The Best Caramel Dip

This is the best caramel dip recipe ever. Made on the stove with butter, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk, it’s the perfect consistency for dipping pretzels and apples.
THIS recipe is the one that your friends and family are going to be begging for! When you take it to a get-together you’ll be the star of the show. And the best part – it only took you a few minutes to put together. This is the first recipe I publish online because SO many people asked me for it. You are going to love it too.

This is the best caramel dip ever. Made on the stove with butter, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk, it's the perfect consistency for dipping pretzels and apples. #homemadecaramel #carameldip #easycaramelrecipe #bestcaramel #thebestcaramel #bestcaramelrecipe #caramelapples #dippingcaramel

The Best Caramel Dip

This caramel dip recipe is something you need in your life. It is actually the very first recipe that I published as a blogger way back in 2009. I didn’t even have a picture of the end product but wanted to share the goodness. And goodness it is! This is the perfect homemade caramel for dipping. It’s thick and smooth, while still being scoop-able. I’ve made this recipe every fall since I first discovered it. I hope you try it and love it like I do.

I think of this caramel as party food and take it to fall parties over and over again. It makes about 3 cups of caramel dip, so there’s plenty for a crowd. It’s really simple to make, too — you are just cooking a few simple ingredients on the stove. I serve it with apples and pretzels for dipping. There’s something magical about fresh caramel and homegrown apples this time of year.

This is the best caramel dip ever. Made on the stove with butter, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk, it's the perfect consistency for dipping pretzels and apples. #homemadecaramel #carameldip #easycaramelrecipe #bestcaramel #thebestcaramel #bestcaramelrecipe #caramelapples #dippingcaramel

How do you get the perfect caramel consistency?

The goal for this dip is to be well, dippable, so you’ll want to bring the sugar mixture to a nice bubble but not a full boil. If you boil it too long or hard, you’ll end up with a thicker caramel that is great for dipping whole apples, but less great for dipping little apple slices and pretzels.

Can you use something other than corn syrup?

I often get asked about switching out the corn syrup in this recipe, and I haven’t played with that much, so I don’t recommend doing it. I only use corn syrup in this recipe, my white cloud frosting recipe, and in caramel corn. That being said, it is a different product than high fructose corn syrup. Here’s an article from The Kitchn about it.

What should I do if I notice my caramel is burning?

Don’t wander away from this recipe while it is cooking. You need to do a lot of stirring, or the bottom of the dip will scorch and burn — not the dream. If you do see that the bottom is starting to scorch (you’ll see little flecks of really dark sugar when you stir), remove the pan from the heat right away.

If the caramel hasn’t finished cooking, you can return it to the heat while being careful to only stir the top of the caramel and avoiding scraping up the burnt sugar on the bottom of the pan. If the scorch isn’t too bad, you won’t be able to taste it, but you still might have little flecks of dark sugar in your caramel. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than feeling like you ruined the whole batch.

This is the best caramel dip ever. Made on the stove with butter, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk, it's the perfect consistency for dipping pretzels and apples. #homemadecaramel #carameldip #easycaramelrecipe #bestcaramel #thebestcaramel #bestcaramelrecipe #caramelapples #dippingcaramel

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The Best Caramel Dip


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 20 min
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x

Description

This is the best caramel dip recipe ever. Made on the stove with butter, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk, it’s the perfect consistency for dipping pretzels and apples.

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk, stirring to combine.
  3. Stir constantly until mixture comes to a light bubbly boil.
  4. Remove from heat right away and add the vanilla. Stir to combine.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature with apple slices and pretzels, or drizzle over ice cream.

