Fall and Apples go hand in hand. Today I’m making Caramel Apples and want to show you all the tips and tricks to making them perfect. I’ve had a few horror stories where I ended up with naked apples but with these tips you will have beautifully covered Caramel Apples every time.

Caramel apples

This post and recipe was created for #HalloweenTreatsWeek! I was sent samples by some of the sponsor companies but as always opinions are 100% mine. This post may contain affiliate links.

Caramel Apples or Toffee apples as they are sometimes called are made by dipping a whole apple into caramel or toffee and often times also rolled with small candies or nuts. The combinations are endless this is a favorite treat at any Fall event or Halloween Party.

Caramel Apples

There are countless ideas of how to decorate an apple after it’s been dipped and of course leaving it plain with caramel is a winning idea too. A few of my favorite candies to dip are:

  • Mini M&M
  • Chopped Nuts
  • Coconut
  • Crushed Oreo Cookies
  • Crushed Heath Bars
  • Sprinkles
  • Holiday Sprinkles
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Granola
  • Peanut Butter Cups or Reeses Pieces
Toppings for Caramel Apples in bowls

There are also combination dipping too. That’s when you dip in caramel and allow it cool completely, then dip into melted chocolate or white chocolate and then dip into your favorite candy or topping. A winning combination is White Chocolate with Cinnamon and Sugar. Trust me here. It’s fantastic.

Shopping List for Caramel

I strongly recommend using quality name brand ingredients for this recipe.

Butter ~ Unsalted butter or Salted Butter and omit adding additional salt

Brown Sugar ~ I used Dixie Crystals Brown Sugar. It’s rich in taste and soft in texture with great rich results every time.

Sweetened Condensed Milk ~ Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed milk is the brand of choice.

Corn Syrup / Karo Syrup ~ Nothing but the best when making candy. Karo Light Corn Syrup for the win

Vanilla Extract ~ Pure Vanilla Extract is best

Apples ~ I love Granny Smith. Honeycrisp is also a great choice too.

Supplies Needed

  • Heavy Bottomed Pot ~ I used a 2qt pot which was perfect. Having a good thick pot makes all the difference when it comes to making caramel.
  • Digital Thermometer ~ I love my Thermopen One by Thermoworks. It’s very quick and accurate time after time.
  • Wooden Spoon OR Silicone Spatula ~ I have used both when making homemade caramel. Both work great
  • Silicone Baking Mat ~ Ideal for placing dipped apples while cooling. Caramel peels off easily from the silicone baking mat.
  • Wooden Sticks ~ Choose a good stick to insert into the apple. I like these thick round sticks.
  • Additional toppings

How to make Caramel Apples

I hope you will take the time to read these tips as they are very helpful. I’ve had plenty of failed attempts and wish I had learned these tips sooner. It’s best to do a little prep work the day before you plan on making dipped apples.

Preparation the Day before

Tip Prep: Wash apples and remove sticker barcodes. Washing under warm or hot water and drying with a towel will remove wax on the apple skins. This is important because caramel can slide off an apple covered in wax.

Tip Prep: Place washed apples in refrigerator over night. Chilling apples is very important. A chilled apple will allow the caramel to set up quicker and keep the caramel in place. On the apple where it’s intended.

Tips before beginning

Tip: Placing Sticks in apples can be difficult. Sticks should be inserted 2/3 the way through the apple into the core so it’s sturdy and solid for holding onto. I find using something hard helps push the sticks in firmly.

Tip: Place apples into freezer for 20 mins right before you plan on dipping. This tip is the key and was shared with me by my friend Amy from House of Nash Eats. It can be a little tricky on when to place the apples in the freezer but I found as the butter was melting in the pot was the perfect time to place in the freezer to chill.

Apples on a baking sheet

Tip: Cook caramel ingredients over medium heat. To me this means a 5 on my gas stove. This is not a recipe you rush. You will also need to continually stir. Have all ingredients ready and measured before you begin. You do not want to be distracted.

Tip: Measure and weigh ingredients using a kitchen scale. Making candy is a science and having the correct measurements makes all the difference.

