Looking for the perfect Caramel Apple recipe? You’ve come to the right place. The ultimate dipping caramel ready in 15 minutes or less. This iconic sweet treat is a must this season!
Caramel Apples at last. Getting to the point of holding a perfect caramel apple in my hand was quite the ordeal. Batch number 1 involved burned caramel (always use a thermometer) and standing on my chair whilst waving a towel at my smoke detector. Our kitties were less than amused and neither was I.
The second batch decided to turn into a grainy mess and started to slip right off of my apples. Frustration levels were high. Very high.
I never got around to making caramel apples last year and as I was at the brink of giving up, I took another glance at my list of things to make. I couldn’t bear to see caramel apples still on said list waiting to be made the following year. It simply had to happen NOW.
I finally decided to ditch the new, fast, and so-called “easy” caramel recipes I had been playing with and went the traditional route. And guess what? Batch number 3 was what I call perfection. And even though it might seem a bit more involved than other recipes out there, it actually was quite simple, easy, and fairly quick. Who would have thought?
Gorgeous Caramel Apples were so worth 3 attempts!
And just to be sure, I actually made this recipe twice. Tried, tested and true. The second time around was just as wonderful and successful as the first. I’m not going to lie. It felt pretty great to have conquered something I didn’t even know was such a challenge for me. You better believe I enjoyed the fruits of my labor. Pun totally intended.
I was looking for shiny caramel apples that once set could still be easily cut. Dipping the apples in chocolate and going sprinkle crazy was inevitable. Once dipped into the caramel, you could totally skip the chocolate-dipping process and add any toppings of your choice directly to the caramel apples. Since waiting for the caramel to harden before dipping the apples in chocolate, it will definitely save time not to take that extra step. Totally up to you, of course. I think they’re beautiful and extremely tasty either way.
Before I let you go on to the recipe, here are 7 tips to help you achieve those perfect apples:
- Wash your apples thoroughly. Make sure the wax layer (if they have one) is mostly gone.
- Use cold apples. A cold apple will help the caramel set quicker.
- Prepare everything before you start making the caramel. Insert craft sticks vertically into apples (and keep them in the fridge until they’re ready to be dipped), line a baking sheet with parchment paper, measure ingredients, etc.
- Use a candy thermometer. The caramel needs to be heated to exactly the temperatures as noted.
- Work quickly. Once the caramel is ready, dip your apples immediately in the caramel and as fast as you can. In order to get a smooth and even coating, it works best to dip the apples while the caramel is mostly hot and on the runnier side. If you don’t manage to dip all of your apples in time, you can always reheat the caramel. Just make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
- Let drip and then flip. Once the apple is evenly coated, let as much caramel as possible drip off. Flip apple upside down and hold for a minute or so before placing it on the prepared baking sheet. This helps the caramel set more evenly and prevents that “caramel foot”.
- Decorate to your heart’s content and have fun with them. Always remember that taste is more important than looks ;).
Enjoy, friends! Happy Hump Day!
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup granulated or brown sugar
- 5-6 apples, depending on size
- popsicle or craft sticks
- 1 cup white chocolate, optional
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate, optional
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- sprinkles, optional
- chopped candies (of your choice), optional
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place in the fridge. Prepare apples, insert sticks, and return to the fridge. Measure ingredients for the caramel and prepare desired toppings.
- 1. Combine the butter and heavy cream in a bowl and heat in a microwave until butter is completely melted. Set aside.
- 2. In a small saucepan, combine the water and corn syrup. Slowly and gently add the sugar, being careful not to splatter it one the sides of the pan. Using a fork, stir the sugar mixture until sugar is incorporated (being careful again not to splatter any of the mixture up the sides of the pan). Heat over medium-high until the mixture comes to a boil. Once boiling, place the lid over the pot for 1 minute to accumulate steam that will melt any potential sugar crystals. Attach the candy thermometer to the side of the pan and don't stir the mixture (only use the candy thermometer to stir if you feel the need to). Continue cooking the mixture until it reaches 320 degrees F, about 6-8 minutes. Once the temperature reaches 320 degrees, you will notice that the mixture turns to a golden color. This is a good sign!
- 2. Slowly add a quarter of the butter and cream mixture to the pan. The liquid will start to bubble up, but don't worry, it will go back down within seconds. Stir with the candy thermometer. Continue adding the butter and cream mixture in quarters until all of it is fully incorporated.
- 3. Bring the temperature back to 240 degrees F. As soon as the caramel reaches the desired temperature, remove from the heat and start dipping your apples.
- Tilt each apple when dipping and don't fully immerse apple in the caramel (you want some apple to be showing), then carefully swirl the apple to coat evenly. Remove apple and let some of the excess caramel drip off. Flip apple upside down and swirl for 45-60 seconds, then immediately turn upright (now coat with desired toppings if you want to skip the chocolate-dipping process) and transfer to the prepared baking sheet in the fridge. Repeat process. Make sure to space them a bit apart so they don't stick together. Allow caramel coated apples to set in refrigerator before dipping them in the chocolate.
- 4. Melt white and semisweet chocolate in two separate bowls in 30 second increments in the microwave until melted. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to each bowl and stir to incorporate. Dip desired amount of apples into the melted chocolate, dip in sprinkles or candy pieces, drizzle with additional chocolate, etc. Return apples to the fridge until chocolate is set. Store apples in airtight containers.