Cinnamon Candy Apples

Cinnamon Candy Apples by Cakewalker

The first Halloween costume I can recall wearing was a scarecrow. My mother worked hard on it, using some of my dad’s worn garments, an old broom stick, and hay she found on the cheap somewhere. The long sleeves and pant legs, drooped on my kindergarten-aged frame, but once the broom stick was inserted through the sleeves, capped with grandpa’s garden gloves and tied off with twine, the stuffing began. It wasn’t long before I was tufted in hay, wisps of it peeking out here and there. I vaguely remember the neighbor lending a straw hat. And mom’s rouge and black eye liner, applied lovingly by her hands, brought whimsical detail to my face for a complete look. The costume was itchy, and my arms tired from being raised by the stick running along the back of my shoulders, but I was the proudest kid, with the coolest costume in the Halloween parade at California Elementary School.

These days, costumes of convenience bought from the store seem to have prevalence over the homemade variety. I get it―it’s a sign of the times, rather a sign of not enough time to get it all done.

Boiling candy syrup by CakewalkerNo cauldron here; this warlock prefers the convenience of stainless steel.

The same could be said for tricks-or-treats. Pre-packaged, individually wrapped candy reigns supreme over treats like a popcorn ball. Food Network magazine polled fans who gave a whopping 94% thumbs down to homemade ones. 83% said chocolate candy was preferred over fruity candy, and the favorite of them all was Snickers. Who doesn’t love a good Snickers bar? And those minis? They are a constant test for my self-control.

In the 60s, candy apples had their place in All Hallows Eve celebrations. I remember the bright red lacquer finish, and the crunch of the sweet candy as you bite through to the crisp apple below. And while the red candy globe on a stick may not be appropriate for doling out to trick-or treaters in these modern times, they sure are a hit at parties or small gatherings, adored by kids young and old―including this scarecrow.

Cinnamon Candy Apples - Cakewalker

Cinnamon Candy Apple Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Serving Size: One apple

Cinnamon Candy Apple Recipe

A favorite treat from yesteryear, candy apples with their shiny red coat, crunchy exterior, and juicy, crisp fruit give a delightful spike of cinnamon flavor making this classic ideal for festive gatherings.


  • 8 apples, medium size, prepared
  • 8 wooden skewers or popsicle sticks
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup cinnamon imperial candies, or cinnamon red hots
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid red food color
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Special equipment:
  • Candy or deep fry thermometer


  • Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper; set aside. Remove the stems, and thoroughly wash and dry the apples. Insert a skewer halfway into the bottom (flower end) of each apple until firmly in place.
  • In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, cinnamon candies and vanilla. Stir mixture over medium-high heat until the sugar and candies dissolve. Add the cinnamon to the mixture, and keep stirring until well incorporated. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan; continue to cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 285°F.
  • Remove from heat, if the syrup is full of tiny bubbles, like a fresh poured soda pop, let the hot candy sit for a short moment, and allow some of the air bubbles to settle. Hold an apple by the stick, and working quickly, dip into the hot syrup, tilting the pan and/or swirling the apple to coat it evenly. Lift the apple from the syrup, holding it over the pan, and let the excess candy drip off. Place apple on prepared sheet pan. Repeat dipping process with remaining apples. Cool apples at room temperature until the candy sets and hardens. Best served the day made. Unused apples may be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.


I find sticking the apples from the blossom end (the bottom), has these benefits: the bottom end of the core seems to grab and hold the stick better. The apple also sits more level, upside-down on its top end, and having the broader shape at the bottom helps to keep too much of the hot candy from pooling under the apple. Gently dragging the bottom of the coated apple against the inside lip of the pan helps to remove excess candy more efficiently. Swirling the apple once around in the hot syrup yields a thinner coating of candy which is easier to bite through. If you prefer a harder candy coating, allow the syrup to reach 290°, but no more than 300°F. Consider using organic apples which will be free from wax coatings―wax coatings might prevent the candy from adhering, which among other things, is why it’s important to thoroughly wash the fruit. The apples depicted herein were not organic, and were gently washed in warm soapy water, using the scrubby side of a fresh clean sponge. If the syrup begins to harden sooner than the apples have been coated, rewarm the mixture until it loosens for dipping consistency.

Wee Walker Trick-or-TreatersMy children at Halloween last year as Dracula and Draculaura.This year we’ll see another vampire, and a spooky cat.

On a personal note: Today marks our 26th year of matrimony… Happy Anniversary Mrs. W!


  1. Great post Brooks! It brings back such great memories. Love the kids costumes!

    • Brooks Walker says

      Much obliged, Sheryl. It’s great fun to observe Halloween through my kids’ experiences.

  2. I just love this post, the text and photos are great {especially the kiddos from last year} Congratulations on your Anniversary!

  3. Shirley Delao says

    Fun times Scarecrow! A very Happy Anniversary to you both! We are 27 on the 17th. ♡♡♡

    • Brooks Walker says

      Many thanks, Shirley. I always think of you this time of year. May you and the beloved have a splendid anniversary!

