Dairy-Free Caramel Apples Recipe

October 17th, 2017

What’s not to like about caramel apples? They’re a little bit tart, a little bit sweet, and fun to customize with your favorite crunchy toppings. But they’re usually made with … cream. Not ours! We swapped in full-fat coconut milk to create a rich texture without the dairy. Whether you keep this batch for yourself or wrap them up as gifts or party favors, these treats are a festive way to enjoy the season.

Dairy-Free Caramel Apples

Yield: 5 apples
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes


For the apples
½ cup Thrive Market Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
6 (3.5-ounce pouches) coconut milk caramels
½ cup Thrive Market Organic Regular Coconut Milk
5 baby apples

For the toppings
Thrive Market Organic Coconut Chips, chopped
Thrive Market Organic Sunflower Seeds, chopped
Thrive Market Organic Dried Cranberries, chopped
Thrive Market Organic Cacao Nibs, chopped
Thrive Market Organic Goji Berries, chopped
Thrive Market Macadamia Nuts, chopped
Thrive Market Sriracha Cashews, chopped
Bacon bits, chopped

Special equipment
Wooden popsicle sticks


Fill a large bowl halfway with water and add apple cider vinegar. Wash apples in the liquid with a clean sponge to remove any wax. Dry completely, then insert a stick into the top stem of each apple. Place on a sheet tray and refrigerate 40 minutes. Arrange toppings in small bowls or a muffin tin.

Unwrap all caramels and place in a tall 2-quart stock pot. Add coconut milk and warm over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the caramels have slowly melted. Reduce heat to low, then dunk apples into caramel sauce one at a time, until submerged. Gently pull apples upward and twist to coat, allowing any excess to drip back into the pot. Dip into toppings of choice, then place apples stick side up on a sheet tray and refrigerate until hardened.

Recipe credit: Angela Gaines

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Nicole GulottaNicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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