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How to Make Candy and Caramel Apples at Home

Published: Sep 01, 2023

Sticky, sweet candy and caramel apples are a summer and fall flavor staple! Learn how to make your own candy apples at home and customize them with all of your favorite toppings.

How to Make Candy Apples

You don’t have to wait for the fair to roll into town to enjoy candy apples! You can make the crispy and crunchy treats right at home with Hershey.

What are Candy Apples?

A typical candy apple is made by dipping a whole, fresh apple into a mixture of melted candies and then letting the shell harden before eating. The first candy apple was created in 1908 by a candy maker in New Jersey. They were first made by melting down cinnamon candies, but recipes have since evolved to include many kinds of hard candy shells, including our favorite, JOLLY RANCHER Hard Candies, in lots of juicy flavors!

Steps for Making Candy Apples with JOLLY RANCHER Candies

Ready to make your own delicious candy apples? There are a few things you’ll need to gather before you start making your apple-solutely sweet creations.

The first and most important ingredient of all … apples! You’ll want your fruit of choice to have a good crunch, but it’s up to you if you prefer a sweet or tart flavor. If you like it on the sweeter side, try Gala. Prefer a sour bite? Granny Smith are a great choice. And if you can’t decide, Jazz apples are the perfect balance of both!

Next, you’ll need popsicle sticks or wooden dowels to put into your apples, JOLLY RANCHER Hard Candies of your choice and parchment paper. Once you’ve got all of that, wash your apples and dry them well.

To make your candy coating, follow this recipe for JOLLY RANCHER Candy Apples by putting your favorite flavor of JOLLY RANCHER Hard Candies in an oven-safe container and heating them until melted. Once melted, fully coat one apple at a time in the mixture and decorate with any toppings you’d like.

How to Make Caramel Apples at Home

Is there anything better than the crispy crunch of an apple coupled with soft and buttery caramel? Dip into fall by dipping your own caramel apples right at home.

Steps for Making Caramel Apples

The steps for making caramel apples are very similar to those for candy apples.

To get started, you’ll need your apples, parchment paper, wooden dowels or popsicle sticks and soft caramel candies. To melt down the caramels enough to dip your apples in, put the candies in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for one minute. Follow this recipe for HERSHEY’S Spider Web Caramel Apples for additional instructions.

Once you’ve coated your apples, you can decorate them however you’d like! Add HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Chips on top, crunchy toppings like peanuts and HEATH BITS O’ BRICKLE Toffee Bits or use crushed DOT'S Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Twists for a sweet and salty bite.

How to Store and Gift Candy Apples

When you make candy or caramel apples, you’re probably making more than you can eat in one sitting. It’s important to know the best way to store them so that they stay fresh for as long as possible.

If you know you’re only storing the treats for one or two days, you can wrap them in cellophane or keep them in a covered container away from heat and light. Cellophane is also a great way to gift your apples! If choosing this method, the cellophane should completely cover the apple while leaving the stick uncovered. You can even tie a ribbon around the base of the apple to hold the cellophane in place for a festive appearance. Personalize your sweets for each of your recipients with a custom gift tag.

If you’re storing the treats for the long term, the best way to keep your apples fresh for up to two weeks is by placing them in an airtight container and in the refrigerator.



With a few Hershey flavor twists, it’s easy to make candy and caramel apples that are fit for a carnival right at home! Family and friends will feel the festive spirit for the upcoming fall season and will surely apple-ause your sweet creativity.