Apple Cider Caramels


Apple Cider Caramels |

Apple Cider Caramels |

Apple Cider Caramels |

Apple Cider Caramels |

I love caramel candies. I always had them as a kid and I loved how sticky they were, even though they were probably super bad for my teeth. I would always find it a fun game to see how fast I could unstick it from the roof of my mouth or my back molars. I’m sure you’re thinking, “wow Julie was a weird kid.” Haha, but I really liked the Werther’s soft caramel that they came out with several years ago. I think that’s my favorite caramel candy, until, of course, I made my own!

I made these apple cider caramels because it was one of my bucket list items to conquer in the kitchen. I really wanted to learn how to make some sort of candy in the kitchen and I knew caramels were a pretty easy way to start but something about boiling sugar just freaked me out and I refused to do it. I just always got this vision in my head that it’d splatter all over my arm and I’d get horrendous burns. Dramatic, much?

I finally decided to conquer that sugar fear and just do it! Turns out, there’s nothing really scary about it and it’s actually super easy and low maintenance. Although, I will say, that if you ever want a really good arm workout, cut some caramels. That was the hardest part of all this. Cutting this the next morning. I Google’d it and a lot of tips came up with guitar string. I don’t have guitar strings just lying around the house so I just decided to use the sharp warm knife approach. It worked well but man, after cutting about 64 caramels, my arm and hands were sore!

Apple cider caramels literally just scream Fall. I mean, I just picture orange and red leaves, a large apple orchard, and crisp, beautiful weather! They’re so soft and chewy too that you can’t have just one :)

**Note that the boiled cider and apple pie spice that appeared on the blog earlier this week are both used in this recipe!

Apple Cider Caramels
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Apple cider caramels that are the perfect Fall treat and can be a great gift during the holidays, too!
Servings: 64
Calories: 122 kcal
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup boiled cider
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice
  1. Lightly grease an 8x8" baking pan and line with parchment paper with overhangs on opposite sides. Set aside.
  2. In a large, nonstick pot, combine cream, corn syrup, sugar, butter, and boiled cider. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce to medium-high heat and cook without stirring until the candy thermometer reaches 248 degrees Fahrenheit. It will take about 20-30 minutes depending on your stove and pot.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the salt and apple pie spice.
  4. Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared pan and let it stand for 12-18 hours at room temperature before cutting into 1" squares.
  5. When cutting the caramels, run a very sharp knife under hot water until it's warm to the touch then spray both sides with cooking spray and cut caramels in a sawing motion.
  6. Wrap caramels in wax paper.
Recipe Notes

Source: King Arthur Flour

Nutrition Facts
Apple Cider Caramels
Amount Per Serving (2 pieces)
Calories 122 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Total Carbohydrates 21g 7%
Sugars 21g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. 


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Posted on September 11, 2013

dinner for two by julie wampler



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  1. 09/11/2013 at 6:53 am

    Beautiful apple cider caramels, Julie! Glad you conquered your sugar fear and were able to cross off your bucket list, too. Definitely making these this year in lieu of/or along with fudge. Thanks for sharing. Pinning!

  2. 09/11/2013 at 7:04 am

    I love caramel candies too – and Julie, these look perfect! I just boiled sugar for the first time a few weeks ago. Glad you checked these off your bucket list!

  3. 09/11/2013 at 7:24 am

    I love the idea of apple cider + caramel!! Perfect combo! :)

  4. 09/11/2013 at 7:50 am

    Julie these are so pretty! And cute! And mouthwatering! They are everythinnnnggg! ;)

  5. 09/11/2013 at 8:21 am

    These are like the perfect caramel!! I love this idea!

  6. 09/11/2013 at 8:55 am

    What fun little caramels! I need these asap!!

  7. 09/11/2013 at 9:16 am

    I need these RIGHT now!

  8. 09/11/2013 at 9:31 am

    This is the coolest thing, Julie! Love the flavor. I bet these are so delicious and perfectly chewy. Great for gifts, too!

