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How to Make Professional Caramel Apples

Learn how to make professional caramel apples. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Even if you’re not a professional pastry chef. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can create delicious, show-stopping caramel apples that will have your guests raving.

The best part- It is pretty easy to make. In just under an hour, you can have 5-10 caramel apples ready for eating or gifting.

I hope you give this a try, it really is one of the easiest recipes.

What Does Caramel Taste Like?

Caramel tastes like a think and rich buttery sauce with a creamy texture that is slightly sweet. Additionally, as the caramel cools, it becomes sticky.

How to Make Professional Caramel Apples

Fall Treats Means Caramel Apples

Autumn is officially here, and that means one of the most quintessential Autumnal treats: Easy Caramel Apples. You might be intimidated by the idea of making them at home. Making caramel apples at home is surprisingly easy.

Don’t worry, I’m here to show you how it’s done. In this post, we’ll show you how to make them like a pro, with gooey, delicious caramel and toppings that will impress your friends and family. These caramel apples will look (and taste) like something you bought from a professional bakery.

Read on for our step-by-step guide!

Best Apple for Making Caramel Apples

First, let’s talk about what kind of apples are best for caramel apples. While the toppings are important, having a good apple to begin with is key to a delicious treat.

The most popular apple to use is the tart Granny Smith apple. Why? It is tart with a good crunch that compliments the sweetness of the caramel. And many bakers like the contrasting color of the green apple and the golden caramel topping colors.

In general, look for apples that have more of a sweet-tart flavor profile such as a Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Pink Lady, Fuji, or Pippin. They should be firm and of medium size.

Avoid apples that are overly sweet and those that are soft.

Pro Tip. Look for apples that are uniformly round with an even bottom. They will look nice and sit on the platter without toppling over. Additionally, choose fresh apples that are firm without spots.

Caramel Coating on apple with crushed nuts and milk chocolate

How to Make Professional Caramel Apples

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Start by prepping the apples.

Wash off any waxy coating.

Next, insert sturdy candy sticks in the middle from the top through to the bottom. I like to use the round skewers.

Set the prepared apples on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place them in the freezer to chill while you make the caramel sauce.

Pro Tip. By chilling the apples, the hot caramel will set faster, which will help the caramel adhere to the apple when you dip them in the hot caramel.

Baking Tray Prep Pro Tip. Do NOT use wax paper or aluminum foil to like your baking tray. The dipped apples are very difficult to remove from the wax paper and foil. Stick with the parchment paper.

Homemade Caramel Sauce

Make the Homemade Caramel Recipe

Use simple ingredients to make this dreamy caramel sauce. There are a few other caramel recipes that I have used; however, I keep coming back to this one. It has become one of my favorite recipes for caramel.

In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, light corn syrup, and milk. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until thickened, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla extract or other flavorings as desired.

You can use this as a homemade caramel dip for other fruits, pretzels, graham crackers, and other treats. Drizzle it over ice cream for a little indulgence.

A variety of Toppings with Drizzled Melted Chocolate

Preparing the Additional Toppings

If you plan on having a classic caramel apple, you can skip this step. However, if you want to dress your up a bit, prepare your toppings before you dip your apples I the hot caramel as this will go on top of the caramel.

This way, they will adhere nicely while the caramel sets up.

If you plan on drizzling melted chocolate over the top, get that melted and ready. Once the caramels have been placed on the parchment, it is easy to trickle on the chocolate. You can use white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate or even hazelnut chocolate. Or use a combination for more taste and visual appeal.

Pro Tip. Make the toppings smaller so you can use the stick to roll the apple back and forth through the chosen topping. So, crush things and chop them up, or use mini versions of things.

