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 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. And 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.
- 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.
- ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!
Did you try this recipe?
Share it with the world! Mention @justataste or tag #justatasterecipes!
Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.
Perfect recipe! Delicious candy apples.
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Tania!
Made these today with my family of 4. Needless to say, I was unable to take photos of the finished product, they couldn’t wait for them to cook all the way. Amazing recipe. Followed exactly. Perfect candy apples. We’ll be making candy apples every opportunity we get. Thanks so much. They’re delicious.
Amazing! I’m so glad your family enjoyed the recipe, Wendy!
I always used the candy kits, they were not available this year so i used this recipe.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Marlene!
Your recipe and instructions have never failed me. My nieces look forward to Halloween every year. Thank you so much
You are so welcome, Rebecca! I’m thrilled you’ve been enjoying Just a Taste! :)
I have made candy like fudge before but this was my first attempt at hard candy. The instructions were easy to follow and I am pleased to say the candy apples turned out great! I’m so happy with how they turned out! So will my 7 year old son and his friends at this weekends Halloween bonfire and smore shindig.
Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Susan!
Awesome recipe, super easy. Works everytime!!! Thanks
I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Gabrielle!
My mom use to spread shredded coconut of the wax paper. Stand them in that. Looks great and tastes delicious.
Love that idea, Georgette!
***** your candy apple recipe turned out perfect! No adjustments needed! My family really enjoyed them!
Yay! I’m so happy to read this, Sherry!
I just wonder… I made candied grapes.. and they did great. The sugar hardened and they were fantastic but the next day the leftover candied grapes the sugar had melted… does candied fruit need to be stored in the refrigerator?
Hi Angel! I have made them one day in advance and they’ve held up, although they are best enjoyed the same day they’re made. Also, I recommend securely wrapping each candy apple with plastic wrap and storing them in a cool, dry place.
This worked great !
Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Renee!
I love this recipe!!!!! I’ve always wanted to try to make candy apples and never had the nerve. These were so easy! You do have to have patience to let the sugars get to 300 degrees, but it is so worth the wait. It’s Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend and I made these as a special surprise for the family. And clean up was easy. Just a good soak in hot water and everything cleaned up perfectly. Thanlks so much for a great recipe!
You are so welcome, Wendy! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
First time trying it for my two year old niece’s birthday. So easy and the perfect addition to the treat table.
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Nikia!
Amazing!! Just followed the directions and they turned out perfect! It was my first time so actually coating the apples got a little difficult when the mixture went down in the saucepan after about 4 apples., started to harden up a bit.. will make again!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Audrina!
It turned out good
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Lisa Marie!
The apples came out terrific the first time. We wrapped them up in cellophane and used twist ties to seal them. They looked professional and they tasted great. We used half Fuji apples and half granny smith. Everyone enjoyed them.
I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe, Kelly!
First time making candy apples and they turned out great! I used gel colouring and halved the recipe for 6 apples (small-medium) and one large apple sliced. I patted the slices dry on both sides and they dipped fine. Not sure how long they’ll last before browning (the whole slice wasn’t dipped – sometimes an end, sometimes a side). I sprayed parchment but will probably skip that step next time and just use parchment.
Added hot water and a splash of vinegar to the pot and put back on the stove and the candy melted away no problem.
Used red apples that I already had on hand but will use green next time to really see the vibrant red candy.
I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe, Cindy!
Never got hard!!! Bummer
Messy ohhh gooey
Hi Nikki – Is it very humid where you are? That can sometimes slow the drying/hardening. Also, did you use a candy thermometer, and did the sugar definitely get to the specified temp? If it didn’t get hot enough, it may only remain at the “softball” stage versus the “hard crack” stage.
See More Comments