  9. 09/11/2013 at 9:33 am

    These look and sound so good!

  10. 09/11/2013 at 9:34 am

    So glad you shared these! :) You know I wanted to make some but scratched it off of my list…. at least for now ;) Love your pics!

  11. 09/11/2013 at 9:35 am

    Love homemade caramels and I bet these taste fantastic! I use either a wheel pizza cutter or a large pizza cutter that cuts pizza in one slice on my caramels. Makes it super easy!

    • sue
      09/13/2013 at 11:13 pm

      Brilliant! I always use one to cut french toast, waffles and pancakes up for the kids quickly.

  12. 09/11/2013 at 9:49 am

    Yummy! Love the flavour combination! Glad you got to cross that one off your list, and it was easier than you thought. :) (Cept for the sore arm muscles).

  13. 09/11/2013 at 9:49 am

    Is it weird to say that caramels are stunning? they are. I have never made caramels, but now I am inspired!

  14. 09/11/2013 at 10:11 am

    You can’t beat homemade candy!

  15. 09/11/2013 at 10:15 am

    I am totally scared of candy making too! I just bought a candy thermometer though, so now I’m committed! Your caramels look perfect, and I’m so glad to hear that it wasn’t that scary!

    • 09/11/2013 at 11:17 am

      Good luck to you!! You definitely have to give it a try now to break in your new candy thermometer!

  16. 09/11/2013 at 10:33 am

    I’m loving seeing the little specks of spice in those caramels! Yup, my fall fever is officially on.

  17. 09/11/2013 at 10:48 am

    I friggin’ love these! I just made a similar batch this weekend and ate them all… no lie!

  18. 09/11/2013 at 11:19 am

    I love caramels and these are the perfect way to infuse the flavor of fall!

  19. 09/11/2013 at 11:19 am

    I love how you lead up to recipes by posting a few prior to get to that point – great thinking! I’d love to make a few batches of these caramels and give them out to friends!

  20. 09/11/2013 at 11:40 am

    These are gorgeous!!

  21. 09/11/2013 at 11:43 am

    Love the idea and how you’ve executed it. I can wait to try it out, perfect for gift given. Thanks for sharing an awesome recipe.

  22. 09/11/2013 at 12:13 pm

    Totally love the idea of the fall flavours in these!

  23. 09/11/2013 at 12:40 pm

    These look great! Something I definitely need to try!

  24. 09/11/2013 at 2:50 pm

    Okay, you have me convinced! I really need to get on the candy making band wagon. These caramels look insanely delicious!

  25. 09/11/2013 at 7:27 pm

    Wow, what a great way to conquer your fears. Those look delicious and I’m salivating looking at the photos.
    I have a candy thermometer, guess I need to conquer some fears of my own!

  26. 09/11/2013 at 8:07 pm

    These look like such an addictive fall treat!

  27. 09/11/2013 at 9:25 pm

    heck yes!! hook me up with some of these on a daily basis por favor!

  28. Sandra
    09/12/2013 at 10:02 am

    Long-time lurker here, I love your blog.
    These caramels look delicious! I really wanted to try them but corn syrup is not available in Europe. Do you know of any ingredient that can be used instead of it?

    • 09/12/2013 at 11:07 am

      Hi Sandra! Thanks! So happy you’ve been reading my blog :) you can substitute 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water for the corn syrup!

  29. These caramels look amazing!!! I’m terrified of burning caramel sauce (agian–it was a rough situation earlier this year, haha!)

  30. 09/12/2013 at 6:13 pm

    Oh wow do these look great & perfect for fall!

  31. 09/12/2013 at 7:12 pm

    Hi my name is Tamara and I’m a ANYTHING Carmel Junkie! :) So, these sound sinfully delicious and a perfect fall treat!

  32. 09/12/2013 at 7:24 pm

    I love caramels, too. I remember having braces, caramels were the thing I missed the MOST. These are awesome, Julie!