Let’s make Caramel

Now that I’ve given you all the steps, gather the ingredients and place butter in saucepan over medium heat and allow to melt. The apples should have been washed previously and chilled in refrigerator. Sticks inserted and now is a good time to place the apples in the freezer.

Once the butter is melted, add brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and corn syrup. Gently stir to mix ingredients and continue stirring scraping bottom of pan making sure nothing sticks to the bottom. This can take anywhere for 10-15 minutes for the mixture to come to a boil. Keep Stirring!

If you are using a candy thermometer now is a good time to attach it to the side of the pot. I prefer to use the Thermopen One to check temperature. Continually stir and cook sauce until it reaches 235-240F Degrees.

Remove from heat and add Vanilla Extract and salt and stir. Mixture will boil rapidly. Stir until everything is combined and smooth. Make sure to pull apples out of the freezer at this point and allow caramel to cool to 180 to 160F degrees.

While caramel is cooling make sure to set toppings in bowls ready for the dipping fun to begin. You will not have time later. You can maintain the temperature of cooled caramel in a crock pot on the low setting. This can be helpful and allow more time to dip apples.

Dipping Apples

I prefer to dip apples at about 175 degrees. Chilled apples will cool caramel off quickly so you will need to act fast. Apples should be in the hot caramel no more than 2-3 seconds. This is a fast dip and swirl. As you dip more apples it’s easiest if you tilt the pan on it’s side and spin apple in caramel.

Once an apple is dipped in homemade caramel allow excess caramel to drop off. Scrape bottom as needed and then hold apple upright allowing caramel to cool in place for at least 30-45 seconds before placing on silicone baking sheet.

If you wish to dip in additional candies now is the time. Immediately dip into sprinkles, chopped nuts, crushed cookies, candy bar bits etc. I find it easiest to use my hand as a cup and pat apple into hand. I’m apple to apply force making sure candies stick to warm caramel. Then place on baking sheet.

Repeat with additional apples. Recipe will coat about 10 apples depending on size.

Fun Tip: Extra caramel can be placed on silicone baking sheet and shaped into a square or rectangle to cool. Once cool cut into bite size pieces with a knife. Enjoy a fun bite size caramel!

Dixie Crystals Sugar

I grew up being taught that Store Brands were less expensive and the same.  As I’ve spent more and more time in the kitchen I’ve found that quality products make big differences and using Dixie Crystals Sugar is a new favorite find.  This sugar is very fine and gives my recipes a burst of texture that I love.

Oreo Dipped Caramel Apple

What is the BEST Apple for dipping?

Hands down, Granny Smith Apples are the most popular. They are a tart firm apple which makes them ideal for dipping and enjoying with a sweet covering of caramel. Yum! Honeycrisp apples are also a great option as are Fui.

Any type of apples will work when making homemade dipped caramel apples, however the sweet caramel pairs nicely with the tart flavor of a Granny Smith Apple. Which is why this is the most popular apple to dip.

Do Caramel Apples need to be refrigerated?

Also store caramel apples in the refrigerator. This will ensure they stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. When you are ready to eat allow the apple to come to room temperature before slicing and eating. The caramel will soften and it will be delicious. It’s also a good idea to place a small piece of wax or parchment paper on the bottom which helps prevent the caramel from sticking to everything it touches.

How to keep Caramel warm?

Caramel can be placed into a Slow Cooker or Crock Pot on Low setting to keep warm. This is idea if many apples are being dipped over time.

Check out all of these great #HalloweenTreatsWeek recipes for today

Caramel Dipped Apples
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Caramel Apples

Sweet and delicious Caramel Apples with all the Tips and Tricks for perfect dipping caramel
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Dipping30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Calories: 505kcal

Ingredients

  • 8-10 Apples Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Fuji
  • 1 Cup Butter Unsalted
  • 2 Cup Brown Sugar 400g
  • 1 14oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 Cup Corn Syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoon Vanilla

Instructions

Prep

  • Wash apples in warm to hot water and dry with a towel to remove wax. Chill in refrigerator over night
  • Place sticks 2/3 the way into the core of the apple
  • Freeze Apples for 20 minutes right before dipping to ensure caramel doesn't slip off apples.

