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Inside Out Caramel Apples

There has always been a problem with caramel apples. The ratio is off, backwards even. There just isn’t enough caramel and you’re left with, well, a half eaten apple on a stick. I love apples, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not what I signed up for. It’s a let down. Like when you go trick-or-treating at your dentists house and he gives you a tooth brush and trial sized Colgate. Nothing WRONG with it, per se, just not what you were looking for. You want CANDY! Not something good for you, geesh. So, this recipe fixes that issue. More caramel and less apple. Enjoy, and don’t forget to floss.

Inside Out Caramel Apples

3 large Granny Smith apples

1 large lemon

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tbs butter

2 tbs light corn syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Chocolate sauce (optional)

Cut your apples in half and use a melon baller to scoop out the insides, leaving the walls intact at about 1/2 to 1/4 inch thickness.

Squeeze the juice from the lemon onto the apples and allow to set. This will keep them from turning brown right away.

In a sauce pan over high heat, add the brown sugar, butter, heavy cream and corn syrup. Stir until the brown sugar has dissolved. Allow to boil, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 230 degrees, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the vanilla, stir continually until it stops bubbling. Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes.

Using a paper towel, wipe your apples down, removing the lemon juice as much as possible. If the inside of your apple is too wet, the caramel wont stick.

Pour the caramel into the hollowed out apples until just below the top.

Sprinkle with pecans.

Chill in the refrigerator until the caramel has set, about 20 minutes.

Cut into slices and drizzle with chocolate sauce if desired.

I used the same chocolate sauce that I used on these cupcakes, and put it in a Wiltons squeeze bottle.

I feel like I need to add a Caramel Addendum.

This recipe seems to work great for some people, and not so for others. Which, to be honest, completely breaks my heart. I hate that it doenst work for everyone.

It does seem like people are having an easier time with a maple candy recipe, like this one,  in place of the caramel sauce.

You can also make “Cheater Caramel Sauce.” I used to make this, years ago, when I was still really new to cooking. Just take 2 cups of store bought caramel squares (out of the wrapper, of course) and melt them in a sauce pan over low heat, with 2 tbs of corn syrup. (Looks like this type of caramel is giving people some problems when it comes to cutting the apples, but for some people it works fine. Make sure your apples are very dry before the caramel and your knife is very sharp!)

If you buy caramel sauce, make sure it is really firm at room temperature or it will just run all over the place once you cut the apples into slices.

Check out my other Halloween Posts:

DIY Glow In the Dark Chosts. Take 5 minutes!






94 Responses to Inside Out Caramel Apples

  1. Jenn October 12, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    this is a great idea! I love it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jaxie October 12, 2011 at 11:55 am #

      Thank you Jenn! Any excuse to eat more candy, right?

  2. janet@fromcupcakestocaviar October 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    What a cool idea! I agree; if I want an apple, I’ll eat an apple. But if I want a caramel apple, I want some CARAMEL darn it! 😛

    • Jaxie October 12, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

      My feelings exactly!

  3. Kelly October 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    How cute are these?! Great idea, they look delicious!! 🙂

  4. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. October 12, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    You’ve just solved my biggest problem with caramel apples. This ratio is much much better!

  5. Mr. Pasadena October 12, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    This will become a family fave! Thank you for this great dessert!

  6. Brooke October 12, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    What a fantastically good idea!!

  7. foodie @ tasting spot October 12, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    great idea… love it

  8. Jennie @ The Bikini Baker October 13, 2011 at 1:27 am #

    What a GREAT idea!!!!! YUM

  9. Julie October 13, 2011 at 4:55 am #

    Fabulous idea! MUST try it!

  10. Julia October 13, 2011 at 5:00 am #

    Oh wow, awesome idea!!!!!! Caramel apples ALWAYS need more caramel!

  11. Eating Deliciously October 13, 2011 at 6:33 am #

    Such a great idea and beautiful presentation! Will be making these soon.

