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!
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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.
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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.
Hello, can you cut the apples in wedges and dip in the sugar?
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.
Actually, you can. I did just that. I removed the wax, then cut into slices, what I did was dip in candy mixture, then immediately dunk them in my bowl of ice water. It was great having bite sized candied apples, especially since some of the kids are to small to finish a whole apple.
Thanks so much for your note, Nina!
No, the moisture from the apples will prevent the candy from hardening.
They are soooo good. The first time I tried it I didn’t let it get to 300 because I thought something was wrong with thermometer since it wouldn’t move past 240. So it was a chewy coating. So I bought another thermometer specifically for baking and BINGO! They turned out crunchy and so delicious and my cleanup wasn’t so bad. I suggest to have a large bot of boiling water ready and when you finish dipping just put everything in that pot and it will dissolve quickly.
Yay! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Jenny! :)
Thank you sooooo much for this easy recipe. I’m currently 8 months pregnant & this has been my top craving through out my entire pregnancy and I couldn’t find them anywhere to buy. Gave this recipe a shot & succeeded for the 2nd time today. Now I have my craving satisfied and some left over for my kids & a few others.
You are so welcome, Taylor! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe :)
This recipe was exactly what I was hoping for! Easy, yummy, and relatively easy cleanup. I did add a handful of cinnamon red hots to the sugar mixture while cooking because i seemed to remember that flavor in the ones from childhood. Just right! A hint of cinnamon. Thank you for this recipe!
Also, I sprayed a paper plate and poured the extra on it. When it cooled I cracked it and have cinnamon candy now!
Amazing! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Deborah!
I just Want to thank you for your candy Apple recipe. Your recipe was actually the 5th recipe that I tried I’ve been on YouTube the Internet trying to find a good recipe. none of my candy apples turned out good after one day the candy would just roll off the apple Or the candy would still be tacky (sticky). Your recipe was my last hope, I was never going to try making candy apples again if your recipe didn’t work I was so feed up with Failure.I couldn’t believe how your recipe work so good. None off the candy fall of the apples and the apples wasn’t tacky ( Sticky). Thank you so much.
You are so welcome! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe :)
I’m giving 5 stars because I know the fail was mine and not the recipe. I was looking for a crunchy not gooey coating but dipped when too hot- is my assumption.
Hi Jo – 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.
How do you do different colors and do you use food coloring to do the colors and what brand food coloring. Sorry so many questions
Hi Sharon! Any color of food coloring works and I suggest using gel food coloring to get the best results. :)
OMG best candy apples ever! They were absolutely perfect!! Is there a candy apple fairy that does clean up though?
I wish! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Valarie!
I’m so happy to read this, Christy!
I just made these and I managed to coat 8 of the 12 apples before the candy mixture started to crystalize back on me. When I reheated the mixture on the stove the candy started to have a burnt smell at only 228 degrees. Should I have added water back into it when I reheated it? I can’t figure out where I went wrong with this recipe. Any suggestions?
Hi Leanne! It sounds like the reheated mixture got too hot. Were you reheating it over low heat?
The recipe itself was good, the candy apples were yummy. But I wish there were more instructions around how to do the clean up etc. Almost every utensil plus the pot I used needed to be thrown out after. This hardens almost instantly and no amount of soaking seems to help.
I’m so sorry, Wendy. To clean the pan, you can add very hot water to the sugar and boil it slightly until it melts then carefully discard it.
You just reheat it and then rinse immediately.
Thanks for the recipe I want to add some nuts but was wondering when and how to add them
Hi Deloris! After dipping the apple in the candy mixture, immediately roll it in the nuts.
OMG best candy apple recipe ever just the exact right combination! They turned out perfectly but timing is everything because it can very quickly be overcooked then it burns
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Valarie!
