A fall must have, sweet and shiny red….this Easy Candy Apple recipe is simple and fun. Just like the apples you used to get at your local fair, they’re the best bite of the season and made with just a few pantry ingredients!

Candy apples on white coasters on a blue background.

Candy Apples

Fall is in the air and all I can think about is piles of apples and all the apple desserts I have on my list to check off. It’s like my own personal fall bucket list and I fully intend on making it all the way through this year since all we have is time. 

First up….Homemade Candy Apples! They’re sweet and tart and totally fun for the fall season. And they’re a cinch to make in about 30 minutes.

Kids love to help make them and you can color them just about any shade of the rainbow you want. I went with a classic RED Candy Apple because that’s what I remember from my childhood.

Candy apple on a white coaster on a blue background.

What are Candy Apples?

If you’ve never tried a Candy Apple, you’re in for a tasty surprise. Unlike a Caramel Apple, Candied Apples have a hard, sweet candy coating similar to a Jolly Rancher.

It’s like a lollipop on a stick but with a healthy treat inside. Tart, juicy apples are dipped in melted sugar to achieve the candy shell and allowed to cool on a baking sheet until ready to eat. 

The whole process takes only 30 minutes!

They’re fun, easy and certainly festive. And….I must mention….a little tough to eat. While the kids like to lick away like a giant lollipop because, frankly, it’s almost impossible to bite into one, I like to cut them up and snack on them that way. A much better way to preserve your teeth.

Three candy apples in a row on a blue background.

How to Make Candy Apples

Making Candy Apples is super simple to do. Here’s how to make them:

  1. Wash the apples and remove the stem by twisting until it pops off. (If your apples are coated in wax, give them a quick dunk in boiling water to melt off the wax.)
  2. Insert the sticks into the stem end of the apple.
  3. Stir the sugar, corn syrup and water together in a saucepan.
  4. Boil the sugar mixture until hard crack stage (300˚F on a candy thermometer)
  5. Color by adding a few drops of food dye, stir.
  6. Dip the apples in the sugar syrup to coat and allow the excess to drip off.
  7. Cool the apples on a baking sheet lined with cooking spray coated parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  8. Enjoy!!!

These sturdy, bamboo skewers are perfect for caramel apples, candy apples, corn dogs and more! The pointed end makes them easier to insert.

Candy apple with a slice cut out of it on a blue background.

Tips for Easy Candy Apple Making

All you need are a few tips for making your Easy Homemade Candy Apple Recipe:

  • Be sure to boil your sugar mixture until the HARD CRACK stage. If you pull it off the heat too soon, the sugar will be too soft…more like taffy. Making them even more impossible to eat.
  • When you add the food coloring (and you can color your apples black, purple, fuscia…it’s up to you), be careful because the sugar will bubble a bit more angrily.
  • If your apples are not freshly picked and purchased at a grocery store, give them a quick dunk in boiling water for 1-2 seconds to melt off any wax that may be on the apples. The wax keeps the sugar from adhering to the apple.
  • Now….dip away….carefully. The sugar is VERY hot. And don’t forget to coat that parchment with cooking spray.

And if you’re not really feeling like dipping and sticking….you could totally throw together a big platter of these Caramel Apple Nachos!

Candy apples on a wood slice on a blue background.

More Easy Apple Recipes

If you like this Candy Apple recipe, check out this Crock Pot Apple Crisp. It’s super easy and tastes amazing with a dollop of Whipped Cream!

Or try these easy Apple Dumplings or our favorite Apple Fritters!

Apple Dumpling on a blue and white plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a white spoon.

And if you want to see WHAT ELSE we’re making here at the Soapbox be sure to follow us over on Instagram!

Candy apples on a wood slice on a blue background.

Get the Recipe: Easy Candy Apple Recipe

Fall calls for these easy candy apples made from scratch with just 3 ingredients and 30 minutes!
5 from 16 votes


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
  • 8 small-medium apples


  • 1 saucepan
  • 1 candy thermometer
  • 12 corn dog sticks


  • Insert a stick into the stem end of the apple pushing about halfway through and set aside. 
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat generously with cooking spray.
  • In a large saucepan over high heat, stir together the sugar, syrup and water. Bring the mixture to a boil and turn the heat to medium. Stir in the food coloring. Insert a candy thermometer and continue to boil until the mixture reaches Hard Crack stage (from 300-310 degrees), approximately 15-20 minutes. 
  • Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and allow to rest for a few minutes before quickly dipping the apples in the sugar mixture turning to coat. The rest allows the bubbles to subside a bit so you don't have bubbles in your candy coating.
  • Transfer to the baking sheet to cool completely.


YouTube video


Apples can be made up to two days in advance and stored at room temperature.
Calories: 318kcal, Carbohydrates: 83g, Protein: 0g, Fat: 0g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 10mg, Potassium: 194mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 76g, Vitamin A: 100IU, Vitamin C: 8.3mg, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 0.3mg