Caramel apples

Caramel apples



  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 50g butter, sliced into chunks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup
  • 6 small (preferably unwaxed) apples
  • 6 wooden or plastic sticks


Line a baking tray with baking paper and stick either a wooden or plastic lollipop stick right through the core of each apple (but not all the way through).

Heat the cream with half of the butter and the vanilla until it reaches just under boiling point then remove from the heat. Grab yourself another saucepan and in it, place the sugar and syrup. Bring to a rolling boil and let bubble away until the mixture reaches about 300°C.

Remove from the heat, stir through the (still warm) cream mixture and then bring back to the boil, stirring all the time until it reaches about 260°C. Remove from heat and set aside for a minute or so. You should have a lovely, deep brown caramel.

One at a time, swirl the apples through the caramel so they are completely coated. Set each one aside on the prepared baking tray. Let them sit in the fridge for about 10 minutes and then repeat the process. Don’t worry about reheating the caramel, it should still be nice and runny. Let the caramel apples set in the fridge for half an hour or so before eating.


  • Have everything ready before you start and don’t leave the stove once you start cooking the caramel as it can burn really quickly.
  • A sugar thermometer is really handy. Actually it’s pretty much essential for making good caramel. They aren’t expensive and can be found at all good kitchen shops – I bought mine for about $8.
  • I find that an end temperature of about 250°C is the sweet spot for my apples (so to speak).
  • Try and find unwaxed apples but if you can’t, wash them in warm water and dry really well with a clean tea towel to remove the wax.
  • Little apples seem to be the cutest and most popular for the caramel. Whenever I use the big ones my kids seem to just eat the caramel off and leave a big naked apple on the stick. Small ones seem to get eaten almost entirely.
  • If you have leftover caramel, you could pour it into a lined loaf tin and then cut into caramels once set or serve with slices of apple as above. Or of course, drizzle some over ice cream or a nice plain pound cake. Too much goodness!
  • This recipe was created by Sophie Hansen for Kidspot, New Zealand’s best recipe finder.


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