Toffee Apples

Posted on November 5, 2021


Toffee apples instantly make me think of bonfire night. The fun fair usually comes to town around November the 5th and it’s traditional for us to have a crunchy toffee apple after a turn on the dodgems.

The last time I went to the fair though was pre-pandemic and the apples beneath the toffee were a bit grainy and sad, so I decided to make my own with crisp apples straight from the tree.

There is a glut of apples around here right now, there are baskets of apples at the end of people’s drives that they are giving away to good homes. This is a great way to use some of them.

Skewers or coffee stirrers make great handles, but I decided to go extra rustic with pruned apple tree twigs.

It’s best to eat these the day you make them, when they are at their crunchiest.

Happy 5th of November!


  • 500g White Sugar
  • 125g Butter
  • 2Tbsp Hot Water
  • 2Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Red Gel Food Colour

Make sure you wash the apples well first or the toffee will not stick due to waxiness on the apple skin.

To de-wax your apples

  • A bowl of very hot water
  • 1Tbsp Bicarbonate of soda 
  • 1Tbsp Lemon juice

Beware of the hot sugar!

  1. Place the bicarb, hot water and lemon in a large bowl and soak your apples for 2 minutes, then wash well and dry thoroughly. 
  2. Stick a barbecue skewer or a well-washed sturdy stick into the stalk end of each apple.
  3. Mix the sugar, butter, vinegar and boiling water in a heavy bottomed pan and warm over a low heat.
  4. Heat slowly, stirring regularly until there are no sugar grains, this takes a good 15 minutes.
  5. Add the food colour and stir well.
  6. Turn up the heat and boil for 8-10 minutes until the toffee reaches 146º-154ºC. Do not stir whilst the toffee is bubbling, although you can swirl the pan a little if you can’t resist.
  7. You can test the temperature with a jam or probe thermometer, or drop a blob into cold water and if it solidifies into brittle strands it is ready. Don’t heat too long or you will have burnt tasting bonfire toffee! (don’t ask me how I know this)
  8. Remove from the heat and stir gently until the bubbles disappear.
  9. Dip and swirl your apple into the mixture, allowing excess toffee to run off then stand them on greaseproof paper/parchment.
  10. Pour any excess toffee onto a sheet of paper for nibbling at later.