  12. Juls October 13, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Oh I love this idea! I always had a problem with the ratio in toffee apples and I didn’t like that everything got sticky and by the time the apple was sufficiently reached I never wanted it anymore. Its such a simple idea, turning it inside out, it makes so much sense and is certainly one I will be trying when bonfire night comes around!

    • Jaxie October 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

      Thanks =) I’ve never had toffee apples, but it sound like the same problem!

  13. Lori @ RecipeGirl October 13, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    LOVE this idea!

    • Jaxie October 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

      Thanks Lori!

  14. Elise's Kitchen October 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    This is just so right! Thank you for sharing!

  15. Jenny ~ Something Old, Something New October 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Yum – these look so good! They’d be great for a Fall party!

  16. Lauren @ hey, who cut the cheese? October 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    What a great idea! These are too cute.

    • Jaxie October 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

      Thanks Lauren!

  17. Rachel (teacher-chef) October 13, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    I love everything about these, they look so adorable (and almost as easy as dipped apples which are so annoying). I plan on making these for some fall entertainment in the near future, THANKS!

  18. Jill Dobies October 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    Okay Jax, these looks delish. Will be making them for dessert for our little Halloween get together.

    • Jaxie October 14, 2011 at 11:53 am #

      Yay! Let me know how it works out…and those crack brownies with vodka frosting, too.

  19. morningbreggfirst October 13, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    what a genius idea! love love love!!!

  20. Elizabeth October 14, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    Such a clever idea!! Making my own caramel kind of intimidates me – could you use store bought caramel instead??

    • Jaxie October 14, 2011 at 11:53 am #

      Don’t be scared! If you can find a store bought that is really firm at room temp, then it’ll be fine. But if it is one of those super runny ice cream topping kinds, it will just run all over the place once you cut the apple into slices.

  21. Jana @ delectablymine October 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    What a great idea! Ver unique, I definitely want to make these sometime.

  22. anna October 14, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    Your caramel recipe is great…I wanna try it with other fruits too. How about pears? Or pastries? I hope it works. Will let you know how it goes. Thanks for posting!

    • Jaxie October 15, 2011 at 8:09 am #

      I’ve had it as frosting for white cakes and brownies, but not with other fruits. But give it a try and let me know!

  23. Lindsey@Lindselicious October 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Oh these are genius!! I love this idea- so cool and loaded with caramel.

  24. Dennis Byras October 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    I bow before your Caramel Apple greatness.

    back to the drawing board.

    Nicely done.

  25. ces October 18, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    great idea! my daughter will love this


  26. Tiffany October 21, 2011 at 4:17 am #

    So freaking creative! And I’ll take more caramel ANY day of the week! 😀

  27. Cindy October 23, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    Wow. These look so good. Drooling.

  28. Angela October 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    What a great idea! I am certainly going to try these for a upcoming Halloween party. One question though, the party is in the middle of the week and because I work full time during the day I would want to prepare these the night before. So A. have you done that? and B. any other freshness tips besides lemon juice? Thank you very much for the post, I’m sure they will be a hit and gone in seconds!

    • Jaxie October 24, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

      Thanks! I’m actually not sure that they would last a full 24 hours without browning and wilting. Not sure what to tell you. If you slice and hollow the apples the night before and leave them in water/lemon juice solution, and then just dry them really well and assemble them the next day, that might work, but I’ve never tried it. I don’t know how long they can last in the water without turning soggy. Also, it depends on what kind of caramel sauce you plan to make. I would recommend, if possible, that you make whatever type you are going to make and then let it cool in the pan, cover it with aluminum foil, and then put it in the fridge and just reheat it the next day and assemble. Not sure what else you can do. Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

    • Dana B October 25, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

      what about spraying or brushing a tiny bit of oil on plastic wrap and covering the apples with it after the caramel has set? Then cover with towel or foil to hold it down. It won’t stick to the caramel ’cause of the nut bits/oil, but it would lay on the exposed apple cutting off air to them. fwiw

      • Jaxie October 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

        You could try that. I worry that the oil would turn the exposed parts brown, but I have no idea. It’s a good idea, give it a try and let me know how it goes!

