Honey Caramel Apples

For a lot of years I was scared of anything involving a candy thermometer. It just all seemed so hard and complicated, not to mention dangerous (If you didn’t know, I tend to be a bit accident prone in the kitchen. And in life in general.) But then I tried it and discovered it wasn’t scary at all. In fact it’s the opposite (the opposite of scary being not scary. Just FYI.) Candy thermometers are super cheap and you can even usually find them at the grocery store. Or, if you’d rather get one in your pajamas, you can try a classic style or instant-read. Grab one on your next trip so you can make these apples!

I’ve made honey caramel before–it’s so easy, just a few ingredients. But I never thought to make a caramel apple with it until I saw a contributor at Everyday Magazine do it in a recent issue. I love honey, and honey caramel has a distinct honey flavor. It’s a slightly different taste combo than your normal caramel, so it’s fun to switch things up!

When say it involves just a few ingredients I’m not exaggerating. Really, only TWO main ingredients!

That’s right, honey and cream. Yum already, right? Other than that you just need a pinch of salt and a little vanilla.

Do you all remember our tip about measuring sticky stuff? Spray your measuring cup with non-stick spray first.

Then dump in the honey

and watch it magically slide right out without sticking to the sides of the measuring cup. (Please, hold your applause!)

Toss a hefty pinch of salt in there too and then bring it to a boil. That’s it! Just keep it simmering until it turns into a luscious golden caramel and then add a little vanilla.

Now it’s ready for dipping. Twirl some chilled apples in there. Red, green, as long as they’re crisp and cold they’ll be great! This would also be great to just dip cold, sliced apples in for snacking.

Chill in the fridge to set the caramel. At this point you could leave these honey caramel apples as is like I have. I think the unique flavor of the honey makes them interesting enough on their own, or you could drizzle in chocolate, roll in nuts or cookie crumbs, etc. See this post here for a great how-to.


These honey caramel apples are a snap to make - only two ingredients!

Honey Caramel Apples

This sweeter-than-honey caramel is a snap to make, and perfect for apple dipping!


  • 4 large or 6 small crisp apples, chilled in the fridge for at least 1 hour
  • 1 Cup honey
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 1 pinch salt about 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • In a heavy sauce pan over medium heat, combine cream, honey, and salt. Once warmed and whisked together, bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to a simmer (it should still be bubbling, but not so hot that is splatters all over). Stir and scrape sides of pot down occasionally until a candy thermometer reaches 260 degrees.
  • To reach 260 degrees can take about 30 minutes, so while your caramel is cooking prepare your apples. Wash and dry them and skewer them with a popsicle stick or bamboo skewer. Place in the fridge to continue chilling until ready to use. Also line a baking sheet or cutting board with waxed paper or parchment paper and set aside.
  • When caramel has reached 260 degrees, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should start thickening. You'll have to eyeball the consistency for dipping. If you'd like to help it along you can place your pot in a bowl of ice. And if it gets too hard to coat the apples, just return it to the heat until it's thin again.
  • Remove apples from fridge and dry them thoroughly with a towel. Dip in caramel, rolling and twirling each one so it gets well coated. Let excess drip off and then place on prepared sheet. Refrigerate for 10-20 minutes to set the caramel and then enjoy!


  • Great tip: Once caramel is set, you can drizzle with chocolate, roll in cookie crumbs, etc. Search for "Gourmet-Style Caramel Apples" on our site for tons of great ideas!
Author: Our Best Bites
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. What a great idea to make honey caramel apples! I can’t wait to try this one. Thanks ladies!


  2. I made these and they were delicious. Easy and wonderful – a recipe I will keep and pass on to my daughter.

  3. Sorry I've been out of town so I'm just now getting to the questions!

    Ramsey- yes, I mentioned in the post that it's great for just dipping apple slices. Just warm the caramel until it softens after setting.

    Brooke- here's the best caramel corn recipe! https://ourbestbites.com/2008/09/caramel-corn.html

    Merriam Fam- should work just fine. I'm in Boise, not too much lower than you.

