When I was searching for a recipe to make homemade caramel apples for the very first time, a close friend gave me this amazing and fairly easy recipe. My family and friends loved these delicious treats! Sprinkle with nuts or whatever you desire while the caramel is still warm (work quickly, the caramel sets VERY fast).

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
30 mins
additional:
1 hr
total:
2 hrs
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 caramel apples
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Dip apples in boiling water for a few seconds, then dry with paper towels to remove any wax from the peels. Set apples aside; when completely cool, insert a wooden chopstick firmly into the bottom of each apple for a handle.

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  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Stir butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk together in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and reduce heat to medium. Cook until a candy thermometer reads 248 degrees F (120 degrees C), 25 to 30 minutes; stir constantly to prevent burning. A teaspoon of the syrup, dropped in a glass of cold water, should form a firm ball. Remove caramel from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

  • Working quickly, dip each apple into the hot caramel to completely coat the apple and about 1/2 inch of the wooden handle. Sprinkle apples with any desired toppings while still hot. Let caramel apples cool on the parchment paper. Use caution, caramel is very hot.

Cook's Note:

Because the caramel requires constant attention when cooking and you will be in a hurry when coating the apples, prep everything beforehand. Have your parchment paper laid out, your toppings ready in bowls, etc. Also, each stove differs as far as temperature and how long you will need to cook caramel. It only took 21 minutes for me, but took a friend 39 minutes, so it can vary greatly.

Nutrition Facts

799 calories; protein 4.7g 10% DV; carbohydrates 141.5g 46% DV; fat 27.6g 43% DV; cholesterol 77.7mg 26% DV; sodium 268.7mg 11% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (107)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
11/04/2012
Here are some things I've learned while making these caramel apples. 1. If the caramel is not sticking properly, you need to heat caramel up again to 248. The caramel will stick perfectly until it starts to cool then the butter separates and it will not stick. It really is useful working with a candy thermometer because you can monitor the temperature closely. With one of the batches I overheated the caramel when reheating and it turned into hard toffee. 2. Placing apples in the boiling water made them seep juice, will try them without following that step the next time. I had many extra apples and kept them near a cool door, that made the caramel hard but once it was placed in a warm room they started to soften again. Definitely worth trying, flavor is far superior compared to store purchased caramels. Also, it is useful to have a helper hold dipped apples upright to cool a moment before placing on parchment otherwise you will have the hot caramel puddle. Read More
(69)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
10/22/2012
Sorry but the caramel slid right off the apples. I even took it off right as it reached 120 degrees C. Picture shows the best we got. You can see how the thick caramel pooled at the bottom. The opposite side of the apples is completly not covered with any caramel at all. Read More
(34)
119 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 91
  • 4 star values: 16
  • 3 star values: 6
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 4 stars
11/04/2012
Here are some things I've learned while making these caramel apples. 1. If the caramel is not sticking properly, you need to heat caramel up again to 248. The caramel will stick perfectly until it starts to cool then the butter separates and it will not stick. It really is useful working with a candy thermometer because you can monitor the temperature closely. With one of the batches I overheated the caramel when reheating and it turned into hard toffee. 2. Placing apples in the boiling water made them seep juice, will try them without following that step the next time. I had many extra apples and kept them near a cool door, that made the caramel hard but once it was placed in a warm room they started to soften again. Definitely worth trying, flavor is far superior compared to store purchased caramels. Also, it is useful to have a helper hold dipped apples upright to cool a moment before placing on parchment otherwise you will have the hot caramel puddle. Read More
(69)
Rating: 1 stars
10/22/2012
Sorry but the caramel slid right off the apples. I even took it off right as it reached 120 degrees C. Picture shows the best we got. You can see how the thick caramel pooled at the bottom. The opposite side of the apples is completly not covered with any caramel at all. Read More
(34)
Rating: 5 stars
10/19/2012
I was very impressed with this recipe! The consistency was wonderful and coated the apples beautifully. I also made sure to twirl the apples on the bottom of the pot (held at an angle) to remove any excess caramel. As written, it made enough to coat 12 medium apples and have enough left over to fill a small jelly jar (For spoon-fulls later ;) I get frustrated when searching for recipes only to find them calling for melting caramel candies. I rarely try recipes that have so few reviews, but this was definitely worth the try! Thank you for the great recipe! Read More
(27)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/04/2012
I loved these! So much easier to make than I would have guessed. I made sure to drop my apples in boiling water for a bit and dry them off really well letting them get nice and cool before i dipped them in the caramel. I think I over cooked the caramel just a tad - I did not have a candy thermometer! But I used a knife and cut slices and it was every bit as delicious and not as messy! LOL I used Karo Light Corn Syrup but I think i would like to try it with Karo Dark syrup. Read More
(25)
Rating: 4 stars
10/26/2012
Yum-o! So good followed everything except (I know I hate when people do this) I didn't dip apples in boiling water and I didn't have sweetened condensed milk. I subbed 1/4 cup 2% milk and it worked beautifully on the apples. Will definitely use again I would have given it a 5 but I didn't follow everything as listed so I can't really. Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
09/21/2014
We used to drive 30 minutes to an orchard for their caramel apples because I hadnt found a recipe that was as good as the orchards. I found this recipe last year and the caramel tastes exactly the same. I had to figure out how to get the right technique down to get a nicely covered apple but I have it down. Once the caramel is done let it sit for about 5 minutes then use room temperature apples and roll the apple for about 10 seconds in the caramel and then pull it out of the caramel and let the caramel come off and roll it a bit. Place the apple on sugared parchment paper if you are making plain caramel apples. AWESOME...just made them tonight (first batch of the season) and the kids loved it! Read More
(15)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/07/2012
I Love what the ingredients produce. You can tell it will taste creamy. Excellent directions and foot note! Read More
(14)
Rating: 4 stars
11/25/2012
This took quite a long time to get to temperature because I was afraid to burn it. I used organic apples washed with vinegar and did not dip them in boiling water. The apples taste pretty good and the caramel stuck fine but even better I had quite a bit of caramel left over so I poured it in a 8X8 square pan lined with parchment paper put semi-sweet chocolate chips on it while it was still hot along with pecans and a bit of sea salt. That is really good! Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
10/24/2012
it is the best recipe ever!!! just finished making them and they look fantastic.... thanks for the tip in step #3 I didn't have a candy thermometer so I just kept cheking my caramel by dropping a bit in cold water and sure enough when the ball formed I turned it off and it was done I also didn't have vanilla extract on hand so I left it out and it still has an amazing taste... can't wait to try it next time with the vanilla extract and the different topping variations thanks!!!!! Read More
(10)