Gourmet Style Dipped Apples with Homemade Caramel

It’s okay, you can say it.  I’m a liar.  I really did have an actual meal for you today. But then I went grocery shopping.  And I bought apples.  I love it when I find the bags of little tiny apples; do you know what I’m talking about?  They’re smaller than normal apples, and I love them because they’re the perfect size for my little kids because they’re easy to hold and they can eat the entire thing (as opposed to eating half the apple and then leaving it somewhere super convenient, like under the couch, in the toy box, or behind the tv for me to find later.)  They’re also perfect for caramel apples because they’re just a little more manageable to eat and you can make more.  So I bought my little apples and everything else I needed to dip them for a fun family activity.  And then, I saw it.


I am not joking when I say these are the biggest apples I’ve ever seen in my LIFE.  Here’s a comparison to a normal sized apple.  Applezilla is well over a foot in circumference and it weighs a pound and a half!

How could I not get them??  With caramel apples on my mind already, I knew these were destined to be the biggest, baddest apples of all time.

We’ve got a couple of posts on caramel apples already.  Kate did a good, basic how-to on quick and easy apples, and last fall I shared a yummy recipe for homemade honey caramel apples.  We get a lot of requests for homemade caramel for apples and I stumbled across this recipe and was dying to try it.  Folks, this stuff knocks the socks off of those little plastic-wrapped caramels.  If you want amazing, impressive, gourmet style apples- the kind you can bust your wallet buying in a fancy little boutique store, this is it.

Making dipped apples isn’t complicated, but I can tell you it is so, so much easier with a few tricks, so I’m going to give you all of the ones I’ve got!  First of all,  you’ll want to wash your apples well (I usually use a tiny bit of soap to remove any waxy film) and then dry them completely.

Go ahead and place the sticks in the apples, placing them right where the stem comes out.  I’ve found it helps to chill the apples because when they’re cold, the caramel sticks and sets quicker.  So after the sticks are all in, place them in the fridge to chill while you do everything else.

It also helps to get all of your toppings ready before you even start.  When working with candy, you want to be ready to go as soon as it reaches a certain temperature, so start with a clean kitchen, open sink space, and get your toppings and work space prepared first.

For the caramel, you’ll need all of this yummy stuff.

One of the reasons I was attracted to this recipe was because all of the flavor in there.  I love a good sugar+butter+cream caramel, but this one has sweetened condensed milk, dark corn syrup, molasses, dark brown sugar and pure maple syrup (seriously, no Aunt Jamima here- use the good stuff.  I know it’s expensive, but YES it’s worth it.  Keep it  hidden in your pantry for recipes so your kids don’t pour it on their pancakes and pull it out for special occasions, like this caramel.)  The flavor and the texture are seriously amazing.  And don’t be intimidated by the fact that it requires a thermometer; it’s seriously easy caramel and really simple to work with.  All you have to do is dump all of the ingredients in a big pot

And stir it until everything is melted and dissolved.  Then turn up the heat and boil it until it reaches temperature.  If you have a non-stick pot I suggest using it; caramel and sweetened condensed milk can burn fairly easily in stainless steel.

When you’re choosing a bowl to put your cooked caramel in, choose the smallest bowl possible that will fit all of the caramel; that will make dipping easier.  And a tall, narrower bowl is better than a wide, shallow one.  One of the tricks is to not dip your apples when the caramel is right off the stove; it will be so hot, it will fall right off the apples.  200 degrees is a good temp that makes the caramel easy to work with and it will stay on the apples.  Just plunge them in and let the excess run off.

Flip the apples upside-down for a few seconds and then twirl them around.  Before I place them on my baking sheet, I use a spoon to just gently scrape excess off the bottom so you don’t end up with a huge pool of caramel.

Now, if you dip your apples in toppings right after the caramel, the toppings will slide right off and you’ll be stuck with a big gloppy ugly mess.  So just be patient and keep dipping the apples in caramel and let them set before you dip in toppings.  The caramel will never harden so much that you can’t add anything to it so don’t stress.

By the time you finish dipping all the apples, the first ones should be ready for toppings.  Pull them off your sheet (a silicone baking mat will be your best friend here.  If you don’t have any, try a piece of buttered foil.) and don’t worry if some of the caramel sticks to the sheet, or pulls off the bottom of the apple.  Use your hands to gently press the pooled caramel around the bottom of the apple.  This caramel is great; it’s soft enough to mold and handle, but not so soft that it’s sticky and messy.

Then you can go crazy with the decorations.  Depending on what you’re using, you can either roll your apple in the topping, or use your hands to gently press them into the caramel. If you want, have some melted chocolate ready and you can dip over the caramel.  Chocolate tends to be a little thicker, so dip it less than you want the final apple to be dipped, and use a knife to scrape off excess chocolate on the bottom.

When you then dip in something else, like chopped peanuts like I have here, the nuts will sort of push the chocolate further up the apple.

Once they’re all dipped, you can decorate with more chocolate.  Place some melted chocolate in a heavy duty ziplock bag and cut the end off. (You can actually melt chocolate chips right in the bag in the microwave and just smash them around until melted and smooth) and then drizzle away.

Be creative and have fun!  Some of the things I love to use are: crushed cookies or candybars, graham cracker crumbs, chopped nuts, toffee bits, and toasted coconut.  It’s fun coming up with new combinations and finding things that look as pretty as they are delicious!

Here’s some of our favorites from this go-around.

S’mores Apple!  Carmel dipped and rolled in crushed graham crackers. Marshmallows pressed in by hand and drizzled in chocolate.  The one on the right is semi-sweet chocolate and chopped peanuts on the bottom, and white chocolate with toasted coconut on top.

On the left we have another chocolate peanut combo, and on the right, caramel with crushed Butterfinger, drizzled white chocolate, and more Butterfinger.  Oh my gosh I love Butterfingers…

This was maybe my fave- caramel dipped and rolled in toasted almonds, and toasted coconut with dried sweet cherries (just pressed in by hand) and white chocolate.  So good.

And the apple-zillas?  They got rolled in chopped toffee and drizzled in two kinds of chocolate.They weighed over TWO POUNDS each!

I made a few of the gigantic ones and took one of them to a friend who reminded me of the best way to eat them.  Caramel apples can be a pain to just bite into, so just take a sharp knife and slice both sides off the apple, on either side of the stick:

Then slice off the remaining two sides, and slice the halves into slices.

My little helper was SO patient through the photoshoot and couldn’t wait to get his hands on a huge apple.  This gives you a better idea of how big they are; close to the size of his head!  The kid could barely hold that thing up.

