Candy Apples

Can’t make it to the state fair?  Then just make your own batch of Candy Apples at home!

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Can't make it to the state fair? Then just make your own batch of Candy Apples at home!Remember a couple of weeks ago when I mentioned that our anniversary is coming up?  Well, it’s almost here.  Laura and I were just talking about our wedding last weekend and reliving some of our favorite memories.  What a great day!  I mean how often are you surrounded by all of your family and best friends in one place?  We’ve said on a number of occasions that we’d love to go back and relive that day.

Can't make it to the state fair? Then just make your own batch of Candy Apples at home!One of the more unique memories from our wedding actually came on the day after.  We got married in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area but we lived in Atlanta at the time.  We opted to stay there in Raleigh for a couple of days while the dust settled.  As we were sitting in my Mom’s house on Sunday afternoon, one of our friends offered us some extra tickets to the North Carolina State Fair.  Sure enough, the fair was in town that week.  And sure enough, we decided to head out that evening to the state fair.  (Does that mean we technically spent our honeymoon at the NC State Fair?)

Any trip to the state fair isn’t complete without lots of fair food!  We managed to sample foot-long corn dogs, gigantic 1/2 pound pickles and of course an elephant ear piled high with at least 2 cups of powdered sugar.  (I was covered in powdered sugar after that one!)  Oh, and how could I forget candy apples?  We definitely wrapped up the evening with a candy apple or two.  Needless to say, I think we fulfilled our fair food craving for at least the next 12 months!

State-FairCandy Apples are definitely a favorite fall food…especially here in New York where we have dozens of apple orchards just miles from our house.  And Candy Apples are actually surprisingly easy to make at home.  Unfortunately, candy apples don’t quite count as the ‘apple a day keeps the doctor away,’ but they are indeed tasty!  In fact, you could have an entire batch of candy apples ready in your kitchen in just about 30 minutes.  (The longest part is waiting for the sugar syrup to reach the target temperature.)

Can't make it to the state fair? Then just make your own batch of Candy Apples at home!I chose to use sticks from the yard (instead of craft sticks) to create more rustic-looking candy apples.  (I did wash and dry the sticks before sticking them into the apples, though.)  I use this same trick whenever I make Caramel Apples, too.

And before we wrap up today’s post, I have to share another story about the state fair.  The fair was in town for the whole week, and a bunch of our friends went over the night before our wedding.  Well, someone won a huge stuffed dog at one of those fair games…and that dog made it’s way to the gift table at our wedding reception.  I mean nothing says love like a 3-foot tall stuffed dog, right?  (And for the record, that stuffed dog is sitting at the top of Laura’s closet.  I imagine it will become Robbie’s once he gets a bit older.)

Can't make it to the state fair? Then just make your own batch of Candy Apples at home!Enjoy fair season, and make sure to grab a candy apple…or two!

Can't make it to the state fair? Then just make your own batch of Candy Apples at home!

Candy Apples

Can’t make it to the state fair?  Then just make your own batch of Candy Apples at home!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 348kcal


  • 8 large red apples
  • 8 craft sticks
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ tsp red food coloring


  • Insert craft sticks into center of apples. (Note: I used twigs that were washed and dried.) Set apples aside.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set pan aside.
  • Using a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add sugar, corn syrup, water and food coloring. Place pan over medium-high heat. Cook until mixture reaches 300°-310°F. (Note: Use extreme caution with this mixture as it gets very hot!)
  • Working with one apple at a time, tilt the pan to one side and roll apple in sugar syrup. Shake apple slightly so excess syrup drips off. Place apple on parchment-lined sheet pan until hard (~10-15 minutes).


You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe.

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    1. Hey, the state fair is always a fun time! We got lucky that the fair was in town while we were there. The New York state fair is unfortunately a long way from here…so I doubt we’ll be going anytime soon. But we can make candy apples at home!! 🙂

  1. Spending y’alls honeymoon at the NC State Fair sounds so fun – and what a lovely memory y’all now have from it. I had to google Elephant Ears (am so bad with fair food) as I thought they were funnel cakes but they are like palmiers eh? Next time am at the fair, I need to stop riding all the rides and actually try the food! Haha – too funny that your friends gifted y’all that 3 foot stuffed dog – I bet it would make for some fun pictures with Robbie now! Speaking of fairs, David – these candy apples are gorgeous! And love the garden stick idea too – Happy Monday friend!

    1. You know, that’s a good question, Shashi. I put elephant ears and funnel cakes in the same category. Technically I think funnel cakes have a lattice pattern to them while elephant ears are solid all the way across…but I’m not sure that’s correct either. In my head, they’re the same thing! And both are covered with mounds of powdered sugar!

