This delicious caramelized apple recipe is so easy to make. It takes only 30 minutes to make, including the prep time and cooking. These cinnamon and sugar apples are the perfect topping for pancakes, cakes, ice cream, or eaten on their own.
As the leaves turn vibrant shades in Fall, there's no better way to celebrate the arrival of autumn than by making these delicious caramelized apples. This recipe combines in-season apples with a rich buttery brown sugar caramel sauce that is amazing.
I love these apples so much! I actually began making these in the last few years to have an alternative filling for my apple dumplings with puff pastry that was not whole apples.
I tested a few apple varieties and different ratios and types of brown sugar and came up with this which is amazing. The apples are perfectly soft but still have shape and are not mushy and the amount of dark brown sugar is just right.
Not too sweet but just right!
These cinnamon and sugar apples are great on their own or as a topping for cheesecake, cheesecake bites, ricotta pancakes, or French toast. No matter how you use them, these caramelized apples will be loved.
What are the best apples to use
To make caramelized apples, you want to start by selecting firm yet juicy apple varieties such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp. These types of apples hold up well during cooking and baking and offer a perfect balance between tartness and sweetness in recipes. Once you have your apples, follow these simple steps:
How To Make Caramelized Apples (step-by-step photos)
- Prep the Apples:
Wash and dry the apples thoroughly before peeling them. Core and slice them into 1-inch cubes.
- Cook the Caramel:
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until it starts to bubble slightly. Add brown sugar along with a pinch of salt, cinnamon powder, and vanilla extract for added flavor. Stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves completely and forms a smooth sauce.
- Caramelize the Apples:
Add the diced apples to the pan with caramel sauce. Toss gently to coat every piece evenly. Allow them to cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until they become tender but still retain their shape.
- Serve & Enjoy:
Once cooked, remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving warm either on their own or as an accompaniment to ice cream, pancakes, waffles, or even yogurt and oatmeal!
If you are lucky to have leftovers of these cinnamon sugar apples, they are stored beautifully in the fridge and freezer. I love freezing some of these to serve over my baked pork tenderloin or my boneless pork chops on another night.
If refrigerating them, they last for up to one week in the fridge.
If freezing them, they last for 3 months in the freezer. To thaw, just place them in the fridge overnight.
Tips to make the best caramelized apples
- Customize it: Caramelized apples can be made your way and with what you enjoy, by adding spices like nutmeg or cloves for extra warmth or incorporating chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts for added crunch and texture.
- Do not overcook: You want to make sure to cook the apples just until they are tender and the caramel sauce coats them nicely.
- Dice them: Dicing the apples helps the apples soften nicely and it gives the apples more surface area to pick up that delicious buttery cinnamon and sugar sauce.
- Pick the right apples: Choosing the right apples for this recipe is important. You want to work with baking apples that are firmer in texture and won't get mushy. We've written up a list above for the best apples to use.
These sugared apples go so well with so many things. Not only are caramelized apples a treat to eat on their own but they are really delicious added to sweet and savory meals. Here are some of our favorite ways to use them:
- As a topping to desserts: These apples go really well as a topping for cheesecake and cheesecake bites.
- As an appetizer: We love adding these apples to our baked brie en croute or with our caramelized brie.
- For breakfast: These go really well mixed into some whipped cottage cheese or on top of apple cider French toast.
More Apple Recipes
If you love these caramelized apples, you may also like these:
Delicious Caramelized Apples (Easy Recipe)
Tried the Recipe? We Would Love To Hear From You In The Comments Below!
- 4 Honey crisp apples
- 4 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- ¼ cup Dark brown sugar You can also use light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Peel and core apples then cut into 1-inch cubes.4 Honey crisp apples
- In a large pan over medium heat, add the sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt and heat until the butter is melted and the ingredients are all mixed together.4 tablespoon Unsalted butter, ¼ cup Dark brown sugar, 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon Kosher salt
- Add the diced apples to the mixture and cook for about 10 minutes or until the apples are softened and most of the butter and sugar has thickened. Make sure to stir occasionally.
- Add vanilla and cook for one more minute.¼ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Serve warm with your favorite dessert or enjoy them on their own.
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here