  4. Happy Anniversary! We hit 28 this year…a marvelous decade to get married 🙂

    Your candied apples are spectacular! So glossy and perfect for the season. Thanks for the dipping tips, though I’m nervous about having this much temptation in my kitchen!

    P.S. I wish I could take credit for those cute candy pumpkins, but they’re actually from Wilton. I had to grab a couple boxes when I spotted them at Target.

    • Brooks Walker says

      Thank you, Liz, and congratulations on 28! I hear you about the temptation, which is why I rely on my kids and wife’s school/work parties to reduce having the temptation around.

  5. Happy Anniversary to you and Mrs W! Did you make a cake to mark the occasion? Your gorgeous apples reminded me of the popularity of candy apple red for restored cars back in the day. I remember my older brother painting his motorcycle that color.

    • Brooks Walker says

      Thanks, Jean! No, I didn’t make a cake for the occasion as I’m in development on particular cake recipe. I love a nicely restored car in candy apple red.

  6. Love your homemade scarecrow costume, that’s awesome!!! My parents never had time to make costumes so I remember one year, I took matters into my own hands and wore a trash bag (literally, a black one) with a neon belt and was a punk rocker. 😛 anyway, love these candy apples and your kids are adorable!!! and happy anniversary!!! 🙂

  7. Simply spectacular, Brooks! And I can just see you in your scarecrow costume! <3

    • Brooks Walker says

      I’m pleased I can recall the costume and the experience of it with clarity, as most memories from that era are veiled with cobwebs. Ha! It’s always a pleasure to have you here, my friend.

  8. Oh, I love this post. Those creative photos are so fun, especially your kids from Halloween last year. And congrats on the anniversary!!! October wedding – very ghoul. I mean cool. 😉

    • Brooks Walker says

      Ha! You make me laugh, Marly. Fall weddings are to die for. 😉 It’s a treat to see Halloween through the children’s eyes. So great to have you here, thanks for the lovely comment.

  9. I can, honestly, say that I never knew how to make candy apples. Good thing you do!

    I LOVE the picture of your kids as much as the visual of a mini Cakewalker dressed as a scarecrow!

  10. I’m happy to report this is the first time I was able to look at candy apples without running away in horror in DECADES. You see when I was 8 or so I bit into a candy apple and left my front tooth embedded into it. I was at that tooth losing age, but still it left quite an impression on me. GREG

    • Brooks Walker says

      Impressionable experience, indeed. I’m glad this occasion didn’t have you running away in fear, and I appreciate you stopping by!

  11. Oh, candy apples, what a gorgeous treat!

    Curiously, my fondest memories of them are from a trip to Rome, not from Halloween (Halloween is not really important back in Portugal). Here in Munich they are also quite common at Oktoberfest 😉 They always look so beautiful, and yours are just perfect!

    I had never thought of making them – and now it doesn’t even look that hard, maybe I should give it a try!
    Your kids look so cute dressed up as vampires, I’m really looking forward to see how it turns out this year 🙂

    • Brooks Walker says

      Ines, thank you for the compliments. I enjoyed hearing about the history surrounding your experience with candy apples, and how they are enjoyed around the world. My little vampires are counting the days for tricks-or-treats!

  12. It’s really too bad we all freak about homemade treats (can anyone actually confirm any of the horror stories involving homemade Halloween baked goods, etc?). I loved those candied apples when I was a kid―one of the best treats going! We haven’t made these in ages and ages. We should―and hog them for ourselves on Halloween, since we dare not hand them out to the kiddies! Good post―thanks.

    • Brooks Walker says

      I’m with you, John. Candy apples were definitely one of the best treats going, and they still can be! It’s a pleasure to have you here, thanks for stopping by.

  13. Brooks, I love the story of your scarecrow costume. Oh I wish you had a picture. I know what you mean about the homemade costumes and candy. I remember a neighbor who made popcorn balls wrapped in colorful paper for Halloween … ’em good ole days! Pinned and Happy Halloween!

  14. My mother fondly speaks of the candy apples of her youth that were freely doled out by her neighbors on Halloween. I’ve yet to ever try a real candy apple. You’ve inspired me to make them at home!

    • Brooks Walker says

      Kirsten, please give them a try—they’re a flavor combination you’re sure to enjoy. Make it a great Halloween!

  15. 26 years? Well done and congratulations!

    I was always a witch. I don’t know why. I had long black hair maybe? I loved making my hands green. LOL

    I would have loved these candy apples as a kid – yours are beautiful!

    • Brooks Walker says

      Thank you, Maureen! Witches are one of my favorite Halloween characters. If you celebrate the festivities where you are, I hope you have a hauntingly good time. 🙂

  16. Happy Anniversary to you love birds! I’m sure you’ll no doubt make something spectacular for the occasion, Brooks. I hear you on the shop-bought costumes and the treats. My goodness – scary thought! Love your description of the first outfit. Can just imagine you being a brilliant scratchy scarecrow. The apples here are dazzling. Reminds me suddenly of my granny. This is the last time I ever ate them when I was about 12. Enjoy with your lovely kids tomorrow!

    • Brooks Walker says

      Grandmas are so good about making these time honored treats. I’m much obliged for the lovely comment, Jill. May you and yours have a spirited Halloween!

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