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5 from 4 votes

Bourbon-Spiked Caramel Apples with Smoked Sea Salt

Bourbon-Spiked Caramel Apples with Smoked Sea Salt are a fun treat for Halloween or fall. The bourbon makes the caramel ALL that much better and the smoked sea salt is a delicious savory element.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Chilling Time15 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Candy, Snack
Cuisine: American, Halloween
Keyword: caramel apple recipe, caramel apples, how to make caramel apples
Servings: 6 caramel apples
Calories: 128kcal
Cost: $12


  • 1 (4-quart) Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pan


  • Olive oil or cooking spray
  • 6 wooden twigs from a safe tree or wooden craft sticks
  • 6 small eating apples Sweetangos, Galas, Pink Ladys would all be awesome
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light or dark corn syrup
  • 5 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Smoked sea salt


  • Line a baking sheet with wax paper and grease it by brushing it with olive oil or spraying it with cooking spray. Place it right near the pot you'll be using.
  • Remove the stems from the apples and insert the twigs or craft sticks into the tops of the apples.

Note: This caramel bubbles up a lot so be sure to use a large pot.

  • To a large pot, add the heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup, bourbon and butter. Turn the heat to moderately medium-high heat. Place the digital thermometer into the pot or clip the candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Cook the caramel until the mixture reaches 250 degrees, about 15-18 minutes.
  • Dip the bottom of each apple in the caramel. Using a tablespoon, coat the apple three-quarters of the way up the sides. Immediately sprinkle the apple with smoked sea salt, rotating it so you can it on all sides. Transfer the apple to the wax paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat until you've coated all of the apples with caramel and sea salt. Transfer the baking sheet to the refrigerator so the apples can set, about 15 minutes.


*The bourbon cooks out of this caramel, leaving zero trace of alcohol. But if you want to make this booze-free simply leave it out! 


Calories: 128kcal