Easy Caramel Apples (Sugar-Free!)
Caramel apples are such a fun fall, or holiday, treat. With only 3 ingredients, these easy caramel apples are done in minutes and so delicious. You won’t believe that they are also sugar free!
When I was younger, my mom would buy caramel apples every once in awhile around the holidays. I can’t remember what company she got them from, but I do remember how amazingly delicious they were. It always felt like such a gourmet, decadent treat.
Fortunately, they are not hard to make at all, and you can have this decadent treat just about any time you want! Plus, the recipe I’m sharing today is sugar-free!
If you have been following along with my blog recently, you will know that after my cancer diagnosis, I cleaned up my diet and pulled way back on sugar. As I was grocery shopping recently, I stopped to peruse the “healthier” candy options. I happened to find a bag of caramels that were dairy and sugar free. Thinking it must be too good to be true, I snagged a bag to try.
I was shocked at how good they actually were and how similar they tasted to “real” caramel. That’s when the idea for caramel apples hit me. Then, the hunt was on for an equally good sugar free topping.
Fortunately for us all, I found one! A couple of them actually, which makes these easy caramel apples even more amazing.
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How to Make Easy Caramel Apples
Preparing the Apples
I chose granny smith apples for my own easy caramel apples. Granny smith have the lowest glycemic index of any apple. Plus, I think the tartness of granny smiths complements the sweetness of the caramel perfectly. Feel free to use your favorite kind of apple, though!
- Make sure the apples are washed and dried thoroughly. If they are wet, or damp, at all, the caramel will not stick to them.
- Remove the stems and insert a caramel apple stick. (I actually used bamboo barbeque skewers, since I had a bunch on hand. I inserted them into the tops of the apples and simply cut the extra length off.)
- Have a cookie sheet ready and greased for the finished apples.
- You will also want to have any toppings out and prepared in separate bowls.
Melting the Caramel
The star ingredient in these easy caramel apples is the dairy-free, sugar-free caramel. If you are looking for an alternative to traditional caramel, then you must try Cocomel’s Coconut Milk Caramel. It is seriously legit.
I will admit, though, I was a little concerned about how well this caramel would melt, especially since I don’t have a double broiler. But I decided to just try melting it in a regular pot over the stove, and it worked amazingly well!
I dumped all of the caramel into a small pot and turned the heat to low-medium. Every minute or two, I stirred it around, but it didn’t take long at all to melt.
Once melted fairly smooth, I began dipping my apples. (It is not quite as smooth as traditional, or homemade, caramel, but you will know it is ready when you can easily roll it around the inside of the pot.)
Simply take an apple, tilt the pan so that the caramel pools on one side, and roll the apple around in the caramel until fairly well coated.
*Note: I had some traditional Brach’s and Kraft caramels left over from something in the past, and I thought I would make a couple of sugar-y apples for my kids, in order to use it all up. This caramel did NOT melt well at all, which surprised me. I still made one apple out of it (the one hiding in the back that I attempted to put sprinkles on). It didn’t melt well, therefore, didn’t coat the apple well. Plus, since it didn’t melt well, it also didn’t want to take the topping. AND, the caramel set so hard it was nearly inedible. Not sure if this was just a fluke, or what. But in my experience, the sugar free caramel was so much better than the “normal” stuff.
The topping choices are truly endless with caramel apples. For mine, I used walnuts and Choczero Dark Chocolate baking chips. The Choczero baking chips are a tiny bit bitter when eaten alone, but they are absolutely perfect for these caramel apples!
I also made one with semi-sweet mini chocolate chips for my kids, and as I just said, I attempted to do one with sprinkles for them. You could also do mini-M&Ms, marshmallows, any other type of nut, peanut butter chips, crushed cookies (Siete brand has some amazing low-sugar options), shredded coconut (unsweetened would be another option to keep them sugar free), crushed candy canes, etc.
Have fun and go crazy with the toppings, if you want. Be sure to have the toppings prepared in separate bowls before you begin dipping apples, though.
After I dipped each apple, I held it up for just a few seconds to let the caramel set just a bit. (This caramel sets very quickly, which is great.) Once it had set just slightly, I rolled the apple around in my topping of choice.
Then, simply place the finished apple on your baking sheet, and let it set completely.
The only thing left at this point is to enjoy!
Easy Caramel Apples
- 4 whole apples
- 2 bags caramels
- 1/2 c. crushed walnuts
- 1/2 c. Choczero baking chips
- Wash and dry apples, and insert caramel apple stick into top.
- Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
- Prepare toppings in individual bowls.
- Melt caramel over low-medium heat.
- Once caramel is melted, dip an apple and swirl around until fully coated.
- After coated in caramel, dip the apple and swirl into your topping of choice.
- Set the finished apple onto the baking sheet to set.
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