The Best Caramel Apple Recipe

Okay, you could melt Kraft caramels and dip apples in them or buy caramel apples at your local school fundraiser (both are great options), but how about making really homemade, from scratch caramel apples… Mmmmmm. There’s nothing like it. And your kids can get involved by rolling the apples in toppings before they set up!


My family has tried so many caramel apple recipes over the years, with many failures. Sometimes the caramel coating would turn rock hard and be impossible to cut, let alone bite… sometimes the caramel would slide right off the apple when dipping… sometimes they just plain tasted bad. But I have great news! We found the best caramel apple recipe ever; it’s super easy and absolutely delicious.

Here’s what you need to make the best homemade caramel apples:

  • Candy thermometer (don’t have one? you can pick one up at your local hardware store for a couple dollars)
  • Wooden sticks (I have found these at the grocery store, you don’t need anything fancy)
  • Tart apples (empire, jonathan, mcintosh, rome, etc)
  • Ingredients: butter, brown sugar, light corn syrup, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla

I don’t want to steal the thunder from the recipe’s author, so… Click here for the best caramel apple recipe of all time!

Here is what I have learned from experience with the recipe:

  • Use a 2-qt. saucepan. The caramel will come close to the top when it is cooking, but it doesn’t spill over and it’s much easier to dip the apples when the caramel is deeper in the pan.
  • Cook on medium heat and stir constantly.
  • Don’t get discouraged when the temperature stays around 233 degrees for a while. This is called the phase transition and while it looks like nothing is happening and you did something wrong, a lot is going on in the caramel mixture and it will make it to the target temperature after it passes this phase.
  • Take the caramel off the heat when it reaches 246 degrees. It will continue to rise in temperature when you take it off the burner so if you undershoot the temperature a bit the caramel won’t get too hard as it cools.
  • It says to butter the wax paper generously, but I just rub the stick of butter across the paper and it works great.

Still haven’t gone apple picking? Check out the apple orchard list! This is one of the best lists yet, with a map to help you figure out what area you want to travel to, days and times they are open, and description of what you will find there… activities, rides, or a quiet orchard experience.

We haven’t been able to go yet. :( But I’m soooo looking forward to picking, especially after seeing these caramel apples again!


About the Author

Annie Tandy
Annie loves making great memories with her kids and started Kidlist in 2011 so she can help others do the same! Besides finding fun and exciting things to do, Annie and her kids enjoy caring for their chickens and hanging out with them in the backyard. Click here to read about Annie's chickens and see pictures! She also finds joy in gardening, home improvement projects, knitting, soap making, and painting along with being active in her community, church, and as a board member of the Western Springs Business Association. Click here to follow Annie on Instagram.

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