So there you have it.  You are all ready to save your cash at the overpriced-gourmet-caramel-apple-store and make up your own!  If you want to package them up (great for gift giving to friends, neighbors, co-workers, school teachers, favorite food bloggers, etc.) chill the finished apples for at least an hour so everything is set and then place in cellophane bags.  Store in fridge until you’re ready to give them away.  Or change your mind and eat them all yourself.  I won’t tell.

 Caramel Apple Fondue:  I also wanted to mention that you can easily turn something like this into a fun party food.  Just put the warm caramel into bowls, or a fondue pot and put all of your toppings in little bowls.  Slice a bunch of apples and just let people dip the apples into the caramel and then into a topping.  We did this as a family last night and my kids LOVED it.  It’s so fun and so easy.  It would make a great dessert buffet for a party!



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Homemade Caramel for Apple Dipping

  • Author: Our Best Bites


What’s a fall party without apples dipped in homemade caramel?


  • 1 pound dark brown sugar (about 2 cups packed brown sugar)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 medium sized apples (that’s a pretty conservative measurement, this makes a lot of caramel)
  • popsicle sticks or chopsticks
  • assorted toppings for dipping (toffee bits, chopped nuts, coconut, crushed cookies or candy bars, etc.)
  • Optional: melted chocolate in zip-top bags


  1. Wash and dry apples; place sticks in cores and place on a baking sheet in the fridge to chill. Prepare all toppings in bowls and have them ready to go.
  2. To prepare caramel, combine first 8 ingredients in heavy 2 1/2-quart nonstick saucepan (about 3-4 inches deep, at least). Stir with wooden or silicone spatula over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves (no crystals are felt when caramel is rubbed between fingers), occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush or scraping with spatula, about 15 minutes.
  3. Attach a clip-on candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat to medium-high; cook caramel at rolling boil until thermometer registers 236°F, stirring constantly but slowly with clean spatula and occasionally brushing/scraping down sides of pan, about 12 minutes. Pour caramel into a bowl. Submerge thermometer bulb in caramel. Cool to 200°F, about 20 minutes. If it cools too much just heat it up a little.
  4. While caramel cools, line 1-2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or buttered foil. Set up decorations and melted chocolates.
  5. Holding stick, dip 1 apple into 200°F caramel, submerging all but very top of apple. Lift apple out, allowing excess caramel to drip back into bowl. Turn apple caramel side up and hold for several seconds to help set caramel around apple. If needed, gently scrape the bottom of the apple to remove excess caramel. Place coated apple on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining apples and caramel, spacing apples apart (caramel will pool a bit on foil). If caramel becomes too thick to dip into, gently heat in microwave, or add 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream and briefly whisk caramel in bowl over low heat to thin.
  6. By the time you have dipped all the apples, the first ones should be ready partially set enough to add toppings. If not, chill in fridge for a few minutes. Lift 1 apple from foil. Using hand, press pooled caramel around apple. Then firmly press decorations into the caramel and return to baking sheet.
  7. If desired dip caramel-coated apples into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off, then roll in nuts or candy. Or drizzle melted chocolate over caramel-coated apples and sprinkle with decorations. Chill until decorations are set, about 1 hour. Cover; chill up to 1 week or wrap in cellophane bags for gift giving.





  1. Look! I’m finally leaving a comment! At 12:45am… When I should be in bed!! Anyway, I have decided that THIS is the year I will finally try my hand at the whole homemade, gourmet caramel apple thing. I wasn’t going to go all fancy with the caramel and do homemade, but now I’m having second thoughts. Of course, I don’t have unsalted butter, DARK corn syrup or Maple syrup on hand, so those may have to be added to the grocery list. 🙂 When I get one at the fancy boutique, I always go for the one drizzled just in dark, milk and white chocolate. And yes, you have to slice it before eating. WAY to hard to eat it right from the stick!

    1. ooh, look at you Mrs. First-to-comment 😉 Too bad you weren’t at my house to chit chat with me while be both stayed up that late, lol! Give this caramel a try; you’ll totally love it!

      1. I totally would, too (stay up and chit-chat with you, that is!)… If we lived a little closer. You know, like maybe in the same state!! Actually, last night I was up pretty late chit-chatting with some friends while our husbands all watched some show.
        Usually I have my husband make the caramel (for fear of the whole “once your job always your job” and I already do the majority of the treat-making in the house!) but perhaps I can make an exception…

  2. These are so beautiful! I, too, will have to buy a bunch of ingredients but they are the perfect gift for my coworkers. Can’t wait to try them!

  3. What type of apple are the ginormous ones?? I remember finding a monster of an apple once when I was in college… I ate it for breakfast on my walk to my first class of the morning. By the time I arrived, I still hadn’t finished and was feeling full. I haven’t found another like it since then and don’t remember it’s name! I want to say Fiji but all the Fiji ones I find are normal-sized. Anyway, I can totally imagine myself eating that humongous apple with caramel, Butterfinger, toffee, and chocolate. I love those toppings!

    1. These ones are Honeycrisp, one of my fave varieties. They’re good for dipping because they’re so crisp they can really stand up to all of the toppings. However, if I had to choose, I gotta say when it comes to dipped caramel apples, I still love a really tart green one.

  4. I’ve seen Honeycrisp apples that were huge like these. And I’ve had them dipped in caramel – incredible! I’m not a fan of maple syrup though. What does the maple syrup bring to the mix in this recipe – is it a discernable flavor or is it an enhancer that stays in the background?

    1. No, it doesn’t make the caramel maple flavored at all. In fact most people probably couldn’t pick it out when it’s all done if they didn’t know. However, I wouldn’t leave it out either; it contributes to the deep, complex flavor.

    2. This Carmel is one of the best carmels ive ever made and it is to die for and I believe you need every ingredients listed in the recipe. And the maple syrup is pure maple syrup which doesn’t have the same flavor as that imitation stuff that you buy like Mrs Buttersworth so it has a totally different flavor then the invitation maple syrup. This is s must try recipe.

      Natalie Mills

  5. that’s got to be a honeycrisp!! in the fall i look forward to pumpkin everything and honeycrisp apples! SOooo yummy 🙂 thanks for this recipe

  6. My favorite is caramel, milk chocolate, then crushed oreos. That could be because I LOVE oreos, but I’ve never heard anyone else complain about it, so I’d say I’m not the only one who thinks it’s yummy.

  7. Just one technical comment, because I’m an engineer and these are the types of things we just HAVE to do. I’m thinking that applezilla is actually over a foot in circumference and not diameter (a basketball isn’t even a foot in diameter). Just a note to keep people from searching for that elusive “larger than a basketball” apple. That being said, my friend is putting on a benefit for a local family in a couple of weeks and I think these will be the perfect addition to the bake sale table. I’m super excited.

