Ultimate Caramel Apples – A Favorite Fall Treat


I know I’ve already posted these caramel apples, but since I’ve been doing this food blog nearly a year I’ve learned a few tricks about food photography so I just wanted to share some new photos. Plus these are one of my favorite treats so I figured I may as well share them again for those of you that weren’t following along last year to see them.
I’ve made these caramel apples countless times and everyone always loves them. I mean who doesn’t love a delicious, chewy, generously coated in caramel, chocolate covered, sprinkled with tasty toppings caramel apple? To take one bite is simply pure bliss. The chewy bite, the perfect texture and buttery stretch of the homemade caramel, ahhh. Words or pictures don’t do them justice.
I like to make them pretty and fancy, but if you want you can just dip and coat the entire apple with caramel. I just love having that vibrant beautiful green show through though. The natural color of fruit is just gorgeous, so why hide it? This recipe is a bit time consuming but I’m telling you it is so worth it! Once you have these you wont want to let a Fall season go by without them. If you don’t want to take the time to coat them with the chocolate and toppings then these really are amazing with caramel alone. The homemade caramel makes all the difference in a great caramel apple. It turns an ordinary caramel apple into a fancy, gourmet caramel apple. These make a great gift to give friends or loved ones. I just took them to friends and told them, Happy Fall! Who needs a holiday to celebrate =). I love Fall.
Also note that a candy thermometer is a MUST with this recipe. The caramel needs to be heated to exactly 239 degrees or it will either be too runny or too hard. If you don’t have one it’s worth the investment. You can pick one up at a local supermarket for about $10 – $15. I use mine all the time. Enjoy!



Ultimate Caramel Apples – A Favorite Fall Treat

4 from 1 vote

Yield: 10 Caramel Apples


  • 10 small Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 recipe Homemade Caramel , recipes follows
  • 12 oz . milk chocolate or white chocolate chips*
  • Assorted toppings for coating , see list below
  • 10 craft sticks or twigs

Homemade Caramel

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups corn syrup
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Insert 1 craft stick vertically through the center of each apple, set apples aside. Butter two 13x9 pans, and make enough space in the refrigerator for them to sit evenly.
  2. Prepare Homemade Caramel as directed and allow to cool about 5 - 10 minutes (until it's not incredibly runny) then immediately dip apples in caramel (note: from my experience this caramel doesn't reheat well, so with that said you basically get one chance to dip so don't let the caramel cool too long and work quickly when dipping, you may even want to have a friend help to be able work quicker). If you want to make yours to look like the ones pictured (with the apple showing through the center on top) then tilt apple when dipping and don't fully immerse apple in the caramel, then carefully swirl the apple to coat all edges. Lift apple and let some of the excess caramel drip off and run the bottom of the apple along the inside edge of the pan. Tilt apple upside down and swirl just until the caramel is about to run off, then immediately turn upright and transfer to buttered baking dish in refrigerator. Repeat process with remaining apples, be sure to space them a bit apart on baking dish so they don't stick together. Allow caramel coated apples to set in refrigerator.
  3. Heat chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl on 50% power, in 30 second intervals stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Using an icing spatula or butter knife, coat edges with melted chocolate and immediately sprinkle with desired toppings. Return to refrigerator to allow chocolate to set. Serve at room temperature and store in the refrigerator in airtight containers or Ziploc bags.
  4. *Blocks of chocolate can also be used, just chop into small, uniform pieces to ensure even melting. Also, I highly recommend using quality chocolate (chips or blocks) such as Guittard, Ghirardelli or Godiva (any of the G's =). The lower quality chips don't melt as well and tend leave that dull residue when they set.

Homemade Caramel

  1. In a large enameled cast iron pot, combine butter, sugar, corn syrup and 1 cup heavy cream. Heat mixture to a boil just over medium heat (the 6 of an electric stove), stirring frequently. Once mixture has reached a boil, stir in remaining one cup heavy cream. Then without stirring,(again just slightly over medium heat) bring mixture to exactly 239 degrees then immediately remove from heat (this should take around 20 - 25 minutes). Carefully pour caramel into a medium nonstick saucepan and stir in vanilla (transferring caramel to another pan helps it cool faster and will leave behind some of the little brown specs at the bottom of the cast iron pan. You don't have to transfer it but if you don't just allow the caramel to cool a little longer than the 10 minutes). Allow to cool 10 minutes before dipping apples.

