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Homemade Organic Caramel Apples Without Corn Syrup

When I was a child I remember how fun it was to sink my teeth into a sticky caramel apple. It’s one of my favorite fall treats but I always hold off on buying the caramel apples from the market because I know they are made with corn syrup and some other very processed ingredients. 

This year we’re throwing a Halloween party for the kids and I thought… What could be better than serving mini organic caramel apples? It would be such a cute treat for the older kids. But I knew I needed to figure out how to make them at home without corn syrup and other nasties, and that’s when this recipe was born! 

Most recipes for caramel apples call for corn syrup…which isn’t an ingredient I use in my cooking

Corn syrup is a heavily processed and refined form of sugar that’s usually made from GMO corn, and that’s why you won’t find this in my pantry. Some other “easy’ recipes for Caramel Apples call for using packaged caramels like Werther’s Original – which I wouldn’t want to use either because they are made with glucose syrup (another heavily processed sugar syrup) along with artificial flavors and soy lecithin.

Instead of going down that road, my recipe calls for basic ingredients that you probably have in your pantry already: butter, cane sugar, vanilla extract, heavy cream, and sea salt.  And of course… apples! I like to use the green variety, since they are more tart and offset the sweetness of the caramel.

I usually don’t use cane sugar in my recipes, so this is an exception.

I like to use organic coconut sugar as a replacement for white sugar when cooking at home, but when I tested these caramel apples with coconut palm sugar, the result turned out very dark and just not as appealing in color. You can certainly use coconut sugar instead of cane sugar in this recipe if you’d like. Coconut sugar is completely unrefined and its vitamins and minerals are intact – making it healthier and less processed.

You can also swirl the apples in fun toppings like chopped nuts, coconut flakes, or chopped chocolate. Look how gorgeous these caramel apples are! 

Homemade Caramel Apples Without Corn Syrup!
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8-10 small apples
  • 8 to 10 small green apples
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons grass-fed butter, room temperature and cut into pieces
  • ½ cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional toppings: chopped nuts, chocolate drizzle, coconut flakes, etc
  1. Thoroughly wash the apples. Insert a bamboo candy apple skewer stick on the top of each apple and set aside to dry.
  2. In a small saucepan add the sugar, whisking occasionally until melted, 12 to 15 minutes. You will notice the sugar start to clump, at this point whisk constantly until completely melted. Keep a close eye on the pot as the sugar can burn when it starts to darken.
  3. Take the saucepan off the heat and add the butter, whisking constantly until melted.
  4. Add the cream and whisk until fully combined and smooth. If the sauce seizes up, simply put it back on the stove until it loosens back up.
  5. Add the vanilla and salt and mix to combine.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before dipping each apple in the caramel sauce until coated. You can tilt the saucepan to one side and swirl the apples in the sauce so you can reach higher up the apple.
  7. Add toppings if desired. Let cool completely.
*Leftover caramel sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.*

*Please use all organic ingredients if possible.*


I hope you get the chance to make these fun caramel apples this fall and love them as much as we do. And if you know anyone who loves caramel apples…but not the nasty ingredients…please share this recipe with them.

Happy Halloween!



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5 responses to “Homemade Organic Caramel Apples Without Corn Syrup

  1. I made these and the taste is great (not sickeningly sweet like corn syrup) and I am deathly allergic to corn syrup and dextrose (causes anaphylaxis) BUT I wish the recipe had instructed how to cool. I placed them on waxed paper thinking they would not stick to the waxed paper but when I went to remove them. they were completely stuck. I literally had to cut off the bottom of the apple and the caramel melted from the warmth of my hands where I had to hold the apples while cutting. I think if I make these again I will try the waxed paper or parchment coated with cooking spray. Curious what other makers have done to avoid this problem.

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