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apples and pretzels dipped in homemade caramel dip

The Best Caramel Dip

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


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.
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  • 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


  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, with just a few bubbles popping through the surface of the caramel (see notes for more details).
  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.


  • 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.
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Category: Dip
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: American

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