Skip the Store-Bought Caramel Apples: It’s Easy to Make Them at Home

Woman dipping apply in bowl of melted caramel
Aquarius Studio / Shutterstock

Biting into a crunchy caramel apple is one of the greatest pleasures of autumn. Learn how to make caramel apples by following these easy steps.

There are many ways to make caramel apples at home. Let's be clear: we are talking about butter-covered caramel-covered apples that will cover your teeth with every bite, not the bright red apples coated with hard candy that could send you to the dentist. For a glimpse of the difference, Check out this quick peek at caramel and candy apples.

How to make caramel apples

Making caramel apples is a fun tradition in the fall in many homes, but if you have not tried it yet, we'll guide you through the steps. Whether you're baking your apples or choosing delicious Halloween trimmings, we have something delicious to try.

Making caramel apples is not a very heavy task, but you need a few things:

  • A candy thermometer: Depending on the recipe you choose, you may need to a candy thermometer to make sure your caramel sauce is at the right temperature.
  • Pacifier or popsicle sticks: You will need to pierce your apples after removing the stem to create a handle for this sweet treat. Sturdy skewers, chopsticks or sticks from outside also make the case. If you want your apples to look as professional as possible, you can always buy big bamboo skewers made especially for this task.

Supplies in hand, you are ready to prepare!

Prepare the apples

Place a skewer in an apple
Emilee Unterkoefler

Wash your apples well to remove all wax from the skin, then dry thoroughly before soaking. Cortland, Empire and Granny Smith apples are all popular for this delicious snack.

Remove the stems and use an ice lollipop stick, lollipop stick or skewer to pierce the apple as a way to keep your delight. You will want to drill the section of the apple where you just removed the stem.

Prepare the cooling station

Butter the parchment paper generously (apples in the background)
Emilee Unterkoefler

Place a piece of baking paper on a large baking sheet. Using butter at room temperature, generously grease your parchment paper. The butter will help keep the caramel apples from sticking after being placed on the parchment paper.

Set up the delightful decoration station

Separate bowls of decorative ingredients, including sprinkles, sweet corn, chocolate chips and M & M's
Emilee Unterkoefler

You can dazzle your apples in many ways soon after you have coated them with caramel. You want to choose the fillings you want to use in advance, so that they are ready for use once your apples have been soaked and slightly cooled.

Once you have chosen your favorite embellishments, prepare them by placing each one in its own bowl. Once you have coated your apples, sprinkle or dip them with these delicious decorations.

Heat the caramel sauce

You can prepare caramel sauce in many ways, depending on the ingredients available or the time you want to spend. We have included three recipes to show you the different varieties of caramel sauces that you can prepare.

Caramel sauce using melted caramel sweets: For a quick and easy caramel sauce using melted caramel sweets, check out this recipe. Involve the children by having them unpack each piece. Just add a few tablespoons of milk, warm it up in the microwave and your dipping sauce will be ready for use.

Get the recipe: All recipes

Homemade Caramel Sauce: If you want to cook your caramel sauce, you'll love the taste that this popular recipe highlights in every bite. By combining butter, brown sugar, vanilla and some other ingredients, this sauce is the perfect rich and delicious coating.

We used this recipe to create the images of this tutorial.

Get the recipe:

Another homemade caramel sauce: This caramel sauce uses a few different ingredients like thick cream, sugar and molasses, but the result is very good too.

Get the recipe: Simply recipes

Although the three recipes are delicious, each is special in its own way.

Dip the apples

Dip apples in a caramel sauce
Emilee Unterkoefler

After making your caramel sauce, transfer it to a bowl at room temperature. By placing hot caramel in a separate bowl, you will help cool and thicken your sauce. It is also a precautionary measure so that you do not burn your hands when soaking your apples.

Delicately dip one apple at a time in the caramel sauce. Turn and turn your apple so that it is completely coated, but leave a little apple near the stick.

Pull the apple up and let the excess caramel come back into the bowl.

Cool the apples, then decorate

After dipping an apple, transfer it to the cookie sheet with the generously greased parchment paper. Once all the apples have been coated and transferred, place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for about ten minutes.

This will help cool the caramel just enough so that the ornaments and tasty decorations stay well glued.

You can roll your apple in a bowl containing the decoration of your choice or sprinkle it. Grab your favorite chocolate bar and crush it or choose chopped nuts as a coating. The possibilities are limitless.

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