Loved this recipe So easy to make and understand thank you
You are so welcome, Carolyn! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
Do I have to subscribe to get the actual recipe? There doesn’t seem to be a link…
Hi Florrie – The recipe is underneath the last image of this post :) You do not need to subscribe to see it.
Love this recipe, we love the candy apples, thank you
You are so welcome, Julie! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
Worked great!!!! The only thing I’d say should maybe be done different is to add the food colouring before you heat the mixture instead of afterward. I also didn’t remove the pot from the heat all together while dipping. I just tipped it so the apples could be submerged more easily. But the mixture burns quick so maybe popping it off for a few seconds at a time wouldn’t hurt! Thanks for this great recipe! Will use it again for sure! :)
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Sarah!
Perfect candy apples
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Carol!
This was fun! I cut the recipe in half and my daughter requested purple. Made a spoon lollipop with the lil bit extra. Also we didn’t have a candy thermometer so we did all the old crackle candy test in water to tell when it was ready. Very tasty!I loved it!
Amazing! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Jill!
I have been looking for a recipe and I’m so excited to try yours. My family is going to love them!
I hope your family enjoys the candy apples, Wendy!
Very easy and tasty thank you
So glad you enjoyed it, Carolyn!
I made these apples twice and got nothing but compliments that the candy was tasty and it coated the apples perfectly.
I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Debbie!
How far in advance can I make the candy apples? Do they need to be refrigerated?
Hi Bernadette! I have made them one day in advance before and they’ve held up, although they definitely are best enjoyed the same day they’re made. And I’d recommend you securely wrap each candy apple with plastic wrap and store them in a cool, dry place.
This recipe is it!!! I’ve made over a dozen and the flavor is perfect!
WOW! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed this recipe, Stephanie!
I cant wait to give these a try, but curious how many days in advance you can make these for a party. Or better yet, how long do they stay fresh after you make them?
Hi Steffi! I have made them one day in advance before and they’ve held up, although they definitely are best enjoyed the same day they’re made. To help preserve their freshness, I’d recommend securely wrapping each candy apple with plastic wrap and storing them in a cool, dry place.
The one thing I add to these which I always had on the ones we would make or buy as kids was cinnamon extract that you use in candy making. Takes it up to a whole new level.
Love that addition, Marilyn!
This recipe was WONDERFUL! We used leftover cotton candy sugar from my daughters birthday party and it was great! I was tempted to raise my burner to high heat because it was taking forever to reach 300° but I left it on medium. Next time Im going to try a few flakes of edible glitter!
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Tori!
How long does it normally take to reach 300? I’ve put mine up on high and still struggling to reach 300
Hi Brook! It depends entirely on the strength of your burner and if you’re using a gas stove or induction cooktop.
Absolutely delicious.. Thank you
You are so welcome, Lala! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
My daughter and I finished the candy apples using red and blue food coloring gel making a finished product of purple. They’re delicious!
Awesome! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Veronica!
When I used to make candy apples always made sure that the candy coating would go over top of the Apple near the stick. However looking at yours I realized that I can cut the Apple if I leave some of it showing which is an excellent idea.
I have not made these yet but when I was 4 or 5 we lived in St Louis and they sold these on the street. They were so good. So I cant wait to make these for my gradchildren.
Love this! I hope you and your grandchildren enjoy the recipe, Pat!
I’ve made it for my little cousin’s birthday party, everyone loved it!
Thanks for sharing this recipe
You are so welcome, Irma! I’m thrilled everyone enjoyed the candy apples!
This was so good and it came out perfectly. I love candy apples. This brings back so many fond memories of my childhood. I make these twice a month now because I love them so much. Thank you for this recipe.
You are so welcome, Tracy! I’m thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe :)
Can I use any food color besides red?
Hi Yolanda – Absolutely! And I prefer gel food coloring :)
Hi this recipe is awesome i am addicted to candy Apples now
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Julie!
Can I double the ingredients to make 24 or should I just make 12 at a time and redo the mixture?
