Gourmet Caramel Apples

As a kid, I remember going to Park City and staring through a window at these fancy perfect gourmet caramel apples and thinking to myself, “why the heck don’t my family’s look like that?!” My mom used store bought caramels and made according to my package, which don’t get me wrong- is great, but did they really ever look beautiful… no, not likely :)

The apples I was staring at though the window were gorgeous. Almost too pretty to eat. Not only did they have caramel, but they had chocolate, they had oreos, they had candy, they looked like something you wanted to frame. 

I tried to make caramel apples last year, but to no avail, they looked much like my moms.  This year however, I stumbled across THEE PERFECT dipping caramel recipe for apples from Our Best Bites.  Those gourmet apples in the window… yeah, pretty much nailed it :) Okay, maybe that is a slight gross exaggeration, but I have yet to find a caramel as delicious and easy to work with than this recipe.  

If you are looking for a great after-school-snack or family activity, this is the recipe for you. Kids love making their own… and me, well, lets just say it became quite the competition who could get theirs the most beautiful.   And by competition… the only one completing was myself. My siblings were having too much fun to care about beauty. I, on the other hand, wanted to make apples worthy enough to align themselves with the ones behind the window.  Needless to say, we all had fun making AND eating them :)


Gourmet Caramel Apples

By Chef in Training Published: October 24, 2012

    This recipe is honestly THE BEST! The caramel is not only delicious, but makes dipping apples SO EASY!



    1. Wash and dry apples. Then put sticks in cores and place on a baking sheet in the fridge to chill. Prepare all toppings in bowls and have them ready to go.
    2. To prepare caramel, combine first 8 ingredients in heavy 2 1/2-quart nonstick saucepan. Stir with 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 or scraping with spatula, about 15 minutes.
    3. Attach a 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 spatula and occasionally brushing/scraping down sides of pan, about 12 minutes.
    4. Pour caramel into a bowl. Submerge thermometer bulb in caramel. Cool to 200°F, about 20 minutes. If it cools too much just heat it up a little.
    5. While caramel cools, line 1-2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or buttered foil. Set up decorations and melted chocolates.
    6. Holding stick, dip 1 apple into 200°F caramel. 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, twirling it a bit to even out any heavy looking drips. If needed, gently scrape the bottom of the apple to remove excess caramel. Place coated apple on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining apples and caramel, spacing apples apart (caramel will pool a bit on foil). If caramel becomes too thick to dip into, gently heat in microwave, or add 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream and briefly whisk caramel in bowl over low heat to thin.
    7. By the time you have dipped all the apples, the first ones should be ready partially set enough to add toppings. If not, chill in fridge for a few minutes. Lift 1 apple from foil. Using hand, press pooled caramel around apple.
    8. To go above and beyond and make them ultra-gourmet, dip caramel-coated apples into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off, then roll in nuts or candy. Another option would be to drizzle melted chocolate over caramel-coated apples and sprinkle with decorations. Chill until decorations are set, about 1 hour. Cover; chill up to 1 week.

    (recipe from: Our Best Bites) 

    If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #chefintraining and/or #chefintrainingblog. I would love to see how these recipes take shape in your kitchens.

    Filed under: dessert

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      1. Chef in Training

        Thank you so much Kristy! That means so much to me!

    1. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel

      Nikki, these are definitely a sight to see! So gorgeous and perfect.. just like the apples in the window, I'm sure :) I'm a traditional caramel apple girl, so the forefront one looks the best, but I can see how easy and fun it'd be to deck yours out with chocolate and crushed candies! Mm.

      And what's dark brown powdered sugar?! That sounds awesome!

      1. Chef in Training

        oh thanks so much Hayley! I love your comments! And that ingredient was a typo... its been a long week haha! It is just dark brown sugar. Fixed now :)

    2. Michelle

      These look amazing. I am going to try them out, fingers crossed they turn out to be pretty :)

    3. Julia

      Yum! I also whipped up some caramel apples this month, though they had to be dairy-free so I could eat them too! Yours look divine!

    4. Natalie McIlwain

      Beautiful apples! I tried my hand at some the other week...not quite as fancy as yours, but check them out here: https://natlizmac.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/festive-caramel-apples/ :)

    5. Elizabeth

      These look like so delicious! I think I'm going to make them for a "caramel apple station" for my party tonight :)
      Quick question though, is it really 1 pound of brown sugar or 1 cup? 1 pound seems like a lot (around 2 1/2 cups?), but if that's what it takes for these amazing apples that's what I'll do!

    6. Veronica

      Yummy! Almost no maple taste; would have liked a little more vanilla taste. This made 15 large apples; did not work on apple slices, too wet to stay on. We left the caramel in the pot and reheated on the stove as needed; a couple times for the batch. Need to figure out how to drizzle chocolate because our chips melted with shortening just "glopped" on the apples.

    7. Melissa

      This caramel is amazing!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe!