How to Make Candy Apples: DIY Favors

candy apples

What comes to mind when you think of candy apples? Are they a nostalgic part of your childhood – or were they a forbidden fruit?

Even though I indulged only once or twice a year, candy apples stand out from my childhood as one of my favorite fall treats.

Candy apples are associated with Halloween, fairs and carnivals – but lately they’ve become a popular homemade treat at weddings.

Personally, I think they’re perfect for the younger folks on your guest list; it’s not likely that grandma will be reaching for one, so if you are giving these as favors, offer an alternative for the older folks.

candy apples DIY Candy Apples Recipe


  • 12-15 small apples
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Red food coloring (I used 16 drops. To create a rich ‘candy apple’ red (the type you see at fairs), you would have to add several more drops. I used regular food coloring, but I would have used natural food coloring if my local grocery store carried it.)
  • a few drops apple or cinnamon flavor oil (optional…. I used apple because I had some on hand.)
  • 12-15 sticks (I gathered poplar tree branches from my back yard.)
  • A candy thermometer is necessary for this recipe.

Cut your sticks to desired length and whittle one end of each stick into a point. This will make it easier to insert into the apple.

candy apples good

Wash and dry apples. Remove stems. Insert stick approximately two inches into the core of each apple. Set aside.

candly apples

candy apples Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, corn syrup and water.

candy apples homemade candy apple recipe candy apples recipe

Heat to 300 to 310 degrees F (149 to 154 degrees C), or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard, brittle threads. This took about 30 minutes.

homemade candy apples Remove from heat and stir in food coloring and flavor oil. Holding apples by the stick, dip in syrup and swirl until evenly coated. You have to work quickly; the syrup does not take long to seize.

homemade candy apples candy apple homemade

Place candy apples on parchment paper to harden.

candy apples

Add thank-you tag if giving as favors. Enjoy! candy apple

candy apple
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3 Comments  |  Filed Under: DIY Favors & Gifts, DIY Food & Drink, DIY Wedding

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  1. Posted by Dahlia's Day Wedding Blog on October 4th, 2012 at 3:43pm

    Thanks for the great tutorial! Must try!
  2. Posted by z on January 23rd, 2013 at 12:56am

    This is such a beautiful idea!!!!! I would love to try it!
  3. Posted by Laura on March 16th, 2013 at 8:59am

    Oh my goodness these are so beautiful! I would love to do this for my wedding next October! My one concern is how they could be wrapped? Ideally I would like them wrapped so guests could either enjoy them at the reception or have the option of eating it the next day. Would the coating be too sticky to wrap with a clear plastic bag? Thank you for posting this gorgeous DIY idea!
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