    1. Ha, you are most certainly correct! I do know the difference between the two, that’s just what I get for typing my post at 1am, lol!

  8. I am going to give your caramel dipping sauce a try like RIGHT NOW! Yum! I think caramel apples might be my favorite treat EVER! I will be linking to your recipe later today!

  9. Do you hear any of us complaining that you didn’t post a healthy dinner today? Uh- no! You should have posted this on Friday though (even though it was Kate’s turn and her maple bars look so incredible) because my daughter made caramel apples Saturday night and they were a mess. We could have used all your fantastic information to prevent that disaster. However, if you HAD posted this on Friday, guess who would have been tempted to add them to the already crazy, overloaded dessert table at the Empty Nester’s party?
    Please pass me the peanut-coconut apple. Thank you.

    1. Oh, I forgot to ask, sometimes us high-altitude people have to adjust stuff. Do you think 236° is the right number for us as well? Don’t answer that right away- go have a nap first. You were up way too late last night and then awake way too early this morning.

      1. Ha. It’s true; I need a nap. I’m honestly not sure about the altitude, but you could do a soft-ball test to make sure it’s where you want it. Just drop a little bit of caramel into a cup of ice water. You should be able to grab the caramel and form it into a little ball, and that’s the consistency it will be when it’s cooled. I actually took pictures of that; I should add it as a little tip.

        1. I made these tonight. I didn’t change the temperature from what you listed and they turned out great. Really, really great.

  10. MAN i wish this came out before yesterday… 🙂 i made caramel apples (per our annual tradition) and i can NEVER get the caramel to stay put. (ugh!) why is that??? anyhow, i will try this recipe. yours look gorgeous as always. thanks!

  11. I laughed so many times while reading this post. Mostly about how you described the apple and then about your son holding the apple. lol. I like this idea because it seems like it actually makes enough to dip the apples in. I hate unwrapping caramels, melting them and then not really having enough to dip a few apples in. So, I’ll probably be trying this.

  12. I made caramel apples yesterday (with the wrapped store bought caramels) and I think I NEED to make this one now! Yummmmm!!!!

  13. We LOVE caramel apples, but I’ve never tried to make the caramel from scratch – definitely have to try this soon! One of favorites is a caramel apple, dipped in white chocolate and then rolled in cinnamon sugar. Yum!

  14. These look delish! Just a tip to throw in … if you sand the outside of the apple with very fine sandpaper (then was wash off of course) it will remove that wax texture & the caramel sticks much better.

  15. I need to go grocery shopping tonight… I think apples will be added to the list. Along with most of the caramel ingredients. 😛

  16. I can’t keep up with all the treats you guys make. I”m still working on the cute candy corn cookies. But caramel apples will make a perfect Christmas gift for all our teachers this year! Thanks for all the tips and tricks.

  17. I’m so excited to use this caramel recipe on our apples. I have to agree, tart green apples are the perfect compliment to caramel. Especially when my favorite is dipped in white chocolate and cinnamon sugar afterwards.

  18. Do you think you could make it and put it in a crock pot to keep it warm? It sounds delish! I may have to make this to have while we do a lil’ pumpkin carving!

    1. If you’re just going to serve it as an apple dip, then yes that would probably work. I would probably keep an eye on it though and maybe turn off the crock pot until it starts getting too thick to dip and then turn it back on if you need to for a few minutes.

  19. Wowza! It’s about that time of year again for caramel apples; I had a neighbor who gave them out as trick or treats on Halloween night when I was a girl so the memory of caramel apples always stuck with me as a Halloween treat. Perfect timing! Healthy too! Yeah, not really, but I’m getting a whole serving of fruit in!

  20. So is this like an awesome bakery quality caramel then?

    I’m asking because long ago when I worked at a grocery store ….. we had the most kick-butt caramel apples EVER! Creamy, smooth, and thick but not messy! LOVED IT!! They started to sell the caramel in containers, but I shortly moved and never had any luck finding a caramel that compared 🙁

    In any case, I think I’m making these this week!

  21. Those look sooo good! I made some a few weeks ago with a similar caramel recipe, but then I dipped them completely in white chocolate, and then sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar. I think that’s my all time favorite caramel apple!

  22. I attempted caramel apples last year. Everything slid off. I thought it was because the caramel recipe on the caramel bag said to add water and it was too runny, but now I wonder if it’s because I didn’t have chilled apples and we added the toppings pretty quick. I will have to attempt them again with this homemade caramel, which looks TO DIE FOR!!! Love the Apple-zillas. I have never seen any so huge before!! Awesome!

  23. I think your recipe sounds great. I make pecan rolls for Christmas with caramel that I make, but yours sounds much better. I am going to try it this year and see how it works! Thanks for sharing!

  24. If you were going to make these as gifts, how far ahead do you think you could do it and they still be fresh tasting? (Is that wording correct?lol)

  25. I silently chuckled when you said we could eat our caramel apple over the next few days, it was gone before midnight that night! The best part of the HUGE apple, everyone was able to eat a piece or two. And I have to say, either you know me really well, or guessed just right, the combination you picked for me would have been my first choice!

  26. I don’t have a candy thermometer nor have I ever heard of one. Is it okay to just watch it and guess when it’s done rather than running out and trying to find this certain thermometer? Thanks! 🙂

    1. Nope, guessing is actually not a good idea when you’re dealing with candy. However you can drop a little caramel into ice water to check the consistency. Honestly, a candy thermometer is not hard to find; they sell them right in the baking aisle of most grocery stores and they cost just a few bucks. It’s worth picking one up!

  27. It seems like today is Caramel Apple Day (somehow I didn’t get the memo)! I kid you not I have seen 5 different blogs/websites with caramel apple or caramel apple inspired dessert recipes today! I love it! Your apples are so professional looking and I love the gigantic apple, it especially reminds me of the pricy store bought caramel apples.

  28. Wow! Love the variety! And the ginormous apple! I just finished my own carmel apple trial run. I bought bulk caramel this year and had no idea how it would work (or how much milk I needed to add to thin it without making it too thin – especially with a dead battery in my scale!). Turned out awesome. I will NEVER unwrap caramels again! 🙂 I will however, continue to use my handy dandy apple slicer. It’s one of the most used gadgets in my entire kitchen.

  29. So, Sara, is this a caramel that can go on popcorn or wrapped for eating? Will it harden in the fridge to be cut into bite-sized pieces for later?

    1. Try our caramel corn recipe for popcorn, it’s much easier. As for cutting the caramel, this is a little too soft for that; but the flavor is amazing. You’d have to cook it to a higher temperature to reach a stage suitable for actual caramel squares.

