We like to make these tasty treats every fall before Halloween. It’s such a fun interactive activity for ALL of my kids. From going to an orchard/grocery store to pick the apples, to stick/twig hunting in our backyard or local park, to helping make the ‘caramel’ sauce, to dipping it in the toppings of their choice, there are so many ways for them to get involved. And to quote my 5 year old: ‘the best part is eating it!’
I have a caramel apple recipe I’ve made in the past, but I was out of Sucanat sugar, and wasn’t crazy about giving the almost-2-year-old raw sugar. So what did I do? I made a brand new recipe with only natural sweeteners!
It was after soccer but before a birthday party so we didn’t have much time. The girls helped me make it by washing apples and collecting twigs while I prepped the caramel. I didn’t think to soak my dates overnight so I just poured boiling water over them to help soften them up. Then we added the other ingredients: pumpkin puree (it is everything pumpkin season after all, so why not!? We had some left over from our pumpkin pancakes. Want the recipe? Go to abbyphon.com/pumpkin-pancakes!), some vanilla extract and oat milk and blended it smooth. Caramel sauce, done!
Then the fun part!
We put the sticks in the clean apples on a silpat mat (you can use parchment paper!) and spread on the caramel. (it’s more like a frosting than a dip, but tasty.)
The girls chose which toppings they wanted. I had mini chocolate chips, crushed peanuts and sliced almonds. You can also use shredded coconut, drizzle chocolate, and anything else you can think of! You also don’t even need toppings, it’s THAT good on it’s own!
They got to roll the apples in whichever toppings they wanted. Normally, I would refrigerate it for a few hours but nope. We all devoured them on the spot! Everyone was a huge fan of these from my 22 month old to my husband!
A fast & easy recipe that every single person loves is a HUGE win in my book!
Let me know what you think below!
Caramel Apples (Vegan, Gluten Free & Naturally Sweetened)
- 8 organic apples
- 8 twigs (or popsicle sticks)
- 12 organic Medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped peanuts (optional)
- ½ cup sliced almonds (optional)
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
- Soak the dates in hot water for 15-20 minutes
- Add dates, pumpkin puree, vanilla & non-dairy milk to a Vitamix or mini food prep
- Puree until smooth
- Coat the apples in mixture and gently roll in nuts or chocolate chips
* Note: this caramel is thicker, more like a frosting, and not “dippable” like a traditional caramel apple.