Sticky Situations: The Candy Apple

Ashley & I picking Apples

So a few weekend’s ago, Ashley and I decided to hit up  apple orchard to pick our own apples, bring them home and make some home made candy apples with them. We picked out the cutest little bags to put them in and were totally stoked to do this. So we made our first batch and it seemed like they all turned out… until the candy started to run off of them. The bottom of the pans we used were full of candy and the apples became bare. 

It was pretty disappointing considering we felt that we followed the instructions to the exact detail. 

Attempt 1

A week later I decide I’m going to try and make them again. I use the second kit we had bought and followed the instructions. The candy looked just about done when i left it for a second. I KNOW I KNOW your NOT suppose to leave it for ANY seconds I realize that NOW. I walked into my kitchen and the candy was bubbling black (like a witches cauldron) there was smoke EVERYWHERE. I threw the pot outside on the back porch while I tried to get the smoke out so the alarm wouldn’t go off (unlike normal people I was making them at like 12:30am). 

I grabbed the pot from outside and dumped it into the sink (another bad idea) because I didn’t have warm water going I had cold water going and it hardened the candy IN THE SINK. PLUS I thought I had ruined the pot, it was such a bad experience. 

Burnt Candy 😦

I was so upset I headed to Sobey’s to grab what i needed to make these bad boys from scratch. Some sugar, corn syrup and food colouring and I was on my way to try it for a 3rd time. 

The third time I dyed the apples purple (well the candy). I cooked the candy long enough (so I thought) and began to coat the apples. They turned out amazing, it seemed as though the candy was sticking and they were going to turn out amazing.

So I left them over night on the table, but when I went to go check on them the candy AGAIN melted off. I was so discouraged and upset, I thought FOR SURE I had it perfect and then to see these amazing purple apples go to waste made me so angry. 

I gave it a few days after that to re-think my steps and so I started reading up on Candy Apples online.

4th attempt

The issue wasn’t with how I was making them it was because I didn’t have a candy thermometer to let me know when the candy had reached 300 degrees which means it was ready. SO I had to always ball park it. I did watch a video on youtube and the guy showed how you can tell if the candy is finished IF you do not have that thermometer to check. He showed that if you dip your spoon with the candy coating into a  glass of water and it hardens right away (rock hard) it is ready. So I did that, and stirred my candy, and tested it a few times. 20 minutes or more went by and I still felt like I wasn’t doing it right or that it wasn’t cooked enough. Until eventually I dipped some of the candy into the water and it coiled and hardened instantly.

I then took the candy off the burner and let it sit for a second before I started rolling my apples. 

I had bought 5 golden delicious and 5 granny smith (which are my favorite) and started dipping them in the candy. RIGHT away I noticed they instantly took form and hardened as the air hit them. The trick after that was coating ALL the apples before the candy went hard in the pot. 

You actually DON’t Need to put them in the fridge because within 5 minutes after dipping they should harden like a sucker, and they aren’t sticky. Its like a sheet of glass coating your apple. 

Honestly, they were one of the hardest things I had to make, and I wasted a lot of money on ingredients and apples just trying to get it right BUT I GOT IT RIGHT. 

If your going to make them, make sure you try and get your hands on a candy thermometer, because it is tough to try and ball park it (especially when you’ve never worked with candy syrup before). 

If you don’t have one the way you can tell your candy is on the right track is if it starts to bubble thick, and not like water, plus always be checking it when you dip your spoon in the water and see if the candy hardens or coils at the bottom of the glass like a web and hardens there. 

Cute bags from Dollarama

The best apples to use are the bigger ones, like your golden delicious, granny smiths, etc… 

I used a “from scratch” recipe from the foodnetwork:

Last Attempt AND IT WORKED!

That “from scratch” recipe will make you 10 apples (if you use the bigger ones). 

With the food colouring, get creative, I bought neon food colouring from Sobey’s that was pretty wicked. It gave me some vibrant colours to work with.

SO what did I learn from this experience? I learned NEVER to leave candy simmering on a hot stove, because at any second it can take a turn for the worst (almost like if you leave oil on a hot stove.) I learned that it takes patience’s for this candy to reach the perfect temperature and you have to be willing to wait for it to get there and not rush the process. AND I learned that if you try, and try again eventually you can learn from your mistakes and make something perfect if you are determined enough!!!

Let me hear about your Candy Apple experience (good or bad)! Please place a comment in the box below! I would love to hear your story!!!!




~ by Christina Sears on October 25, 2011.

13 Responses to “Sticky Situations: The Candy Apple”

  1. That gave me the urge to try to make some candy apples. Thanks


  2. I had the same experience as you! The first time I made them, all the candy dripped off and was sticky. The second time the candy started boiling black and completely ruined my pot. It is literally burned from the inside out with a big chunk of rock hard black candy stuck in it. Hopefully third third time is the charm for me , as it was for you!

    Thanks for the post!


  3. Thanks so much for this, I just made a HUGE batch of candy apples and I’m currently looking at them bare while my cookie sheet is full of candy…So frustrating…I’ll be trying again after reading your advice. 🙂


  4. thanks for reading my post!!! 🙂 I think i’m going to attempt them again this year only i’m going to invest in a candy thermometer haha!! 🙂 hopefully they work for you!!! post some pictures I want to seeeee!!!!! christina 🙂


  5. Hi…I also had problems until I invested in a candy thermometer. I’m a pro…all colors and flavors…my question is when I try to package them no matter how ex parchment paper fun wrap, they always stick…any suggestions for packaging them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey,
      thanks for the read!!! My wrappers stuck to my apples also, you could always pull down the wrapper to get them in there, BUT i was also just thinking about it… I’m no expert NOR did I read anywhere what to do, but you know when your baking and if you put down flour for dough it doesn’t stick… MAYBE after your handy apple harden if you powder them lightly with maybe icing sugar maybe they will slide into the bags easier? I know coating them with sprinkles will help as the bag won’t be touching the candy it will be sliding on the sprinkles! I hope it all works out for you… I want to see the finished product.. the candy thermometer makes it SOOOO much easier haha! I wish I had got one… when I did this.. 😛 Good luck – Christina


  6. How do u get the candy not to stick to your teeth when u eating it for the candy to stay hard when u eating it my candy be sticking


  7. I did the recipe to a t when I packages the candyapple in cellophane next day the candy was kinda peeling off the apple then the other candyapple was in fact but inside the corner a piece of candy was melted why the temperature was 300 exactly


  8. My candyapples are perfect right temperature when I package them a cellophane 2 3 day some not all candyapples candy is falling off apple and there running gowey other candyapples are intact what is happening do I bed to double coat or what


  9. The reason yours are melting like this is probably because you need to dip the apples quickly in boiling water first and then dry them off before preparing your sugar. This removes the waxy coating and makes it easier to stick. However I have got mine to hard crack and they still melt a bit, they aren’t like glass. I have no idea what the solution is to that.


  10. Hi. I have been buying the candy apple mix for years and this year I can’t get my solution to get to cracken before it gets a burnt taste. I have patiently stiod over it, kept putting into cold water. It was so close and turned dark and bitter. I have been doing this for years without a thermometer and have no idea what has changed? I am at a complete loss. My neighbors love my candy apples and I could not make any this year. I gave up after trying three times.


  11. How can I preserve my candyapples In the mix do I put teaspoon of lemon cream of tartar or salt or what


    • My candyapples are sticky maybe temp 302 or 303 temp and why does candy fall out on apples 2 on second day. Vendors apples are display outside their store w no problem how do they do it.


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