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Perfect and Easy Homemade Caramel Apples

These Perfect and Easy Caramel Apples have earned their title: homemade buttery caramel coats each juicy, crisp apple for a delightful classic that evokes memories of snappy fall days. I like my caramel apples with peanuts, but any topping (chopped candy bars, crushed cookies, sprinkles) would be great!
Prep Time1 hr 20 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert, No-Bake, No-Bake Treats, Treats
Cuisine: American, Dessert
Servings: 6 -8
Author: Hayley Parker, The Domestic Rebel


  • 6-8 medium-large Granny Smith apples washed, wax removed, and chilled with craft sticks or popsicle sticks inserted through the core
  • 1/2 cup salted butter cubed
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 14 ounces (One 14-ounce can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chopped peanuts optional but my favorite topping, OR:
  • Assorted chopped toppings such as crushed cookies chopped candy bars, sprinkles, etc., optional


  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Butter the parchment to grease it and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook and stir until boiling, 10-12 minutes. Once boiling, stir in the condensed milk. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 248 degrees F. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, taking care as the vanilla may cause the caramel to pop and fizz slightly.
  • Take an apple and dunk it completely into the caramel mixture, coating all sides of the apple. Allow the excess caramel to drip off the apple, twisting the apple gently as the caramel falls back into the pan. This will help prevent a caramel "foot" - aka, that ring of caramel around the base of the apple. Return the apple to the baking sheet and repeat with remaining apples, noting you will dunk them a few times before adding toppings.
  • Once all the apples have been dunked in caramel, repeat sequence to add another layer of caramel. Allow the excess caramel to drip off back into the pan, then immediately dredge or sprinkle the toppings onto the caramel apples. Return to the baking sheet and repeat with remaining apples.
  • Refrigerate apples uncovered for about 1 hour or until set and firm. Allow to come to just about room temperature before consuming. Leftovers will stay good in the fridge for about 2-3 days.