Hi! I’d recommend making two separate batches as sugar can be finicky to work with. :)
My Candy apples came out perfect. Thank u so much
I’m so thrilled to read this, Olivia!
Hi! Need to make 24 hours in advance – how should I store them?? Do they need to be refrigerated?
Hi Kristen – I’d recommend you securely wrap each candy apple with plastic wrap and store them in a cool, dry place.
Hi there! The recipe was very well written, my candy apples turned out awesome. I was however wondering what is the best way to clean the pot after using the mixture?? Thanks in advance
Hi Kallie – To clean the pan, you can add very hot water to the sugar and boil it slightly until it melts then carefully discard it. Hope that helps!
Will definitely try this out!
I hope you enjoy the recipe, Milly!
The apples came out perfectly. Will use this recipe all of the time.
Woohoo! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, June!
So easy! I added purple food coloring for a poison apple look.
Love it! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Lillian!
Can you use gel food coloring
Absolutely! I prefer gel food coloring :)
Great Recipe, easy directions, works perfectly everytime!! In response to the cinnamon flavor, I use Lo-Ann cinnamon flavored candy oils, PERFECT!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Denise!
Can I keep the toffee warm in a crock pot for a little apple bar? Looking to use this recipe for the kids Halloween party table next week!
Hi Amber – This recipe is for candy apples and I wouldn’t recommend using a slow cooker. Are you looking for a caramel apple recipe? If so, here’s a link to my Easy Caramel Apples: https://www.justataste.com/easy-caramel-apples-recipe/ :)
How can I get it to give that cinnamon taste to it?
Hi! I’ve never tried that so I’m not sure what the quantity would be, but I’d start off around 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.
These are Taffy apples (or Toffee apples as the were once called in Canada) as they should be and not Caramel/Taffy apples. Great recipe tho’ a little time consuming to make. Taffy apples taste best when apples are still sour and large enough to hold onto with a wooden stick. Bon Appetit.!
How far in advance can the candy apples be made prior to an event? Also, can flavoring be added?
Thank you :)
Hi Diane – I have made them one day in advance before and they’ve held up, although they definitely are best enjoyed the same day they’re made. And I’ve never tried adding flavoring but it *should* work.
All my apples stuck to the wax paper but did fine on parchment paper
Hi Joanne – I’m so sorry your apples stuck to the wax paper. Did you coat it with cooking spray?
In Australia and other countries, Look for glucose syrup which should be in the baking section of your stores. Glucose syrup is basically the same as corn syrup, my friend in Chile uses it when making a recipe that calls for corn syrup.
Loved your recipe! Easy instructions, delicious candy apples!
Made a batch for my grand kiddos! They loved them! Thank you!
You are so welcome, Cristina! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
Honey can often be substituted in place of Corn Syrup in many cases. I have not tried it with candy apples but it is viable alternative in most baking situations.
Hi Dan! I’ve never made candy apples using honey so I can’t say for certain if that would work.
I’m in Australia and can’t find any corn syrup. Can I substitute it with rice malt syrup or something else?
Hi Julia! I’ve never tried a corn syrup substitute in this recipe so unfortunately, I can’t weigh in on this. Sorry I can’t be of more help!
Awesome recipe. Is it possible to double or triple it? I’m thinking about how amazing these would be for Halloween!
Hi Deborah! I’d recommend making two (or three) separate batches as sugar can be finicky to work with. :)
My candy never got hard, I boiled it for 20 minutes.
Hi Doris! 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.
My candy got hard after the 3rd dip. How do I solve this?
Hi Navi! Just reheat the candy mixture over medium heat to continue to coat the apples.
Hi there, why is LIGHT corn syrup necessary? Would regular corn syrup work just as well?
Hi Susanna! You could but your apples won’t be as vibrant because light corn syrup is clear, rather than golden or dark in color.
Really great, straightforward recipe. Thanks,!!!!!!
