How to Caramelize Apples

Caramelized apples are apples that have been sauteed in sugar and butter until soft and golden. They are not, as the name suggests, related to caramel/candy apples.


2 tbsp unsalted butter or margarine
3 tbsp sugar (granulated or brown)
2 crispy sweet apples
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp honey (optional)

Peel and core apples. Slice into 1/4″ wedges. Melt butter and sugar over low-medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture is bubbly, about 1 minute.  Add apples and lemon juice and cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

For honey caramelized apples (great with this honey cake recipe) add honey and continue to cook until apples are very soft and golden, and liquid thickens to a syrup, about another 5 minutes.

If you need to thicken the syrup, dissolve 1 tbsp cornstarch in 3 tbsp of apple juice or water and add to the apples. Cook on a low flame until thickened.

NOTE: Be sure to use crisp apples such as Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Fuji or Gala. Softer apples will fall apart and turn into applesauce.


Caramelized apples work well with breakfast dishes such as waffles, pancakes, french toast, and oatmeal. They are a great addition to desserts such as pastry, pies, cakes and served hot over ice cream. They also work well over savory dishes like chicken and turkey roast.

32 Comments so far ↓

  1. Manna says:

    This was a great recipe!

    My dad and I used this recipe for the apples and instead of using it as a topper, we mixed it into a banana bread recipe to make a spiced apple bread.
    It worked brilliantly and deliciously!

  2. Cheyanne says:

    Must you use Lemon?

  3. ruthie says:

    can this be made in advance and then re-heated?

  4. brocha says:

    so excited to eat this. I made the honey cake now I’m making the apples. Can they be made ahead of time and store?

  5. Gittie says:

    Can not wait to try this together with your honeycake!
    Q: Can this be made with margarine instead of butter?

  6. Kathy says:

    Can I put these on top of cheesecake????

  7. Duane says:

    Excellent recipe!! I did use it in a little different way though. I put the apples into an apple cobbler for my boy scout cooked in a Dutch oven over an open fire… good!!! Thank you!!

  8. Kathy says:

    After cooked, are we able to can them?

  9. aine says:

    do we have to use lemon, can i still make it without lemon??

  10. jim says:

    Used this on a turkey melt with bacon instead of my usual caramelized onions. Awesome!

  11. babs says:

    Amazing! I added cornflour mixture but included a Tbs of elderflower cordial with water to dissolve. Loved it. Thank you!

  12. Michelle says:

    this recipe was delicious !! Thanks for writing this ! its so easy to make and it dosen’t take that much time :)

  13. Brooke says:

    My mommy let me make dessert so I made Caramelized apples inside a tortilla and suger over it it was very good my tummy exploded with joy

  14. lisa says:

    I want to make this without lemon is it like a must use because I have everything else I just want make a fruit bowl for myself

  15. Rivky Chazanow says:

    can i prepare this in advance and refridgerate? or hasto be done right when using??

    looks delicious thank you

    • chanie says:

      You can definitely prepare it in advance. If it gets a little watery in the fridge, just drain it (or add in the cornstarch to thicken) and warm before serving.

  16. Sara says:

    How long will it last in the fridge?

  17. Ashley says:

    They were looking so good…and then I went like 2 min over 10 and they got all burned :'((((

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