Total Time
1hr 30mins
Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 0 mins

This is the best homemade caramel apple recipe I've ever used. It's from Bon Appétit, October 1999. Enjoy and try real caramel apples from scratch.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Combine first 8 ingredients in heavy 2 1/2-quart saucepan (about 3 inches deep). Stir with wooden spatula or spoon over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves (no crystals are felt when caramel is rubbed between fingers), occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, about 15 minutes.
  2. Attach clip-on candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat to medium-high; cook caramel at rolling boil until thermometer registers 236°F, stirring constantly but slowly with clean wooden spatula and occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, about 12 minutes. Pour caramel into metal bowl (do not scrape pan). Submerge thermometer bulb in caramel; cool, without stirring, to 200°F, about 20 minutes.
  3. While caramel cools, line 2 baking sheets with foil; butter foil. Push 1 chopstick into stem end of each apple. Set up decorations and melted chocolates.
  4. Holding chopstick, dip 1 apple into 200°F caramel, submerging all but very top of apple. Lift apple out, allowing excess caramel to drip back into bowl. Turn apple caramel side up and hold for several seconds to help set caramel around apple. Place coated apple on prepared foil. Repeat with remaining apples and caramel, spacing apples apart (caramel will pool on foil). If caramel becomes too thick to dip into, add 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream and briefly whisk caramel in bowl over low heat to thin.
  5. Chill apples on sheets until caramel is partially set, about 15 minutes. Lift 1 apple from foil. Using hand, press pooled caramel around apple; return to foil. Repeat with remaining apples.
  6. Firmly press decorations into caramel; return each apple to foil. Or dip caramel-coated apples into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off, then roll in nuts or candy. Or drizzle melted chocolate over caramel-coated apples and sprinkle with decorations.
  7. Chill until decorations are set, about 1 hour. Cover; chill up to 1 week.


Most Helpful

This was the best caramel ever!! I loved making this recipe and I have never made caramel before. The directions were very easy to follow and the caramel apples were delicious. My kids had a great time decorating them with reeses pieces for halloween. Thanks for a great recipe.

Cherienjeff October 29, 2010

FANTASTIC! Thank you, Food Fan, for posting this recipe! I think I misread the prep time. I doubled the recipe, and it took me and my future daughter in law 3 hours total from start to finish to produce 21 apples to the decorated stage. I only had light corn syrup, but that was my only deviation from the recipe.We rushed the decoration stage, and did not have time to chill them. For toppings, we tried coconut in addition to chocolate chips, etc. Wonderful! We took these to my son's college football game for him to hand out to his teammates on Halloween - they were a HUGE hit! Beware of trying to walk through a crowd with a tray of these, even if they are covered up with foil...small children (and some not so small) nabbed at least a half a dozen before we could get them to the foot ball players! Thank you for this fantastic recipe! It is a keeper!

flnct November 01, 2009

Yes! THIS IS THE RECIPE my friends are raving about since I shared some apples with them. RICH enough to split! These are THE best! I never have luck with the caramels you have to unwrap. Now I just need to find a great chocolate to dip them in! HEAVEN.

Two Women Otta da Kitchen October 02, 2009

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