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"Toffee apple" redirects here. For the album by Australian children's musician Peter Combe, see Toffee Apple (album).
Candy/Toffee apple
Alternative names Toffee apple
Type Confectionery
Place of origin United States
Creator William W. Kolb
Main ingredients Apples, toffee or sugar candy
Cookbook: Candy/Toffee apple  Media: Candy/Toffee apple

Candy apples, also known as toffee apples outside of North America, are whole apples covered in a hard toffee or sugar candy coating, with a stick inserted as a handle. These are a common treat at autumn festivals in Western culture in the Northern Hemisphere, such as Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night because these festivals fall in the wake of the annual apple harvest.[1] Although candy apples and caramel apples may seem similar, they are made using distinctly different processes.


According to one source, American William W. Kolb invented the red candy apple.

Kolb, a veteran Newark candy-maker, produced his first batch of candied apples in 1908. While experimenting in his candy shop with red cinnamon candy for the Christmas trade, he dipped some apples into the mixture and put them in the windows for display. He sold the whole first batch for 5 cents each and later sold thousands yearly. Soon candied apples were being sold along the Jersey Shore, at the circus and in candy shops across the country, according to the Newark News in 1948.[2]

Ingredients and method[edit]

Candy apples are made by coating an apple with a layer of sugar that has been heated to a soft or hard crack stage (depending upon the type of sugar).[3][unreliable source?] The most common sugar coating is made from sugar (white or brown), corn syrup, water, cinnamon and red food coloring. Humid weather can prevent the sugar from hardening.[4]

Regional traditions[edit]

Cultural references[edit]

Pommes d'amour on display


Many children's books have taken toffee apples as their theme.[7]

Urban myths[edit]

During the 1960s and 1970s, news reports about children supposedly receiving candy apples with pins and razor blades in them, created hysteria during Halloween in the United States. During the hysteria, hospitals offered free x-rays to detect foreign objects in the candy apples. To date, the stories have never been substantiated and fall into the category of urban legend.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ThisisSouthDevon (October 9, 2008). "Apples galore as event grows". Torquay Herald Express (Torquay, Devon, UK: Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ Newark Sunday News, November 28, 1948, pg.16. Newark Evening News, June 8, 1964, pg. 32
  3. ^ Flickety; et al. "How to make Toffee Apples". WikiHow. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Caramel Apples vs. Candy Apples". St. Petersburg Times. October 24, 2001. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Designer Toffee Apples". Designer Toffee Apples. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  6. ^ Celeste Heiter; Things Asian Press (November 1, 2009). To Japan with Love: A Travel Guide for the Connoisseur. ThingsAsian Press. pp. 127–. ISBN 978-1-934159-05-7. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  7. ^ Paul, Ruth (2013). Red Panda's toffee apples. Newtown, N.S.W. Australia: Walker Books. ISBN 9781921977695. 
  8. ^ "The History of Halloween". The History of Halloween. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
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