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Hi Bold Bakers!
As Halloween approaches, one sticky dessert is on my mind: homemade caramel apples. And this caramel apple recipe isn’t like your typical one (one where you melt down premade caramel and dip, or one where you make your own caramel out of sugar.) My recipe is for honey caramel apples.
Honey caramel has a very distinct honey-taste, and pairs with in-season crisp apples perfectly! An added touch of finely chopped, toasted peanuts helps offset the incredible sweetness of the caramel as well, but it is optional!
Don’t let making caramel intimidate you! I highly, highly, highly recommend getting a candy thermometer — it will make this candy-making process so easy.
What Are Caramel Apples?
Did you know that caramel apples weren’t invented until 1950? How is that they’re the essential county fair and Halloween treat they are today with such a short history?
Because apples dipped in caramel is delicious, obviously.
What’s the difference between a caramel apple and a taffy apple? Sometimes, if you decorate your caramel apple with other ingredients, like nut toppings or crushed pretzels, they’re referred to as a taffy apple.
The Apples You Should Use
Typically, Granny Smith apples are used because of their delightful tartness. However, I say use whatever kind is your favorite!
What You Need To Make Caramel Apples
- Candy thermometer
- Measuring cups
- Heavy-bottomed saucepan
- Popsicle sticks
- Parchment paper-lined pan
How To Make Caramel Apples
Making these, and letting the kids have the fun of decorating them, might be your new Halloween tradition! Here’s how you do it (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):
- Combine cream and honey in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
- Insert a candy thermometer and allow the mixture to simmer until the temperature reaches 260°F (127°C). This should take around 35-45 minutes. It takes time, but it is essential to wait, or else the caramel won’t set. Stir the mixture as it simmers, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- While the cream and honey are simmering, prep your apples, insert a popsicle stick into the stem end of the apples, and place on a parchment paper-lined pan.
- When the caramel reaches 260°F (127°C), remove from heat and let it cool and thicken for about 2 minutes.
- Dipping time! Dip your apples into the caramel to coat. If using, roll the caramel-dipped apple into chopped peanuts. Place back on the parchment to set and repeat with remaining apples.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Caramel Apples
- Be sure to scrub your apples before you use them to remove any wax or coating.
- Granny Smiths are the go-to apples for caramel apples, but I say use whatever you prefer.
- You MUST use a candy thermometer with this recipe to make sure the caramel reaches the correct temperature.
- Try other toasted nuts: pecans, walnuts, or whatever your favorite nut is!
- Get creative! Roll your apples in coconut flakes, chocolate chips, sprinkles, or granola!
Make More Recipes!
And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!
Full (and printable) recipe below!
Watch The Recipe Video!
Homemade Caramel Apples Recipe
- 1 cup (8floz/225ml) heavy cream
- 1 cup (10oz/283g) honey
- 6 popsicle sticks
- 6 apples washed and dried thoroughly
- 1 cup (5oz/142g) finely chopped toasted peanuts (optional)
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and honey. Bring to a simmer.
- Insert a candy thermometer and let simmer until the temperature reaches 260°F (127°C). This will take about 35-45 minutes but you have to wait or your caramel won't set. You can stir the caramel as it simmers so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
- While the cream and honey are simmering, prepare the apples: press a popsicle stick into the stem end of the apples, place on a parchment-lined pan, and set aside until ready to dip.
- When the caramel reaches 260°F/127°C and no sooner, remove from the heat and let cool and thicken for about 2 minutes.
- Dip the apples in the caramel to coat, roll in the chopped peanuts (if using), and place back on the parchment to set.
- Store caramel apples in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days.