how to make fancy caramel apples

Caramel apples are a classic, but let’s mess with them—especially for Halloween. We reserve the right to dip into traditional recipes and swirl it all around for the whole month of October. (Who are we kidding? We always do this.) Performing a few tricks on a classic is our treat to you. And come on, this is pretty sweet.

A Holiday ClassicThe History of the Candy AppleThis seasonal pairing is the perfect combination of holiday sweetness and fall wholesomeness. Get into the spirit by stuffing and rolling caramel apples in various tasty ways: a classic peanut butter–chocolate combo, a sweet-salty version with chocolate and pretzels, and an East-meets-West rendition with marzipan and toasted sesame seeds and almonds. Or just dip apple slices in our caramel coating for a simpler Halloween sugar high. Each recipe includes tips for prepping, making, and storing the apples—and ideas for what to do with any leftover caramel.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Caramel Apples with Honey Peanuts

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Caramel Apples with Honey Peanuts

Chowhound

Peanut butter and chocolate are a much-loved favorite. Just ask those Reese’s people. Add in gooey caramel and crunchy bits of honeyed peanuts and it’s just, well, nuts. Get our Peanut Butter-Chocolate Caramel Apples with Honey Peanuts recipe.

100 Bamboo Skewers ($9)

Spear your apples securely for dipping—and holding while you devour them.
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Chocolate Caramel Apples with Salted Pretzels

Chocolate Caramel Apples with Salted Pretzels

Chowhound

It’s like a Twix candy bar, but with a crunchy apple and pretzels instead of that crunchy cookie layer. Or think of this as a Milky Way bar, minus the nougat, plus that other stuff. You know how salted caramel has been a thing for awhile? Well, now it’s a thing on an apple. Get our Chocolate Caramel Apples with Salted Pretzels recipe.

Marzipan Caramel Apples with Sesame and Almonds

Marzipan Caramel Apples with Sesame and Almonds

Chowhound

This is the East-Meets-West version. East would be the sesame and almonds. West would be the marzipan and apples. Together, it tastes and feels as good as we imagine world peace would, in your mouth. Get our Marzipan Caramel Apples with Sesame and Almonds recipe.

Cake-Stuffed Caramel Apples

Cake-Stuffed Caramel Apples

The Gunny Sack

An easier version of the classic that still satisfies the urge to snack off of sticks, these apples are hollowed out and filled with tender cinnamon-scented cake, then robed in gooey caramel. Get the recipe.

Peanut Butter Stuffed Caramel Apples

Peanut Butter Stuffed Caramel Apples

Lorie’s Mississippi Kitchen

Another reason stuffed caramel apples are even better than the usual? No pesky core to eat around. These replace it with a decadent mixture of peanut butter, butter, and graham cracker crumbs. (But you can cook with apple cores if you don’t like to waste any scraps.) Get the recipe.

OXO Good Grips Apple Corer ($9)

Make quick work of coring apples with this handy little tool.
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Sweet and Salty Bourbon Cinnamon Pecan Caramel Apples

Sweet and Salty Bourbon Cinnamon Pecan Caramel Apples

Halfbaked Harvest

These apples aren’t stuffed, but there’s so much good stuff on them, we had to include ’em. Bourbon caramel and cinnamon pecans, plus a chocolate drizzle, make for enchanting apples indeed. If you don’t do alcohol, you can replace the bourbon with apple cider instead. Get the recipe.

S’mores Caramel Apples

S'mores Caramel Apples

What’s Cooking, Love?

Summer’s s’mores are still good to eat all autumn, but perhaps even better when you translate them into caramel apples. These are quadruple dipped in caramel, melted marshmallow, chocolate, and crushed graham crackers for the full experience. Get the recipe.

Apple Pie Caramel Apples

Apple Pie Caramel Apples

Five Heart Home

These Disney-copycat caramel apples are dipped in a thick layer of classic caramel, then white chocolate and cinnamon sugar, with crushed pie crust crumbs on the bottom. Marshmallow mouse ears are optional, but very cute if you like to dress up your apples. Get the recipe.

Basic Caramel Apple

Basic Caramel Apple

Chowhound

So you don’t want to fuss with all those tricks and you want your sweets straight up. We get it. That’s cool. Get our Basic Caramel Apple recipe.

Caramel Apple Slices

Easy Caramel Apple Slices

Domestically Blissful

Or, for an easy-to-make and easy-to-eat option, simply slice your apples, impale those on sticks, and dip them in chocolate and caramel before you sprinkle on whatever toppings you desire. Get the recipe.

Related Video: How to Make Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

This post was originally published on October 25, 2016 and was updated with additional links and photos on October 29, 2018.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Amy Sowder is a writer and editor based in NYC, covering food and wellness in publications such as Bon Appétit, Women's Health, Eat This, Not That!, Upworthy/GOOD, Brooklyn Magazine, and Westchester Magazine. She loves to run races, but her favorite finish lines are gelato shops. Learn more at AmySowder.com.
Jen is an associate content producer at Chowhound and hails from Baltimore, Maryland, but has lived in Portland (Oregon) for so long it feels like home. She enjoys the rain, reads, writes, eats, and cooks voraciously, and stops to pet every stray cat she sees. Continually working on building her Gourmet magazine collection, she will never get over its cancellation. Read more of her work here.
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