You are so welcome, Simon! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
Hi my candy melts after a few hours. What am I doing wrong?
Hi Yolanda – Is it very humid where you are? That can sometimes slow the drying/hardening. Also, 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.
Can I use any thermometer or is it a special one for candy?
Hi Denise! I’d recommend using a candy thermometer :)
I made these this evening for a Halloween party that I’m attending tomorrow! The recipe is very straightforward and the candy thermometer I purchased was definitely a big help!
So glad to hear this, Janelle!
Should I be stirring it while it’s going up to 300 degrees
Hi Jess! No, you do not need to stir the mixture while it cooks.
i’ve always used cinnamon red hots (the small red candies that have been around forever) instead of food coloring
Thanks for the tip, Barbara!
I had problems with my apples oozing juice from where the stick is inserted. What do you suggest for that. My caramel was good, my chocolate was good, my candy dip was good, but all oozed juice near the stick and ruined the caramel, the choc and the candy.
Hi there! Here are a few tips: 1. Crisp, fresh apples are best. 2. Insert your stick into the stem end of the apple. 3. Always dry the juice from the apple after inserting the stick.
How many days in advance can I make the apples if needing then for Saturday?
Hi Diana! I have made them one day in advance before and they’ve held up, although they definitely are best enjoyed the same day they’re made. To store the candy apples you can securely wrap each apple individually with plastic wrap (here’s a helpful article: https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-store-candy-apples/). Then store them in a cool, dry place.
hi, I tried the recipe but I had an issue with the sugar coming out of solution while I was dipping the apples. Do you have any advice?
Hi Maxine – Did you use a candy thermometer?
kelly how do you color apples different color do you need a special coloring can you use just food coloring or there different coloring for candyapples
Hi Diane – You can use any type of food coloring but I like the gel ones the best :)
What do you do went its don’t thick up to cover the apple
Hi there! As per the recipe above, you’ll want the mixture to reach 300ºF (the hard crack stage).
This is the ABSOLUTE BEST RECIPE FOR CANDY APPLES HANDS DOWN!!! Thank you sooooo much for sharing
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
Hi there, if I plan to pass the apples out after I finish them whats the best thing to wrap them in.
Hi Louise! I’d recommend securely wrapping each candy apple with plastic wrap (here’s a helpful article: https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-store-candy-apples/), then store them in a cool, dry place.
My family and church children love the apples.
I’m thrilled to hear this, Regina!
If your making candy apples should you have a flavoring in it also such as cinnamon, we do here in the US. kim
Hi there! I’ve never tried that so I’m not sure what the quantity would be, but I’d start off around 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.
Can I substitute the corn syrup and use real maple syrup???
Hi Shirley – I’ve never tried this recipe using maple syrup so I can’t say for certain what the results would be. Let me know if you give it a shot!
i would like to try the candy apple recipe
I’m so happy to have found this recipe. My daughter and I are both allegic to red food dye, so we’ll be using something else.
As an invert syrup, Tate & Lyle’s works just as corn syrup. The flavor profile is a bit different (think golden syrup, similar to Tate and Lyle’s, is also an invert syrup and easy to make in microwave).
In fact, making a batch of invert syrup in microwave is a cinch. Golden syrup just has a bit more lemon juice than light corn syrup.
Just remember, when making any syrups, if at high altitude, adjust for temp on candy thermomter by decreasing 2° F for every 1000 ft above sea level.
Hope this helps.
To Tony, in Australia I use clear glucose syrup in place of corn syrup for candy making and it works a treat every time. :)
For some stupid reason the EU does not allow the use of corn syrup . I am wondering if Tate & Lyle’s golden syrup would be an acceptable substitute for the corn syrup ?? I remember when i lived in North America there was no problem using corn syrup on pancakes or whatever and i’m still alive :-)
I’m not familiar with that brand, Tony, so I’m not sure!
