Caramel Apple Fudge

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Caramel Apple Fudge combines smooth white chocolate, a hint of apple cider flavor, and creamy caramel. It’s an easy recipe, with no candy thermometer required!

Three pieces of Caramel Apple Fudged stacked.

Caramel Apple Fudge

Ever craved those caramel apple suckers from back in the day? They were a childhood favorite of mine, and I’ve channeled those exact vibes into this fudge.

Enter a creamy fudge foundation with a punch of spiced apple cider -and no fuss to get that flavor, either; we’re simply using apple cider drink mix. Thanks to The First Year Blog for that genius idea! On top of that base, there’s a rich, creamy caramel layer we swirl right in.

What do you get? Arguably the best fudge out there. Forget the complicated recipes that have you juggling candy thermometers and super-specific cooking times. Here, it’s all about ease without skimping on flavor or texture! Trust me, this is the ultimate go-to idea when you want a fun fall fudge flavor that’s both simple and indulgent tasting.

Ingredient shot: All the elements required to make Apple Cider Fudge

Let’s Chat Caramel

For this recipe, Werther’s Original®  caramels are the way to go. Their incredible flavor, consistent melting quality, and reliability are why they were our top pick during our testing of this fudge. Be sure to grab Werther’s soft caramels over their original version to achieve the perfect fudge texture.

Get a big bag: Set aside 25 for the Caramel Apple Fudge, and consider using the leftovers to whip up some amazing Apple Crumble Bars or Carmelitas.

Process shots: Combine caramels and cream; melt thoroughly.

Other Caramel Apple Fudge Ingredients

  • Heavy whipping cream: Cream is the key to that lush creaminess in both the fudge and caramel. Shake well before use and always choose the full-fat version.
  • Unsalted butter: It offers richness and smoothness, and gives you control over the salt content.
  • Apple cider mix: Look for this in the drink mix aisle, to give the perfect apple kick without the excess liquid of apple cider or juice. Choose a brand you know you enjoy for the best flavor.
  • White chocolate chips: Quality matters. Brands like Ghirardelli® or Guittard® are our favorites! Steer clear of white baking chocolate, almond bark, or candy melts; they’ll mess up the fudge’s flavor and texture.
  • Full-fat sweetened condensed milk: This is the heart of the fudge – it brings sweetness and a creamy consistency. Always use full-fat; alternatives like reduced-fat or sugar-free won’t yield the same richness. And remember, evaporated milk isn’t a workable substitute!
  • Fine sea salt: A tiny pinch elevates the overall flavor of your fudge, making the sweet notes pop.

Process shots: Add apple cider packets and salt to a pot; add butter and cream; whisk until smooth; add sweetened condensed milk.

How To Make Caramel Apple Fudge (Tips)

  1. Pan prep: Properly lining and greasing your pan ensures that the fudge doesn’t stick. This makes removal and cutting so much easier.
  2. Patience is key: When melting the ingredients, always stick to low heat. This helps the ingredients melt uniformly and keeps them from burning or separating. It might take a little longer, but the result will be worth the wait.
  3. Stir constantly: Especially when working with chocolate and caramel, continuous stirring ensures even melting and prevents the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan or burning.
  4. Quality matters: While it might be tempting to grab any brand off the shelf, using high-quality ingredients will make a noticeable difference in the taste and texture of your fudge.

Process shots: Mix ingredients together until well combined; add white chocolate and mix until smooth.

Tips, Continued

  1. Chilling time: Don’t rush this step. The fudge needs time to set properly in the refrigerator. 
  2. Cut the fudge: Using a hot, sharp knife will give you clean cuts without the fudge sticking to the knife. Run the knife under hot water, dry it, then make your cuts.
  3. Serve: Fudge tastes best at room temperature. So, if you’ve stored it in the fridge, allow individual pieces to sit out for a few minutes before serving.
  4. Time the mixtures: It’s crucial to have both the fudge base and caramel topping ready simultaneously. This ensures smooth swirling, preventing either mixture from being too firm during the marbling process.

Process shots: smooth the fudge in the pan and add caramel on top; swirl with a knife until marbled; chill until firm

Packaging and Gifting Caramel Apple Fudge

  • Size and shape: Before packaging, decide on the size and shape of the fudge pieces. You can cut them into squares, rectangles, or even use small fall-themed cookie cutters for fun shapes like leaves or acorns.
  • Parchment or wax paper: Wrap individual pieces or small stacks of the fudge in parchment or wax paper. This not only keeps them from sticking together but also makes them look fancier!
  • Decorative tins or boxes: Containers can be purchased at craft stores or online. Lining the bottom with a piece of colored tissue paper or more parchment can add a festive touch. Place the wrapped fudge pieces inside, layering with more paper if needed.
  • Cellophane bags: These are transparent sacks that can be sealed with a twist tie or ribbon. Place a few pieces of wrapped fudge inside, then tie with a decorative ribbon or string.
  • Label and decorate: Attach a cute label or tag with the name of the fudge (“Caramel Apple Fudge”) and perhaps a note on its shelf life. 