Here are some of our favorite toppings:

  • Crushed Candies
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Crushed Graham Crackers
  • Mini M & Ms
  • Crushed Pretzels
  • Finely Chopped Nuts, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, are all great choices
  • Crushed Toffee
  • Melted Marshmallow Fluff

Dip the Apples in the Caramel

Next, remove the chilled apples from the freezer and quickly dip them one at a time into the hot caramel sauce. Let the excess caramel drip off the apple. If the caramel is running off the apple, hold it upside down for 10-20 seconds until the caramel has started to set up on the cold apples.

Pro Tip. Store any leftover caramel sauce in a covered glass jar in the refrigerator up to 4 weeks.

Roll in the Prepared Toppings

Roll in any prepared toppings and place back on the parchment paper to continue setting up.

For best results, once all the apples are coated, place the tray in the refrigerator to finish setting up, about 15-20 minutes.

You have just made a delicious gourmet caramel apple.

Caramel Apple with Peanut Coating

Wrap Your Caramel Apples for Gifting

Once your homemade caramel apples are completely set, they are ready to enjoy, or you can place in a clear cellophane bag with a ribbon on top or a box for great gifts.

Serving Caramel Apples

If you are hosting a party and serving caramel apples, it is nice to have an apple slicer corer to quickly make apple slices. This way, your guests can enjoy their various flavors without getting messy.

If you like caramel apples, you may enjoy my Grandmother’s Apple Pie Recipe.

Storing Caramel Apples

Store leftover caramel apples in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to one week for ultimate freshness.

How to Make Professional Caramel Apples
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How to Make Professional Caramel Apples

Learn how to make professional caramel apples. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Even if you’re not a professional pastry chef. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can create delicious, show-stopping caramel apples that will have your guests raving.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brunch recipe, fall recipe, holiday dessert, make ahead, no-bake recipe
Servings: 5 5-10 apples
Calories: 473kcal

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Ingredients

  • 5-10 Apples Granny Smith, or Honeycrisp

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar packed in the cup
  • ½ Cup Half-and-Half can use whole milk, heavy cream, or evaporated milk
  • ½ Cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract Optional

Instructions

  • In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, light corn syrup, and milk. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until thickened, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
  • If you want to be sure that your sauce has thickened to the right consistency, use a candy thermometer and when it reaches the soft ball stage at 240 degrees F, it is done.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla extract or other flavorings as desired.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar, corn syrup and half and half using a wooden spoon. Continue cooking and stirring over medium-high heat until the caramel starts boiling. Continue to cook for 2 minutes. Insert a candy thermometer to check that it has reached the soft ball stage, 240 degrees f.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla or any other flavorings. Continue stirring until it is incorporated.
  • Next, remove the chilled apples from the freezer and quickly dip them one at a time into the hot caramel sauce. Let the excess caramel drip off the apple. If the caramel is running off the apple, hold it upside down for 10-20 seconds until the caramel has started to set up.
  • Roll in any prepared toppings and place back on the parchment paper to continue setting up.
  • Once all the apples are coated, place the tray in the refrigerator to finish setting up, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Once your apples are completely set, they are ready to enjoy, or you can place in a clear cellophane bag with a ribbon on top or a box for a gift.

Your Own Private Notes

Notes

Storing Caramel Apples

Store leftover caramel apples in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to one week for ultimate freshness.
If you plan on drizzling melted chocolate over the top, get that melted and ready. Once the caramels have been placed on the parchment, it is easy to trickle on the chocolate. You can use white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate or even hazelnut chocolate. Or use a combination for more taste and visual appeal.
Pro Tip. Make the toppings smaller so you can use the stick to roll the apple back and forth through the chosen topping. So, crush things and chop them up, or use mini versions of things.
Here are some of our favorite toppings:
  • Crushed Candies
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Crushed Graham Crackers
  • Mini M & Ms
  • Crushed Pretzels
  • Finely Chopped Nuts, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, are all great choices
  • Crushed Toffee
  • Melted Marshmallow Fluff

Nutrition

Calories: 473kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 122mg | Potassium: 289mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 89g | Vitamin A: 464IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg

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