Gourmet Caramel Apples: A quick and simple guide to making your own caramel apples from scratch at home. It’s easier than you think!
Making homemade gourmet caramel apples and candy apples is an annual tradition at our house and over the years I have tried several different recipes. I finally found the perfect recipe that uses ingredients you probably have on hand.
Many people are intimidated by making homemade candy or caramel, but it’s so simple! The sweetened condensed milk in this recipe really helps protect the temperature of the caramel and makes it nearly fool proof!
- 6 large apples
- light brown sugar
- light corn syrup
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- vanilla extract
Best apples for caramel apples
My favorite is Granny Smith. There is something about the tartness of the apple with the sweetness of the toppings that makes it the perfect combination in my opinion. However, if you tend to think that Granny Smith are a bit too tart, you can try these options:
- Pink Lady
Prepping the apples
This is arguably the most important part of the recipe! It is important to clean your apples thoroughly to remove any wax. Use a produce cleaner or vinegar. After washing, dry with a clean cloth and let it sit out for a few hours before dipping. Any residual produce wax or water will prevent the caramel from sticking.
Making the caramel
The caramel will take a while to get to boiling point, but once it does…things move quickly. Be sure to have everything laid out and prepped ahead of time so that you can move quick. During the dipping phase, if the caramel becomes to thick you can place it back on the heat for it to soften up again.
You may want to dip your apples multiples times to get the desired level of thickness.
Gourmet Apple Toppings
When it comes to toppings for gourmet apples, the possibilities are endless. Check out the fruity pebbles caramel apples here. So fun!
For these apples, I wanted an elegant and timeless appeal. I also really wanted to stick to a color scheme so these are the toppings I used.
Caramel apples are best stored in the fridge and should be enjoyed within a week of making them. The apples may last longer if you do not insert the stick before dipping.
Have you made gourmet caramel apples at home before? Try this recipe and let me know what you think!
Be sure to pin this for fall, too!
- Candy Thermometer
- 6 large apples
- 1 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper and set aside.
- Wash and thoroughly dry the apples.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat stir the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk until combined.
- Bring to a boil stirring constantly and cook until a candy-thermometer read 245 degrees.
- Remove from heat and stir-in vanilla extract.
- Dip each apple into the hot caramel and immediately add toppings if desired.
- Place on prepared baking sheet and allow to cool before serving.
- The caramel will take about 25 minutes to reach desired temperature. It is important to stir it constantly in order to prevent it from burning.
- Once the caramel reaches 245 degrees things will move very quickly so keep a close eye on things.
- Move quickly when dipping the apples. If the caramel is setting too quickly put the caramel back on low heat
- Have fun with your toppings! Try sprinkles, nuts, decorative sugar, chocolate drizzle, cookie crumbs, etc.
- Make sure the apples are free of wax/polish and thoroughly dry or the caramel will slip off.