Candy Apples

Candy Apples
Getty Images / Danita Delimont
  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Servings: 8 servings

Candy apples are a fairground classic, but they're also surprisingly easy to make at home. Use this simple recipe for homemade cinnamon candy apples to make crisp, tart apples with a crunchy cinnamon coating.​

The secret to the authentic, spicy cinnamon taste? Using Red Hot candies in the coating. They form a crunchy candy shell with a bright red color and hot cinnamon flavor, no additional flavoring or food coloring required. The only special equipment you'll need is a good candy thermometer.

Serve these festive candy apples at your next all-ages shindig. They're perfect for a Halloween party, back-to-school gathering, birthday party, autumn festival, and more. Wrapped in plastic and tied with a ribbon, they make great take-home favors, too.


  • 8 apples (preferably tart, like Granny Smith)
  • 8 wooden skewers
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup red cinnamon candies (like Red Hots)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil or parchment paper and lightly spraying with nonstick cooking spray.

  3. Wash and dry the apples carefully. Make sure that no water remains on the apples.

  4. Remove the stems and firmly stick the skewers in the stem ends.

  5. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and hot water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

  6. Stir until the sugar dissolves then continue to cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 250 F on a candy thermometer

  7. Wipe down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush occasionally to prevent crystallization.

  8. Once the candy reaches 250 F, add the cinnamon candies and stir briefly until the candies melt and incorporate into the sugar syrup.

  9. Continue to cook the candy coating, occasionally washing down the sides with the wet pastry brush, until it reaches 285 F on the thermometer.

  10. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the mixture so that it is smooth and even.

  11. Immediately start to dip the apples. Hold an apple by the skewer and dip it in the candy coating, tilting the pan at an angle and rotating the apple to cover it completely with a smooth, even layer of red candy.

  12. Pull the apple out of the pan and twirl it to remove any excess. Set it stick-side up on the prepared baking sheet.

  13. Repeat with the remaining apples.

  14. Allow the apples to cool at room temperature before serving. Candy apples are best enjoyed within 24 hours.


  • You can substitute chopsticks or popsicle sticks for the skewers
  • The candy mixture will start to set almost as soon as you pull it off the heat, so if it begins to harden before you are done and is difficult to work with, return to the pan to the heat and warm it gently, over medium-low heat, just until it liquefies again.