      I’ll have to grab a photo of Robbie with that dog! It’s taller than he is. 🙂 Thanks, Shashi!!

  2. David!! I love going out to the fair!! such a family fun time!! my girls were crazy last time we went!! and I love how delicious and yummy your candy apples look!! I love eating those while in the fair!! pinned!!

    1. I totally agree with you, Gaila! The state fair is always a good time. 🙂 And I bet your girls LOVED the fair! Try making a batch of these apples for the girls…they really are a fun Fall treat. Thanks so much!!

  3. Your honeymoon really sounded like a gastronomic tour, David! And why do you think caramel apples don’t really count as the ‘apple a day keeps the doctor away’? Maybe 2 or 3 would count? These apples look fantastic – such a perfect mirror glaze.

    1. Well, I’m not so sure that the state fair counts as a gastronomic tour, Ben! I much prefer to think of our ‘real’ honeymoon to Italy as a gastronomic tour instead. 🙂 If you ate 2 or 3 of these apples a day, you would definitely be seeing the doctor…haha! Thanks so much, Ben!

  4. I was thinking about doing some Halloween themed candy apples, your’s look so good. Happy early Anniversary I hope you two are planning something super special. love state fairs and all the fair food. I would love to experience apple season in New York.

    1. Oh you should totally do some Halloween candy apples! I kept these simple with just the red candy coating, but I bet you could jazz these up in all sorts of ways! Thank you so much for the early anniversary wishes, too. I don’t think we have anything planned (other than chasing a little baby around the house), but we are talking about getting a friend to watch the little guy the weekend after so that we can go out for dinner together. It’s the little things that count! 🙂 Also, you definitely need to experience apple season in New York…come on up and I’ll show you the ropes! (And we might have to eat an apple cider donut or six…)

  5. Hi David! I just bought a bag of New York State apples! I made apple cake and I have a few apples leftover and I’m sure I can find some appropriate sticks out in the yard! At the fair I always had to have corn dogs and an elephant ear. Our county fair in MI had a stand that sold real homemade tamales that were so good!

    1. Yes!! I can’t believe you found New York state apples down there! I really should send you some Honeycrisp apples from up here, Dorothy…they are hands down the best apples I have ever eaten. (And I don’t say that lightly!) I hear ya on the corndogs and elephant ears, but now you have me craving some real tamales, too. Yum!!

      1. Hi David! My local store is actually featuring Honeycrisp apples this week! I make tamales, but only about once a year as they are labor intensive! When I do I make lots so I can tuck them in the freezer for later. 🙂

        1. Then go get some Honeycrisp apples!! Heck, get more than some. 🙂 I don’t like baking with Honeycrisps…mainly because they are just too tasty for anything besides eating straight out of the fridge. (I like my apples cold.) I’ve also been thinking about learning to make tamales. In fact, I looked up a recipe a while back but then never acted on it. Clearly I need to get on that now that cold weather is back…yay comfort food!

  6. I’ve never been to a state fair before, read about them though. One year I’m going to have to make a journey to one just to try some of the wacky food! Candied apples always make me think on Halloween, as a family friend always made them. I think I might have to show the English what they are missing out on!

    1. Oh you definitely need to make the journey to check out a good state fair. Some are better than others, and Texas prides itself on having one of the best. I mean where else can you find ‘Deep Fried Cheeseburger Stuffed Onion Rings’…and I’m totally not making that one up! You should totally whip up a batch of these apples just to show everyone over there how Halloween is done! I was pretty surprised at how quickly this recipe came together, too. Thanks, Matt! 🙂

  7. WOW, just wow! These look amazing. My kinda candied apple. So bright and I can feel the sticky sweet syrup on my front teeth now. That’s a good thing since I’d be eating an apple too, right? I was thinking as I read your story that I’m sure Robbie would love that stuffed animal. Ha!

    1. Hey, it’s not October without apples and sticky red candy coating, right? 🙂 I think the fact that an apple is hiding beneath that candy coating makes it totally ok! And, yes, I should pull that stuffed dog out of the closet. Robbie has only showed a mild interest in stuffed animals so far, but I’m sure his time is coming. Thanks, Kevin!

    1. Haha…good connection there with Snow White! And you’re right…these apples with their colorful coating are (were) quite tempting. Good thing it wasn’t a poisoned apple! 🙂 Thanks, Kathy!