  29. Michelle October 27, 2011 at 4:56 am #

    I cannot wait to try these this weekend! How wonderful, thanks for sharing.

  30. Missy October 27, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    I just had a terrible time trying to make this recipe with the “cheater” caramel sauce. When I would let it cool, it would get too sticky to pour. I reheated it and added more corn syrup, but it still wouldn’t pour well, so I ended up pouring it while it was still warm. When it cooled, there was a thin layer of watery caramel on the bottom so the bulk of the caramel wouldn’t stick to the apple. Slicing the cooled caramel was difficult, which made the apple “shell” crack. The picture of the cooked caramel looks like it has a more fudgy-firm texture suitable for slicing, so I am going to give that a try this time.

    • Jaxie October 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

      Thanks for letting me know! I’ll update the post to say that the cheater sauce is giving people problems 🙁

  31. Mary October 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    This sounds AWESOME. I can’t believe that no-one makes caramel apples out of any other variety than Granny Smiths. (To me, those are only for baking, when there will be some sugar added.) I am absolutely thrilled, and cannot wait to try them with Golden Delicious apples.

    • Jaxie October 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

      Great! I think the reason people (including myself) make them with Granny Smith is that they hold up really well after being cut. Other varieties just brown too quickly. Golden Delicious are a lot sweeter, less tart, but also have bit of a softer consistency, brown quicker but still do pretty well after being cut. Arangeh actually are least prone to browning, but are much harder to find. Red Delicious brown the quickest. Is it SUPER obvious that I grew up across the “street” from two apple orchards ? 😉

  32. mjskit October 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    These are so utterly clever not to mention irresistible! I wish I had kids so I wouldn’t feel guilty about making them for myself. 🙂

    • Jaxie October 27, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

      Don’t feel guilty, it’s fruit, right?? 😉

  33. sharde October 27, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    I’m making these right now, but what kind of knife/how should i cut them?

    • Jaxie October 27, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

      The sharpest one you have. I used one that was just sharpened.

      • Jaxie October 28, 2011 at 7:42 am #

        To cut them, just cut the half in half, so you have two large slices and then cut those two large slices in half to have two smaller slices.

  34. sharde October 27, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

    i have to let you know this doesn’t work well with cheater caramel sauce! 🙁 I just made it tonight and the cheater caramel sauce doesn’t work very well with it. I ended up melting chocolate chips to use it as “glue”. I’m sure they’ll still be a hit, but it wasn’t as expected and we remade them over.

    • Jaxie October 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

      Oh no! You have to make sure the inside of the apple is really really dry, or it won’t stick. How was the consistency of the cheater sauce? was it too runny?

  35. Andi October 28, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    Hey Jaxie!!! I am making these today for our Carnivale Freakshow Halloween party tomorrow night! I am going to do a test run today and let you know if I can completely mess it up!! I’ll let you know now they turn out and take pictures as well to send to you 🙂

    • Jaxie October 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

      Thats awesome! Have fun, and let me know how it goes 🙂

      • Smcan October 24, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

        They look so yum ups gonna try them out

        • Smcan October 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

          Look so good and yummy

  36. pumpkin November 27, 2011 at 4:21 am #

    I am on my way to the store for orange tissue right now. This is so cute and sounds easy. Thanks a bunch.

  37. liz dickerson March 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    you are a goddess!!!!

  38. Carol August 20, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    How would it work to include more apple by dicing up some of the fruit that is scooped out and putting it into the caramel sauce?

    • Jackie August 21, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      I have no idea, I’ve never tried! If you give it a try,let me know how it goes 🙂

  39. Adrienne August 21, 2012 at 3:17 am #

    Any other ideas of what to drizzle over top instead of chocolate to dress it up?

  40. Amanda August 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    I just made these for dessert tonight and I used Kraft’s caramel bits. I followed the instructions that they give for doing caramel apples and I didn’t have any problems with it. The only problem I did have was that the apples like to move and I had to “prop” them to stay how I wanted. Other than that….I also used a super sharp large knife that I use to cut squash and sweet potatoes and that cut through everything just fine.