  30. I used to work at a fancy place that made amazing caramel apples. People often wanted them sliced so they could carry them around, and we always cut them the same way, with 4 cuts in all going around the core. It would look like a tic tac toe board from above and you’d end up with 8 slices. Worked great and wasn’t too messy.

  31. I live at an altitude of about 4500 feet. Do you know if you have to cook things (like delicious caramel) to a different temperature than at sea level to get the right consistency or does it matter? Thanks!

  32. yummo! must run to grocery store and buy ingredients now. Just wanted to add another caramel apple trick I have picked up. Dip your stick in lemon juice before you stick it into the apple. It will prevent the apple from browning where you stick the apple and from getting mushy in the middle. 🙂

    1. I’d say it really depends on what you put on them. Just the caramel dipped apples can chill up to a week, but if you add other toppings it depends. Some things, like toffee can lose its crunch after sitting in the fridge like that, so you’d have to take it apple by apple. But most things will stay fresh for several days in the fridge.

  33. Do you think this caramel will work for an Ice Cream topping? I searched your site the other day for a caramel sauce, but I didn’t find one. You probably have one, but I couldn’t find it.

    I was also wondering if you have a good recipe for caramel chews. My brother-in-law always makes them at Christmas but hasn’t shared her recipe.

  34. Oh, I am so going to do these this year. I’ve always been afraid to attempt it, but these look sooooooo good. I’m gonna do it.

  35. I have been looking everywhere for an actual caramel recipe that doesn’t say “unwrap 20 caramels”! I am so excited to try this!! Yummmmm

  36. This caramel recipe is awesome! I made these a couple weeks ago and set the apples on buttered wax paper….BIG mistake! They stuck badly and I was so disappointed, not wanting to use prepackaged caramel. Thanks for showing the baking mat in the photo. Seriously don’t know how I didn’t think of that since I’m in love with my mats! I’m making these again now today. Yours look so pretty!

  37. I was going to ask if that was a 20 ounce apple (an Heirloom variety from NY State known for its size), but I actually took the time to read the earlier comments, so I won’t bother you with that question! That is hands down the largest Honeycrisp I’ve ever seen though. And, undoubtedly, better eating than a 20-ounce wrapped in caramel, since those are best used in baking.

  38. Just got back from buying all the stuff I needed to make these and was showing the pictures to my 7 year old daughter who is typically looking over my shoulder while I look at the computer and she says “Sara, she seems really creative. I’d like to meet her! She always has good stuff on here….and she’s really pretty too!” Gotta love kid compliments! 🙂

  39. Sara,
    I halved the recipe for the caramel. Do you know if that changes the cooking time? I was struggling to keep my caramel soft, so I think I should have halved the cooking time too. Also, when you need to rewarm the caramel to keep dipping apples, what method do you suggest? I put my bowl in the microwave and only reheated for a few seconds, but I think it made my caramel go hard. Your apples turned out gorgeous! I think I’m going to have to try again.

  40. I just wanted to say I think your recipes are great! I like them so much I put your website on my blog roll! Happy Baking!


  41. Dear Moms of Mrs. Nielsen’s fourth graders,
    Please read this post and then make them for your child’s teacher!
    Mrs. Nielsen!

  42. My favorite caramel chocolate apple combo is white chocolate and cinnamon sugar. Completely sounds under-decorated, but they are soo fine!

  43. Okay, so I think my oven is hotter than normal…everything happened very quickly. The caramel turned out delicious, but definitely got too hard!! I’ll have to give it another go.

  44. I had to laugh while grocery shopping tonight when I saw some apples and thought of this post! I was looking around to find some apples that were inexpensive (this particular store has VERY inexpensive produce), anyway, I found the complete opposite to Applezilla, the smallest apples I have ever seen in my life! Wish I would have taken a picture to post on the OBB facebook page. It was a bag of around 10-15 apples that were probably the size of a small avocado pit! I was tempted to buy them to make your gourmet dipped apples, but decided not to when I realized there would probably be more chocolate and caramel on them than fruit. (Wouldn’t be able to justify eating a caramel apple to my husband because there was fruit involved!) Anyway, the experience made me think of this post and made me smile, thanks again for another amazing recipe!!!

  45. I made these tonight and they are AWESOME!!!!! Thank you so much for posting this! I was a little worried about maple syrup in caramel, but it’s SO good! And I had leftover caramel, so I poured it into a small (toaster oven-sized) stoneware pan lined with foil and will be cutting it and wrapping it in parchment paper in the morning! YUMMMMM!!!! P.S. I used honeycrisp apples, and they were wonderful – nice and crisp, with a little more sweetness than a granny smith while still being a bit tart.

  46. What type of chocolate is best to use over the caramel? We are making these right now and having a hard time getting m&ms to stick to the chocolate. The caramel is AMAZING though! I made sure there was plenty left in the bowl and on the spatula so I’d have to clean it off. 🙂

  47. WOW!!! This recipe was fantastic! I have never made caramel before, or dipped apples, but they turned out great. I have had many taste testers with nothing but good replies…thanks for the recipe.

  48. These look wonderful and I can’t wait to try them. But I had to have a laugh and read aloud to my DH your comments about pure maple syrup. First, that you would hide it from your children. Seriously? Why not let your kids learn to appreciate the good things in life?! We proudly pour pure maple syrup on pancakes around here. You don’t need a lot of it and it’s so much more wonderful – and better for your health – than corn syrup based products. I don’t want my kids to have a taste for cheap fake food so I gladly let them use real syrup on everything! (and I love putting it on lots of stuff – it’s how I get my 3 yr old to eat veggies a lot of the time). The final chuckle was that after you talked about how expensive the stuff is, your photo included the Wal Mart generic. I mean come on, how expensive could that have been? Anyway this looks like a great blog and I’m glad I found it. I would just encourage you and your readers to think about more than price point when purchasing ingredients (as you already are doing even by recommending the pure maple, and I think you’re probably just trying to encourage your readers to do the same). And go ahead and let your kids enjoy some real, delicious syrup! It will make pancakes all the more special! 🙂

    1. Oh trust me Stasi, my children definitely appreciate the “good things in life”! You have to realize that we write for a huge demographic and there are many people out there who wouldn’t even think of buying the pure maple syrup because of the price tag (even my generic brand, the absolute cheapest I’ve found, which was about $8 for 2 cups of syrup compared to an industrial sized jug of Aunt Jemima for about $3!) I’m simply explaining that if they don’t want to spend that much on the syrup then they can save it for recipes. Personally, while I LOVE pure maple syrup, there’s no way I would buy it for pancakes for my 3 boys. They would finish that off in one morning, no problem, and are just as happy with something like Log Cabin!

