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An image of many different types of caramel apple flavor combinations.
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4.93 from 40 votes

Homemade Caramel Apples

Gourmet Homemade Caramel Apples are so easy and fun to make!  When the sweet, buttery caramel gets paired with crisp, tart apples, and then topped with as many crunchy, chewy, nutty or crispy toppings as you want, you will have confection perfection!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 apples
Calories: 650kcal
Author: Amy Nash

Ingredients

  • 10-15 Granny Smith apples

Caramel for dipping

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional Toppings

  • White candy melts
  • Cinnamon-sugar mixture
  • Crushed pretzels
  • Chopped pecans
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Mini M&M's
  • Crushed Oreos
  • Toasted coconut
  • Melted dark or milk chocolate
  • Chopped mini Reese's peanut butter cups
  • Chopped Butterfingers
  • Graham cracker crumbs
  • Marshmallows

Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Prepare the apples by washing the well to get any waxy residue off. Dry completely and stick a tongue depressor right into the apple from the top, jamming it in deep enough to hold firmly. Place the skewered apples on the prepared baking sheet and stick them in the freezer for 20 minutes while preparing your caramel.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking and stirring over medium-high heat until the temperature of the caramel reaches 235-240 on a candy thermometer (about 12-15 minutes but you definitely want to use a candy thermometer for this step!). You will want to stir almost constantly to avoid burning the caramel on the bottom of the pan.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the vanilla. Don't worry about the caramel bubbling a bit when the vanilla gets stirred in. Just keep stirring and it will all come together.
  • Pull the (now-chilled) apples out of the freezer and dip them into the caramel, one at a time, letting excess caramel drip off the apple. Give the apple a quick flip upside down and hold it like that for 20 seconds or so to give the hot caramel a chance to set up on the cold apple before turning it right side up and setting the dipped apple down on the parchment paper. Repeat with remaining apples, then transfer to the fridge for 15 minutes to set completely.
  • If you want to go beyond a traditional caramel apple, you can roll your caramel dipped apple into any of the toppings listed above (or whatever else you can think of that sounds good!) just after dipping the apple but before the caramel completely sets up.
  • Once your apples have set completely, they can be loosely wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon for a sweet gift!

Apple Pie Caramel Apples

  • In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Melt white candy melts or 2 cups white chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon shortening in the microwave in short 30 second bursts, stirring well between each burst, until melted. After dipping an apple in the caramel, let it set up for a few minutes in the fridge. Then dip the caramel apple into the melted white chocolate, scraping off any excess white chocolate so it is not too thick (or else it will start to slide off the caramel, especially once you add additional toppings). Immediately (before the white chocolate starts to set) roll the chocolate-covered apple in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat. Return the dipped apple to the pan and allow it to set completely.

S'mores Caramel Apple

  • Melt 2 cups milk chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon shortening in the microwave in short 30 second bursts, stirring well between each burst, until melted. After dipping an apple in the caramel, let it set up for a few minutes in the fridge. Then dip the caramel apple into the melted chocolate, scraping off any excess chocolate. Immediately roll the chocolate-covered apple in graham cracker crumbs to coat. Press marshmallows into the caramel, then drizzle with additional melted chocolate. Return the dipped apple to the pan and allow it to set completely.

Video

Notes

These gourmet caramel apples are a really fun activity for a party and you can easily transfer the cooked caramel from your saucepan into a crockpot and keep it warm on the "low" setting for 2-3 hours.  Just be sure to stir it well if it has been sitting for a bit before dipping the apples.
Recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up.

Nutrition

Calories: 650kcal | Carbohydrates: 116g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 248mg | Potassium: 407mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 109g | Vitamin A: 772IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 170mg | Iron: 1mg