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Caramel Apple Recipe

Last updated on 9/25/2020

Caramel apples are a delightful combination of classic fall flavors. Perfect for autumn festivals, concession stands, and Halloween markets, these goodies satisfy a sweet craving, but they also feature seasonal fruit that’s filled with vitamins. Best of all, caramel apples are easy and inexpensive to make, giving you the potential for a high profit margin. Below we show you how to make professional caramel apples for your stand or market.

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Caramel Apple Recipe

Caramel apples, or toffee apples, are made by coating whole apples in caramel. Top them with your customers' favorite fixings, such as nuts, sprinkles, or chocolate chips, for the perfect finishing touch.

Caramel Apple Ingredients and Supplies

Caramel apples only require a handful of supplies, making them quick and easy to prepare. Here are the items you'll need to get started:

  • Wood skewers or candy apple sticks
  • Caramel dip
  • Crisp apples without a wax coating (or scrub before using to remove wax)
  • Soup warmer
  • Sheet pan
  • Non-stick sheet pan liner

How to Make Caramel Apples

Learn how to make professional caramel apples by following these simple steps! Make sure you give yourself enough time for the caramel to heat and cool, and you’ll also want to set up a large enough space to ensure your apples aren’t crowded too close together. As long as you keep those two factors in mind, you should be able to easily prepare your caramel apples.

  • chef removing inset from soup warmer1.

    Remove inset from soup warmer.

  • water pouring into warmer2.

    Add 32 oz. of water.

  • turning warmer onto medium-high heat for making caramel apples3.

    Preheat the soup warmer to medium-high heat.

  • label ripping off of caramel dip before making caramel apples4.

    Remove the label from the can of caramel dip.

  • hands placing caramel dip into water bath5.

    Open the can and gently place it in the water bath.

  • hand covering lid to water bath6.


  • thermometer in melted caramel for caramel apples7.

    Heat until the caramel temperature reaches 175-180 degrees Fahrenheit. This will take about 1-2 hours.

  • hand inserting skewer into red apple8.

    While the caramel heats, skewer your room-temperature apples.

  • apple with skewer dipping into melted caramel9.

    Dip one apple at a time into the caramel.

  • melted caramel dripping off apple into can10.

    Wait a few seconds for any excess caramel to drip off.

  • hand placing caramel apples on sheet pan11.

    Place your caramel apples on a sheet pan covered with a non-stick liner.

  • close-up of caramel apples cooling12.

    Cool for 20 minutes.

  • caramel apples with skewers in a row13.


Caramel Apple Toppings

candy apples with different candy apple toppings

If you want to add an extra dose of sweet or savory goodness to your caramel apples, simply roll the freshly coated apples in bowls with toppings of your choice. Below are some great caramel apple toppings to try this fall season:

  • Sprinkles
  • Chocolate chips
  • Nuts, such as peanuts, pecans, walnuts, or almonds
  • Coconut flakes
  • Cinnamon chips
  • Toffee
  • Pretzels
  • Mini marshmallows

Caramel Apple FAQs

Below we answer common questions when it comes to making caramel apples, including how to store caramel apples and how long they last.

Candy Apple vs Caramel Apple

The main difference between caramel apples and candy apples is their coating. Candy apples are coated in a red sugar topping that hardens into a shell around the apple, while caramel apples are dipped in a soft toffee or caramel coating that semi-hardens on the apple for a chewy consistency.

How to Store Caramel Apples

For short-term storage outside of a refrigerator, the following methods will work:

  • Cover your caramel apples with tin foil to protect from dust and other elements
  • Wrap in cellophane
  • Place in a covered container or Tupperware. If transporting, use wax paper, which keeps your apples from touching and sticking together

For long-term storage, the following methods are best:

  • Place in a container separated with wax paper
  • Place in an airtight container
  • Use individual plastic bags
  • Avoid using plastic "cling" wrap for long-term storage, as it can leave a plastic taste on the caramel

If storing in the freezer, it's essential to prevent air from touching the caramel apples, which can cause freezer burn. Always use an airtight receptacle when keeping caramel apples in the freezer.

How Do You Package Caramel Apples?

caramel apple in a candy apple box with red pinstripes on wood table

To package your caramel apples, you can use a candy apple box or disposable apple bubble for increased visibility and easy transportation of your apples. You can also use an individual cellophane or plastic bag for each one.

For easy removal of your caramel apples, you can cut wax paper circles and place them on the bottom of the bag to minimize sticking. Use ribbon, rubber bands, or twist ties to close the bags. If selling or serving in real time, you can place your caramel apples with the stick up onto cupcake cups, doilies, or wax paper.

How Long Do Caramel Apples Last?

Caramel apples last about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. You can also keep them in the freezer for longer. Apples will maintain their best quality for about 10-12 months when stored in the freezer. If storing in the freezer, make sure to let the apples sit out for several hours before enjoying, so they have time to thaw.

Do Caramel Apples Need to Be Refrigerated?

If caramel apples are not eaten the day of or within a few hours, it is recommended to store them in the refrigerator. This prevents the apples from becoming overly ripe or too soft.

How to Eat a Caramel Apple

Holding the stick, you can bite into a caramel apple, though this may be messy, as toppings can fall off. Another option is to cut up your apple in half or in smaller pieces of four, six, or eight.

If your caramel apples have been stored in the refrigerator, allow them about 20-45 minutes to warm up. If they have been stored in the freezer, allow your caramel apples to sit out for several hours. This will ensure that the caramel coating can soften, making the apples easier to bite or cut into!

How to Cut a Caramel Apple

With the stick facing up, cut your apple into as many pieces as desired. If cutting into eight pieces, the middle part will resemble a square from a bird's eye view. You can also cut your apple in half or in fourths or sixths.

When it comes to offering seasonally appropriate treats at your town’s fall festival or football game, remember that caramel apples are an easy and cost-effective choice that pairs perfectly with your favorite fall hard cider. Caramel apples are a classic that entices customers’ sense of nostalgia, so you can be certain that they’ll appeal to a wide range of guests!

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