Closeup view of a piece of Caramel Apple Fudge

STORAGE

Storing Caramel Apple Fudge

  • Room temperature: Store in an airtight container for up to a week, away from direct sunlight.
  • Refrigeration: In an airtight container, fudge lasts for 2-3 weeks and gains a firmer texture.
  • Freezing:
    • Cut into squares and tightly wrap each piece in plastic wrap.
    • Place wrapped pieces in a freezer bag, pushing out as much air as possible. Label with date and type.
    • If not wrapped individually, separate layers with wax paper to prevent sticking.
  • Thawing: Always thaw fudge in the refrigerator to maintain its texture and flavor.

Overhead view of Caramel Apple Fudge

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Caramel Apple Fudge

5 from 1 vote
Caramel Apple Fudge combines smooth white chocolate, a hint of apple cider flavor, and creamy caramel. It's an easy recipe, with no candy thermometer required!
Print Recipe

Caramel Apple Fudge

5 from 1 vote
Caramel Apple Fudge combines smooth white chocolate, a hint of apple cider flavor, and creamy caramel. It's an easy recipe, with no candy thermometer required!
Course Dessert, treat
Cuisine American
Keyword Caramel Apple Fudge
Prep Time 25 minutes
Chilling Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings 36 small pieces
Chelsea Lords
Calories 179kcal

Equipment

  • 8x8 inch pan (Note 1)
  • Parchment paper and binder clips

Ingredients

  • 25 Werther's SOFT Caramels, unwrapped (Note 2)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, separated
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
  • 3 packets Apple Cider drink mix (Note 3)
  • 3 cups white chocolate chips (highest quality possible -- Note 4)
  • 1 can (14 oz) full-fat sweetened condensed milk
  • Tiny pinch fine sea salt

Instructions

  • PREP: Line an 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang for easy removal. Grease the pan lightly, lay the parchment paper, and use binder clips to keep it in place. (This step is important for easily removing the fudge later.)
  • CARAMEL: In a small, heavy-bottomed nonstick pot, combine the unwrapped caramels with 1 tablespoon of the heavy whipping cream.
  • FUDGE BASE: In a separate, medium-sized, heavy-bottomed nonstick pot, combine the apple cider mix, salt, butter, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Whisk consistently until the butter has melted and the apple cider mix has fully dissolved (See Note 5). After dissolving, pour in the sweetened condensed milk and mix. Finally, fold in the white chocolate chips using a heat-resistant spatula. Continue stirring, making sure the bottom and sides of the pot are scraped. It's important to maintain low heat for a smooth mixture.
  • COOK CARAMELS: Concurrently with the above step, melt the caramel mixture over low heat. Stir until it achieves a smooth consistency.
    It's important to have both the fudge base and caramel topping ready at the same time. This ensures smooth swirling. If needed, return caramels to the stovetop until very smooth/creamy.
  • ASSEMBLE: Once both the fudge and caramel are smooth, remove them from the stove. First, pour the fudge into the prepared pan, spreading and leveling it to an even layer with a spatula. Then pour the caramel right on top of the fudge. Using a table knife, swirl the caramel and fudge together. Spend a few minutes on this step to ensure thorough and even mixing/marbling.
  • CHILL: Cover the pan and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or until the fudge sets.
  • SERVE: To serve, pull out the fudge using the parchment paper overhang. Use a sharp knife, heated under hot water and dried, to slice the fudge. Due to its rich flavor, smaller pieces are recommended.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Tools: Here's our favorite 8x8-inch baking pan. We love using these sheets of parchment paper (cutting them down to size) and these binder clips to hold the parchment in place. These spatulas are the best for mixing and spreading the mixture.
Note 2: Caramels: Be sure to grab Werther’s® soft caramels-- not their original version-- to achieve the perfect fudge texture. Get a big bag: set aside 25 for this recipe and use the rest in some of our other caramel-filled recipes!
Note 3: Apple cider drink mixes: Don't substitute in juice or cider -- the fudge won't set up. These powdered mixes are typically in the drink aisle of the store.
Note 4: White chocolate chips: Quality matters. Brands like Ghirardelli or Guittard are our favorites! Steer clear of white baking chocolate, almond bark, or candy melts; they'll mess up the fudge's flavor and texture.
Note 5: Dissolve apple cider mix: Thoroughly dissolving the drink mix is crucial to avoid a grainy fudge texture. Patience is key. To check, take a small amount and rub between two fingers. If it feels grainy, keep cooking. If smooth, you're good to go!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 0.1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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2 Comments

  1. This is a new favorite in our house! We’ll definitely be making it every fall (and probably a few other times a year!) I took this to a big family party and everyone LOVED it! So good!!!

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