So if I was going to make 6 would it be ok to just half the recipe
Hi there! I’ve never tried halving this recipe so I’m not positive but it should work.
I love these recipes
Awesome! I’m so glad you’re enjoying Just a Taste, Erica!
I can’t wait to make these for the kids tomorrow. I will let everyone know how they turn out!
Since I am undoubtedly crazy I told my daughter we would make these for her entire class for Halloween, will the recipe get finicky if I double it? Or should I make them in two batches in two separate pans? Thanks!
You rock, Leah! And I’d recommend making two separate batches. :)
How long do the apples last? And do you store them in the fridge or on counter?
Hi Stephanie! I have made them one day in advance before and they’ve held up, although they definitely are best enjoyed the same day they’re made. To store the candy apples you can either securely wrap each individually with plastic wrap (here’s a helpful article: https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-store-candy-apples/) or store in an airtight container. Then store them in a cool, dry place.
Yay, I was looking for a non-cinnamon recipe. Thank you!
You are so welcome, Janet!
How long does it take for the mixture to thicken enough to coat?
Hi Jess – As per the recipe above, you’ll want the mixture to reach 300ºF (the hard crack stage).
I want to try these! I sort of remember making them with the old-fashioned red hot cinnamon imperials one year decades ago. My Betty Crocker cookbook from that era though doesn’t use them. I really remember how gorgeous they were. I just hope when I cut them that they still look great. Thank you! PS Do you recommend the supermarket liquid red food color or the kind used for cake decorating that cost a lot more?
Awesome! You can use any type of food coloring but I like the gel ones the best :)
I made these for my baby boy’s first birthday, it was a Freak Show Circus Theme. The apples were so beautiful, the candy was like red glass. The pictures turned out amazing, they were the perfect eye catching dessert…plus they tasted so good! Thanks for the easy recipe (I linked back to you, of course). You can check out the pics here if you’re interested!
They looked perfect, Sophia! And what a fun theme for a birthday party! Happy birthday to your little one :)
Do you have to wait 24-48 hours to clean the Apple
You can thoroughly wash and dry the apples right before you begin to make the candy mixture. Hope that helps!
Made these tonight, very easy. However, when my candy started getting too thick, I put it back over medium heat and all of a sudden it seized up. must have got too hot? We didn’t have it on there more than a minute, stirring constantly. Not sure what happened!
Hi Kylee! Any sugar crystals that are stuck to the sides of the pan that fall into the boiling mixture can cause the entire mixture to seize. To help prevent this, use a pastry brush dipped in warm water to carefully brush the sides of the saucepan. Hope this helps!
Absolutely delicious! Honey Crisp apples were used. The candied apples must be refrigerated. Start your first bite from the flesh of the apple. The candy was not overly hard, so no broken teeth from me. I want to add lots of chopped peanuts on top of the prepared candied apples next time.
I’m thrilled to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Linda!
you could try a small class of cold water. To test the status drop a small bead of the candy into the water. Result be be the current stage of the candy. When its at the cracked stage, it would have the constancy of a piece of hard candy. you can keep testing at various stages of the cooking process.
Hello I want to ask why did my candy apples get kind of hard or stay shiny my candy was soft on the album but it had a shine when I first dip after with the shine went away what did I do wrong. but I did the recipe exactly like you had that the candy did get sticky and dry quickly but it wasn’t hard it was soft in the shine didn’t stay long
Hi Crystal – Is it very humid where you are? That can sometimes slow the drying/hardening. Also, 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. I hope that helps!
a friend and i want to make candy apple slices or pieces so it will be easier then biting into entire apple.question is , is there a way to get the candy to stick to apple without the peel on it ?
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.
Can you make them without a candy thermometer?
is there like a certain thing the mixture starts to do when it boils that high?
whats the difference from using a regular thermometer?
I really wouldn’t recommend making these without the candy thermometer, as you really need to know the exact temp of when the sugar hits the hard crack stage.
