Candy Apples

Making a little fall magic for grownups and kids alike isn't as difficult as it seems. Learn how to make candy apples at home with this classic autumn recipe.

Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs

Nothing catches the eye like a traditional candy apple. Most of us have vivid memories from childhood of these shining red treats in a shop window or grocery store during the fall. A bite into a candy apple felt like breaking the rules in the most exhilarating way—a crunchy sugar shell coating an otherwise "healthy" snack. More than the memory of the flavor, you probably better remember the hard work it took to finish one of the apples, with sheer determination and the lust for sugar rendering the thought of giving up a non-option. While adulthood tempers some of these attitudes, it doesn't temper the appeal of the shiny exterior and crunchy contrast of textures between candy and apple. Simply made by dunking an apple into a red sugar coating that has reached hard crack stage, you can taste and see for yourself that making a little magic for grownups and kids alike isn't as difficult as it seems.  

Homemade Candy Apple
Micah Leal


  • 6 apples

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar

  • 1 cup water

  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup

  • 1 teaspoon gel red food coloring

  • 6 8-inch treat sticks


  1. Pierce the apples with the treat sticks in the center where the stem inserts into the apples and run the stick 3/4 of the way through the apples. Bring a pot of water to boil. Dip each apple in the boiling water for 10 seconds before patting dry with a clean towel. Once all apples have been dried, use a new dry cloth to dry the outside again. Set apples aside. Lay out a piece of parchment paper on a clean and even work surface next to the apples. Spray parchment with cooking spray, not letting any of the cooking spray get on the apples.

  2. In a tall medium-sized saucepan, whisk together sugar, water, corn syrup, and red food coloring until food coloring is evenly distributed. Place over medium-high heat and do not stir as you bring to a boil. Boil until sugar mixture reaches 300°F on a candy thermometer, 20 to 25 minutes. (Note: it is critical that you do not stir this sugar mixture.)

  3. Immediately remove mixture from heat and carry pan to the apples and parchment paper. Tilt saucepan so the liquid sugar is all on one side of the pan. Use your other hand to dip an apple in the candy, twirling the apple to evenly coat the outside. Lift apple out of sugar, allowing excess to drip off, and place the coated apple on the greased parchment paper with the stick pointing up. Working quickly, repeat dipping process with remaining apples. Allow candy to cool and harden completely before serving, about 15 minutes.

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