  49. ok well I’m extremely discouraged! i was so excited to try this recipe, went out and got all my ingredients, got everything ready and did it. i noticed while looking at your pictures that your sticks of butter looked smaller than mine, but still did 2 sticks like the recipe said. i did everything exactly how you said, and my caramel just got done cooking to 200 degrees. i excitedly dipped my first apple and nothing happened. it came out shiny, with no caramel on it. i even tried grabbing a spoon and pushing the caramel on the apple. nothing. do i have too much butter in it? 2 sticks? 1 cup? i’m so bummed! so now i have a bowl full of useless (but smelling oh so good) caramel sauce, bowls of toppings, chilled apples, and a sink full of sticky dishes! is there anything i can still do to save this disastrous endeavor or should i pitch it?

    1. Yep, 2 sticks is one cup of butter. I’m not sure where you went wrong; perhaps a different incorrect measurement? Sounds like there was a mistake somewhere- but it probably still tastes good!

    1. I just made these for xmas gifts & the caramel turned out great! The trouble I had was with the chocolate. After i dipped the caramel apples in chocolate (i used melted chocolate chips) and then toppings, it slid down and pooled in globs. However, the white chocolate i used didn’t do that. Next time I will use the same stuff for both white and regular:)

  50. I just made this tonight without any toppings on them at all and the caramel was delicious! I think this caramel would be great on brownies or anything else, I even put it on a sugar cookie with pecans and it was awesome! This caramel would make great turtles too because it sets up so nice. Thanks for the recipe.

  51. I made these a couple nights ago and boy am i glad i did (vs just melting the Brachs caramel) this was PHENOMINAL!!! Absolutly delicious – if you have the time, make these. You will not regret it. I did have a little trouble with my caramel cooling too quickly and then when i dippped the apples a bunch of air bubbles formed – not a big deal since i dipped in chocolate. I will be making these every year!!

  52. Oh bother. I’m 19 weeks pregnant, and then I see this recipe on your site—and now I HAVE to make these things! There’s just no other option. My pregnant body is going…”Caramel Apples…must..have…caramel…apples……” 🙂

  53. I made these tonight with my family and I modified the recipe so this is an FYI ;0) Instead of using dark brown sugar I used regular and the big exchange that I did was instead of using corn syrup I used agave nectar syrup instead! I’m allergic to corn so I hoped this exchange would work and it did! They turned out amazingly delicious, held together beautifully and best of all? For the first time in over 20 years I had my first caramel apple again My husband, who can eat anything, lucky guy, said the caramel was delicious and what he really liked about it is that it was chewy and stuck well to the apple but it wasn’t sticky like the stuff you get int he stores. He said the ‘normal’ way is so sticky and chewy that it pulls your fillings out and this one allowed you to enjoy your treat without fear of loosing a filling or getting your teeth stuck together ;0) Wonderful recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  54. a lot of people seem to be mentioning trouble with their caramel cooling too quickly. I left it in the pot I made it and though it took a little longer than the time you listed to cool it, it also stayed at the right temp for quite awhile and gave us more than enough time to dip a lot of apples. I’m guessing the warm metal helped stabilize it.

  55. I made this caramel today and had all the Mom’s in our play group make a bunch of apples. It was a fun activity and we all agreed that it is THE BEST caramel we’ve ever had. Thank you!

  56. Wow, you weren’t kidding. This caramel recipe is awesome! Really not that hard to make, especially if you have a thermometer, and I had most of the ingredients on hand already. Actually I didn’t have pure maple syrup, so I just used the kind I usually put on pancakes. Obviously I don’t know what the difference would have been but I think it tastes scrumptious. I LOVE LOVE LOVE caramel apples, and have tried several different versions of homemade caramel, and I am very happy with this one!
    Thank you!

  57. Lame question. What kind of melted chocolate do you use? Do you use almond bark or the real stuff you get at a candy making store? I have been drooling over these for over a week but made the candy corn cookies and the chocolate mummy cookies instead (made the chocolate cookie recipe without the variations listed with orange extract and made a peppermint buttercream frosting and loved them!!!)

  58. That’s a lot of work! Want my recipe? Make the caramel by boiling sweetened condensed milk for a few hours, I think you even did something up similar by putting yours in the oven. So good!


  60. Delish! Thank you…We make carmel apples every year and I think that I just found a new favorite carmel recipe to replace what I thought was my favorite. We like to make ‘key lime pie’ white almond bark, powdered green jello, graham cracker crumbs on the bottom…so good.
    Quick question though- this obviously makes a lot, is this carmel too soft to use for candy making? I was thinking homemade turtles or even just wrapped carmels. Could I reheat and actual cook it to be firmer if not? I am not really good at the candy stuff, but for sure wasn’t wasting the leftovers.

  61. So, I think I took the coment “Don’t worry, it’ll never harden so much that you can’t add topping” too literally. All I did was dip all 12, I did have to reheat once, but by the time I finished dipping, the caramel was so hard, I couldn’t even get a nut to stick when manually pushing it in. The only way I could add toppings at this point, was to add a layer of Chocolate. Obviously, I did something wrong, just can’t figure out what it was…. Help? 🙂

  62. These look wonderful! I want to make just plain caramel apples (not nuts, candies…), but then I want to put them in cellophane bags to give as gifts. Does this caramel set up enough or would it make a sticky mess of the cello bag?

  63. Hi everyone. After weeks of working myself up to it, tomorrow is the big day for making these! I live in Sydney, Australia (originally from California) and haven’t had one of these kids of apples in 14 YEARS! Australians don’t make them! Needless to say, all my friends are very curious to try them! You can’t get corn syrup of any kind here, but Ive read that treacle is an ok substitute, so I’ll be trying that out. Also, molasses is one of the most expensive grocery items here (more than maple syrup imported from Canada! Don’t ask me why) so it seems like my caramel is going to taste a bit different to yours. Anywho…. I’ll post up again tomorrow and let you know how I did!

  64. Excited to start making these, saw them on QVC but didn’t want to pay the price. Now I can make my own. Thanks for the great idea.

  65. My God, this is just wonderful … too pretty to eat. What I love about it most is that there is no calories in them. The face of the boy (yours???) says it all.
    Was in Victoria, BC this summer and they had a shop that was selling on those healthy apples, I could resit!!! What a wonderful post. Thank you so much!

  66. What could I substitute for the maple? I cannot STAND maple, except on pancakes, etc. and do NOT like maple-flavored candies, caramels, frostings, etc. I am dying to make these, but need something to take the place of the maple syrup. Please help!

    1. Hi! This is probably way too late, but you don’t taste the maple at all. It just blends in with everything else and creates a rich caramel. Trust me! It’s DIVINE!