Coating Ideas

  1. To crush, place ingredients in a ziploc bag, seal and crush with a rolling pin. I probably make these too much because I've started naming them =). When I listed the white or milk chocolate chips I'm referring the which type of melted chocolate to coat them with.
  2. Crushed Oreos with white chocolate chips - Cookies and Cream
  3. Crushed Oreos with milk chocolate chips - Cookie Fudge
  4. Crushed Butterfingers - Candy Bar Apple
  5. Chopped nuts, such as pecans, almonds or peanuts - Nutty
  6. Sliced or chopped almonds and poppy seeds with white chocolate - Almond Poppyseed
  7. Chopped dried cranberries & chopped walnuts or pecans with white chocolate chips - Christmas Apple
  8. Sprinkles - Every Kids Favorite
  9. Crushed graham crackers or graham cracker pie crust & a little cinnamon & nutmeg with white chocolate chips - Apple Pie
  10. Crushed sugar cones or waffle cones with white chocolate chips - Ice Cream Apple
  11. Chopped mini marshmallows & optional chopped nuts with milk chocolate chips - Rocky Road
  12. Crushed pretzels - Salted Caramel
  13. Crushed shortbread with milk chocolate chips - The Twix
  14. Crushed lavender & vanilla bean with white chocolate chips - The Gourmet
  15. ...or whatever else you can come up with.
  16. Recipe Source: Caramel Apples - Cooking Classy, Homemade Caramel - adapted from allrecipes.com


  • Nupur: Love the apples… Wonderful presentation .. Off course the Photos are much better this time ;) September 21, 2012 at 1:50pm Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: I’m not much of a caramel apple person but you’re totally inspiring me to give it a try! After all, how can anyone resist all those amazing toppings?! September 23, 2012 at 10:42pm Reply

  • Neha: Hi…First time on your blog…You have a awesome space here….happy to follow you…Do visit me at http://muchmorethanahomemaker.blogspot.com/ September 24, 2012 at 2:44pm Reply

  • Margaret: These look fabulous. I usually buy fancy caramel apples at a specialty store but you have inspired me to make some myself. Found you through Bundles of Blossoms on Facebook. Your new like,

    Margaret October 13, 2012 at 11:52am Reply

  • Cynthia: This is the most beautiful presentation of an apple that I’ve ever seen. Credit is due! Congrats! Your new fan :) October 27, 2012 at 11:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Cynthia for you compliment =). I’m so glad to have a new fan =). Thanks for the comments! October 30, 2012 at 12:10am Reply

  • Deb: We do not have corn syrup in Romania. Any suggestions for substitutions? October 30, 2012 at 11:18am Reply

  • courtney c: i don’t have a cast iron enameled pot. will stainless steel work, or will there be some kind of reaction? October 30, 2012 at 5:57pm Reply

  • Anonymous: Could I double this recipe, or should I just make two batches? Thanks…Jerry November 1, 2012 at 5:23pm Reply

  • Anonymous: My daughter and I have starting a Carmel Apple business. I was told that I make the best carmel apples ever. You inspired me and have encouraged me to keep going full speed ahead. I love the branch twist looks very pretty. I have many diffrent recepies but your presentation has really inlightened me. November 12, 2012 at 5:15am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks =)! That’s so nice of you to say. I would love to try all your different recipes! If you don’t mind me asking, do you have a shop/sell online? I’d love to stop by the shop if I was ever in your area =). Thanks so much for your comment! November 14, 2012 at 9:25am Reply

  • Debbie B: I am game, my children and I tend to get gourmet when we stoke up the kitchen at this time of year. We can get mini granny smith apples in Canada where we are are so I would to try this recipe and make them as special gifts or yummy appetizers at our church christmas party. Thanks so much for this idea and also for the homemade caramel recipe, I’ve never had one and always wanted to try the scratch way. November 30, 2012 at 11:19am Reply

  • Debara Ragsdale: I used honey in place of corn syrup in homemade apple caramel dip December 13, 2012 at 8:25pm Reply

  • Karen: I love it!!!!!! Thank u for all of ur ideas and ur photos, the are beautyful, God bless u!!! March 18, 2013 at 11:09pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re very welcome Karen! Thanks so much for your kind comment! March 18, 2013 at 11:16pm Reply

  • hazel grove: love you to send me the recipes for ulitmate apple carmel thank April 26, 2013 at 6:06am Reply

  • Kayla: Do you know long these can be stored in the fridge for? I was thinking of making something like this for a party and wanted to know how early i could get away with making them. June 9, 2013 at 10:13am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I like to eat them within a few days, I think they look best the first few days anyway. I’d say probably 3 days ahead would be fine. June 10, 2013 at 8:13pm Reply