    1. I can’t say that we were planning on going to the state fair…but when the fair is in town, you just gotta go, right? 🙂 Thanks so much, Ami! These apples were a lot of fun to make for sure!

  8. Wow – look at the colour of these!
    We saw candy apples (or toffee apples as we call them) in the store for the first time this year a few days ago and it got me all excited for autumn. Well, even more excited. I think I might have to try making my own.

    1. Candy apples (or toffee apples) are surprisingly easy to make at home…you just need a candy thermometer to make sure the candy coating reaches the right temp. Other than that, it’s a piece of cake…err, apple. 🙂 Thanks, Dannii! Happy Autumn!

  9. Congrats on your upcoming anniversary!! And these candy apples looks SO good! It’s been a very long time since I’ve had a candy apple. The colour of these are jus gorgeous and love how you used sticks from your yard…so rustic and pretty. These would be lovely for my niece and nephew. Pinning! And a 3 ft tall stuffed dog? That’s quite the sight! That thing needs a room just for itself, lol 😀 Have a great week, David!

    1. Why thank you so much, Dawn! I agree…it had been a while since I’d eaten a candy apple, too. That’s why I decided to just get in the kitchen and make a batch. And I’m glad I did…they were actually pretty fun to make!

      And yes, that stuffed dog needs his own room…I suspect it will be Robbie’s here pretty soon! 🙂

  10. Do you know that I don’t think I’ve EVER had a candy apple before?? It’s probably because I always go for the caramel apples – which my hubby and I eat every year when we carve pumpkins! I just saw your caramel apple recipe and might have to make em homemade this year. Yum!

    1. Hey, I totally get that one, Nicole! Candy apples are indeed fun, but I think I prefer caramel apples, too. What a great tradition! Carving pumpkins + eating caramel apples. You should totally make ’em homemade this year! I’m not sure if I mentioned it in that post, but make sure to wash the apples really well first…unless you picked them yourself. 🙂

    1. Haha! I totally agree, Annie. I mean who looks at a bright red candy apple, and says ‘No thanks. I’m kinda grumpy right now.’? No one! 🙂

    1. Yes! Let’s have our own Halloween carnival in our backyard this year, Linda! I’ll bring the Candy Apples and maybe some Caramel Apples, too. You bring some cupcakes perhaps? And we’ll definitely need to dress up! 🙂

  11. Dude, I’m jealous you didn’t invite me to the post Wedding shenanigans…FOOT LONG DOGS? And powdered sugar?! Geebuz.

    Candy apples are totally the best part of any fairs (besides cotton candy) and these look amazing!

    1. Haha! I don’t think I knew you back then, mate. But if I did, you most definitely would’ve been involved in those shenanigans! Also, you need to make your way to a state fair when you come back stateside. Texas brags that they have the best one (Dallas), although I can say the one in North Carolina (Raleigh) was pretty darn fun, too! Plus, half the fun of going to the fair is the people-watching…and the other half is the fair food!

  12. What a great idea to use sticks from your yard! That sure beats waiting in line at the craft store! I haven’t had a candy apple in forever! These are so pretty! What I really wish is that I could have been there to see the stuffed hot dog! 🙂 Happy Anniversary!

    1. Hey, I’ve got plenty of sticks in my yard! I’ve gotta rake ’em all up with the leaves anyways, so I figured why not steal a few for these apples. You gotta find good, sturdy sticks, though. Thanks, Rachelle! Hope you guys didn’t get much bad weather from the hurricane. 🙂

  13. David, these apples are so red, I’m afriad if eat one, I’d fall under a sleeping curse that could be broken only by true love’s kiss! But Ruth Bader Ginsburg is my one true love, and I don’t think she would kiss me.

    1. Would you really want to be kissed by Ruth Bader Ginsburg? I just imagined her laying there like Sleeping Beauty…and I just got a little bit sick. I was surprised by how red these bad boys turned out, too…but I gotta admit that they were a lot of fun to make! Thanks, Jeff!

  14. I absolutely love these!! I saw these I think on your Instagram a few weeks ago and was so excited. I have never made candy apples before and these are so pretty! I also love that you used sticks from your yard. I really like the rustic look and the pictures of course are amazing!

    1. Oh man, you totally need to try making these at home, Tamara! They’re actually surprisingly easy. Sticking the sticks in the top was the hardest part since I used sticks from my yard. (Craft sticks would’ve been easier…but I like the rustic look!) Thank you so much…and happy Fall! (Is it finally cooling off down there??)

    1. Haha! Thanks, Sabrina! I was surprised at how bright the color on these turned out, too…but it looks great. And these definitely aren’t poison apples! 🙂

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