Notes

  • The goal for this dip is to be, well, dip-able, so you’ll want to bring the sugar mixture to a nice bubble but not a full boil. If you boil it too long or hard, you’ll end up with a thicker caramel that is great for dipping whole apples, but less great for dipping little apple slices and pretzels.
  • I often get asked about switching out the corn syrup in this recipe, but I haven’t played with that much, so I don’t recommend doing it. I only use corn syrup in this recipe, my white cloud frosting recipe, and in caramel corn. That being said, it is a different product than high fructose corn syrup. Here’s an article from Serious Eats about it.
  • Don’t wander away from this recipe while it is cooking. You need to do a lot of stirring, or the bottom of the dip will scorch and burn — not the dream.
  • If you do see that the bottom is starting to scorch (you’ll see little flecks of really dark sugar when you stir), remove the pan from the heat right away. If the caramel hasn’t finished cooking, you can return it to the heat while being careful to only stir the top of the caramel and avoiding scraping up the burnt sugar on the bottom of the pan. If the scorch isn’t too bad, you won’t be able to taste it, but you still might have little flecks of dark sugar in your caramel. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than feeling like you ruined the whole batch.
  • Category: Dip
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: American
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 12
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340.3 Fat: 11.6g Cholesterol: 35.5mg Sodium: 135.7mg Carbohydrates: 58.4g Sugars: 58.2g Protein: 3.6g Vitamin A: 97.7µg Vitamin C: 1.2mg

Keywords: caramel dip, how to make caramel dip, easy caramel recipe, homemade caramel apples, homemade caramel, how to make caramel, best caramel recipe

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This is the best caramel dip ever. Made on the stove with butter, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk, it's the perfect consistency for dipping pretzels and apples. #homemadecaramel #carameldip #easycaramelrecipe #bestcaramel #thebestcaramel #bestcaramelrecipe #caramelapples #dippingcaramel

Other easy desserts you might like:

This post was originally published in October 2009, was republished with updated text, recipe instructions, and nutritional information in October 2017, and was updated and rephotographed again in September 2019.

This is truly the BEST caramel dip, and it’s perfect for your next party because it’s always a crowd favorite (and it only takes you about 20 minutes to put together — you can’t beat that!).

Caramel Dip

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about me

About Melissa

I have a lot going on, and I’d much rather spend my time enjoying my messes than fretting about what I’m going to make for dinner. Over the past few years, I’ve nailed down a few strategies that helped me keep my kitchen running like a well-oiled machine, so I started Bless This Mess to help other mess-loving parents solve the nightly dinner delimma—no stress, no drama, just really great food your whole family will love. Read more...

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Can you put this in a crockpot to serve?

I made this and it turned out amazing 😉 thank you! 😋 I will make this again for sure. My whole family loves it. Yummy!!!

Can I freeze this? For later use?

Trying this recipe now. Thank you for posting such a simple recipe for hopefully a fantastic dip

Thank you for the recipe. The dip turned out good. I ate an apple with it. I am freezing the rest until I buy some more apples and I’m going to try it on ice cream.

I just made this but only had 1/4 cup of corn syrup…it came out fine. In Mexico we make Dulce de Leche with just condensed milk, no butter, corn syrup or brown sugar and it’s delicious. But you have to cook the condensed milk for HOURS. However, because I know it doesn’t use corn syrup, I figured this would be fine with just a little bit and it is.
Thank you for the recipe. Every day my husband had apple slices with caramel dip. During the coronavirus pandemic, he can’t get his favorite caramel dip. He loves this dip and I don’t think he’ll be buying any more at the store!

I just made this with my oldest daughter, it was so easy. It is also so good even some of the pickiest eaters in my house liked it. Question though, since it is such a large batch. Will it save in the refrigerator for later use on ice cream or other creations? If so, how long will it keep?

California is on “Stay-at-home” orders and I have all the ingredients, including pretzels! I was wondering why I bought corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk and now I finally remember. I’m going to make this with the kids to pass some time. Hoping it’s delicious.

I just made a batch of this with Korean rice syrup which is wonderfully thick and has a toasty flavor and it came out ah-mazing!

I’m sharing it with a corn-free family. Winner-winner!

I made this recipe times 5 to package with apples and give us Christmas gifts. It turned out great as long as I used my bigger pot that doesn’t scorch easily. It’s the milk that burns easily, so I didn’t add it until everything else was heated up. I also added 1/4 teaspoon of salt for flavor. I’ve already wrote this recipe down to keep keep in my recipe file to use for yours to come!

I plan on making this recipe for Christmas gifting this year but I bought the light corn syrup made with vanilla would that be okay to use and then maybe just leave out the vanilla extract or still add vanilla extract and then how long does this caramel keep in a jar?

Can you can this caramel sauce?

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.