These homemade caramel apples look so impressive, but are quite easy to make. Dip your apples in melted chocolate and roll them in toppings such as nuts and candy for gourmet apples that make the perfect dessert or gift.
Whenever I visit a candy shop, I find myself drawn to the fancy caramel apples. I can’t resist all those layers of chocolate and caramel and nuts! Store bought gourmet caramel covered apples can be on the pricey side, but you can easily make them at home for a fraction of the cost.
How do you make caramel apples?
This recipe starts with store bought caramels, which are melted with some heavy cream to make a caramel sauce to dip the apples in. I find that it’s much easier to use store bought caramels instead of trying to make your own caramel sauce. You need specialty equipment such as a candy thermometer to make caramel sauce from scratch, and if you’re not paying close attention, you can over cook or under cook your caramel. When you use store bought caramels, you take all those factors out of the equation and this becomes a fool proof recipe!
Tips for caramel apples
- I typically use Granny Smith apples, but you can use other varieties if you prefer such as Fuji, Braeburn, Gala or Pink Lady.
- I like to use candy melts instead of chocolate chips to dip my apples in. Candy melts are much easier to work with because they melt into a thin mixture and they won’t get that gray bloom on them when they dry like chocolate chips. I recommend Ghirardelli melting wafers because they taste like real chocolate.
- You can use anything you like for your apple toppings – some of my favorites include chopped nuts, crushed Oreo cookies, mini M&M’s, toffee bits, mini marshmallows and peanut butter cups.
- I bought candy sticks at my local store to use for my apples, if you can’t find candy sticks you can use popsicle sticks instead.
How long do caramel apples last?
You can keep whole caramel coated apples wrapped in the fridge for up to one week. After you cut into the apples, I recommend eating them right away as the apple flesh will turn brown when it is exposed to air.
How do you remove wax from apple skin?
One of the tricks to making perfect apples is to ensure that your apples are very clean before you dip them in caramel. If your apples are coated in wax, the caramel coating can slide right off! I find that the best way to remove the wax from apples is to scrub them with a soft brush under very hot water. The hot water melts the wax and the brush removes any residue.
How do you wrap caramel apples without sticking?
I find that it’s easiest to chill your apples before you try to wrap them up. Chilling the apples makes the caramel coating hard and less likely to stick to wrapping. I loosely wrap my apples with clear cellophane and tie them with a ribbon for a festive presentation.
Once you make caramel covered apples at home, you won’t be tempted to buy them at the candy store any more! It’s a fun and creative project do with the kids, and the end results are totally delicious.
More sweet treats
- Peanut Brittle
- Chocolate Covered Oreos
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
- Chocolate Covered Cherries
- Rocky Road Fudge
- 4 lollipop or wooden craft sticks
- 4 Granny Smith apples stems removed
- 11 ounce package of caramels unwrapped
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream can also use water
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips or candy melts white, dark or milk chocolate, or a combination
- 1 cup assorted toppings such as chopped nuts and candies
- Scrub each apple under very hot running water to remove any wax coating. Dry each apple.
- Line tray or baking sheet with wax paper. Insert 1 stick into stem end of each apple.
- Microwave caramels and cream in large, microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute; stir. Microwave in additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth.
- Dip each apple in melted caramel; scrape excess caramel from bottoms.
- Place each apple on the baking sheet. Chill until set, about 30 minutes.
- Heat the chocolate or candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments until melted, stir until smooth.
- Dip each apple halfway into the chocolate, letting excess chocolate drip off. Roll each apple into selected toppings.
- Chill until apples are completely set, then serve, or store in the refrigerator covered for up to one week.
This post was originally published on October 5, 2016 and was updated on May 23, 2019 with new content.