What’s the Difference Between Caramel Apples and Candy Apples?

delicious caramel apples covered with crushed walnuts
Teri Virbickis / Shutterstock

Just in case you ever wondered if there was a difference between a candy apple and a caramel apple, we will break things down and cover the basics.

Many people use the words "sweet apple" to describe any apple immersed in a sweet and delicious coating, but we're here to clarify things. Although both sweet treats take washed apples and turn sticks before dipping them, each has its own flavors and textures. According to you, it is you who decide.

What is a caramel apple?

Although caramel is a type of candy, a caramel apple is not the same as a candy apple. The caramel apples – illustrated in the photo above – have a soft and mellow texture, and each bite brings you sweet and buttery flavors. The perfectly tart apples combined with the sweet and creamy taste of caramel make it a delicious autumn snack.

The caramel apples can be prepared in different ways, depending on the homemade caramel recipe. A basic recipe uses sugar, corn syrup, water, butter and cream, but others use ingredients like brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk.

Many choose to unpack and melt the caramel sweets for a quick and easy coating. Which one you choose depends on you.

Caramel apples are also known to be decorated and flavored with ingredients like chopped nuts, chocolate fillet and various candies.

What's a Candy Apple?

Bright red candy apples with black and white striped sticks resting on a silver tray
Arina P. Habich / Shutterstock

A candy apple is covered with a shiny red hard shell of homemade candy coating and should always be eaten with caution. The candy breaks or breaks with every bite, making it a deliciously dangerous treat to eat.

The candy apple was invented by a candy maker named William W. Kolb. While experimenting, he dipped apples in a mixture of red cinnamon. Although they are meant to attract customers around Christmas, they are now commonly eaten around Halloween.

The candy coating is made from ingredients like water, sugar, light corn syrup and red food coloring. Authentic sweet apples have a cinnamon flavor. Nowadays, most people choose to use red food coloring instead.

Just like caramel apples, once your mixture is heated to the right degree, you evenly coat your apples, let it harden, then eat.

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