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How To Make Homemade Old-Fashioned Candy Apples

Homemade Candy Apples: easy to make delicious traditional fall carnival or fair style red hard candy coated apples.

homemade candy apples

Candy apples are an old fashioned favorite.  Not to be confused with caramel apples or toffee apples that have a soft caramel coating, candy apples traditionally have a hard red candy coating on them.  The hard candy can be a little hard on the teeth, but is so yummy.  This candy apple recipe is just like the kind you used to get at the local or state fairs or the carnival or a Halloween party when you were a kid.  These are made with fresh apples that are dipped in a sweet candy coating that sets hard to make those shiny red candy apples.  

We couldn’t create a Snow White party without serving some {poison} apples.  Well, we might have left out the poison part, and went with homemade candy apples instead. 😉 Read all about our Snow White Dinner and Movie Night here.

Snow White poison candy apples

Snow White candy apples

When I was a little girl we would go to the fair once a year as a family, in the fall.  We were allowed to get one special treat.  It was always a hard decision to make, between candy apples and cotton candy.  Candy apples always remind me of fall days as a child at the fair.  They fill me with smiles and happy memories.

how to make candy apples

These are the old fashion candy apples.  The candy coating on the outside is meant to be hard -like a lollipop.  These are not soft homemade caramel apples -see our recipe for those here.  These are easiest to eat sliced up, but traditionally are eaten off of the stick.

candy apple recipe

Red or Different Colors Of Candy Apples

I’ve made these candy apples in traditional bright red, but you can make them other colours by using first white food coloring and then different colored food colouring in any color you want.  I made some pastel pink candy apples last Halloween -see how to make them here.  And you could use the same concept and recipe to make candy apples in any color you like

how to make homemade candy apples

Candy apples are easy to make, but you will need a candy thermometer to make them.  These are inexpensive and available at any good kitchen store.

In addition, because the temperature of the candy is so hot, do be careful when you’re dipping apples.  If the candy begins to harden before you’re done dipping your apples, you can re-heat it and then dip some more.  This part is not for kids, definitely an adult only recipe.


What are the best apples to use for your making your candy apples? You can use any kind of apples that you like for making your candy apples.  A common choice for best candy apples are green apples like Granny Smith apples because they’re a little tart and pair well with the sweet candy coating.  You do want to choose a type of apples that are a crisp apples for eating and not a baking apple for this recipe.  Gala apples or pink ladies are a popular choice too.

Removing The Wax On The Exterior of Apples

Most apples sold in the grocery store come with a wax coating on them that makes them shiny and appealing in the store.  The wax coating prevents the sugar coating from sticking well to the apples.  If you can buy your apples directly at the apple orchard, they generally do not have the waxy coating and work perfectly for making candy apples.  If you can only purchase the grocery store apples, you will have to remove the wax coating before you dip your apples.  

To remove the wax coating on the apples, begin by bringing a large pot of water to the boil on the stove.  Dip each apple in the hot water and then remove it using a slotted spoon.  Next use a cloth to wipe them off.  The water will melt the wax and you can remove it by wiping it with the cloth.  Be careful not to leave the apple in the hot boiling water too long though because it will start to cook the apple and cause it to turn brown.

Candy Apple Sticks

Because the apples are quite heavy, especially when dipped in the candy coating, you want to use a sturdy stick.  Popsicle sticks or lollipop sticks may be hard to work with.  Candy apple sticks tend to be larger and more sturdy.  Look for them with candy making supplies.  We used a wooden stick for each of our apples.  We cut them from a tree in the backyard and I love how rustic they look.

homemade candy apples

candy apple recipe

Yield: 6-8 apples

Homemade Candy Apples

Homemade Candy Apples
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 water
  • 1/2 cup white corn syrup
  • 6-8 apples
  • red food coloring


      1. We used small apples from an orchard that were not coated in wax. If you are using store bought apples that are coated in wax, you'll have to remove the wax to help the candy stick to the apples. For the stick for the apple, we used some sticks we cut from a tree branch. Cut them to about 6 inches. Twist off the apple stem and push the stick into the centre of the apple. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
      2. Next, to make the candy, add the sugar, water, and corn syrup to a medium saucepan and combine. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce medium-high heat and add a candy thermometer to the mixture. Continue to boil until the candy reaches a temperature between 300-310 degrees or hard crack stage. Occasionally brush down the sides of the pan with cold water and a pastry brush to help prevent re-crystallization.
      3. When the candy reaches 300-310 degrees remove from the heat, and add the food colouring. We added around a 1/2 teaspoon of red colouring to achieve the bright red color.
      4. Finally, working carefully and quickly because the candy mixture starts to cool and set, tilt the pan and dip each apple individually. Coat the whole apple completely, and then let the hot candy syrup drip off slightly to avoid a large puddle of candy at the base, for the perfect candy apple. Place the dipped apples on the parchment lined large baking sheet to set. Take care working with the candy as it's very hot. Have a bowl of ice water standing by incase of any burns.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 348Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 16mgCarbohydrates: 91gFiber: 4gSugar: 85gProtein: 0g
These candy apples are best eaten the same day they’re made.  They will lose their crunch if it’s too humid, or if they are not stored in an airtight container.

candy apples with tree branch stick

These are so much fun to make a and great idea for the fall season.  They’re made from inexpensive and simple ingredients and everyone always loves them.  They were the perfect non-poison apples for our Snow White movie night.  They’d also be perfect for a carnival themed party.  And if you’re looking for a great party favor for any special get together, these candy apples would be a great choice.

With homemade candy apples, life really is a party.

More Recipe Inspiration

You might also like How To Make Pink Candy Apples here.

pink candy apples

Also check out How To Make Homemade Caramel Apples here.

Caramel Apple Recipe: Easy, homemade Caramel Apples, perfect for Christmas gift giving, or anytime of year. Add your favourite toppings.

You might also like Homemade Sponge Candy Recipe here.

sponge candy recipe

This recipe was part of our Snow White themed Disney Princess Dinner and Movie Night -check out all the details about the whole party here.

Disney Princess Dinner and Movie Toolkit

Love Disney Princess dinner and movie nights?  Buy our Disney Princess Dinner and Movie Toolkit.  The Toolkit includes 6 different Disney Princess movie nights with menus, all the recipes, inspiration, and printables for each one.  Check out more about the Disney Princess Dinner and Movie Toolkit by clicking here.

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