Monday, October 17, 2016

Tips for Perfect Caramel Apples

I love caramel apples! There is something about caramel apples that just screams fall to me. I love the contrast of the sweet chewy caramel with the crisp tart apple. YUM! One of the problems I've had in the past with making caramel apples is that the caramel slides off the apples. Today I'm going to share with you my secret tips for perfect caramel apples!

Tips to Perfect Caramel Apples

 Tips for Perfect Caramel Apples

Secret Tips to Perfect Caramel Apples

Tip # 1-  Remove wax from your apples

If you use store bought apples, they will come with a waxy finish. You can remove it by dipping in boiling water for just a minute or soak them in very hot water for 5-10 minutes. Dry apples completely before dipping.

Sanding the apples

Tip #2 - Have your apples at room temperature 

before dipping them into the caramel. Some people recommend chilling the apples, while others say to keep them at room temperature. I have had better experience with apples at room temperature.

Tip # 3 - Place the dipped apples on parchment paper. 

 Once dipped,  place the apples on parchment paper. It's amazing - the caramel just comes right off of it the paper. I have used wax paper before and that was a nightmare. I've also just placed them on a greased pan, which is ok. But go for the parchment paper! You don't want to lose any of that yummy caramel!

Tip #4 - Cool the dipped apples in the fridge

If you place the parchment paper on a pan before beginning, then you can easily slip the apples in the fridge once they've been dipped. This will help set the caramel and prevent the caramel from sliding off as well.

Tip #5 - Cool the caramel to 190 degrees before dipping apples

If you dip the apples as soon as the caramel is made, it will slide right off. Waiting until the caramel has cooled to about 190 degrees is ideal. The caramel will be the right temperature to set up properly on the apple. I like to try one apple and see if the caramel is setting up. If the caramel is sliding off soon after being dipped, then the caramel is still too hot - let it cool longer.

Tip #6 - Use the following recipe for the caramel

I got the recipe from a friend who is known for making and sharing caramel apples this time of year. She adds drizzled chocolate and fancy toppings. By comparison, mine are rather plain. However that's how I like them, so that's how I'm going to make them!

Tips for Homemade Caramel Apples

For printable version click here.

 Caramel Apple Recipe:

1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. corn syrup
1 {14 oz} can sweetened condensed milk
1 stick butter {not margarine}

Heat over medium-low heat until candy reaches 225. Stir while cooking, to prevent burning. But keep in mind that stirring too vigorously can cause bubbles in the caramel.
Allow to cool to 190 {about 5 minutes}.
Dip apples in caramel. Chill in fridge

If desired, drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle on chopped nuts, crushed oreos, mini chocolate chips, etc. Be sure caramel has set before adding toppings.

Yield 8-10 caramel apples.

If you have some leftover caramel place it in a greased pan. Cut and wrap and you have some caramels.
Caramel Apples - leftover caramel

This is such a versatile recipe.  In fact, this is the recipe I use at Christmas time to make caramels. You can also use it to dip the big pretzels sticks. If you cook it less{so it's a little softer}, you can make caramel popcorn with it.

Why does my caramel have bubbles?  

This question recently was asked by one of my readers, so I decided to update the post to address the issue. I have had occasional bubbles, in fact you can see a couple in the picture. Here's what I found out about why the caramel can get bubbles, and how to prevent them.

1. Apples can release gasses that can cause bubbles. 

To prevent this it is recommended to either soak the apples in very hot water for 10-15 minutes. Or dip them into boiling water for 1 minute. You will want to do this beforehand, so that your apples won't be hot when dipping. These methods will also help remove wax from store bought apples. Wax will also cause the caramel to slip off the apple.

2. Turn the apple slowly when dipping.

This is hard to do! Because we want to get all the apples dipped before the caramel gets too firm, right?  Here's another tip I learned  - If you keep a larger pan on the stove filled with boiling water, you can set your caramel pan in it to soften up the caramel a bit if needed.

3. Don't stir too vigorously

I find that stirring the caramel is necessary to prevent the caramel from scorching on the bottom of the pan. However, if stirred too vigorously, then you get a lot of air bubbles in the caramel.

Tips for Perfect Caramel Apples

Don't they look yummy? Do you have any tips for perfect caramel apples? Please share!


  1. Ah! I was just reading through the recipe, thinking how good those apple looks, when I read that you can use it for caramel popcorn. I went back and re-read the recipe and realized, that is the exact recipe I have been using to make caramel popcorn since I was 10 years old! It is absolutely the best! I can't wait to use it to make some apples. Thanks for the idea!

  2. I've been meaning to come back and ask: Lightly sand...with sandpaper?

    1. Yes. Then I washed off the apples to get any sandpaper grit off.

  3. I don't think there's anything better than a caramel apple - love them! Thank you so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout Rachel! - Trish

  4. Sand your apples??? Who would've thought of that, what a great tip! I love how perfect that caramel looks on these apples! Thanks for sharing at Iron Chef Mom!

  5. Great idea - sanding apples! Thanks!!

  6. Replies
    1. If you're referring to the can of sweetened condensed milk, I use a 14 oz. can.

  7. How many apples will this recipe coat? We are doing a fundraiser and need a LOT!!

    1. It should make 10-12 apples depending on the size of the apple. Good luck on your fundraiser!!

  8. I have never made caramel apples before. Thinking about it now I am assuming the recipe makes the actual caramel, is that correct? lol

    1. Yes, the recipe makes the caramel. I hope you enjoy them!

  9. Why did the caramel on my apples bubble after coating them?

    1. I have found that several reasons that can cause bubbles in the caramel. I have updated the post to share what I found and how to prevent bubbles.

  10. You can also use organic apples, as they are not waxed, so no need for sandpaper.

  11. I found a similar recipe but it used 2 cups of brown sugar as opposed to your method of 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup brown sugar. Could you give me your opinion of which is better? Have you tried this option to the recipe? Thanks!

    1. I have not tried all brown sugar, but I think it would work fine in this recipe. I think the main difference would be a slight difference in taste. {Although I don't think I could tell the difference unless I made one of each kind and tried it side by side.} It's basically a matter of personal preference. If you decide to make it with all brown sugar, I'd love to know what you think. Good luck in your apple dipping endeavors!

  12. In the ingredients, you say not to use margarine. Would using it affect the recipe at all? Like, the consistency of the caramel or anything? Or would it just have a slightly different taste?
    I'm not a big fan of butter... but if it's 100% necessary to the outcome of the recipe I'll get some :)

    1. I have not had good results with replacing margarine for butter in candy/caramel type recipes. I have not tried it with this specific recipe, so I'm not sure how it will affect it. However, should you try it, I would love an update on how it turned out, so others will know if margarine is an ok substitute or not. Thanks, and good luck with your apples!