These Caramel Apple Slices are the perfect fall treats to make with your kids! Sweet, crisp apple slices dipped into a creamy caramel sauce and sprinkled with your choice of goodies. They are super easy, fun to make, and will make the perfect holiday dessert for all ages to enjoy.
I love caramel apples! And with the holiday season rolling in, I am all for remaking this childhood favorite of mine! I made Mini Caramel Apples before because I always thought whole apples could be too much for one person, especially for children. And they are indeed the perfect bite-sized desserts for kiddie parties.
This time though, I am ditching the stick and making a more manageable and straightforward version. So I decided to slice the apples up, dip, and then decorate them. They are ideal for big parties because they are easier to eat and can feed more people.
Why you'll love this recipe
- No baking is required. The most effort you have to put in is stirring the caramel sauce! You'll have these ready for chilling in less than 10 minutes.
- Perfect for fall! These caramel-coated apples have all the wonderful flavors of the season, and you can decorate them for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.
- Have fun and sprinkle them with different treats! You can use chopped nuts, colorful sprinkles, crushed peppermint, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, mini M&Ms, peanut butter chips, rock salt, or mini marshmallows.
- Make them with your kids! This recipe gets them engaged with the food preparation and takes advantage of their imagination and creativity! They will love these for sure.
Key ingredients and why we use them
You only need four ingredients to make this straightforward recipe. You can easily double the recipe to make more if you anticipate a large crowd- these will be gone in minutes!
Apples: This recipe calls for two large apples, and I find that Granny Smith works best. They are firm, crisp, and tart, which makes them an ideal match for the sweet caramel sauce. Gala and Fuji apples are similar, and either is a great alternative.
Heavy Cream: This will give the caramel sauce a richer flavor and a light yet creamy consistency. If you have extra leftover, I have tips on how long heavy cream lasts.
Toppings: This is where you get to have fun. Use whatever goodies you like to jazz up your caramel apple slices- the sky is literally the limit!
Caramel Baking Bits: Make sure you find a store-bought caramel that is softer and not hard. I like the caramel bits you can find in stores around autumn time. You do NOT want the type of caramel that you drizzle over ice cream, as this will never harden.
The equipment is pretty minimal for this recipe. You'll want a small pot to mix the caramel bits and heavy cream. You'll also need a small bowl filled with icy water. This is where the slices are dunked after they are dipped in the melted caramel sauce to set them quickly. Finally, have some paper towels on hand to pat the apple slices dry.
Step 1) Prepare the Apples. Peel and slice the apples, and set them aside on a plate.
Step 2) Prepare the Caramel. In a small pot, add caramel baking bits and heavy cream. Melt over low heat, constantly stirring until completely melted. Fill a small bowl with icy water. Set aside.
Step 3) Dip and Decorate. Thoroughly dry an apple slice with a paper towel to remove excess moisture from the surface. Dip the apple into the caramel mixture, swirling to coat. Immediately dip the caramel apple into the icy water for a few seconds to quickly set the caramel. Dry the caramel off gently with a paper towel. Press the top of the caramel apple into the desired topping if using.
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely! You can use any apple for this recipe. Pink Lady, McIntosh, Golden Delicious, and Braeburn apples are also great because of their sweet and tart flavors.
No, those are different. Though both are apples coated in sweets, candy apples are encased with a hard candy shell instead of a soft caramel glaze.
While apples are full of vitamins and nutrients that are good for the body, caramel is high in sugar, so it should still be taken in moderation.
Most likely, the apples were not dried thoroughly before dipping. Try coating the apple slices in chocolate first and then drizzling them with caramel sauce if this happens to you.
Heather's helpful hints
Slice the apples right before dipping them to keep the surface fresh. If you plan to slice them ahead of time, keep them in a bowl with water, vinegar, or lemon juice to keep them from browning.
My #1 tip to prevent the caramel from sliding off is to pat the apple slice dry immediately before dipping it into the hot caramel. If you find you're not having success with this, another option is to dip the apple into white or dark chocolate first. Let the chocolate harden, and then drizzle with the caramel sauce.
If you make several batches, keep the caramel sauce from clumping or hardening by placing it on top of a bigger bowl with hot water. You can also melt the caramel using a microwave. Just heat the mixture in 30-second intervals and stir as you go.
Make ahead and storage tips
You can make these at least 4 hours ahead of time and keep them in the fridge. Since we are using sliced apples, it is best to enjoy them on the same day because the apples will lose their crispiness and freshness the longer they sit out, especially at room temperature.
- Substitutes different fruits. Aside from apples, you can also use dried papaya slices to make these treats!
- Make it Vegan. You can buy vegan caramel chips and use coconut cream to make your caramel apple slices wholly plant-based.
- Nut–free options. Use pepitas or other seeds if you are allergic to nuts but still like a nutty flavor and crunch.
- I also love sprinkling English toffee chips on top instead of chocolate.
More apple recipes
Do you have more apples that you know what to do with? Then, try these other delicious apple recipes!
- Apple Tarte Tatin- this French recipe features delicious caramelized apples and a buttery pastry crust.
- Homemade Apple Butter- rich and creamy, this spread has hints of cinnamon and is delicious on toast for breakfast.
- Apple Praline Cake- flavors of cinnamon and apple meld together in a moist and flavorful cake.
Caramel Apple Slices
- 2 large apples cored and sliced
- 1 ½ cups caramel baking bits
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- crushed nuts or sprinkles for topping
- Peel and slice the apples, and set them aside on a plate.
- In a small pot, add caramel baking bits and heavy cream. Melt over low heat, constantly stirring until completely melted. Fill a small bowl with icy water. Set aside.
- Thoroughly dry an apple slice with a paper towel to remove excess moisture from the surface. Dip the apple into the caramel mixture, swirling to coat. Immediately dip the caramel apple into the icy water for a few seconds to quickly set the caramel.
- Dry the caramel off gently with a paper towel. Press the top of the caramel apple into the desired topping if using. Place caramel apple slice into the fridge or freezer to finish setting.
Notes and Tips
- To Prevent Sliding Caramel: My #1 tip is to pat the apple slice dry immediately before dipping it into the hot caramel. If you find you're not having success with this, another option is to dip the apple into white or dark chocolate first. Let the chocolate harden, and then drizzle with the caramel sauce.
- Choosing the Right Caramels: Make sure you find a store-bought caramel that is softer and not hard. I really like the caramel bits that you can find in stores around autumn time. You do NOT want the type of caramel that you drizzle over ice cream, as this will never harden.
- Toppings: Feel free to get creative with your toppings. I like to use chocolate, crushed nuts, sprinkles, and coconut—the sky is literally the limit!
Did you make this recipe?! First, let me say THANK YOU for giving it a try!
Please leave us a rating and feedback in the comments section at the bottom of this post. I always love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what went well — and didn't — with a recipe!