    • Jackie August 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

      That’s great! I didn’t have any problems either but it seems some people are. I wish I knew what goes wrong for them so I could advise against it.

    • Lisa September 11, 2012 at 11:31 am #

      I was thinking about how to prop up the apples – muffin tin might work. Place the apples in the muffin tins.

      • Jackie September 11, 2012 at 11:46 am #

        Sounds perfect!

    • Lisa September 11, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

      I want to make these for a BBQ this saturday – I can already see peoples faces. I’m on a cleanse and won’t be able to try but that’s ok.
      Do you think making them the night before will be ok or are they really something you need to make and serve?

      • Jackie September 12, 2012 at 9:20 am #

        I’m not sure. I assume that it wouldn’t go well sitting overnight. I would say that you can cut the apples in half, scoop them out, add lemon to them and then put them in a big ziplock and refrigerate. Make the caramel the night before and then just reheat the day of. Make sure to dry the apples really really well before adding the caramel and use a very sharp knife.

  41. Tori Madison August 22, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    Thsi is SO cute! If I was to buy store baught Caramel and it was runny could i mix it with Peanut butter?

    • Jackie August 22, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      I have no idea. it seems like even peanut butter at room temp may be too runny on it’s own.

  42. Mum-me August 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    I wonder if it would work with condensed-milk caramel?

    • Jackie August 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

      Not sure. You want a caramel that is pretty solid at room temperature or it will run all over the place.

  43. Stephanie August 26, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Clever idea! Like that these can be added to a dessert table so folks can have just a few bites and not the whole apple.

  44. Contessa August 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    Just trying to make your inside out apples.
    You say to boil the caramel……………………do you mean it will take 7 – 10 minutes for it to boil, or boil it 7 – 10 minutes?

    • Jackie August 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

      boil it for 7 to 10 minutes, or until it reaches the right temperature.

  45. Sara September 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    Hi, I tried to make this today but my caramel sauce just was too runny even though I used the original recipe. What do you think I did wrong?

    • Jackie September 17, 2012 at 8:51 am #

      I’m so sorry it didn’t work for you, thats so frustrating. The hotter caramel gets during the boil, the harder it will be once it cools. SO probably, either it wasn’t boiled to a high enough temperature (your thermometer could be off) or it wasn’t cooled long enough.

      • Sara September 17, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

        Thank you! I’ll try again. I actually didn’t have a thermometer, I just let it go for 7 minutes. 🙁

  46. Michelle October 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    I had trouble with the caramel setting up as well. It was watery on the bottom and wouldn’t stick to the apples. I used a thermometer and dried out the apples really well. 🙁 Maybe I’ll try again another time. My candy thermometer instructed me to cook caramel to a higher temp. ??

  47. jill October 8, 2012 at 5:15 am #

    I made these and they were fabulous- however, after i cut them the carmel began to melt and run- ended up keeping half of them in the apple halves. Any thoughts?

    • Jackie October 8, 2012 at 10:20 am #

      I totally wish I had the answer to that. For some people they work great, and for others they don’t I really can’t figure out the difference 🙁

  48. Taylor Glover October 13, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    The first time I made these, they didn’t work. But the next time, I used my go-to maple candy recipe and they were perfect!

    • PapitaBonita October 17, 2012 at 7:07 am #

      Hi Taylor Glover… I also had problems with running caramel. So… you do mind sharing your go to maple candy recipe, please?…
      MJ- Denmark

  49. Julia October 19, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    Just so you know…I did a fall recipe round-up and included these. So YUMMY! (http://www.acedarspoon.com/15-fall-recipes-part-2/)

    • Jackie October 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

      Thank you so much!

  50. Erin October 24, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    What an amazing idea. I want to make these this weekend for my harvest party. Do you know if the caramel will stay firm in the heat? I live in Malaysia and I don’t want them to melt all over the place!

  51. Sara@MilwaukeeKitchen November 7, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    Hi there! I just linked to your recipe on my facebook page…facebook.com/milwaukeekitchen. What a great idea!! Sara


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