Mini caramel apples are easy to make and fun to eat! Make this easy snack from fresh fall apples with your kids. Small caramel apple bites means less mess and less frustration that full sized ones can bring.
Candy apples are a classic dessert, but anyone who has ever tried to make them knows they can be complicated to make. This recipe simplifies the process by making mini bites, which makes the entire process less stressful.
And it isn’t just making them, even eating full-sized caramel apples can be difficult. Sure they look great, but they are hard to bite into and cutting them up just makes a mess.
So in this post you will learn how to make mini caramel apples, how to keep the caramel from sliding off and all the tips that makes this a fun fall dessert!
Apples – My favorite kind to use for these is Granny Smith. These are big, tart and crisp which complements the flavor of the smooth caramel. Some other great varieties to use are Honeycrisp, Snapdragon, Gala or Pink Lady. Stick with crisp ones, as softer varieties like McIntosh or Cortland don’t work as well.
Caramel bits – I always use Kraft Caramel Bits for this recipe. These melt very fast and they harden with a nice shine. This recipe is based on a recipe from the back of the bag. You can use another caramel that is meant for melting, but you may need to adjust the recipe.
You don’t have to dip these in extra toppings, but it is fun. Keep in mind the toppings need to be small, like sugar or mini chocolate chips. These are some of my favorite toppings.
- Sparkling sugar
- White or brown sugar
- Chopped walnuts, pecans or peanuts
- Mini chocolate chips or shaved chocolate
How to Make Caramel Apple Bites
1. Scoop out the Balls
Before you start line a cutting board or baking sheet that fits in your refrigerator with wax paper or parchment paper. Then use a melon baller or metal teaspoon to scoop out balls of apples.
The rounder you can make the balls the better they will look. You should be able to get from 8-12 little balls out of each full sized apple.
Put a toothpick or lollipop stick in the top of each ball and blot them with paper towels. Then set them aside on the tray you prepared.
2. Melt the Caramel
Put the caramel bits in a small saucepan and add 2 tablespoons of water. Turn the heat on low and stir it constantly until it all melts and the contents of the pan are smooth. Keep the saucepan on very low heat while you dip.
Figure out what, if any, extra toppings you are going to use and put them on a small plate. Then pick up each apple and blot it with a paper towel again, right before dipping.
Tip: The number one thing that will keep the caramel from sticking is moisture on the apple bites.
Once it is very dry dip it into the saucepan and let any excess drip off.
Dip it in your desired topping and roll it around to coat the caramel.
Continue to pick up and dip until you have coated them all. Put the tray in the refrigerator so the topping sets and leave it there until you are ready to serve.
How to Serve and Store
These make a perfect snack and are best served right after they are made. They need 10 minutes or so to harden in the refrigerator, but then are ready to eat.
Sadly after 4-5 hours the coating will probably start to slip off. So you can’t make these the day before you plan to use them!
If you wait too long to eat them and the caramel does slip off you can still eat them. They still taste good, they just don’t look as pretty.
Recipe for Family Fun
This is a great recipe for fall fun with your kids, but it is probably not a great recipe for a fancy dinner party. So keep your expectations realistic!
- Your apples will not be perfectly circular.
- Topping will stick to some balls better than others, for no reason you can determine.
- The caramel will get thicker towards the bottom.
Enjoy making and eating these and don’t worry about perfection.
Tips for Success
Keeping the caramel from slipping off the mini candy apples can be a little tricky. Follow these tips!
- Use cold apples. And if there is a delay between scooping them out and dipping them then refrigerate them so they stay cold.
- Blot off any extra moisture you can before dipping. It is impossible to remove it all, but do your best! I suggest blotting twice, once when you scoop them out and again right before dipping.
- Keep the caramel on very low heat as you dip so it doesn’t start to harden in saucepan.
- Put them in the refrigerator right after dipping them.
Find more Apple Recipes
- 4 fresh apples, such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp
- 1 11 ounce bag caramel bits or melts
- 2 Tablespoons water
- Optional toppings such as sparkling sugar, brown sugar, sprinkles, chopped walnuts
- Line a baking sheet or cutting board that fits in your refrigerator with wax paper or parchment.
- Using a metal teaspoon or melon baller, scoop out teaspoon round balls out of the apple.
- Insert the candy sticks or toothpicks in the top and blot with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Set aside on the prepared tray.
- Put the caramel bits and water in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth.
- Pick up each apple ball and blot it dry again. Dip it into the saucepan allowing the access to drip off. Dip in toppings if desired.
- Place on a prepared plate or cutting board and put in the refrigerator to set until you are ready to serve.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 108mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 3gSugar: 29gProtein: 1g
Nutrition facts are estimates.