Homemade Caramel Apples are the ultimate fall treat! Let me show you how easy it is to make gourmet Caramel Apples everyone will love!
Table of contents
Caramel Apples Recipe
Besides pumpkin spice, what’s the other essential fall treat? Caramel apples! This recipe is sure to become your favorite – it’s fun, it’s delicious, and the results look kind of pretty, too!
When September and October roll in and the young ones in your life are craving caramel apples – or maybe YOU are craving a sweet treat – don’t run to the store to get them premade! It’s easier, sure, but they’re also usually expensive and not that fresh. I once saw a package of three for almost $8. No, thank you!
This homemade recipe makes 8-10 apples … it’s cheaper that way, not to mention a lively way to spend a fall afternoon with your loved ones!
Of course, you don’t have to wait until Halloween to have these. They’re great to make at any time of the year because they’re the most perfect snack in the universe for anyone with a sweet tooth. They’re amazing to give out as gifts and party favors, too. What better way to say “I appreciate you?” I can’t think of any!
Homemade Caramel Apple Recipe: Ingredients & Equipment
To make this Caramel Apple recipe, you will need …
- medium apples – you can’t make this recipe without apples. Use whichever kind is your favorite, washed and dried completely.
- individually wrapped caramel candies and milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream – these ingredients combine to make a luscious and creamy caramel sauce.
- desired toppings – these are optional, but what makes the apples fun and even more tasty!
- baking sheet lined with parchment paper – so your apples have a place to hang out while they set up.
- sticks or skewers – to dip and eat your apples with.
- heavy saucepan and rubber spatula – for making the caramel sauce.
- squeeze bottles, bowls, etc. – for holding your optional toppings.
How to make Gourmet Caramel Apples
Prepare a baking sheet. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set it aside.
Skewer the apples and freeze. Add sticks or skewers to apples. Place apples in the freezer while you are melting the caramels.
Make the caramel sauce. In a heavy saucepan, combine unwrapped caramels and milk. Stirring constantly, melt the caramels over medium-low heat until smooth and creamy.
Dip the apples in caramel then refrigerate. Dip an apple in the caramel. Place it on parchment paper. Repeat with remaining apples. Immediately place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to set the caramel.
If desired, decorate the apples. Decorate the caramel apples (optional). Drizzle with chocolate and/or dip in assorted topping ideas.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Store apples in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Tips and Tricks
I will admit, this recipe can be a little tricky sometimes! I’ve put together this whole section of tips and tricks so you can get the recipe just right and have perfectly fall-tastic apples.
Tips for Making Caramel Apples
- I like to use small to medium apples for this recipe because it becomes an event trying to eat or store them with bigger ones!
- While you make the caramel, go ahead and throw your apples in the fridge or freezer. The caramel will stick easier to cold apples! (Remember to put the skewers in the apples first, though. It might be hard to stick a frozen apple!)
- When I say to stir constantly – I really mean stir constantly!! Stick by your caramel at all times so it doesn’t burn, and so the ingredients really combine well. It’s a little bit of work, but it’s worth it, trust me.
Tips for Decorating Caramel Apples
- When decorating your apples use a small squeeze bottle to drizzle melted chocolate in sections over the caramel apple and immediately add sprinkles. Let the apple set for a few minutes until the chocolate is hard and then continue with the rest of the apple, working in sections.
- Want a fun fall party idea? Keep the caramel in a slow cooker on the lowest setting – it should stay for 3 hours or so. Just remember to stir it so it stays mixed well because it’ll separate and make it hard to coat the apple with caramel if not!
- If the caramel becomes too thick while you’re dipping the apples, just pop it in the microwave for half a minute, and it’ll be good to go!!
- You can definitely store this leftover caramel for later yumminess – add some additional cream or milk to it to keep it thin, throw it in a jar, and put it in the fridge. Now you have a topping for ice cream, cakes, and all kinds of sweets!
- Remember to use all-natural food-safe sticks with this recipe! I know that seems obvious, or maybe too cautious – after all, few people eat down to the stick – but I always find it’s better safe than sorry.
Caramel Apples: FAQs
They need to be covered in an airtight container and put in the refrigerator.
About 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.
No. They are best as fresh as possible.
You can bite directly into it if you’re up for a sweet, sticky challenge! Alternatively, you can slice the apple into wedges for easier eating.
Crystallization can occur if sugar granules remain on the side of your pan. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to wipe down the sides of the pan to help.
Condensation can form if the apples are taken directly from the refrigerator to a warmer environment. It’s best to let them sit at room temperature for a short while before serving to reduce this effect.
Twirling the apple slowly in the caramel and letting the excess drip off for a few seconds can help achieve an even coat. Using a tilted bowl can also help cover the apple more evenly.
Yes, you can make them a day in advance. Just remember to store them in the refrigerator and bring them out about 20-30 minutes before serving.
Tiny air bubbles can sometimes form if the apples are dipped too quickly. To avoid this, dip the apple slowly and gently tap or shake the apple to release any trapped air bubbles before the caramel sets.
Once the caramel has set, you can wrap each apple in cellophane and tie it with a decorative ribbon. If gifting, consider adding a personalized tag or placing them in a box with parchment paper as cushioning.
Other recipes you may enjoy
- Fried Apples
- S’mores Salted Caramel Apple Nachos
- Caramel Apple Snickers Salad
- Easy Apple Cake – Only 3 Ingredients!
- Caramel Apple Galette
- 8-10 medium apples (whichever kind is your favorite!) washed and dried completely
- 2 bags (11-oz. each) individually wrapped caramels candy
- 4 tablespoons milk, half-and-half or heavy cream
- Assorted chocolates, candy, sprinkles, nuts, etc. for decorating
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set it aside.
- Add sticks or skewers to the apples. Place the apples in the freezer while you are melting the caramels.
- In a heavy saucepan, combine unwrapped caramels and milk. Stirring constantly, melt the caramels over medium-low heat until smooth and creamy.
- Dip an apple in the caramel. Place it on parchment paper. Repeat with remaining apples. Immediately place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to set the caramel.
- Once the caramel is set, decorate the caramel apples (optional). Drizzle with chocolate and/or dip in assorted topping ideas.
- Store the apples in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Store the apples in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Some of my favorite toppings are melted toppings are chocolate, assorted candies, sprinkles, nuts, crushed cookies, crushed graham crackers, crushed pretzels, and shredded coconut ... feel free to experiment!
- To add chocolate, use a small squeeze bottle, drizzle melted chocolate in sections over caramel apple, and immediately add sprinkles. Let the apple set for a few minutes until the chocolate is hard, and then continue with the rest of the apple, working in sections.
- Nutritional values will vary depending on your chosen toppings and the amount of caramel on your apples.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 apple
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 63Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 23mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 1g
Please note that the nutritional information listed on this page is an estimation based on the products I used. Ingredients and nutritional information can vary greatly between brands. Always be sure to read labels.
Originally published on October 17, 2013. Updated on September 13, 2020, and August 10, 2023.