Hello.. i have made this receipe several times now and everytime they are good…my only prbllem is that sometimes they start getting sticky! I have reck my head trying to figure why? Would you help me?
Thank You so much
Hi Bea – Is it very humid where you are? That can sometimes slow the drying/hardening. And did the sugar definitely reach the specified temp? If it didn’t get hot enough, it may only remain at the “softball” stage versus the “hard crack” stage. Hope that helps!
I have used this recipe a few times now I love it. The first time I made them they came out perfect but I have done this recipe at least 5 more times and for some reason I’m getting bubbles in the candy. How can I not have the bubbles?? And also do you have to use a certain kind of sugar? I’ve been using either Winn Dixie brand or pure canes.
Thrilled you’re enjoying the recipe, Jennifer! The bubbles are a result from an uneven coating of the sugar, so the more evenly you can dip the apples, the less bubbles there will be.
I have made these exactly the same way for years. I have made them using the water test method spoken of here and I have used the thermometer. Both work, but the thermometer is so much easier with less mess. I also add candy flavorings. This year I am making watermelon flavored apples and will color them green. I have tried cinnamon, strawberry, cherry and green apple flavorings in the past. The candy that rolls off and hardens on the pan NEVER goes to waste.
Do you have any tips if you don’t have a candy thermometer please?
Hi Sara – I wouldn’t recommend making these without the candy thermometer, as you really need to know the exact temp of when the sugar hits the hard crack stage.
Hello. Were could i buy a candy thermometer?
Hi there! Most major grocery stores carry them, or online!
i have been making taffy apples since i have been 20 yrs old , i am 72 now . yes , when you dissolve your sugar, corn syrup, and water , ,then boil it , do not stir it ,just let it boil until you test it , it has to boil down some , then use a half cup of cold water in a cup, take a few drops out with a wooden spoon and let it drip into water . if it threads to a crackling crunch its done . remove the syrup off of stove . quickly dip your prepared apples ,let drip for 4 seconds , place on a greased piece of parchment paper . this is the secret . you can use all the same ingrediants but you can dip them in coconut , crunched peanuts or walnuts, what ever you want , ,chocolate chips will melt, you can use green apples , any kind of apples , put them in a cup cake paper cup ,which i would put a touch of butter in the paper cup so it will not stick. enjoy, but be very carefull ,keep pot handle faceing away from you , no children around .from saint john new Brunswick Canada susan
Thanks so much for your comment, Susan!
Do you by any chance have a caramel apple recipe where the caramel doesn’t slide off the apple much
Hi Carmen – It’s important that the apples are washed and then thoroughly dried prior to plunging them into the hot caramel. Any trace of moisture on the apples will cause the caramel to slip and slide right off. Hope that helps!
I made the candy apples exact to the instructions and they taste like Medicine.. what could have gone wrong and they stuck to wax paper
Hi Linda – I’ve never experienced that… did you add any sort of extract?
Some people have a negative reaction [or sensitivity] to red food coloring, usually mentioning it has a bad/bitter taste to it. Try looking online for a ‘no taste’ red coloring, or even a natural/powder coloring instead.
You omitted the cinnamon extract. Every year, growing up, my mom made candied apples for the neighborhood. She would make close to 200 each year. She stopped making them when the neighborhood started aging and kids preferred pencils to wrapped candy & heaven forbid homemade treats. Do you know how much cinnamon to add?
Hi Bonnie! I’ve never tried that so I’m not sure what the quantity would be, but I’d start off around 1/2 teaspoon. :)
Could you slice the apples first and then dip them in the candy mixture?
Hi Carolyn! 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.
These were a huge hit! And I was really surprised at how easy they were to make, but following your directions step-by-step was key. These will be a new fall tradition!
