Colorful Candy Apples

“What you talkin’ bout  Willis? ”

Anybody remember  this iconic question from the tv show, Different Strokes?  To this day, my husband and I will tease each other and repeat this question to each other, complete with the lower lip stuck out…What you talkin’ bout Willis?

Today I am here to tell you that these Colorful Candy Apples are what Willis was talkin’ bout!  Absolutely gorgeous in bright colors, these are reminiscent of the old fashioned clear, hard red candy apples that you used to get at a state or county fair.  But with this recipe, you can make them in any color that you like.  A new updated version!

Taking the recipe from a pin from Rose Bakes here is what you will need:

  • 6-8 medium apples (washed, dried & stems removed) I used Granny Smith apples
  • 3 cups of white sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp white food coloring – I used AmeriColor Bright White Soft Gel Paste
  • 1-2 tsp. of your color of choice  - the more color you use, the brighter the apples will be!) I used pink, blue and purple AmeriColor Gel Colors
  • Candy Apple Sticks (or craft sticks or short dowels)
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Non-stick Spray
  • Heavy Duty pot
  • Candy Thermometer

Spray your cookie sheet with a non-stick spray and set aside.   In a med to large pot, mix together the sugar, corn syrup and water over medium heat.  Have your candy thermometer inserted but make sure the tip is not touching the bottom of your pan.  Bring to a boil.  After reaching a boil, let it continue to boil until it reaches 302 degrees on your candy thermometer.  This process can take up to 20 minutes or so and there is no need to continually stir it but let just this mixture boil.

When it reaches the hard crack stage (302 degrees) remove from heat immediately  and stir in the vanilla flavoring.  Work quickly as this mixture will cool fast and you need it hot to easily cover the apples.

Quickly add your white paste and stir well.  Next add whatever color you have chosen for your apples and stir until well blended and then start to dip your apples. Tilt your pot a little to help easily cover your apples.  Let the excess candy mixture drip a little and then place the apples on the cookie sheet sprayed with Pam.

Now, even though this mixture is hot, it will cool quickly and the apples will be ready to eat within minutes.

These apples will keep for about 2-3 days but don’t refrigerate as they will lose their dry hardness.

Aren’t these beautiful?  Yes, I definitely believe that this was what Willis was talkin bout and Willis would agree that This Pin Rocks!


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  1. How fun is this. My kids are going to LOVE these. We love caramel apples anyway. But these are so pretty and cheery and just fun!
    Thank you for sharing at Memories by the Mile

  2. How fun and cute are these? I think I’ll need to try them, this summer! Thanks for sharing at Simple Supper Tuesday.

  3. These are ADORABLE!!! Perfect for any party. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Okay my daughter would love this!!!! they are beautiful and can also be an edible gift. Roechelle

    • Hi Roechelle! Aren’t they pretty? And someone else made a comment that they would be great for Easter. Great idea huh? Deb – The Oldest Sister

  5. Debbie – These are stinkin’ cute! How fun would these be for Easter! Thanks!

    • Hi Carole! Yeah, I’ve just had them on my table as a centerpiece! haha Hadn’t thought of Easter…what a great idea! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  6. Debbie these are so fun and cheery! I love them! Hopped over from Sugar Bee Crafts!

    We would love for you to link this up with us at Living Well Spending Less! You can link up any of your thrifty projects each Thursday – we would love to have you join us!

    • Hi Ruth! Thanks so much for stopping by! Just added your link to our Thursday partying!! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  7. Where can I buy the americolor white paste

    • Hi Gia! I bought mine from Hobby Lobby but you can also get them online at Hope that helps! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  8. I made these for a birthday party they were a hit. I did run into one problem a few of the came out dull looking. Does None know how to prevent that?

    • Hi Rah, I also had one that looked a little dull. I believe that my mix had cooled down too much which is why you need to dip fast!! So glad to hear they were a hit though!! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  9. The recipe says “hard crack stage” @302° but my thermometer says the hard crack stage is at 320°? This is my first time making these and would appreciate the help!

    • Hi Cristi, I just looked at the original recipe that I used and it did state 302 degrees which is what I went by so I’m crossing my fingers that will work for you too. And just remember to dip fast!! Deb – The Oldest Sister

      • I try these and they came out prefect , but some had air bubble how can I pervent from getting air bubbles

        • Hi Tricia! I just read the original post on these and she also said that some of hers had air bubbles. Mine didn’t so I’m not quite sure how they get there. Sorry that I couldn’t be more help but glad to hear that they turned out okay! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  10. Does the vanilla extract just add flavor? Or is it used for something else too

    • Hi Crystal! I’m pretty sure the vanilla is just to add a smooth flavor. In one batch that I made, I used almond extract! Deb – The Oldest Sister

      • Thank you! One last question. Do you find these apples to be extremely hard? I actually used a different recipe last night that called for one half cup of water instead of one cup and I could not even bite into them. They were also covered in bubbles. Do you think the water (1/2) cup caused this?

  11. Hi Debbie, can I cover the whole apple instead of leaving the top uncover…so that the green of the apple don’t show. thanks Marisol

  12. Thank you! One more question.. did you find that your candy was extremely hard? When I made my apples last
    tonight I actually used another recipe that was very similar to this one but only required 1/2 cup of water. The candy dried super fast, had bubbles, and was too hard to eat. I’m trying again today and I’m wondering if the 1cup of water makes a difference. What do you think?

