Toffee apples: how to make the festive favourite

Toffee apples are the perfect Bonfire Night treat – here's how to make them to perfection

toffee apples
(Image credit: Getty)

Mmm, toffee apples. Who doesn't love a sugary apple on Bonfire Night? In fact, this sweet treat many of us remember from childhood is enjoyable on any chilly autumnal night, but they just look so festive – perfect throughout the autumn-winter holiday season. 

Toffee apples are easy to make at home (and, in our opinion, taste much nicer than shop-bought ones). It is all about choosing your apples right, though: we prefer using small, dessert varieties such as Gala, Pink Lady, or, for the classic toffee apple look, Red Delicious. If your apples are more green than red, you can use red food colouring to achieve the classic look, but it's not necessary. 

Also note that this recipe doesn't use any vinegar; some people like adding vinegar or lemon juice to improve the consistency of the toffee, but we don't think it's needed.

Find more yummy recipes at our hub page. 

How to make toffee apples


  • Brown caster sugar, 250g
  • Golden syrup, two tablespoons
  • Butter, 20g
  • Water, 250ml


1. In a heavy, large pan, combine the sugar and water and begin to gently heat. Do not stir. Don't do this on high heat, or your sugar will crystallise. 

2. Meanwhile, prepare the apples by thoroughly washing them in hot water. Apples are naturally waxy, which can prevent the toffee from sticking to them, so try to get them as squeaky clean as possible. Take some wooden skewers and pierce the apples all the way to the core, enough for you to be able to hold the apple with the skewer. 

3. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and line up the skewered apples on it.

4. Once the sugar has completely dissolved in the hot water, add the butter and syrup. Don't stir - just gently swirl it in. Slowly bring to the boil – you want the mixture to reach 140°C. You may find that using a sugar thermometer helps, but you can also determine when the toffee is done by testing it. Pour a tiny bit onto your greaseproof paper from a teaspoon – if it sets straight away, it's done; if it's still gooey, keep boiling. 

5. Once the right temperature has been reached, take the toffee off the heat and immediately dip the apples in it, rotating them as you do so. Place the apples back onto the tray and let them set. Eat the same evening (the toffee tends to weep after a few hours). 

Tip: You can also make caramel apples by following the same recipe, but adding two tablespoons of cream to the mixture. Caramel takes longer to harden than toffee, so you'll need to pop your apples in the fridge for a few minutes after dipping them. And, if you want to branch out even more then why not try our bonfire toffee recipe?