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Healthier Caramel Apple Recipe

For the love of caramel…


Wow…that is the first word that comes to mind when I describe these delicious caramel apples.

Earlier this week I did a post on a healthier caramel corn that is made with GMO-free corn and is made without corn syrup, refined sugars or unhealthy fats.  Sound interesting?  Head on over HERE to check out this great recipe!

When I was making this homemade caramel for the caramel corn, I immediately knew that I was going to tackle caramel apples next.  I mean why not carry the caramel theme all week long right? :)

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Tips to ensure good caramel apples!


So for this recipe, I wanted to create more of a candy/caramel apple.

In order to create a delicious caramel apple, it takes a little time on the stove to reach the desired temperature (248°F) to create a delicious, rich caramel.

It is not hard to make caramel apples, it only takes about 20 minutes…but it takes some patience and you can’t rush making caramel or it will burn.

A simple easy caramel dip might be the answer for you!


If you are wanting to make a simple caramel dip, rather than a caramel apple, be sure to check out my 3 ingredient 3-minute caramel recipe!

Just slice up your apples and dip them right into the caramel dip…yum!

A healthier caramel apple recipe!

Substitutions most likely won’t work in this recipe!


There are a couple of key things I want to note about this recipe.  I am not sure how substitutions would work for this recipe.

  • The heavy cream could be substituted out for half and half and maybe even coconut milk (however I have not tried that yet).
  • The sweeteners are kind of important to create a great caramel.  Organic Sucanat Brown Sugar is the sweetener I choose because it has a terrific caramel flavor already and it is the most natural, unrefined brown sugar option.
  • I am not sure that stevia or even coconut sugar would work for this.  I have a hard time getting coconut sugar to dissolve (even in hot water), so for me I didn’t even try that.
  • Now typically I encourage everyone to use  Raw Honey, but there is no need for it in this recipe, just use regular honey.  You will be boiling this mixture for 10-12 minutes and raw honey certainly wouldn’t be raw after heating it for that long.
  • Another thing to note is that once the caramel is ready, work fast.  It cools quickly and will thicken making it a little more difficult to work with.  Don’t worry about a perfect looking caramel apple.  If you notice on mine, I have caramel everywhere.  It is ok, that is what makes them so irresistible!

Enjoy this treat and let me know if you should have any questions in the comment section below the recipe!

A Healthier Organic Caramel Apple Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6-8 apples, depending on size
  • 6-8 small apples
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup sucanat
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ tsp unrefined sea salt
  • nuts of choice (optional)
  • popsicle sticks or lollipop sticks for apples
  • muffin liners to set your caramel apples in
  1. Refrigerate your apples for several hours. Having very cold apples will help your caramel stick to the apples.
  2. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat up cream to just before it starts to boil (when the bubbles just start to form on the edge of the pan).
  3. Add honey, sucanat and salt and stir to dissolve and bring to a boil stirring continuously.
  4. Stirring continuously, allow to boil for about 10-12 minutes (you want the thermometer to read 248º F). You must continuously stir or your caramel will burn. Do not stop stirring the entire time!
  5. Once the temperature has reached 248º F, carefully put the pan into an ice water bath (ice water in a large bowl) being very careful not to get any water into the caramel and pan. This stops the caramel from cooking any longer.
  6. Leave in the ice water bath and stir until it thickens slightly (about 10-15 seconds).
  7. Remove apples from refrigerator.
  8. Place sticks into apples and dip your first apple into the caramel coating the apple as quickly as possible.
  9. Put the caramel apples into the muffin liners and allow them to set.
  10. Work fast, the caramel can thicken up quickly. If it does, put it back onto the burner for about 10-15 seconds to thin it out a bit.
  11. Do remaining apples and enjoy! Apples are best eaten right away!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 apple

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12 thoughts on “A Healthier Organic Caramel Apple Recipe”

  1. Colleen Ryan says:

    I thought direct heat was bad for honey?

  2. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    I explain in the post that using raw honey is not necessary because of that reason. There is no corn syrups in this recipe which is hard to come by when making caramel.

  3. schoolbusdriver401 says:

    Oh my gosh, so delicious looking!

  4. Halle,
    Your Caramel Apples are just wonderful!  Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great weekend and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. DianeBalch says:

    I love your use of honey… these must taste delicious. Thanks for sharing them on foodie friday.

  6. jkpherson says:

    This is great! I LOVE caramel apples, but usually feel bad about eating them. I’ve never heard of Sucanat brown sugar, I will have to look for it! Stopping by via the Foodie Friday hop, I’d love it if you’d share this awesome treat at a link party I’m hosting: Hope to see you there 😉 !

  7. CindyDentGordon says:

    I have a hankering for caramel apples now!  YUM!  Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! What a fantastic link up of recipes and other GF goodies!  Each week, I am so amazed! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)  I hope that you’ll join us this week!  Cindy from

  8. Chanelle says:

    Just made these and the caramel is so hard that you can’t even bite it! I think the cooking time mightbe too long… The flavor is good, but I prefer a chewy caramel.

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      Oh no, you might have cooked it too long which will indeed harden the caramel. Try cooking it less and see if that helps. Using a thermometer is pretty important in this recipe.

  9. Great recipe! I substituted brown sugar for the Sucanat, and would recommend keeping the cooking time shorter than 260° to keep it from hard-crack stage. Really delicious flavor; will definitely make again!

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      Grace, I agree. I changed the recipe to reflect a lower heat point of 248F. Thanks for pointing this out!

  10. Emma Elrod says:

    I just made your recipe and they taste delicious

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