Directions

  • Measure and weigh Ingredients and gather additional supplies like thermometer, silicone baking sheet, toppings, etc
  • Over medium heat, melt butter.
  • Add brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup to melted butter and gently stir with wooden spoon or silicone spatula.
  • Continue to stir. Mixture will reach a slow boil and begin to change color. Add candy thermometer or digital thermometer. Continue to stir while boiling until mixture reaches 235F – 240F Degrees. Cook over medium heat
  • Remove from heat when mixture reaches 235-240F Degrees and add vanilla extract and salt. Stir until combined. Mixture will rapidly boil.
  • Allow caramel to cool to 180F degrees. This is the perfect dipping temperature.
  • While caramel is cooling, place toppings in small bowls. Place silicone baking sheet in cookie pan.
  • Caramel can be placed into a crock pot or slow cooker on low to maintain temperature for dipping once it has cooled.
  • Quickly dip apples in caramel, rolling apples to cover entire apple. This is a quick dip and roll process. 2-3 seconds is all it takes. The cold apple will quickly cool the hot caramel keeping it in place.
  • scrape excess caramel off the bottom of the apple.
  • Add toppings by gently rolling apple into small bits of nuts, sprinkles, cookie crumbs etc.
  • Hold stick upright and allow caramel and toppings to set for 30-45 seconds before placing on silicone baking sheet.
  • Repeat with next apple. This process is done quickly as caramel will cool with each dipped apple and become hard.
  • Allow apples to cool before cutting.
  • If store in refrigerator, Caramel dipped apples will last up to 2 weeks.

Notes

The best apple variety to use is Granny Smith.  Honeycrisp and Fuji are also good choices.
Topping Ideas
  • Mini M&M
  • Chopped Nuts
  • Coconut
  • Crushed Oreo Cookies
  • Crushed Heath Bars
  • Sprinkles
  • Holiday Sprinkles
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Granola
  • Peanut Butter Cups or Reeses Pieces
Extra caramel can be poured onto silicone baking sheet and cooled.  Cut with a sharp knife into bite size pieces.  Enjoy caramel bites.

Nutrition

Calories: 505kcal | Carbohydrates: 90g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 255mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 84g | Vitamin A: 646IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @devourdinner or tag us #devourdinner!

Welcome!!! It is almost Halloween which means it is time for this year’s #HalloweenTreatsWeek recipe and giveaway event!!

#HalloweenTreatsWeek is a yearly Halloween blogging event that is hosted by Angie from Big Bear’s Wife  & its a creepy and haunting week-long event is filled with some amazingly wicked Halloween treats, recipes and some frightfully fun giveaways.

“When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers ‘tis near Halloween.”

For the 4th annual #HalloweenTreatsWeek event we have 28 hauntingly talented bloggers that are sharing their favorite Halloween recipes throughout the week!

Follow the hashtag #HalloweenTreatsWeek on social media and look at the bottom of each post to see all of the Halloween recipes that we’re sharing!

Prize #1 from Dixie Crystals

41 Pieces Silicone Bakeware Set

3 Piece Halloween Silicone Spatula Set

Nordic Ware Haunted Skull Cakelet Pan

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to US Residents 18 years or older. All entries will be verified. No PO Boxes Please. Prizes will be sent directly from sponsor to winner, bloggers are not responsible for prizes. This giveaway runs from October 11th – October 15th at 11:59PM EST. Winners will be selected soon afterward and contacted by e-mail. Winners will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. There are a total of 1 (ONE) prize pack and therefore we will have a total of 1 (ONE) winners. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

Disclaimer: These posts and recipes are part of the week-long event, #HalloweenTreatsWeek but all opinions are 100% mine! We would like to Thank our amazing brand sponsors: Dixie Crystals that provided a prize pack for our giveaways and also sent some samples and products to the #HalloweenTreatsWeek bloggers to use in their recipes. 

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