Love hearing this, Lesley! So glad you enjoyed the recipe :)
Hi! Im wanting to make a candy apple cupcake for halloween and i was thinking of dipping just the tops of the cakes into candy apple sugar syrup like this. Ive never had a candy apple and have no idea what the texture of the candy is. Does it break easily when bitten? Will it come off in shards and stab people? Do you think cake is too soft to make the candy easily edible? Any help or thoughts would be very, very greatly appreciated!
Hi Erin! I have never tried dipping a cupcake into hot sugar so I’m not sure what the result would be.
what does light corn syrup mean? Nothing at the grocery store is labled that way. Rodgers golden syrup, Bee Hive golden corn syrup or there is another brand that I should look for. Not sure where this web site is from, some brands are not available in Canada, will any of these do?
Hi Shawna – Light corn syrup is clear, rather than golden or dark in color. Hope that helps!
How far ahead from my party can I make these??? Please thank you so much :)
Hi Cristina! I have made them one day in advance before and they’ve held up, although they definitely are best enjoyed the same day they’re made. Hope that helps!
Wanting a recipe now for home made caramel apples, any suggestions?
Yes! Check out our Easy Caramel Apples recipe: https://www.justataste.com/easy-caramel-apples-recipe/ :)
I made these for my grand daughter’s grade one Halloween party (and put a disclaimer ticket on it). I used quite a bit of red food coloring and they were absolutely PERFECT!! Even posted pictures on my Facebook. Thank you for sharing.
Awesome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Laura!
Recipe sounds great. Can’t wait to see how they come out. THANK you!
You are so welcome, Anastasia! Enjoy :)
Im in the process of batch 2, so far the first batch turned out nicely, however, I got about 9 apples dipped, and the candy got hard super fast and turned a white hugh and I didnt know what to next so I started over :( I also dropped the candy thermometer in the hot boiling candy and of course the top popped off and filled the darn thing with hot boiling candy…. :( what can you do when it gets hard in the pan in mid dip?
Hi Denise – Sorry to hear about your candy thermometer! Also, if the candy mixture gets too hard during the dipping process, simply re-heat it over medium heat and continue coating the apples.
This was my first time working with sugar, so I was a little worried they wouldn’t turn out, but, oh my goodness, they turned out beautifully! I followed your recipe exactly and they’re perfect!
Because I made a double batch, the candy got too thick about half way through the dipping process. I put it back on the heat and voila! I was able to to finish the rest of the apples.
It is very humid where I live, so I put the apples in the fridge over night and they where perfectly preserved for the next day.
Like you said, they are REALLY hard to bite into so I will cut up the rest of them.
Thank you so much for this recipe! I got tons of compliments ;)
So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Alison!
Mine didn’t get very red and I used 1 teaspoon of food coloring
Hi Marg – As I’ve noted in the recipe, the amount of food coloring needed depends on the quality and strength of your food coloring. :)
Ours coated well but also became runny by the next day. They also stuck to the wax paper even thought I coated it with coconut oil non-stick spray.
Hi Maria – Is it humid where you are?
LOVED these! Used black food coloring for “poison” apples, which was very fun….. but made for stained teeth and tongues for the day! I used Kelly’s tip for washing wax off apples, but I wondered if anyone had an issue with the apples sweating after they were dipped in the boiling vinegar water and dried but before you candy coat them?
So glad you enjoyed the recipe! I have never experienced the “sweating apples,” but is it humid where you are?
Should the apples be at room temperature before dipping? Also, can a different color be used with this recipe?
Yes and yes!
Why my candy got hard before I finished dipping the apples?
Hi Renee! As the candy mixture cools, it hardens. Simply re-heat it over medium heat to continue to coat the apples.
I will try your recipe, this will be my first time not using a candy apple kit. Thank you so much, I think I’m going to really enjoy this.
Hello my candyapples CAME out perfect 300 temp. When I package candyapple in cellophane the next day I notice candy falling from the apple. It was not intact. And other apple was just fine but inside the cellophane package candyapple in the corner a piece of red candy was running melted why shouldnt the candyapple stay intact for 3 4 5 days tips or longer
Hi Lety – So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Also, I have made them one day in advance before and they’ve held up, although they definitely are best enjoyed the same day they’re made. Hope that helps!
