Are you looking for a new Apple Caramel recipe? Apple cider and caramel are two of the most popular flavors during the fall season, so it’s no wonder that they are combined in this delicious soft Apple Cider Caramels Recipe.
This recipe is a small batch recipe, so you don’t have too many caramels to get through, or if you prefer to have lots of caramels, go ahead and double the recipe. These make great edible food gifts for neighbors, teachers, loved ones if you choose to double the recipe.
It’s that time of year when you can find fresh cider almost everywhere. I like to grab some from my local orchard, or you could also find it at farmer’s markets. Fresh gives you that fabulous tangy apple flavor. I want to be clear so there is no confusion; we are not working with apple cider vinegar or apple juice. What you want to use is fresh apple cider. If you don’t have access to fresh cider, you could purchase a bottle of apple cider from the grocery store. The apple flavor won’t be nearly as bold and tangy, but it will provide you with some apple flavor.
You could also use Boiled Cider. I can usually get this from King Arthur Baking. If you go with the boiled cider, then you skip the step of the cider reduction. It’s an excellent alternative, but I do prefer to use fresh cider.
Ingredients for Soft Apple Cider Caramels
- Apple Cider
- Unsalted Butter
- Heavy Cream
- Granulated Sugar
- Ground Cinnamon, Ginger and Nutmeg
- Flaky Salt
- Candy Thermometer – This is one of the most important pieces of equipment. The hardness of your caramel changes rapidly with just one or two degrees of heat. So if you are looking for that perfectly soft caramel, a thermometer is key to success. If you don’t have one, you can cook the caramel until a tiny spoonful is dropped in ice water and it becomes a firm ball stage. At this point, it is done. Just remember the higher the temperature goes, the firmer the caramel becomes until it gets to the point you will no longer be able to cut it. So getting to the right temperature is key.
- Heavy Bottom Medium Sized Pot
- Wax Paper or parchment paper
- 9×5 loaf pan
- Cutting Board
How To Make The Apple Caramels
Now, remember if this is your first time making homemade caramels, I want to stress the importance of being careful. 248°F is quite hot, and there may be some splashes coming from the pan.
This is a straightforward caramel recipe. Of course, it’s time-consuming if you are boiling down the apple cider. But after that, everything goes quickly. And I mean fast, so be ready with your mise en place.
Boil down the apple cider to about 1/4 cup. Remove from heat and add butter, cream, and sugar. Place back over medium-high heat and let boil until it reaches a temperature of 248°F.
Remove from heat and add in the spices; cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle salt flakes on top.
How To Store The Caramels
Once you have cut your caramels, you can wrap them in parchment paper individually. For example, I used 5″ parchment squares, rolled the caramel piece into the paper, and twisted the ends. I then toss all of them into an airtight container and store them for a few weeks, if they even last that long.
If you don’t want to wrap them individually, put them into an airtight container with a piece of wax paper between layers to keep them from sticking together. If you choose to go this route, be aware that your final product will spread some in the container if left on the counter after a few days. So it’s best to keep the container in the refrigerator.
Apple Cider Caramels
- 2 Cups Apple Cider (474 mL)
- 3 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter (42.56 grams)
- ¾ Cup Heavy Cream (170 mL)
- 1 ½ Cups Granulated Sugar (297 grams)
- ½ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon (1.2 grams)
- ¼ Teaspoon Ground Ginger (.6 grams)
- ¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg (.9 grams)
- ½ Teaspoon Flaky Sea Salt
- Line a 9×5" loaf pan with parchment paper
- Pour the apple cider in a heavy bottom medium sized pot and bring to a full boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking until it is reduced to about ¼ cup. It will become thicker and a bit syrupy. It took us around 45 minutes of cook time for this step.
- Remove from the heat and add in butter, heavy cream, and sugar to the reduced apple cider.
- Place back over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Boil until the temperature reaches 248°F. Do not stir while this boils.
- Remove from heat and add cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to the caramel mixture. Carefully stir until smooth and creamy and it is no longer bubbling.
- Pour caramel into your prepared pan. Sprinkle with a touch of salt. You can place in the refrigerator for about an hour to set, or let the caramel sit at room temperature for 2 – 3 hours.
- Transfer the cooled caramels block to a cutting board. Use nonstick cooking spray oil a sharp knife and cut the caramels into 1" small squares. If your caramel sticks to the knife, put the caramel into the fridge for 15 minutes, then try again. I find the caramel cuts easier once it is cold.
Looking For More Fall Recipes?
- Pecan Pie Bread Pudding
- Apple Crumble Cheesecake
- Sweet Potato Cake
- Sweet Potato Bundt Cakes
- Apple Ice Cream
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