  33. 09/12/2013 at 11:21 pm

    Stop trying to hide it, Julie. It’s obvious you’re a candy-making wizard. I mean, look how perfect those caramels are! You really expect us mere mortals to make caramels that pretty, tasty and impressive?

    Way to rub your superpowers in :(

  34. 09/14/2013 at 1:06 am

    These look amazing! I have been wanting to make these for so long. I must also conquer my fear!

  35. Hope Wisher
    09/24/2013 at 10:24 pm

    I started making caramels a few years ago and discovered an awesome alternative to cutting them. I ladle them into my well buttered mini muffin tins. Admittedly, this makes a very generous sized caramel but it sure beats cutting them!

    • 09/25/2013 at 8:37 am

      That’s a really good idea, actually! I have mini muffin tins that would make the perfect sized caramels! Thanks for the tip, Hope!

  36. 10/04/2013 at 12:18 am

    These look so good!! I would love to give these out as a little holiday gift to friends!

  37. Erica
    11/20/2013 at 6:37 pm

    These look wonderful! Thank you for sharing them! I was just wondering how long they last after making them? I want to make them for a Christmas party and am wondering how far in advance I can make them.
    Thanks! :)

    • 11/21/2013 at 7:34 am

      I would make them maybe 2-3 days in advance. You don’t want them to get too hard sitting around, but also, after they’ve sat for several days at room temperature, they tend to lose their nice square shape. It kind of just turns into a blob, lol

      • Jacki Porter
        06/03/2014 at 12:12 pm

        If you cut (or tear) waxed paper into smaller pieces, you can wrap up caramels and they will keep for weeks AND keep their shape without getting hard. I’ve made them several times and always do this. Also, the exact temperature-248* F on the candy thermometer- is EXTREMELY important. My cousin and I use the same recipe, but she cooks hers to only 245* whereas I go up to 248* and mine and softer and chewier than hers each time.

  38. monet
    11/24/2013 at 4:18 pm

    12-18 hours or 12-18 minutes? So confused!

    • 11/24/2013 at 8:45 pm

      12-18 hours. 12-18 minutes would not be enough time for the caramel to set up.

  39. Jane
    09/29/2014 at 11:40 am

    I would like to know how long these apple cider caramels will keep. Thank you for your time.

    • Julie
      09/30/2014 at 7:09 am

      Hi Jane, they should keep for a few weeks but they do get harder the more you let them sit out.

  40. Kalani
    10/07/2014 at 1:43 am

    Can you make plain caramels?

    • Julie
      10/08/2014 at 8:36 am

      Yup, it’s a similar process just without the boiled cider and apple pie spice.

  41. Shannon
    11/18/2017 at 11:39 am

    Question for you. I made these last night and my candy thermometer was only going up to about 230 after 45 mins so I used my instant read and it was at almost 300 so I took it off and the caramels are very hard. I’m not sure if there is a difference between the candy one and the instant read. If you have any insight that would be helpful. I’d like to try and make another batch but don’t want to ruin them.

    • Julie
      11/18/2017 at 6:23 pm

      So I don’t dabble much in candy but I did a quick google search and it says there is a difference between candy thermometers and instant reads. If your candy thermometer read 248, that is usually the temperature for soft ball candy. I’m not sure why it turned out so hard. Perhaps you could maybe try for 220? I’m reading my candy thermometer and it says 220 is almost getting to a soft ball consistency. I’m also wondering where your thermometer is clipped onto your pot?

      • Shannon
        11/19/2017 at 11:27 am

        Thanks for responding. It was clipped to the back part of the pot but I did move it to different spots and it was the same. I’m going to try again and cook to only 220 and maybe add a little more cream. I read that if you add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup that they tend to be softer but not to add too much because then you’ll end up with a caramel sauce. This is my first time making caramel candies but I’ve been making caramel sauce for years. Even though they came out pretty hard once you put them in your mouth and they have time to warm up they soften up and are totally amazing.

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