Celebrating apple season with these Sweet and Salty Healthier Caramel Apples. Crisp autumn apples dipped into homemade salted maple “caramel”. Made with 5 simple ingredients, 6 if you love a little chocolate – which we do. Real maple syrup, honey, cream, and vanilla. Each caramel apple is dipped or drizzled with chocolate and finished off with a pinch of flaky sea salt. Zero processed sugars! A yummy, wholesome twist on a classic fall treat. Fun for both Halloween and Thanksgiving to come.
Oh, how we just love these apples! Yet another recipe I wasn’t sure would turn out, but ended up being completely perfect!
These are so good!
Growing up my mom used to love caramel apples, which is funny since she would say she doesn’t like caramel. Only caramel apples I guess (and likely only with a drizzle of chocolate). Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but whatever. She would buy those Kraft Wrapples kits. They were caramel discs that you’d wrap the apples in to make caramel apples at home. They were very convenient but obviously full of not-so-awesome ingredients, which at the time we didn’t really care about.
To be honest, I don’t remember loving or hating them. But we must have enjoyed them because she’d buy those caramel sheets every fall.
These days, we try to stay away from processed sugars when possible. Of course, I still have fun baking cookies and cakes, but I always try to use healthier sweeteners, usually maple or honey whenever I can.
That said, caramel apples have always stumped me. I wasn’t sure how I could make caramel minus the actual sugar.
But then, I finally had the “duh” moment. Why not try the maple-based caramel I use to make my Vegan Snickers and Twix Bars? I wasn’t sure the caramel would stiffen enough to stick to the apples. But I was so pleasantly surprised when it worked perfectly.
Here are the details
I have to say that I find this caramel 100 times easier than a traditional caramel. And we love the flavor better too. So sometimes healthier ingredients really are just better!
Before you begin making the caramel, prep your apples. I used twigs from outside to stick into my apples. Twigs are really fun, but you can really use any kind of stick. Just something that’s 4-6 inches long. These would great too.
Once you’ve got the sticks in place, it’s time to make the caramel.
Take the maple and mix it with honey and cream. If you’re vegan, you can use additional maple and then coconut cream. However, I found that I had better results with a mix of maple and honey.
Boil the 3 ingredients together for 12 minutes, by this time the sauce should be thickened and look pretty similar to caramel. Add in some vanilla bean powder and sea salt.
From here, you have to work kind of quickly. Start by dipping the apples through the caramel. As the caramel cools, it will begin to thicken, making it harder to dip the apples. If the caramel cools too much, just warm it in the microwave for a few seconds.
Once the apples are dipped, let the caramel harden. Next, drizzle each apple with chocolate (if preferred). Finish with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and you’ll have the perfect sweet and salty caramel apple. Minus any processed sugar!
You can set up an assembly line of caramel, chocolate, and salt. Then make the apples while chatting with friends or watching your favorite Halloween movie. You could even add some yummy add-ins like toasted nuts or chopped candies. I’m all about the salt, but use what you love!
Can’t wait to make these apples for both Halloween and Thanksgiving this year. I know they’ll quickly be devoured by family and friends.
Looking for other fall sweets? Here are a few ideas:
Lastly, if you make these Sweet and Salty Healthier Caramel Apples, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Sweet and Salty Healthier Caramel Apples
Servings: 6 apples
Calories Per Serving: 559 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
View Recipe Comments
- 1. Insert wooden skewers or twigs into the apples. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.2. In a medium pot, combine the maple syrup, honey, and cream. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 10-12 minutes or until thickened to a caramel-like sauce. It should easily coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and a pinch of sea salt. 3. Very carefully transfer the caramel to a heat-proof bowl. 4. Working quickly, swirl the apples in the caramel, then place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining apples. If the caramel stiffens too much to dip, warm for 15-20 seconds in the microwave to loosen it back up. 5. Let the caramel set, about 10-15 minutes, then dip/drizzle each apple with melted chocolate. Let the chocolate harden, then enjoy! The apples will keep in the fridge for about 1 week.