Caramel Apples

Caramel Apples on parchment on rimmed baking sheet

The initial goal with this recipe was to make without corn syrup. Well, after numerous attempts, that did not work. But I did find a nice ‘organic’ corn syrup, but any corn syrup will work. See note below on corn syrups



56 cold apples (I like Granny Smith or another tart apple)

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup light corn syrup (I used organic Wholesome Corn Syrup (affiliate link)* brand)

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons salted butter, cold

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (affiliate link)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Wash the apples with soap and water, rinse well, then wipe completely dry. This will remove any wax coating and help the caramel stick. Insert heavy 6″ skewer into each apple. Place in the fridge until ready to dip.

2. Line a rimmed baking sheet (affiliate link) with a parchment or wax paper. You can also place the dipped apples in a paper muffin cup, so have those ready if using.

3. For the caramel: Combine the heavy cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, and salt in a 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir until well combined. Attach a candy thermometer (affiliate link) to the pan, making sure the tip is not touching the bottom of the pan. Gently stir until butter melts and sugar is dissolved.

4. Let the mixture cook (without stirring) and bubble until it reaches 235 degrees on the candy thermometer. This could take 10-12 minutes, or maybe less it depends on your stove. The temp heats up slowly, then it rises pretty quick, so keep your eye on it. Once at 235 degrees, immediately remove caramel from heat and pour into a 2 cup (or larger) glass measuring cup, stir in the vanilla (careful, it may spatter). Allow caramel to cool for at least 10 minutes until slightly thickened.

5. Dip the apples by holding the apple stick, dip the apple into the caramel, twirling to coat all sides of the apple. Tap it against the side of the measuring cup to let excess caramel drip off. Place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet (affiliate link). Repeat with remaining apples. Allow caramel to set, about 45-60 minutes. You can refrigerate to speed up this process. 

6. If you want, add toppings, immediately after coating in caramel and before the caramel sets, roll the caramel apples in chopped nuts, toffee pieces, mini M&Ms, sprinkles, *or coconut. I like mine fairly plain or with some coarse flaky salt sprinkled over the apples*.

7. To store, cover the leftover dipped apples and place them in the fridge for up to 1 week.

*Wholesome Corn Syrup (affiliate link) is not as highly processed as Karo, and no GMO’s. I prefer it, but Karo would work fine as well. (not sponsored, just my opinion) FYI, corn syrup is not the same as high fructose corn syrup.


Special equipment: Heavy bottomed 3-quart saucepan Candy thermometer  Wooden spoon Parchment paper and/or large paper muffin cups Thick 6″ skewers (or the flat usual sticks found in craft stores)

Keywords: Caramel apples, organic corn syrup, no high-fructose corn syrup, fall apples, caramel apple recipe with heavy cream

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