Introduction: Caramel Apple Popsicles

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Popsicles aren't just for kids, but this new grown-up version will remind you of the classic, old-fashioned flavors you loved as a child.

Tart baked Apples and sweet oat nuggets are combined to burst your yummy-bubble in this amazing frozen treat.  A final luscious drizzle of salty caramel adds an irresistible dimension of flavor that'll send you back for seconds...  if they haven't all disappeared. ;-)

Step 1: Ingredients and Tools- a General Overview

Ingredients:  Here's the quick rundown. In each step, I'll reiterate all of the ingredients and exact quantities needed.

Apple filling:
  • Baking Apples- please see list below for the best choices
  • Brown Sugar
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Water
  • Heavy Cream 

Baking Apple Choices:  
  • Granny Smith
  • Jonathons
  • Jonagolds
  • Rome Beauty
  • Honeycrisp
  • Melrose
  • Braeburn
  • Winesap
  • Golden Delicious
  • Cortland
  • Gala
I used 2 Granny Smiths and 1 Braeburn Apple.  The mingled flavor was tart, sweet and fantastic!  Feel free to mix and match depending on what varieties of baking apples are available in your area.  

Oat Nuggets: 
  • Quick-cooking Oats 
  • Brown Sugar
  • Flour
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Butter

Caramel Magic Shell:   
  • Caramel flavored baking chips- notcandy - May substitute with Butterscotch baking chips
  • Coconut Oil 
  • Sea salt

The only (somewhat) special tools you'll need for this recipe are a blender, popsicle molds and craft sticks.  The popsicle molds I'm using are JUMBO-size and hold 1/2 cup each, whereas traditional popsicle molds only hold about half that much.  If you don't have popsicle molds, you can always use little dixie cups.

Step 2: Apple Filling

Apple Filling:

3 large Baking Apples- (See list in Step 1) 
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Butter- softened

Apple Juice:

Reserved apple cores and peels
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons white Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

3 Tablespoons Heavy cream- Reserve for blending in Step 4


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter the baking pan.

Peel, core and slice the apples, reserving the skin and cores.

Place the apples in the buttered baking pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes until the apples are fork-tender.

As the apples are baking, place the leftover peels and cores in a small saucepan and add 1 cup water. Bring the water to a boil, stir in the white sugar and vanilla extract. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until the water is reduced by half.

Remove from heat, strain the juice, discard the peels and set aside.

Move on to Step 3 while the apples are still baking. --->

Step 3: Oat Nuggets

1 cup quick cooking Oats
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 cup Butter- cold

Dice the butter into small pieces.  

Combine the oats, brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Add the butter to the oat mixture. Using your fingertips, work the butter in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Evenly spread the mixture onto a baking sheet. Set aside until the apples finish baking.

When the apples are finished baking, set them aside to cool.  Put the crumbs into the 350 degree oven to bake for a total time of 9-11 minutes. Give the mixture a quick stir halfway through the baking time.

Remove from oven when golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Step 4: Blend the Apples:

Spoon about 1/4 of the baked apples into a medium bowl.  Use a fork to mash them into coarse chunks. Set aside.

Spoon the remaining 3/4 apples, along with their natural pan juices into a blender. Add the 3 Tablespoons of heavy cream and begin blending. With the blender running, slowly pour in the stovetop juice and blend until smooth. The mixture should be the texture of thin applesauce. 

Taste the pureed apples for sweetness.  I discovered (through trial and error) that after fresh fruit is frozen, it loses some degree of sweetness.  Keep that in mind when you decide how much more brown sugar to add. (I added almost 1/4 cup)  Blend the sugar in briefly. 

Pour the pureed apples into the bowl of smashed apples. Add 1/3 cup oat nuggets and fold them all together. 

Step 5: Pour Those Pops!

Start by dropping about 1/2 teaspoon of oat nuggets into the empty popsicle mold. 

Spoon/pour a couple tablespoons of Apple pie mixture in and tap the mold firmly on your countertop to help remove any trapped air bubbles inside. Continue with a few more tablespoons and continue tapping after each addition.

Fill the mold until the apple mixture is about 1/2" from the rim.  Finish with another 1/2 teaspoon of oat nuggets and locate the craft sticks.

The apple filling should be plenty thick enough to hold the craft sticks upright, so insert them about 2/3 of the way down into the popsicle and freeze for at least 6 hours.

Step 6: Finishing Touches: Magic Shell Caramel Sauce

Tip: To remove the pops from the molds, don't waste time or natural resources by using hot running water.  Just fill a glass with water and microwave it until it's very hot.  Submerge each mold inside the glass of hot water for 10 seconds (or so). Give a tiny twist on the handle, pull the popsicle out and quickly return it to the freezer. Easy-peasy!

Garnishing:  Scoochmaroo's recipe for Chocolate Magic Shell is amazing, but I knew I couldn't just substitute the chocolate with caramel chips.  After a little tweaking, here's the combination I used.  It worked like a charm:

Caramel Magic Shell  

3/4 cup Caramel Baking Chips (135 grams) 
4 scant Tablespoons Coconut Oil (50 grams)
1/4- 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt (to taste)

In a small saucepan, begin melting the coconut oil over very low heat.  Add the caramel chips and stir constantly until the chips are melted and the sauce is smooth. Add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, stir well and give the caramel a taste. Add more salt as desired.

Remove the caramel sauce from the heat and use a spoon to drizzle the popsicles over a sheet of parchment paper. 

After making a mess, I found it was easier to pour the caramel sauce into a squeeze bottle so I could drizzle the popsicles with more control and less waste. The sauce hardens as it cools to room temperature, so I kept a glass hot water handy, too.

More garnish: Immediately after generously drizzling on the caramel magic shell, generously scatter the oat nuggets on before the sauce hardens.

As each Pop is finished, return it to the freezer until dessert time. 

To store and serve upright as pictured: Squeeze an ample circle of Caramel Sauce onto a frozen dessert plate and immediately place the popsicle upside down on top of it. Hold the popsicle in place for about 10-15 seconds then move the plate quickly and carefully back into the freezer.

These pops tend to get soft fairly quick, so only remove then from the freezer a few minutes before serving.

If you're making these a day or more in advance, gently wrap each popsicle in plastic wrap and keep frozen. They'll keep well 2-3 weeks and possibly longer. 

BTW... If you enjoyed this popsicle creation, you'll be happy to hear I have a few more new recipes under development. Please stayed tuned! ;-)

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