  • Rachel G.: These are so cute! Where can I find the twigs? Are there twigs that are safe to use that I could get out of my yard? September 8, 2013 at 10:18pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: As far as I know, yes (unless it was some kind of poisonous plant), I’d recommend washing them though. I just found mine at a park that had lots of trees, the ground was covered with twigs so it worked out perfect because I had no idea where I could buy them :). September 14, 2013 at 8:56pm Reply

  • Michele Love: Rachel G.
    Use twigs from a citrus tree. They are not toxic. September 19, 2013 at 1:46pm Reply

  • Katie: I loved your pictures and thought the recipe listed sounded like something I could handle. However, after following the directions to the letter the caramel was way too think and just ran off of the apples. I boiled the caramel to exactly 239 degrees, transferred it to another pan, and I waited the 10 minutes. I even tried waiting just a few more minutes after the first apple, but it didn’t help. Should I let it boil to a highter temp? Any suggestions? On a good note…I was able to salvage the caramel and make sea salt turtle pecan candies, LOL! October 1, 2013 at 3:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: If it was too thick I would probably wait less time for it to cool. Did it seem thinner when it was just pulled off the burner then it thickened as it rested? I wouldn’t go to a higher temp though. October 2, 2013 at 5:37am Reply

  • mad00lini: Ok, when you say “cups” how many grammars? And what cups? Coffee cups? Tea cups? What’s the size?? October 3, 2013 at 3:17am Reply

  • Fancy Fall Candy Apples | Fancy Flours: Where Bakers Bloom: […] Caramel Apples from http://www.cookingclassy.com – I love how she used twigs instead of boring popsicle sticks!  Super […] October 4, 2013 at 9:25am Reply

  • Caramel Apples Done Right | DIY Cozy Home: […] CookingClassy – Ultimate Caramel Apples […] October 31, 2013 at 7:09am Reply


    • Jaclyn: I would recommend doing two separate batches and I’ve found that this caramel doesn’t reheat well, it tends to separate when reheated. November 10, 2013 at 8:07am Reply

  • Norma Nunez: Hi, I love the Pictures as well the caramel apples recipes. Thank you for sharing this Yummiest desert Love it :) November 17, 2013 at 12:07pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thank you Norma :)! November 17, 2013 at 1:50pm Reply

  • Alma: Hi there, this recipe looks awesome! I am hoping to do these for a fall celebration. It will be on a Sunday evening. When would you suggest I can make these and package them? How far in advance? October 19, 2014 at 8:20am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think 1 or 2 days in advance would be just fine although they should last for a week in the fridge. October 20, 2014 at 12:40am Reply

  • Linda: How do you stop the apple juice from coming out of the top where the stick is? October 28, 2014 at 5:52am Reply

    • Jaclyn: If a little comes out then I just get a paper towel and stick a corner in and it soaks it right up. November 27, 2014 at 1:07am Reply

    I HOPE YOU CAN REPLY I WANT TO TRY TO MAKE THEM. THANKS November 6, 2014 at 9:53am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thank you for the compliment Susie! I wouldn’t recommend replacing the brown sugar as it may burn. I hope you love the recipes you try! November 6, 2014 at 9:53pm Reply

  • Krista: I am making this right now. I have doubled the batch. It is taking forever to reach 239 degrees. If I increase the heat it boils over – ugh! Any recommendations??? I am hovering at 221 degrees right now with a light brown color. No stirring, right???? December 16, 2014 at 9:56am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes that’s right no stirring it does take a while to reach that temp, it’s always hard for me to have patience but I remember the results will be worth it. December 16, 2014 at 2:39pm Reply

  • Eden Passante: These look so good! Love the different layers too! October 14, 2015 at 4:58pm Reply

  • Kate: Hi,
    I’m making these for the first time for a fall baby shower, and I’m curious where you find your decorative twigs? Seems like a lot on offer on Etsy but I don’t know how safe they are to use with food…
    Thanks for the help! September 24, 2016 at 10:54am Reply

  • Patty Emert: Hi Jaclyn, I have made the Ultimate caramel apples today. I followed the recipe exactly as read, but the caramel is not a dark in color I expected and the amount butter appears to be too greasy. I had to beat the caramel after the vanilla was added to combine the butter. Is this usual this buttery? Mine aren’t as pretty as yours, but it was my first attempt. October 30, 2017 at 7:21pm Reply

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