Caramel Apples

These caramel apples are enrobed in a buttery caramel coating made with butter, sugar, cream, maple syrup, and dark molasses. A great Halloween treat for the kids.

A metal tray with 4 caramel apples, with natural sticks as handles, two more apples on the table

Sweet. Sticky. Crisp. Gooey. Gonna go back for another one. These are the sorts of things that meander through our thoughts as we lose ourselves in the autumnal classic from childhood that still satiates, no matter the age. Go on. Try one. We dare you to defy the urge. Originally published October 26, 2011.Renee Schettler Rossi

How To Create Handsome Handles For Your Caramel Apples

For decades now, plain old popsicle sticks have done a pretty decent job of maneuvering caramel-cloaked apple goodness from baking sheet to anxiously awaiting lips. Although if you’re taken with aesthetics and prefer something that does more than just squeaks by for practicality’s sake, gather some actual sticks–yes, as in twigs. (Just be sure not to pick them up from a compost pile or near where animals play.)  Then rinse and pat them dry, grab a pocket or paring knife and hew one end to a sharp-but-not-too-terribly sharp point, then insert them in the stem end of the apples. Lovely, yes?

Caramel Apples

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 30 M
  • Makes 10 to 12

Special Equipment: 10 to 12 popsicle sticks or twigs sharpened to a point at one end

5/5 - 1 reviews
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  • 10 to 12 medium apples, preferably with some tartness, such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or McIntosh
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 oz)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap or other dark molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt


  • 1. To make the caramel apples, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Butter the foil or paper lightly or line it with a nonstick liner. Insert a stick into each apple at the stem end. (I use the bottom of a heavy mug to “hammer” in the sticks, but be careful not to drive the handle all the way through the apple.) Set aside.
  • 2. In a deep, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, butter, cream, corn syrup, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla, and salt. Stir gently with a wooden spoon from time to time to make sure no sugar is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture registers 236° F (113°C) on a thermometer, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • 3. Remove the pan from the heat and let the caramel cool to 180°F (82°C). Working with one apple at a time, dip it into the hot caramel, let the excess drip off the bottom of the apple, and then set it on the prepared baking sheet. If the caramel slides off the first apple, let the rest of the caramel in the pan cool for a minute or so and try again. The caramel should cling to the apple. You may need to tilt the pan to dip the last few apples. (To free your hands, place a wooden spoon under one side of the pan.)
  • 4. Let the caramel apples cool completely to set up. The apples will keep, uncovered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. (But who are we kidding? They’ll never last that long.)

Devilishly Dark Caramel Apples

  • To achieve a devilishly dark caramel apple, add the teeniest drop of black food gel to the caramel and swirl or stir until no streaks remain before dipping apples.

Recipe Testers Reviews

These were delicious! The addition of molasses gave the caramel a depth that is not usually present in a caramel apple. I was able to purchase some fresh beautiful apples and maple syrup at the farmer’s market.

My apples were a bit smaller than what was called for in the recipe, and I probably could have made a few more with the extra caramel I had left, but I had run out of sticks. I used the remainder as a dip for apple slices. I will be making this again!


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  1. I would like to tell you that this recipe is absolutely delicious! I tried it over the weekend and it turned out perfectly. You really did a great job of presenting everything that needed to be done – and the pictures you post make it impossible to not try this yourself!!

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