Caramel Apple Recipe that Sticks to Apples|

Make the best caramel apples at home with this easy caramel apple recipe where the caramel actually sticks to the apple.  Wax free and fresh Gala apples are dipped into cooked caramel sauce and decorated with assorted nuts and candies.  So delicious!!!

Whether hosting a fall gathering or just a special treat for your kids, you will love this recipe.  Unlike the caramel wraps or single caramels you will be making your own caramel.  It’s not difficult and you will find the caramel will not fall off the apples.

There’s a couple of tricks though… your apples must be unblemished, room temperature, free of wax coating, and very dry after cleaning.  So let’s get started.

What Kind of Apples Can I Use for Caramel Apples?

Any apple that your family likes, granny smith is very tart but makes a great caramel apple, golden delicious is sweet but might be too juicy, or for this recipe I used gala. Just make sure your apples are unblemished with bruises and fresh.  Organic is preferred, normally there is no wax on the organics.

Why Does Caramel Fall Off Apples?

There’s a couple of reasons caramel falls off apples, one is the apples are not completely cleaned of wax that is sometimes coated on the apples.  The other reason or reasons could be wet apples, overcooked caramel or wrong kind of caramels used for the dipping process.  Its a common challenge for sure. But this recipe you won’t have these problems.

Caramel Apples|
Gourmet Caramel Apple
Caramel Apples|
Peanut Coated Gourmet Apple

How to Solve the Caramel Slip- The Secret Ingredients

Sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and corn syrup makes this recipe for caramel cling to the unwaxed apples.

Melted butter in a large saucepan with granulated and brown sugar with corn syrup is stirred and dissolved over medium low heat.  It’s important not to boil this mixture.

Next you add the sweetened condensed milk and stir with wooden spoon.  The wooden spoon will handle the heat and thickness of the caramel while stirring.  Heat this mixture to 178 degrees. Mixture will be very thick.  TADA you just made caramel.

See recipe below.

Caramel Apple Recipe with Caramel that Sticks!

Dip several apples for they won’t last long as family and friends will gobble em up as fast as you make them.  Great for harvest parties or anytime you want a delicious caramel coated apple.


Best Caramel Apple Recipe -Caramel that sticks!

  • Author: Liz Bushong
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 6-caramel apples 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: American


Units Scale

6 medium Gala apples, wax removed

1 cup butter + 4 tablespoons

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 cup corn syrup

114 oz sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon maple syrup or vanilla

Chopsticks or craft sticks


Diced peanuts, walnuts, pecans, mini m & m’s, white bark, chocolate morsels


  1. Prepare apple toppings and place in bowls, set aside.
  2. With 4 tablespoons of butter grease parchment paper or wax paper, set aside.Remove wax on apples by placing apples in boiling water for 40 seconds, remove and rinse.
  3. Dry apples, remove apple stems and add sticks.  Place apples in refrigerator to chill while you make the caramel.  (You will thoroughly dry apples with a towel before dipping in caramel.)

Make Caramel

  1. In large saucepan on medium heat, melt butter, sugars and corn syrup until smooth, but not boiling.
  2. Add condensed milk and stir with wooden spoon until candy thermometer reaches 178 degrees.  Remove from heat and add syrup or vanilla, let caramel cool for 3-4 minutes before dipping apples.

Dipping Apples

  1. To dip apples; make sure apples are completely dry.  Dip apple in caramel and allow caramel to drop off the bottom so it will not pool,  roll apple in desired toppings, place on buttered wax or parchment paper to set.
  2. Melt white bark and chocolate chips in separate containers and place in individual disposable piping bags.  Pipe  white bark and chocolate around tops of apples in a drizzle design.
  3. Keep apples refrigerated.  Apples will last up to two days.


Apples must be completely dry before dipping.

Apples should be at room temperature to dip.

Caramel hardens quick, so have apples prepared ahead and ready to dip. If caramel gets to thick, add small amount of cream and stir over low heat to correct dipping consistency.

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4 Easy Steps to Make Caramel Apples

Step 1: Prepare apples, remove wax and throughly dry, insert stick.

Caramel Apples|
Removing wax on apples

Insert bamboo sticks in center of apples.  These work better than the popsicle sticks when dipping in thick caramel.

Caramel Apples|
Caramel Apples with bamboo chopsticks

Step 2:  Melt butter, sugars and corn syrup until smooth in large saucepan over medium low heat.  Add sweetened condensed milk heat to 178 degrees. Use cooking/candy thermometer for best results.

Caramel Apples|
Caramel Apple Basic Ingredients

Step: 3 Dip Apples

Caramel Apples|
Caramel Apple Caramel

Step: 4 Roll into chopped peanuts.  You can roll your apples in candies too.

Caramel Apples|

If you want to drizzle chocolate over the tip of the apple do so after dipping in nuts.

You can dip and drizzle whatever your family loves.  Here are a few other ideas.

Caramel Apple Recipe that Sticks to Apples
Caramel Apple with peanuts, white and dark chocolate drizzle.
Caramel Apple Recipe that Sticks to Apples|
Caramel Apple Recipe with chocolate drizzle.

Other Ideas you Might Like to Try:

Apple Cider Recipe