  67. If i wanted to make these for a school fundraiser, how much would I be able to sell them for. I don’t want to charge too much or too little. Any ideas would be most appreciated… thanks

  68. Revisited this recipe tonight after having great success with it last year. This year even though I followed all the directions (washing the wax off the apples, drying them, chilling them, cooking the caramel to the correct temp and then allowing it to cool to 200) the caramel started out coating nicely but almost completely slid off while the apples rested and cooled, leaving only the faintest sheen of caramel on the apples. I kept cooling the caramel a bit more and trying again, but was never able to get it to coat well. I have no idea what went wrong. It was disappointing after last years’ triumph, but at least were able to follow your other recommendation and sliced the apples and used the caramel for a dip. It sure is fantastic tasting caramel, but I’d love to know what I did wrong.

  69. For people living at high altitudes (like me) we have a test to know how long to cook candy – it is also used for calibrating recipes for a thermometer. Water boils at 212 F at sea level. It boils at 208 F on my thermometer so I subtract the difference from a sea level recipe. Hope that helps.

  70. Just 5 days ago I made caramel apples with sweetened condensed milk & evaporated milk. It was a success! Your recipe sounds intriguing with the molasses and dark brown sugar. I think I’m going to try yours too. I love how you drizzled the chocolate. They look scrumptious. Thanks for sharing!

  71. Wow!!! THose look to DIE for!!! I am so making those for Halloween!! Would it work to refrigerate the caramel and use later?

  72. Using your recipe, I was able to make some WONDERFUL caramel apples. I used apples grown by the local amish, and they tasted awesome. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  73. We tried this caramel tonight for caramel apples. We didn’t have all the great toppings you did, but wow! The caramel was so, so, so good, especially paired with the toasted coconut and semi-sweet dark chocolate! Oh…THANK YOU!

  74. I had never tried making caramel apples before – it just looked like way too much work and mess. But I made these over the weekend and they turned out GREAT!!!! Beautiful and delicious! Thank you!!

  75. totally enjoyed reading this… very entertaining! I might even try the recipe, especially if I can find an “Apple-Zilla.”

  76. These are the most beautiful caramel apples I’ve ever seen! I’ve been experimenting on different caramel apple recipes the past week for my daughters party this weekend! A lot of the ones I come across says you have to coat the toppings right away? You make it sound so easy!I’m going to try your recipe tonight…Wish me luck!

    Thank you for sharing!!

  77. There is a new apple that is about the size of my daughter’s head. It’s called the Mutsu. I have never seen them in farm stands before this year. I am going to try this recipe with the mutsu’s for my mother-in-law who loved the caramel and chocolate apples I bought 2 years ago for a fund raiser (and hasn’t stopped talking about them since…) I paid 12 or 15 dollars per pre-decorated apple! I can’t wait to make my own with these tips and tricks! Thank you!

  78. Thank you for this recipe. I have searched the internet for some time now to find a decent caramel recipe and all i was ever finding were the ones to use pre-made caramels. that was not my choice. Will be attempting this recipe tomorrow. Thanks again.

  79. I am looking at having my child’s daycare make caramel apples for his halloween party and I was going to make the caramel ahead of time and I was wondering if this is a receipe I could make ahead of time and take it to daycare for them to warm up or would they have to make it themselves, I am trying to make it as easy as possble. I thought it would be fun for the kids to decorate their own apples.

  80. Made the caramel today and will make this my go-to recipe from now on. Caramel is soft enough for other uses as well. I ate two apples myself, not to mention that I picked at the caramel every chance I got. I agree, the syrup enhances this recipe and would not consider leaving it out.

    Kim, I have some leftover and put it in an airtight container. It’s my intention to do some additional apples next week, so I think you will be fine making it ahead of time.

  81. This didn’t work for me, bummer. I used silk’s coffee creamer instead of the condensed milk. We can do butter in my house, but not milk. My caramel was very runny. This was my first time using a thermometer as well, I couldn’t get this caramel hot enough without boiling over, so this may have been the problem as well. Since going gf and df I haven’t had many major failed recipes, but this was one. Do you think it was the milk or the temp?

    1. This is very late, but it was the creamer. Are you, or someone in the household allergic to milk? Some people who are allergic to cow milk have no problems with goat milk.
      You might also look into dairy-free caramel recipes, they are out there.

  82. Probably no one will read this but posting just in case. All of the dark ingredients are made with molasses. I keep molasses on had to make my own brown sugar. I made this recipe by just adding the molasses to regular sugar, and regular corn syrup and then adding the molasses as requested. the ratio for light brown sugar is 1 tablespoon to 1 cup of sugar I used 2 tbl for the dark brown and added 1 tablespoon for the corn syrup.
    I put my caramel in a crockpot after it was done and dipped it from there to maintain the temperature. I also sprayed a baking sheet with pam and it worked great. We made these for a bake sale and they went fast!

    1. Thanks! I read this, too, and I wish I’d read it before I purchased dark corn syrup. Now I know. 🙂 I’ve searched everywhere for whether or not transferring the caramel to the crockpot and dipping from there will work, and you are the first reputable person to comment on that, so I’m going to try it.

    2. I am ready to do a bake sale ….did you make your apples the day before or they can be made few days ahead? Do you store your apples in the fridge? I heard that caramel gets really hard in the fridge=( . Thank you

  83. This was my first time making caramel and it turned out rich, creamy and perfect! The depth and dimension of flavor was insanely delicious! The apples looked and tasted beautifully! This will be a new Autumntime tradition in our house! Thanks for another wonderful recipe 🙂

  84. I Made caremel apples Saturday using this recipe and They were fantastic! Perfectly smooth, I love it. Very very delicious. Thank you for sharing this recipe. its a keeper.

  85. I just finished this recipe and son, spouse and I burned our tongues because we couldn’t wait to try this lovely caramel. I didn’t allow not having all the right ingredients to stop me, either. I only had salted butter, no maple, light corn syrup, light brown sugar… but hey, we wanted some caramel for our Granny Smiths, so I went for it. I DID have plenty of molasses so I added extra of it to darken it up some. It turned out soooo good, I can’t wait to try it when I DO have all the proper ingredients! That is a fine recipe, that can take so much substitution and still be delicious.

  86. I’m going to attempt these this weekend and if I can get them figured out, I’ll be making 50 of them for teacher appreciation day in May. I have a question though – What do you use for chocolate? I think I read that you just melted chocolate chips. When I’ve tried to do that, the chocolate never hardens. Should I use the Wilton candy discs? HELP PLEASE and THANK YOU!