    Whimsical Princess- the trick is making your your apples are 1. Dry and 2. Cold. It will definitely stick!

    Kristen- as Kate said, yes, definitely use cream!

    Leslie- I wouldn't cook it any longer than indicated. It's already at a perfect dipping consistency, in fact, when it sets, it would be too hard to dip slices, so just cook it as indicated and dip warm!

    Cindi- you just need to give it a stir occasionally, like maybe every 5-7 minutes or so. I just do stuff around my kitchen and stir it as I walk by every once and a while.

  4. So, with caramel, I usually have to stir and stir and stir. This recipe implies that I get to walk away from it all and just let it heat up. Is this really true??


  5. Oooh I'm excited about this one! I have been looking and looking for a good caramel recipe that doesn't call for corn syrup. Thanks for posting this!

  6. This looks delish!!! If you wanted a more solid caramel to dip your apples into, wouldn't you just cook it a bit longer? This would be yummy over ice cream!!!
    Cheers! Leslie
    PS Looks like you've pulled way ahead in the polls! Great job!

  7. Not a good blog for a tired, hungry, pregnant woman!!!! I am wiping up my drool after scanning about a year's worth of recipes. Can't wait to try this, that, or the other thing!

  8. I just made caramel for the first time this year. I thought it would be so difficult, but it wasn't. Can't wait to try this recipe out! Yum!! – Carrie

  9. Okay kids… so this September I did something crazy and went to work at the SE Idaho Fair. Doing what you ask? Why dipping caramel apples!

    So, I have a few pointers. To reduce that amount of pooling at the bottom of your apple, immerse the entire apple in caramel- up to the stick then run the bottom of the apple (really the bottom 1/3 of the apple) around a wooden spoon handle. It will take all the caramel off the bottom leaving gravity to cover the rest of the apple with the top portion that is left. It works great and won't leave you with a carmeless apple and a puddle of gooey goodness. 🙂

  10. Looks yummy! Love the Miller Honey–lucky me he's my dad's best friend so I've got it coming out my ears! One question–when you place the apples onto the plate, do they stick when trying to serve them? Do you let them firm up on parchment or something before putting them on the plate?

  11. Hey, Kristin! I don't have to pretend, I've been there.And I can tell you that you DEFINITELY want to use whipping cream. Don't ask. 🙂

  12. Pretend you wanted to make these caramel apples immediately but couldn't run to the store. Would whole milk be an okay substitute for the whipping cream?

  13. These look amazing! I haven't had one since I was a kid – must make these, tis the season and all!

  14. Does the caramel stay on after is stands for awhile? I made caramel apples with the squares and the caramel all slid off even in the fridge 🙁 These look really yummy!

  15. Yummy, perfect for right now. Thinking of doing Caramel Apples for kids class party so going to test this one out!

  16. Would the 260 degrees work for Utah altitude do you know? Don't know if you are at sea level or not. Sounds and looks great!

  17. Could this be used to coat popcorn for Caramel Corn, too? Would it harden enough? I need to make some for a church activity and was looking for a good, simple and yummy caramel recipe.

  18. this sounds interesting… but…

    I'm used to thick, oeey-gooey milky tasting home-made caramel. My favorite caramel apples came from a grocery store I used to work at and the caramel was actually made in the bakery. BEST. CARAMEL. EVER. They used to sell tubs of the caramel too.

    Alas, it's been a long, 13years since I've had any of that delicious-tasting, creamy, milky, home-made caramel.

  19. Spraying the measuring utensil with cooking spray first?!?!?! GENIUS!!! I really don't know why I have never thought of that. You girls rock my world.

  20. I made these last week for the girls after school. I went to an apple orchard a couple of hours away and they gave me the recipe.

  21. Okay, I just woke up, so I might be hallucinating, but does the recipe mention when to put the vanilla in?

  22. I really enjoy caramel and apples but I prefer to dip my apple slices in caramel. Could I make this recipe then store the caramel in a container and just pull it out to dip apples slices in? If so, could it also double as an ice cream topping?

  23. i have been craving caramel apples lately:-) great idea to spray the measuring cup before measuring the honey!