    • Yes, this also is a recipe for a hard coating like the old fashioned red cinnamon candy apple. Not like a caramel apple with a soft coating. And you do have to work fast because the mixture hardens quickly!

      • Right. I was expecting a hard coat like on your typical candy apple. But these were not edible at all. I am going to try it with more water and see how that works. Thank you!

        Also, please excuse me for asking the question so many times. My phone kept giving me an error message so I wasn’t sure if it went through. Do you have any suggestions for bubbling?

  13. Can any other flavor be used besides the vanilla like blue raspberry for the blue apples or grape for the purple?

  14. Samone Sanders says:

    The bubbles can be avoided by cleaning the apple very good and also by making sure that the apple is completely dry. The wax from the apple and water causes the bubbles. Some people also add shortening or butter to the mixture to prevent it. Hope this helps!! :)

  15. One recipe I found says to use a rubber spatula to stir in color and flavor but it started to melt from the heat, what do you use to stir in the flavor and color?

    • Hi Tyra! I just used a wooden spoon. The mix is pretty hot so I can imagine it would melt a spatula! Deb – The Oldest Sister

      • Thanks Debbie, also when mixing in the food color I find that I can’t get it to completely mix in….what am I doing wrong?

        • hmmm…not quite sure. You do have to move fast so I’m not sure if your mix is hot enough? Just a guess. Gosh I hope that works for you!!!

  16. betty cross says:

    I love making candy apples but I fine they come out beautiful at first then after about two hours the candy starts to get sticky

    • Hi Betty! Mine lasted days without getting sticky. I really like this recipe. Let me know if it works for you! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  17. Why do you use the white paste first? What is white paste?

    • The white paste is to make the other colors show up better. If it is not added then the colors will come out as a clear color. Does that make sense? Thanks Evette! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  18. SHE SHE'S SWEETS says:


    • How fun! Just one tip..make sure you dip fast! And then they will be beautiful! Deb – The Oldest Sister

    • SHE SHE'S SWEETS says:


      • So glad you liked them! Deb

        • I reallllllly need to learn this I do the boxed red/caramel and they do great at my bake sales I’m ready to raise the bar now. HELP!!!!

          • Hi Theresa! These would probably go GREAT at a bake sale! I would do a test run and see how they work for you ahead of time and then darn….you will have to eat them! You do have to work fast but if you do the red cinnamon apples, you probably already know that! Good Luck! Deb

  19. All of this is helpful advice. I’m doing my baby a carnival theme party. I’m doing different colors.

  20. Sweet! Literally haha! But really thanks for the idea!! I really wanted to incorporate some sort of covered apple for a bridal shower..but didn’t want the typical red candy since party is pastels..and since it is summer I didn’t want typical caramel. This will be a perfect solution!!!!
    Thanks bunches!!

  21. Ohhh this is to just give the sisters a little giggle. I was reading the comments, I do this to find little tricks and hints when I want to try something. Well I am reading away..and kept noticing a number of them ended signed Oldest Sister…after a number of comments (obviously I didn’t notice names) I thought wow a lot of Oldest sister…wonder what it means???? Ohhh Duhhh you literally are the Oldest Sister answering questions!!! Sometimes in comments other people reply I obviously didn’t realize it was you! LOL

  22. Tequila Dunn says:

    Hi, question, do you have to use the white on all colors

    • I would say yes if you want them to be a vibrant color. Without the white, they will come out as a clear color. But you can always try it and see if you like it! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  23. Thanks so much, I havee been using the white wasn’t sure, what they’d look like without it… I’m on a mission to figure out how people are getting platinum, and gold colored apples

  24. Hi deb where do you buy white paste from or tis it sold only online

    • Hi Bree! I’ve seen this at Hobby Lobby and other craft stores. I bought mine on Amazon since I get free shipping. Hope that helps! Deb

  25. Krystal says:

    Hi ladies….. I’ve tried these apples
    Twice and for some reason both (different colors) had a funny taste.. What am I doing wrong??? Could it be tht I add my color and vanilla in the beginning with the sugar, water and corn syrup? Help lol

    • Hi Krystal! Wow. I’m not sure about the funny taste, I’ve never had that problem. Are you adding in the vanilla before boiling? If you are, that might be it. It needs to not be cooked. If you are a brave soul and you try this again, I’d love to know if that helped! Deb

  26. your making 125 orange candyapples for a graduation next month.i know I dont have the time to make 6 to 8 candyapples at a many apples can I do at a time?can I just triple the recipe?

    • Hi Jackie! Wow! You are amazing for doing that! But hmmm…..I’m not sure about tripling the batch because the mixture cools so quickly you might not be able to dip all the apples i time before it cools. But it’s at least worth a shot. I’d LOVE to know if tripling the recipe works for you! Happy Graduation! Deb – The Oldest Sister

  27. Shaconna says:

    Hi ladies, I’ve also tried this recipe twice and both batches had a bitter after taste
    Plz help. Ive read Krystal post and I didn’t add the coloring or flavor until after the candy reached 302. Can’t figure out wat I’mdoing

    • Shaconna….darn! Without me actually seeing you while you are doing this, it is SO hard to know what is going wrong. I’ve made multiple batches and have never had a bitter taste to them. This really has me puzzled and am so sorry that I don’t have a better solution for you.

  28. Shaconna says:

    Thanks so much Debbie. I’ll keep trying.

  29. Hello there,
    Can you tell me if you used turquoise color for the blue one?

    • hmmm…I think I just used blue AmeriColor Gel Color. Hope that helps! Turquoise would be awesome though! Deb

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