Caramel Apples From Scratch

We have always made caramel apples by melting those little square caramel candies.  This year we were determined to make our caramel from scratch!  Sounds tricky?  I think it was actually easier!

I found our recipe in Taste of Home and we didn't even have a candy thermometer! If you don't have a thermometer, check out this Science of Candy article.

Carnival Caramel Apples 


  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • Dash salt
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 to 12 Popsicle sticks
  • 10 to 12 medium tart apples, washed and dried


  • In a large heavy saucepan, melt butter; add the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in milk. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 248° (firm-ball stage). Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.
  • Insert Popsicle sticks into apples. Dip each apple into hot caramel mixture; turn to coat. Dip bottom of apples into peanuts, chocolate chips, crushed candies... Place on greased waxed paper until set. Yield: 10-12 apples.


  1. You are a good mom! My caramel apples from scratch just involved melting Kraft caramels with a little water. Hmmm - so I guess mine really ARE NOT from scratch! :)

  2. The perfect fall treat! They're considered healthy right?

  3. I saw that you can put the canned milk in your crock pot and cook it and it will turn into caramel. I've never tried it though.

  4. I want to do this too!!!! Maybe tomorrow when the kids are home....


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