    1. Just regular chocolate works great; I often use chocolate chips. As long as you don’t add anything to the chocolate that would soften it (cream or oil) there’s no reason why it wouldn’t harden back to its original state- especially when chilled!

  87. omg……………those apples were amazing! i just made for my nephew birthday and everybody love them………….the only change i made was the temperature, up to 220, and still the caramel gts dry and taste delicious!

  88. by chance, will this caramel work on pretzel rods? I make those all the time and the recipe is somewhat similar, just want to try something new..
    thanks for sharing

  89. These look delicious! I just have one – possibly silly – question that I see one other person asked but didn’t have answered. You list butter sticks, but the pictures look like blocks; are you then using the full blocks of butter you can buy or is the image just misleading?

    Either way, these look amazing and I will definitely be trying out the recipe!

    1. I’m not sure what’s misleading here- these are just standard sticks of butter, 1/2 cup each. The same sticks are shown unwrapped in the cooking photo, hope that helps!

  90. Hi – I’ve been making chocolate covered caramel apples for several years for Christmas gifts. I started with wrapped caramels – eventually I made my own caramel. The first time I did that all of the toppings just fell away from the apples when cut. Then I learned that I needed to dip the apples in hot water to get the wax off. So I did that and everything worked fine for the most part. Two years ago I used your recipe (which I LOVE btw ;-)) for homemade caramel and they all turned out wonderfully! Last year – however some (not all) when the apples were cut the caramel with all the toppings just came off in one big piece. Not all of them did that and I can’t figure out what went wrong. Some of them when cut the caramel and topping stuck. I’m not sure if maybe the caramel was too hot or hot enough on some – or maybe it was the chocolate. I’m not sure – Can you offer any suggestions? Thank you!

  91. So where did you get the APPLE ZILLAS??? or did you just happen to come upon some really big apples in the normal grocery store. I NEED THAT HUGE APPLE :0)


  92. I LOVED LOVED LOVED these when I made them last year, got all ready to remake and realized I only have margarine…really dont want to go back to the store. Can I sub margarine for butter or will it make it not stick? Any thoughts?? You are awesome!

    1. Personally, when I’m putting in the effort for something like homemade caramel, I’d spring for butter! But totally up to you. I’ve never made it with margarine so I’m not sure how it would turn out.

  93. Oh my gosh, you’re awesome. My favorite caramel apple is dipped in white chocolate, rolled in cinnamon and sugar. YUM! I’m also so tempted to make the smores ones, and the white chocolate craisin ones. drool….

  94. I’ve got a question. I haven’t made caramel apples in years, and I’m trying to figure out how long they take to set up. I’d like the kids to make them for our class party, but they need to set up in about 15-20 minutes in order for them to take them home. (They’ll have other treats to eat.) Anyone know? We have access to a fridge to chill things if we need.)

  95. Hi, Sara! I have been making this recipe since you first posted it and have become well known for my caramel apples in the fall which led a group of women from church in asking me to make an activity of it. I was wondering if its possible to make more than one batch at a time, or if that will screw it up? I know candy can be finicky. Also, it seems that every time I make these the caramel never hardens quite enough. It works but still seems a bit too soft. I have tried cooking it to a higher temp without any noticeable difference. Any ideas? Thanks so much!

    1. Yeah, I think you could make more than one batch at a time. Just make sure to use a pretty large pot! As for the hardness, I’m really not sure. My suggestion was going to be to cook it to a slightly higher temperature- and definitely chill them immediately after, that hardens them right up.

  96. These were FANTASTIC!!! I will NEVER look for a new caramel recipe again. There will never be a need! My kids about passed out on the floor when they saw the apples. They just picked themselves up and started decorating!

    What I am wondering, though, is could I use this recipe for a dip or ice cream topping? Is it as easy as not cooking it as long? Or should I use a completely different recipe? I love this one and would rather convert it but I hate to waste the fine ingredients in experimentation. Your thoughts?

    Incidentally, I had forgotten to buy the dark Karo syrup (I know, gasp!) so I had to substitute agave nectar…worked like a charm and I probably saved 2 points on the glycemic index–for what’s it worth. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing…you hit the jackpot on this one!

  97. I made these today with some friends and they were DELICIOUS! I drizzled them in white and regular chocolate…mmm My mom says we will never buy caramels for caramel apples again! We had lots of extra caramel so I poured it on buttered wax paper and refrigerated it. Makes delicious caramels, too!

  98. These apples turned out absolutely delicious!!!!! I have an old family recipe that I always use, but the temp has to be brought up to a certain degree 3x and it is such a long process to make. So I looked for a new one on the internet and found this one…
    These were very fast and easy for homemade caramel apples!!! And the caramel was just perfect. The only thing I changed was I dipped my apples into my nuts right away.. I don’t think they stick as well when you wait. I also used my copper candy pot and kept the caramel in it for dipping with the stove temp on warm. The caramel stayed soft till the last apple, but had to go on with a spatula to clean out the bottom of the pot and still formed nicely to the apple. GREAT RECIPE!!!! FLAVOR IS AWESOME!!!

  99. I tried to look through all the comments to clarify this, but nobody seemed to say anything that I could see! Your butter sticks look very short–can you clarify exactly how much you used? In some states I have lived the sticks really ARE shorter and 1/4 C–but here they are 1/2 C sticks. I made these tonight, and they were yummy, but I only used 1/2 C butter just in case (because I figured it was better to err on the side of too little rather than too much). Just want to clarify for future making! 😉 Thanks!

  100. Wish I had read this earlier today!! I just got home from my daughters house where we made our first caramel apples. We bought the caramels wrapped in plastic and spent 15 minutes unwrapping all of them. We had Granny Smith and Jonathon apples. We also had mini marshmallows and chopped pecans to add to the apples. Well, they came out fine after just dipping in the caramel, then when we went to add the extras, we just couldn’t get the stuff to stick and it made a mess of the outside of the apple! I finally just took the pecans and msshed them into the apples. We used chocolate chips melted to put the chocolate on and it was so thick it was just horrid! I couldn’t used these tips earlier!! Now that I’ve found your site, I’ll check here before I cook anything new! lol Thanks, the recipe for the homemade caramel looks scumptious!

  101. Do you think this recipe would work on popcorn? What about a pound cake? Or is this just for dipping – I don’t particularly like the whole caramel apple, so I would make the caramel & then dip the cut apples in it. Would that work too? Looks heavenly!!

  102. Oh my yum. We made these last night and not only was it so much fun, the caramel is sooooo goood. Thanks for awesome, clear instructions. My husband and I make recipes almost solely from this website. Love it!

  103. I just made these for neighbor gifts and they turned out perfect! I always get nervous when cooking with a thermometer, but your directions were absolutely perfect and walked me through my thermometer induced nerves. Thank you!!

