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How To Make Homemade Caramel Apples

Homemade Caramel Apples: Easy, made from scratch Caramel Apples, perfect for gift giving.

Home Made Caramel Apple Recipe: Easy, made from scratch Caramel Apples, perfect for Christmas gift giving.

Caramel apples are such a great treat.  The combination of tart crispy apple with the smooth creamy sweet caramel is a match made in heaven.  Perfect homemade caramel apples are the perfect handheld treat.  They’re especially during the fall when it’s apple season.  I love making them for special parties, and these easy caramel apples make great gifts or party favors too.

It’s Day Two of Christmas Treat Week.  Today I’m sharing my Homemade Caramel Apples. You can find all about the rest of the recipes from Christmas Treat Week at the end of this post.

Home Made Caramel Apple Recipe: Easy, made from scratch Caramel Apples, perfect for Christmas gift giving.

These are so good, and perfect for holiday gift giving.  Your family and friends are sure to love them.  And we’ve dressed these ones up for Christmas with some pretty festive sprinkles.  You can change out your sprinkles to suit whatever season or holiday your in.  We’ve made our caramel from scratch with a simple recipe.  No need to unwrap pre-bought caramel candies for ages.  This homemade caramel is cheaper, fresher, and more delicious and makes the best caramel apples.

Caramel Apples vs. Candy Apples

Caramel apples are fresh apples that have been dipped into a soft caramel coating.  When the set the caramel coating will still remain quite soft and sticky and it’s relatively easy to bite through.  If you struggle with the sticky caramel, you can cut your homemade gourmet caramel apples into wedges so that they’re easier to eat.  

Caramel apples are different than candy apples.  Candy apples have a hard candy coating on the outside.  They are traditionally red, and it can be quite difficult to bite through the hard candy coating on the outside of the apple.  If you’re looking for a candy apple recipe please check out our traditional red candy apple recipe here.  And click here if you want to see how to pink or any other color candy apples here.

how to make Caramel Apples from scratch


You can use a variety of different apples for making your caramel apple.  Lots of people like to use tart granny smith apples to contrast the flavor of the tart apples with the sweetness of the caramel.  Some people like pink lady, fuji, or honeycrisp.  You can use whatever types of apples that you prefer for this recipe.  My preference is a crisp eating apple, and not a baking apple.

Wax and Apples

No matter what variety of apple you decide to use for your caramel apple, the most important thing is that you either choose one that has not been waxed or that you remove the outer waxy coating and properly prep apples before dipping them.  Most apples from the grocery store have a waxy coating on the outside to make them look more shiny.  The wax can prevent the caramel coating from sticking properly to the dipped apples.  

The best way to avoid this problem is to purchase your apples directly from a farmer’s market, or orchard where the apples haven’t been coated.  If you can’t do that and need to get your apples at the grocery store you can remove the waxy coating.  

To clean the wax off boil a large pot of water and then turn the heat off.  Next, quickly dip your apples in the boiling the water for a few seconds, then use a kitchen towel to rub the melted wax off of the apples.  You don’t want to keep the apples in the boiling water too long because you don’t want to start the cooking process, or discolor your apples.  A quick dip in the hot water is all that’s needed to make the wax melt and allow you to clean it off with a kitchen towel.  Be sure to dry your apples before dipping, and chill them for the best results.

How To Stop Puddling

One problem that can sometimes occur when making homemade caramel apples is that caramel coating can run off the apple and puddle around the bottom.  One cause of this problem is that the apples have not had their waxy coating removed and the caramel is sliding down off of the apple and pooling at the bottom of the apple.  

To avoid this problem follow the directions above to clean off the waxy coating using hot water.  An even better solution is to purchase apples from a farmer’s market or orchard that don’t have the waxy coating added to them.  

Caramel puddling at the bottom of the apple can also be because of the temperature of your caramel when you dipped the apple.  It can be helpful to chill the apples before dipping.  If the caramel is too hot, it may run off of the apple.  It may also become too cold to dip the apple, so you want to find that sweet spot as best as you can where the caramel is not to hot to avoid excess caramel drip, but still warm enough to dip the apple into easily.

You also may have to work on your dipping technique.  You want to hold your dipped apple over the caramel pot long enough for some to drip off before placing it on the parchment paper to set.  Some people like to spin their apple slightly and some people like to dip apples and then scrape a little caramel off the bottom of the apple on the side of the pan before setting it down.  You will have to experiment a little and find what works best for you and gives you the best dip without having too much of your buttery caramel dip down around the bottom of your freshly dipped caramel apple.

Home Made Caramel Apple Recipe

Caramel Apple Topping Ideas

You can top these caramel apples with anything you like, or even just leave them plain. For these ones I used some drizzled melted chocolate and Christmas sprinkles for a real festive feel for the holidays.  Adding your favorite things to these apples as toppings takes them to the next level.  You might want to think about what the caramel apples are coated with at your favorite gourmet place like rocky mountain chocolate factory to give you some ideas for favorite toppings, like s’mores apples, or turtle apples.  

You can use just about anything small and sweet to add to these caramel apples such as:

  • milk chocolate
  • dark chocolate
  • white chocolate
  • graham crackers
  • mini marshmallows
  • M&Ms
  • mini chocolate chips
  • toffee bits
  • peanuts, almonds, cashews, or pecan pieces
  • cut up chocolate bar pieces
  • shredded coconut

Home Made Caramel Apple Recipes with chocolate and sprinkles

Yield: 8 apples

Homemade Caramel Apples

Caramel Apple Recipe: Easy, homemade Caramel Apples, perfect for Christmas gift giving, or anytime of year. Add your favourite toppings.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 8 apples
  • 8 lollipop sticks
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 7 oz. (half of a 14 oz. can) condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • optional: chocolate and sprinkles


    1. Prepare your apples by putting a lollipop stick in the middle. If your apples are from an apple orchard, you might be lucky enough to have ones that aren't coated in wax. Most grocery store apples are coated in wax, and you need to remove it so that the caramel sticks. To remove the wax, place the apples in boiling hot water for about 10 seconds, and then wipe with a paper towel. Make sure they're thoroughly dry and chilled before dipping in caramel.
    2. To make the caramel, combine butter, brown sugar, condensed milk, corn syrup and salt in a heavy saucepan. Bring it to a boil over a high heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.
    3. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
      Dip prepared cold apples, and place on a parchment paper or wax paper lined baking sheet to harden.
    4. Optional: Melt some chocolate in a ziplock bag in the microwave, and snip the corner, and pipe onto the caramel apples. Add sprinkles to the chocolate before the chocolate sets.
    5. Let harden and package in cello bags. Store in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 483Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 233mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 4gSugar: 73gProtein: 8g
easy to make Caramel Apples

These would be beautiful on a holiday dessert tray, you can cut them into apple slices for easier eating.  Or, wrap the caramel apples for gift giving.  You will love making this easy recipe for family and friends.  Feel free to experiment with different toppings and try different combinations.

easy Caramel Apple Recipe

Gift Wrapping Your Caramel Apples

Cello bags work perfectly for wrapping, a little tip -push the edges of the bag down and open it up so that you can set the caramel apple inside, without it sticking to the sides of the bag on you.

from scratch Caramel Apple Recipe

Add a little bow and some pine for a holiday touch.  Or for a birthday or different celebration try adding coordinating ribbon to match your party colors.  This recipe makes perfect caramel apples that your family and friends will love.  These are best enjoyed when they are freshly made, but you can store a few days in the refrigerator.

Home Made Caramel Apple Recipes for christmas gift giving

With this Homemade Caramel Apples Recipe for, life really is a party!

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