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caramel apple recipe

Candy Coated Caramel Apples

Caramel apples are a perfect fall treat and these are especially exciting being rolled in a variety of candy. The caramel is so full-flavored and only requires patience and stirring until it reaches the right temperature to swirl the apples.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 10 candy coated caramel apples
Calories 577kcal
Author Toni Dash


  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter
  • 2 cups Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Light Corn Syrup
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 14-ounce can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 10 wooden popsicle sticks (or sturdy lollipop sticks)
  • 10 Mixed Apples: Granny Smith and Red Apple variety
  • Candy for rolling apples SUGGESTED OPTIONS: chopped roasted peanuts, candy corn, mini M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, chopped mini Snickers Bars, chopped mini Butterfinger bars, chopped chocolate covered raisins (2 cups per topping to allow ample to roll on the apple)
  • Candy thermometer



  • Remove the apple stems and insert the sticks into the tops of the apples. NOTE: Be sure the apple is sturdy on the stick.
  • Add the candy and/or nuts to individual medium-size bowls to allow plenty of room to dip and roll the caramel apples.
  • Line a baking sheet with wax paper and spray with non-stick spray (for the dipped apples).

Making the Caramel

  • In a large saucepan over medium heat combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Stir together and allow to come to a boil.
  • Equip the pan with a candy thermometer.
  • Stir in the condensed milk and allow the mixture to keep cooking until it the mixture reaches 248 degrees (the ‘firm ball’ stage). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Coating the Apples

  • Holding an apple by the stick, inset the apple into the hot caramel and twirl the apple to fully coat.
  • Hold apple above the saucepan allowing excess caramel to drip back into the pan. Note: tipping the saucepan at a 45 degree angle may assist quick coating of the apples as well.
  • Immediately place the dipped apple into one of the candy or nut bowls, rotating the apple around to cover the surfaces desired.
  • Place the coated apple on the lined baking sheet to harden.
  • Repeat until all the apples are coated. TIP: if the caramel begin to set making dipping the apple difficult, allow the pan of caramel to sit over low heat for a few minutes to liquefy it again.

Storing and Eating Apples

  • Ideally the apples would be eaten after making them however they may be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • When eating them out of the refrigerator, allow 45 minutes to 1 hour for the apples to warm up before eating (the caramel is very hard out of the refrigerator). The apples can be eat on the stick or cut into segments.


Granny Smith apples are the traditional choice for caramel apples. I used a variety of red apples in addition to some Granny Smith and they all were delicious.


Calories: 577kcal | Carbohydrates: 117g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 206mg | Potassium: 411mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 110g | Vitamin A: 495IU | Vitamin C: 9.5mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 0.6mg