Caramel apples are such a classic fall treat and these 5 ingredient Easy Caramel Apples are no exception! They're made with Werther's caramels, heavy cream, and some delicious granny smith apples or if you prefer sweet apples, Honeycrisp works great too!
Not only are these caramel apples easy for adults to make, but kids can help too. There is no crazy hot, boiling caramel to worry about with this recipe! Get ready to learn all about the easy way to make caramel apples.
I know some of you are looking for a homemade caramel apple recipe instead. Don't worry, I've got you covered there as well.
What You’ll Need
You do not need much to make perfect caramel apples. In fact, you really only need 5 ingredients! Here is what you will need to get:
- Granny Smith apples- I love using granny smith apples because they are nice and tart. That sharp tart flavor goes well with the super sweet caramel. If you prefer a sweeter apple, I recommend Honeycrisp.
- Hot water and Baking Soda- This mix helps wash the apples well. Grocery store apples are coated in a thin wax which helps preserve the apples on the shelf. That wax will also prevent the caramel sauce from sticking to the apples.
- Werther's Chewy Caramels- Melted Werther’s chewy caramels makes the perfect caramel sauce for apples. They melt into a creamy, thick caramel that tastes great and coats the apple well.
- Heavy Cream- a little heavy cream thins the melted caramels perfectly. It will make it easier to dip the apples and helps the caramel go on smoothly.
You will also need a few wooden candy apple sticks to skewer each apple. Thicker sticks are better and will be less likely to break. You can find wooden candy apple sticks online or in your local craft store.
How to Make Easy Caramel Apples
You're going to be amazed by how quickly you can make this perfect treat. Here is what you need to do:
- Wash the apples well in the hot water and baking soda mix. You want to be sure to get all the waxy coating off of the apples.
- Let the apples dry completely. Dipping wet apples in caramel sauce will just allow the caramel to slide off your apples.
- Melt the caramels and heavy cream in the microwave, heating the caramels in 30-second increments and stirring after each increment until creamy and smooth.
- Skewer the apples with the candy apple sticks and then dip them in the melted caramel. You can fully submerge the apple or leave a little bit of apple peeking through at the top.
- Let the excess caramel drip back into the bowl, twisting the apple to let the caramel coat the apple and drip off evenly.
- Dip the caramel into your favorite toppings then place the apple on a parchment-lined sheet tray and put them immediately into the fridge to cool. The faster the caramel sets, the less caramel will pool on the tray at the base of the apple.
You can enjoy the caramel apples almost immediately. Once the caramel coating is cool, they are ready to eat!
TIP: Avoid crushing the Oreos in a storage bag with a rolling pin. The Oreo filling that we need for sweetness will stick to the sides of the bag instead of being incorporated into the cookie crumbs.
There are so many different toppings you can add to caramel apples. Most toppings will stick right to the soft caramel shell. After you dip the apples in the caramel, dip them right into your favorite toppings.
Get creative with your toppings to make exciting, unique caramel apples. Here are a few of my favorite caramel apple toppings just to get you thinking:
- Chopped nuts
- Chopped Oreos
- Crushed pretzel pieces
- Mini m&m’s
- Shredded coconut
- Mini marshmallows
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Chopped candy bars
The key to a good topping is something that is small and sweet. Use your dessert imagination and share any delicious topping you try! We love new ideas.
Once your caramel apples are completely set, wrap them in plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container. Plastic wrap will stick to the caramel but it will also peel off very easily.
Store the wrapped caramel apples in the fridge for up to a week. When you're ready to have one, let it sit out at room temperature for about an hour before eating it. This will help soften the caramel a little and make the apple easier to eat.
Can I make this ahead of time?
You definitely can make these ahead of time. They will keep in the fridge for up to a week. They will taste just as delicious as the day they were made!
Can I coat these easy caramel apples in chocolate?
You definitely can! You can dip the apples in caramel, let them set in the fridge, and then dip them into melted chocolate. Just be sure to let the caramel set completely and get nice and cold before dipping in chocolate.
Can I use different caramels for this recipe?
The short answer is no. The long answer is Werther's Chewy caramels are soft to bite into, even after being refrigerated. This is the key to a good caramel apple. You don’t want caramel that gets too hard or it will be difficult to eat. I highly recommend sticking to soft caramels like Werther’s for this recipe.
More Apple Recipes
Easy Caramel Apples
- 4 Granny Smith apples
- 8 cups very hot water don’t use boiling water
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 46 werther’s chewy caramels 10 ounce bag
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon heavy cream
- In a bowl, combine very hot water and baking soda. Stir to combine.
- Dip the apples in the hot water mix and rub with a clean hand towel or paper towel dry off. Allow the apples to dry overnight to avoid any water still being on the apples when you dip them in the caramel sauce.
- Stick a wooden candy apple stick in each apple.
- Place the caramels and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals and stir after each interval until the caramel is smooth and creamy.
- Dip the apples in the caramel mixture. Tilt the bowl and turn the apple to get up the sides. Allow the caramel to drip off and gently give the bottom a scrape on the side of the bowl.
- Roll the apples in any toppings such as nuts or candies while the caramel is still tacky but not dripping off.
- Place the apples on a parchment lined baking tray.
- Repeat with the rest of the apples.
- Quickly place in the fridge to set up to prevent the caramel from puddling too much at the bottom of the apple.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)