Few things in life are sweeter than a drizzle of Apple Cider Caramel Sauce.
Apple picking (and the associated Apple Bread baking) is one of my favorite fall traditions, and I can rarely leave the orchard without a jug of fresh-pressed apple cider.
It was this past weekend at my local orchard where I saw jars of premade caramel sauce sitting beside rows of cider.
I almost bought one but quickly remembered that homemade caramel sauce (like this Vegan Caramel Sauce) is ALWAYS the better option.
- It’s straightforward and easy to prepare.
- Homemade caramel sauce tastes 1,000 times better than anything you’ll find at the grocery store.
- Plus, it makes me feel like a magical candy wizard while I watch the cream and sugar transform into golden candy.
The caramel sauce I’m sharing today is special because it’s made with apple cider.
It begins by cooking down the apple cider until it forms a thick syrup, concentrating the cider’s flavor as it reduces, and infusing every spoonful with the sweet taste of apples. (Try it drizzled over this Fresh Apple Cake or Crock Pot Apple Crisp.)
5 Star Review
“This is my favorite thing to serve with apple slices! It makes a healthy snack taste like dessert!”— Taylor —
How to Make Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
Every drizzle of this apple cider caramel sauce tastes just like a caramel apple! Pour it over your vanilla ice cream, bake it into this Caramel Apple Cake, or sneak it into your coffee. It is also the BEST caramel sauce for apples (whole or sliced).
- Apple Cider. Liquid gold for making the most addictive caramel sauce for apples. I recommend splurging on a jug from your local orchard, if possible, or using my homemade Apple Cider recipe.
- Sugar. I use a combination of brown and regular granulated sugar to create a decadent, homemade caramel sauce with has hints of molasses and toffee.
- Heavy Cream. Thickens the caramel and makes it smooth and creamy.
- Butter. Adds additional fat and richness to the apple cider caramel sauce.
- Vanilla. Smooths out the acidity and tartness of the apples.
- Cinnamon. Subtly spices the caramel and makes it smell like heaven.
- Salt. Balances the sweetness.
- Bring the apple cider to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally until it reduces down to about 1/4 cup in volume.
- Reduce the heat, add the sugars, and stir until fully dissolved. Mix in the butter and heavy cream.
- Simmer, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt, then let cool. The caramel will thicken as its temperature drops.
- Serve over ice cream, with apple slices, or a spoon (no judgment) while the caramel is still warm. ENJOY!
- To Store. Leftover caramel sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- To Reheat. Microwave on high in a microwave-safe container until just warm (about 10 or so seconds depending upon your microwave), then stir until smooth.
- To Freeze. Apple cider caramel sauce may be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then reheat as directed above.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m afraid I can’t give any advice as far as canning this sauce goes—I have not tried to seal and preserve it. I would suggest doing some research on preserving caramel sauce online if you’re curious about the possibility of canning the sauce and storing it for later use.
Apple cider caramel sauce tastes just like a caramel apple (or Caramel Apple Bars)!
I have not tried making this caramel sauce with apple juice, so if you try it, it would be an experiment. If you attempt, I suggest using unsweetened apple juice without any added sugar.
Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
- 2 cups apple cider
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- In a medium saucepan, bring the apple cider to a boil over medium high heat. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes until the cider reduces to a dark, thick syrup that is about 1/4 cup in volume. Watch very carefully in the last few minutes to ensure the cider doesn’t burn.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, then add the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Let bubble for 2 minutes, until the sugar dissolves, then add the butter and heavy cream.
- Boil over medium-low, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens somewhat, 3-5 minutes. The caramel will still seem fairly thin at this point.
- Remove from the heat completely and stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Allow the caramel to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, until it reaches a thicker but still pourable consistency (it will still be warm) or let it rest for longer to cool to a more solid, dip-like texture. To serve, drizzle over ice cream, pie, apple slices, coffee, or just eat with a spoon.
- TO STORE: Leftover caramel sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- TO REHEAT: Microwave on high in a microwave-safe container until just warm (about 10 or so seconds depending upon your microwave), then stir until smooth.
- TO FREEZE: Apple cider caramel sauce may be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then reheat as directed above.
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If you make several bottles and seal them do you think they would have to be refridgerated before opening. Of course after opening the bottle you would refrigerate.
Hi Mary, I’m afraid I can’t give any advice as far as canning this sauce goes—I have not tried to seal and preserve it. Beyond refrigerating it for 1 week as mentioned in the recipe notes, it may work to store it in the freezer for longer a few months, although I have not tested that myself. I would suggest doing some research online if you’re curious about the possibility of canning the sauce and storing for later.
This is my favorite thing to serve with apple slices! It makes a healthy snack taste like dessert!
I’m so happy that it’s been a hit, Taylor! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
I can’t believe I didn’t write a review last year when I made this for the first time! It is utterly delicious & easy. I will never make caramel any other way. It makes a big batch but freezes well in 1 cup canning jars. The cider gives it a subtle but magnificent flavor unlike any other recipes. I am ready to make this year’s batch to drizzle over apple crisp and dipping apple slices. YUM!
Hi Pam! So glad you enjoyed the sauce! Thank you for this kind review!