Caramel apples are such a classic fall treat.  I made this particular batch for a Halloween party, but I am posting them now because I think they would look phenomenal incorporated into Thanksgiving decor.  For example, with a little name tag tied to the stick to serve as place cards, wrapped up in cellophane with some pretty ribbon as favors for guests, or arranged on a platter on a dessert table.  Whatever way you choose to use them, they will be a hit!  They may be messy to eat, but I think they are totally worth it and eating one made me feel like a little kid again.

I was surprised by how easy these were to make.  The caramel was the perfect consistency for dipping and thickly coating the apples.  My only frustration was with the air bubbles that popped up under the caramel after the apples had been dipped.  Supposedly this can be prevented by dipping and turning the apples very, very slowly – but I did that, and I still had a ton of air bubbles.  I actually think most of them were creating by stirring the caramel while it was cooking and incorporating air into the mixture.  Next time I will just cook it without stirring and I think that will help.  I drizzled mine with dark and white chocolate for visual interest, but I think they would be great plain, or with chopped nuts, or toffee bits, etc.  The possibilities are endless and I will definitely continue to play around with variations in the future.


8 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
Pinch of salt
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
10-12 small Granny Smith apples, stems removed
Popsicle or lollipop sticks


  • 01

    Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Mix in the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt.  Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil.  Stir in the condensed milk.  Cook and stir until a candy or instant-read thermometer reads 248° F (firm ball stage.)  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

  • 02

    Insert a lollipop or popsicle stick into the top of each apple so that it is firmly in place.  Dip the apples one at a time into the caramel mixture, turning slowly to coat evenly.  Transfer to a baking sheet lined with wax paper and allow the caramel to set.  Decorate as desired, with melted chocolate, chopped nuts, or candy pieces.


  • Gorgeous caramel apples! The decorative chocolate is so festive, and I’m sure they taste incredible.

  • Mesmerizing swirl on the apples!

  • These apples are very beautiful! Yes, they would be gorgeous on the Thanksgiving table. I love the fine lines of white and dark chocolate swirls.

  • Annie, I was frustrated by air bubbles in my Halloween caramel apples. too. My son looked it up and said it was oxygen from inside the apples — if you start with room temp apples you shouldn’t have the problem. I’ll try it that way next time.

  • Such a pretty picture! They look fantastic.

  • Those look like a little piece of heaven! I hope that you have a great Thanksgiving :)

  • Beautiful! I always have such trouble with caramel apples, which is too bad because my husband would choose one over pizza for dinner. Either the caramel isn’t chewy enough or it pools at the bottom of the apple. I’ve got this bookmarked for next time!

  • Annie

    I always keep my apples at room temperature, and they were in this case so I don’t think that was the problem. They appeared almost instantly, which looked more like the bubbles were already entrapped in the caramel.
    :) Annie

  • Mmmm, these look so good!

    Also, thanks for your fondant instruction post! I followed your advice and decorated a super cute baby shower cake with white and pink fondant :)

  • This is a keeper. I like the fact you made your own caramel and didn’t just melt some already made caramels. I’m going to have to try this because I love caramel apples with chocolate!

  • They look fabulous. My daughter loves these, but I always buy the store bought ones b/c I’m scared to make them. Maybe I will keep your recipe and surprise her one day. :-)

  • Yours look great. Mine on the other hand. After two days (all wrapped to give away), lost all their carmel. What makes the carmel slide off. It happened last year and I made the carmel from scratch. This year I used carmel candies. Help!

  • nutmegnanny

    Beautiful! I have been wanting to make caramel apples for awhile. Not really sure what is holding me up….

  • HB

    These look so easy & yummy. The only time I’ve made some (with Kraft caramels — didn’t realize I could make that part!!!) was to give them away to teachers. I’ll have to make them again with my son to enjoy it for ourselves. I’d love all the extra toppings! Yum! Toffee!!
    Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  • These are gorgeous! Great work – I’d love a bite right about now :)

  • These sound really good, i’ve been looking forward to eating caramel gift baskets for sometime. Of course tommarow is thanksgiving but i’ll be eatin them soon…

  • Gorgeous! My kids would probably promise to be good all the way thru the end of the yarn for those! LOL Beautiful!

  • I’m featuring these over at today. Thanks for sharing!

  • Pam

    Did anyones sick to the wax paper? Mine did and I feel bad serving them at a party with a wax paper bottom. :(

  • Carol VanderMolen

    I made this exact recipe, they were so hard and thick you couldn’t even bite into them!! Done exactly as the recipe, also for the person with sliding caramel, the reason the caramel slides off apples is they need to be washed to remove the wax that is on them. I was so disappointed that they were so hard, I cooked them to 245 degree’s not 248!! So thick, I think next time I will thin the caramel out and not cook it so long!! The taste is delicious if you can eat them.

  • Just made these! They looked great… until I went to eat one and the caramel slid off… not sure why. I washed them very thoroughly to make sure all the wax was off. I also had problems with the caramel sticking to the wax paper. I ended up cutting the caramel bottom of the apple off, just to separate them. I also tried rolling them in some toppings, immediately after coating but nothing would stick because it set really quick! Drizzling is the way to go! I also had problems with air bubbles. My apples were room temperature; I think they got trapped in from all my stirring?

  • These look delicious! I’ve never made caramel apples but I may have to try these!

  • Bonny @ Clever Hen

    These look amazing! I love caramel apples. There is only one thing that makes them even better….of course, that is chocolate! Thanks for the inspiration. Btw, love your blog!