How do I preserve candyapple like do I put a pinch of salt of drops lemon juice and why is it that they come out perfect s right temperature then 2 days or 3 I cut then red candy falls apart from the canduapple
Hi Leticia – If the coating is falling off, it’s like due to humidity and/or moisture on the apples prior to dipping them.
I have 20 big huge apples how much ingredients to make them cause they not little apple they are big and tall
Hey……how do you keep the apples from getting bubbles in them?
Hi there! The bubbles are a result from an uneven coating of the sugar, so the more evenly you can dip the apples, the less bubbles there will be.
do you know how far in advance I can make these, please? I want to try and make some candy apples for gifts.
I tried making your apples they looked great at first sight then I noticed lil pin holes that started to drip and made the candy apples wet and sticky what did I do wrong
Hi Regina – Those are likely air pockets that got trapped while you dipped the apple (if you moved it around a lot in the sugar). But if they’re still wet, that’s a result of the sugar not getting to the hard-crack stage on the thermometer.
Hi.. I followed the instructions as it is but the candy is taking for ever to dry:/…what am I doing wrong or does this take a while??..TIA….first time doing candy apples
Hi Lizett – Is it very humid where you are? That can sometimes slow the drying/hardening. Also, 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.
What if is VERY humid where I live? (Because it IS very humid in South Texas) How can I still make the apples without the coating falling off? I have used the candy thermometer to make sure it gets to the right temp, but after a few hours or even the next morning, the coating is falling off of the apples.
Hi Estella – Humid climates won’t allow the candy coating to properly set so you’ll have to wait until the humidity level drops.
Can you please tell me why the box of Concord Foods Candy Apple Kit, I am following the instructions but the solution or glaze is tasting gummy on the Apple, I’ve always used this Kit. What am I doing wrong?
Hi Linda – I have never used that apple kit so I’m not sure.
Why not try the recipe on this page rather than asking about some other product that someone else makes?????
The boiling water/vinegar turned the apples – both red and green – splotchy white, and it doesn’t come off. How can I prevent it and fix it when it happens?
Hi Elizabeth – This is due to the wax on the apples. You can thoroughly scrub/wash the apples before dipping them to avoid the splotching, but some may still be inevitable.
Does it work with other colors such as blue or green
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!
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?
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!
Hi… ur toffee apples look sooo lovely… I want to findout is corn syrup n liquid glucose the same thing or is it diffrent?
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 :-)
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
Just curious, do you think the candy coating would stick if you cut the apples into “fun-size” pieces before dipping?
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.
Mwoah yummy!! <3 *—-*
Maybe i will try it hehe
put that post in a "recipe collection"-post of my blog (:
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.
I love these! The shininess makes me want to make these and it’s not even 6:00am yet. :)
That is like the prettiest red color I’ve ever seen!
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)!
*Swoon* That is all.
Thank you, Kamran :) Would love an update on you!
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. “,)
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!
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.
Thanks so much for your comment, Brooks! I hope you enjoy some other recipes on the site.
Oh my, they look sooo cute and tasty! And definitely the type of sweets to keep the dentist busy :))))
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…
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? ;)
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.
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.
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).
Love the way those apples look! Yummy!!
Thank you, Jackie! Just checked out your blog and put the Vanilla Bean Cake on my baking “must-make” list.
fabulous!!! Can’t wait to show my kids. Just put this on pinterest. Hope your week is good
Look. At. THAT.
I need to see my dentist soon anyway, so let’s do it!
They were worth every sticky, cling-to-your-teeth bite :) Great meeting you in Nashville!
The other plus is that they are gorgeous and make for great halloween decoration!!!
Agreed! Thanks so much for stopping by and would love to catch up soon!