Along with chocolate and candy corn, Halloween candy apples are an absolute staple of Halloween. If you make your own Halloween candy and caramel apples, you can use them as an edible centerpiece for your Halloween table display or use them as an edible craft with the kids. It’s a fun family activity that can make Halloween special.
Here’s a quick list of supplies you’ll need to make Halloween apples
- Wooden dowels (or you can use Popsicle sticks in a pinch)
- A large bag of bite-sized caramel
- Food colouring, especially red and black
- Cream of tartar
- Melting chocolate. I recommend chocolate discs because they’re easy to melt
- A chocolate melter or a small stainless steel pot
- Candy, nuts, and melting chocolate
- Icing bags and tips to create faces or unique candy apples
How to make Halloween apples
Once you find out how easy it is to make Halloween candy and caramel apples, you won’t stop at just one batch. But before you make any, you’ll have to prep your apples first.
I pick my apples straight from the trees in my yard, but if you buy them from a local fruit stand or the grocery store, you’ll notice they have a shiny film on them. In order for your candy to stick, you’ll have to remove that film.
To do so just boil water in a large stockpot and add your apples. Let them boil for a minute or two and remove them with tongs. Place them on the counter to dry.
You’ll see a white film on the apples. I just rub it off with a towel and I’m ready to start making candy apples.
Traditional Red Candy apples
They are definitely tooth-breakers, but what would Halloween be without a traditional, bright red candy apple? You can make these shiny wonders in under 10 minutes. Recipe from food.com.
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Red food coloring
Mix 1st 3 ingredients in a saucepan.
Put on high heat with a candy thermometer positioned in the center of fluid level.
While it is boiling, thoroughly wash and dry your apples, and spear with the sticks.
Boil mixture until it reaches hard crack (300ºF), then immediately add red food coloring and stir.
Quickly immediately dip the apples, twisting to cover, and set on a greased cookie sheet.
Black candy apples
Martha Stewart is the Queen of Halloween (and Christmas, and pretty much every other holiday), and I love her black candy apples. Only she could dress up a candy apple this way. Recipe and photo from MarthaStewart.com.
- Unsalted butter or cooking spray for greasing a baking sheet
- 8 wooden dowels or chopsticks
- 8 small apples, stems and wax layers removed
- 2 cups (500 mL) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (180 mL) water
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) light corn syrup
- 1 tsp (5 mL) black food colouring
- Edible gold dust, optional
Line a medium-sized baking sheet with a silicone baking mat, or a piece of parchment paper lightly brushed with butter or cooking spray. Set aside.
Pierce stem end of apples with wooden dowels. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring sugar, water, corn syrup, and food colouring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook the mixture until it reaches 300 F to 310 F (150 C to 155 C) on a candy thermometer.
Immediately remove the pot from heat and quickly dip each apple one at a time, swirling it around the mixture to ensure it is evenly coated. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and let cool for 5 minutes before sprinkling with gold dust to finish.
Let cool completely before serving.
Makes 8 candy apples.
Halloween Caramel Apples
Halloween candy apples have really grown in popularity over the past few years. When I go to Disneyland we all stand in the window of the bakeshops and watch them being made, and if you think they couldn’t possibly taste as good as they look, you’d be wrong. They taste amazing.
Here’s a caramel apple recipe you can use as a base to create some spooky Halloween candy apples. Recipe and photo from tasteofhome.com.
- 1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 2 packages (14 ounces each) caramels
- 1/4 cup water
- 8 large tart apples, room temperature
- 8 Popsicle sticks
- 3 to 4 Butterfinger candy bars (2.1 ounces each), coarsely crushed
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth and set aside. In another microwave-safe bowl, microwave the caramels and water, uncovered, on high for 1 minute; stir. Heat 30-45 seconds longer or until caramels are melted; stir until smooth.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and grease the paper; set aside. Wash and thoroughly dry apples. Insert a Popsicle stick into each; dip into caramel mixture, turning to coat. Place on prepared pan. Drizzle with melted chocolate. Sprinkle with crushed candy bars. Refrigerate until set. Remove from the refrigerator 5 minutes before serving; cut into wedges. Yield: 8 servings.
Gourmet Caramel Apples
You know all of those little bite-sized chocolate bars you’ve got stashed in your cupboard? Take a few and use them in this caramel apple recipe. Photo and recipe from allrecipes.com.
- 5 large Granny Smith apples
- Wooden craft sticks
- 1 (14 ounces) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
- 2 tablespoons water
- 7 ounces chocolate candy bar, broken into pieces
- 2 tablespoons shortening, divided
- 1 cup colored candy coating melts
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Dip apples into boiling water briefly, using a slotted spoon, to remove any wax that may be present. Wipe dry, and set aside to cool. Insert sticks into the apples through the cores.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and coat with cooking spray. Place the unwrapped caramels into a microwave-safe medium bowl along with 2 tablespoons of water. Cook on high for 2 minutes, then stir and continue cooking and stirring at 1-minute intervals until caramel is melted and smooth.
Hold apples by the stick, and dip into the caramel to coat. Set on waxed paper; refrigerate for about 15 minutes to set.
Heat the chocolate with 1 tablespoon of shortening in a microwave-safe bowl until melted and smooth. Dip apples into the chocolate to cover the layer of caramel. Return to the waxed paper to set.
Melt the candy melts in the microwave with the remaining shortening, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Use a fork or wooden stick to flick colored designs onto your apples for a finishing touch. Refrigerate until set, overnight is even better.
I’m going to be making a huge batch of candy apples this weekend with the kids, and I hope I’ve inspired you to do the same.
Check out all of the Halloween items you can find on Best Buy, and have a very safe and happy Halloween.