  104. Found this recipe among others …The BEST Gourmet Ingredients. ..Wow! The Ingredients makes all the difference. Never can use store caramel again…its like sitting in first class!
    Thanks for your great photos and easy instructions. .super tutorial!

  105. So I found this recipe a couple years ago. Everyone I have made them for loves them! I have made them for teachers and faculty at my kids school, teachers for Primary at church, friends, neighbors, and sent a batch to work with my Hubby to give out to workers.(actually a few batches–because they keep asking for more!) But what most recently happened is what I really wanted to share with you! I made a batch for a Young Men and Young Women fundraiser auction. I decided to put 4 on a plate and made 3 plates. Well, they auctioned off for a total of $385!! Everyone was fighting for the apples! When the bid got so high on the last plate, the guys who were both bidding for it finally just said they would each pay the same high bid of $110 each, if I would donate another plate of apples so they could both have some! It was crazy! And just so you know, I never take credit for your recipe. I always tell them it came from you and tell everyone to check out your website and your books! Thanks so much!

  106. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!! I just made some tonight and my sisters and I love them so much!! For sure my FAVORITE!! Thank you so much! 🙂

  107. Made this just now and it turned out FAB!!!! I halved the recipe, and because I didn’t have sweetened condensed milk, I used a jar of COOKED sweetened condensed milk, which I DID have on hand… which I bought at the Portuguese market down the sweet- confiture du lait, in French, and very yummy if you spoon feed yourself from the can… Watch out for that!!!

    It turned out to be PERFECT— very smooth and creamy, and a VERY DELISH taste, not like the caramel sauce I usually make from just sugar, butter, cream! This one was much richer in taste!
    Realllly loved the molasses added in for a certain flavour! Anyhow… I’m taking it over to my students’ house tomorrow to make caramel apples… I’m SURE they’ll LOVE IT!!!!

  108. Thanks so much for the recipe and all of the tips! This is the best experience I have had trying to make caramel apples. I have been in search of the perfect recipe for a long time. This is it.

    I have one question. (I scanned the previous comments and didn’t see a reference to this problem.) What causes air bubbles to form in the caramel as it is cooling on the apple? They weren’t there when I dipped, but then appeared.

    1. Candy the air bubbles will form when stirring too quick and can trap air pockets. Try stirring slowly. This has happened to me as well and hasn’t happened since.

  109. I just made this recipe, and my caramel didn’t set up at all. It’s delicious, and made a great sauce, but every topping I put on just slid right off. I cooked it to 250 degrees and let it cool to 200. Did I overcook it? That should have made it more firm, correct?

    1. You might of put the toppings on too soon.I found that even at 200 degrees is still too hot to even dip apples in. It honestly needs to set a little before doing so. I always dip a few then go back and put toppings on.

  110. I wanted to offer a quick tip to anyone having difficulty with this recipe. After making it a couple of times, a friend suggested that the brown sugar I was using may have been keeping the caramel from setting up all the way. I used generic brown sugar–that was not 100% cane sugar. As soon as I switched to 100% cane sugar it turned out perfectly.

  111. I would really love to try these recipes and read this post, but after the Bauch+Lomb pop up ad has prevented me from seeing your text FOUR times in one paragraph, I give up. I’ll try another blog.

  112. I wanted to know if I could use heavy cream instead of sweetened condensed? I really want to try this recipe so I am hoping it can be substituted

  113. Made these tonight and they were delicious! I made them a couple years ago and I had hoped this time that they were as great as I remembered them. They totally were!

  114. I am planning one of our daughters school Halloween party. I am hoping to have the kiddos make a caramel apple during one of their rotations. Do you know if this will work in the crockpot if I make it ahead of time? Thanks for always creating the best recipes!!!

  115. Just made these. The caramel tastes great but as it didn’t turn out to be gooey when it dried. It kind of turned in to moon sand…. Did I cook it too long?

  116. I ran out of time reading comments so sorry if this has already been asked.. 🙂
    If we wanted to make these for a party, is there a way to pre-make the caramel and re-heat it, or keep it warm in the crock pot? I made homemade caramel during a party once and since it’s so time consuming I missed out on a lot of party time. Just wondering if it would reheat ok or be ok in the crock pot.
    Thanks! 🙂

  117. I made these today and the caramel was so hard I couldn’t slice them with the apple slicer 🙁 Do I need to calibrate my thermometer? I’m so disappointed.

  118. Is there any way to make this caramel ahead of time and then put it in the fridge and reheat it later and do the actual dipping? Also, how quickly do you have to dip? If I wait for it to cool to 200 and then dip a few will it cool down even more and require reheating? Could I put the caramel in a crockpot to stay warm and extend the dipping time? Sorry for all the questions…we want to do caramel apples for a church function and I’m trying to figure out the best way to go about it.

    1. I made a double batch of this caramel for a party tonight, and I asked all the same questions you did. I don’t know about reheating it, but I will find out tomorrow when I reheat the bit leftover, and I can let you know. If you follow the instructions above and only cook it to 236 degrees (soft ball stage), the caramel stays easy to dip in for a long time (long enough to do 26 apples without ever having to turn on the crockpot). After cooking, I immediately transfered the caramel from the pot to a crockpot and let it cool down there. You could fit three batches in a 5 or 6 quart crockpot. It is very hot at 200 degrees, and I burned myself from a drip, so be careful with that if there will be multiple hands dipping at one time. Dipping very COLD apples is crucial, and after you dip them you have to put them right into the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to make the caramel cold, otherwise the chocolate sloughs off. I decided if I do a caramel apple party again, I will dip all the apples in caramel ahead of time and provide chilled caramel apples for everyone to dip in chocolate and candy. If you are only doing caramel and not adding other stuff, cold apples and a crockpot you can turn onto low as needed would work great. I would guess the caramel would stay useable for an hour. Longer than that and you might have to stir a little cream into the mix and turn the crockpot on for a bit.

      One more note: I was worried about the dipping chocolate hardening before we got everything dipped, but that wasn’t a problem. Having it in a crockpot would have been great, but just melting almond bark in bowls and piping bags/condiment bottles worked, too. (The condiment bottle trick was great but clogged and needed to be reheated after an hour.)

      The caramel was PERFECT and delicious. I’ve made homemade caramel many times, and this was the simplest recipe with the perfect dipping and eating texture. It is still chewy after refrigeration. Good luck!

  119. My daughter in law and I used this recipe for apples last year. Best looking and most wonderful tasting dipped apples I have ever had! And all your hints and information made us look so professional in our results, family have already asked for their Christmas apple. Thank you!!

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