How To Make Caramel Apples At Home With Just Three Ingredients

Sweet, tart, and oh-so scrumptious.

We've had no shortage of caramel apple inspiration this autumn, from our sensational Caramel-Apple Cookies to our classic Skillet Caramel Apple Pie. It's a fall flavor combo that never gets old. Perhaps the most popular way to combine the two ingredients—one sweet, one tart—is simple and old-fashioned: by making caramel apples. If you've never made caramel apples at home, know that it's as easy as 1, 2, 3. As in, three ingredients and three steps.

But first, let's start with prep.

The Apples: The best apples for making caramel apples are generally Granny Smith or Honeycrisp, with most preferring Granny Smith for the extra kick of tartness to offset the uber-sweet caramel coating. You'll want to thoroughly wash them beforehand to ensure all waxiness is removed, otherwise the caramel might not stick. Remove the stems and insert wooden sticks about 5 to 7 inches long (like these) into the core. It's also helpful to refrigerate the prepared apples until ready to dip in order to help the caramel cool and solidify faster. Make sure to wipe off any excess moisture from apples before dipping.

The Caramel: For the sake of this three-ingredient recipe, we are using store-bought soft caramel candies to create the melted caramel coating. However, if you want to try your hand at making your own, follow our reader-favorite recipe for homemade caramel here.

The Toppings: This is where you can get as creative as you want. Choose anything from mini M&Ms to sprinkles, but we prefer to balance out the flavors even more with something salty, such as peanut bits or crushed pretzels. Any candy goes!

Caramel Apple
Getty Images/Lew Robertson

How To Make Caramel Apples

Ingredients:

8 to 10 Granny Smith apples

1 (14-ounce) package of soft caramel candies, such as Werther's Original

2 tablespoons of heavy cream (can use milk if needed)

Instructions:

Step 1: In a small, deep saucepan on medium heat, combine the soft caramel candies and heavy cream and stir on stove-top until melted and smooth.

Step 2: Dip prepared apples into the caramel to coat completely, leaving an inch bare at the top around the wooden stick. Let excess caramel drip from bottom into the saucepan before setting onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and coated with nonstick spray. (You can also thoroughly grease a baking sheet with butter.) If you want to also cover in crushed peanuts or another ingredient, roll the dipped apple into the toppings before setting onto the baking sheet.

Step 3: Cool for 30 minutes in the refrigerator and enjoy!

Caramel apples make a wonderful treat to celebrate autumn's apple harvest, as well as a portable option to make and take to any event. During the holiday season, caramel apples can be easily gifted by placing into clear party favor bags and cinching with a festive ribbon or tag.

You can use any leftover melted caramel to drizzle over ice cream or use as a dipping sauce for fruit.

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