When I think about caramel apples, I imagine crisp October days, the smell freshly fallen leaves, and thick and creamy caramel filling my mouth with the tastes of melted butter and molten sugar. While caramel apples were a favorite fall treat of mine, I could never finish one. With all that sugar, I'd usually get a stomach ache about halfway through. Then I discovered Food 52's Vegan Caramel, and my quest for a delicious, healthy caramel apple recipe free of refined sugar began.

While Food 52's recipe is still my go-to for dipping, it gets some if its sweetness from dates. This is great for flavor, but the tiny chunks my Vitamix misses don't make for a very pretty pour. Intent on getting it right, I burned through  an entire jar of almond butter and a basketball-sized wad of paper towels to find the solution: blackstrap molasses.

Healthy caramel apple recipe. Paleo, vegan, and free of refined sugar.

Healthy caramel apple recipe. Paleo, vegan, and free of refined sugar.

I bought a bottle a while back, intrigued by claims that it fights stress and promotes healthy skin. As I've shared before, my acne seems to flare up when I enjoy sugary treats, so finding a sweetener that might actually improve my skin sounds almost too good to be true. It served as the perfect solution for my healthy caramel apple recipe, adding a rich, vanilla-y flavor and thinning the sauce so it would flow over the apples in sticky, scrumptious globs.

My healthy caramel apple recipe requires just six ingredients and a few minutes to make. It's paleo, vegan, and free of refined sugar, so you can feel good about serving it to your kids. Also: it won't give you a tummy ache. Trust me. I've already eaten the entire batch.


prep time: 5 minscook time: total time: 5 mins

Looking for a healthier way to enjoy a favorite fall treat? Look no further! This quick and easy recipe is paleo, vegan, and free of refined sugar.


  • 1/4 c almond or cashew butter
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch pink Himalayan sea salt


  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Spoon over clean apples and enjoy!
  3. Store refrigerated for up to a week, warming gently if the mixture has solidified.
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