Food Gardening Network
Caramel apples

Caramel Apples

Bring the feel of a country fair to your next picnic or outdoor party! Kids and grownups alike will appreciate that delicious balance of sweet and tart in a dessert that doesn’t even need a plate. Dress your caramel apples up by rolling them in your choice of toppings before you put them aside to chill and set, or leave them plain. There’s no wrong way to serve up a taste of childhood!




  1. Wash your apples thoroughly and dry them. If you’re using store-bought apples, they’ve probably been waxed. In that case, soak them in very hot water for about 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and dry.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Skewer each apple with a craft stick or candy stick. Line apples up on the parchment-lined baking sheet and put in the freezer while you’re making your caramel. If you don’t have enough room in the freezer, the fridge will do.
  4. Melt your butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  5. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk.
  6. Continue to stir over medium-high heat until the caramel reaches a temperature of 235 to 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer; stir constantly to keep the caramel from burning on the bottom of the pan.
  7. When the caramel has reached the right temperature, remove it from the pan immediately and add the vanilla. Stir gently until the vanilla is fully mixed in.
  8. Take your chilled apples out of the freezer (or fridge).
  9. One at a time, dip an apple into the caramel, turning as you go. Let the excess caramel drip off.
  10. If you want to add toppings to your apple, now’s the time. Roll them in whatever topping you like—chocolate, crushed nuts, or marshmallow pieces.
  11. Hold the apple upside down for a minute to let the remaining caramel slide down a bit toward the stick and to give it a chance to set up.
  12. Place coated apple right-side up on the parchment paper.
  13. Repeat the dipping/twisting/flipping process until you run out of apples and caramel.
  14. Put apples in the fridge for 15 minutes to let the caramel set up completely.
  15. If you’re serving these to a group and not wrapping them as gifts, cover the pan with plastic wrap until it’s time to serve them. Eat within a week.