Healthy Caramel Apples


When I gave up processed and refined sweeteners I never thought I would be able to enjoy a caramel apple again, until I created this.

Although they’re perfect for the Fall or Halloween, you can enjoy this healthy treat any time of year!  They look just like the “real” thing and kids of all ages love them!

4.91 from 10 votes

Healthy Caramel Apples - Raw and Unprocessed

Sticks for Caramel Apples can be found at craft stores or cake decorating stores. If you have trouble finding them, just slice the apples into wedges and make individually dipped apple slices.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy caramel apples
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Soaking time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Calories 414 kcal
Author Chef AJ


For the Date Paste:

  • 1 pound dates pitted
  • 1 cup water, unsweetened non-dairy milk, or unsweetened juice

For the Apples:

  • date paste
  • 1 tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla
  • apples
  • sticks

Optional Toppings

  • chopped nuts unsalted
  • cacao nibs
  • shredded dried coconut unsweetened
  • Goji berries


For the Date Paste:

  1. Soak dates in liquid overnight or for several hours until much of the liquid is absorbed.
  2. In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, purée the dates and liquid until completely smooth.

For the Apples:

  1. Place each apple upside down on a flat surface and push a stick into the center. Roll the apple in date paste, using your hands if necessary, to get it to stick over the entire surface of the apple.
  2. Roll in your favorite topping such as unsalted nuts, cacao nibs, unsweetened coconut, or Goji berries or a combination.

  3. Chill well before serving.

Recipe Notes

Any extra date paste can be stored in the refrigerator and used to sweeten other recipes.

Photo courtesy of Chef AJ.

About the Author

Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss Book CoverChef AJ is a chef and culinary instructor in Los Angeles, and former Executive Vegan Pastry Chef at Sante restaurant, specializing in in plant-indulgent food that is free of sugar, oil, and salt. She teaches how to create meals to transform your health, how to deal with cravings and food addiction, and addresses the emotional side of eating. Chef AJ is the author of Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight and The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss: A revolutionary approach to conquer cravings, overcome food addiction, and lose weight without going hungry.

Visit her website, her YouTube cooking show The Chef and the Dietitian, and find her on Twitter and Facebook, and Instagram.

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France At Home
September 25, 2019 10:02 pm

Healthy Caramel Apples look awesome and delicious!

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ajay rana
September 3, 2019 1:54 am

5 stars
really amazing information and i read your some old blogs also your all blogs are awesome very interesting

February 21, 2019 2:51 am

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November 4, 2013 7:29 pm

Where do i find the alcohol free vanilla? particular brands??

Chef AJ
November 4, 2013 7:35 pm
Reply to  Deborah

5 stars
Trader Joe’s has an alcohol free brand and Whole Foods has Frontier which is also alcohol free. You can also buy on line or make your own from 2 vanilla beans plus one cup of water in a blender, blend until smooth and then keep in frig.

Love & Kale,
Chef AJ

November 5, 2013 2:47 pm
Reply to  Chef AJ

Thank you.

Julia Bird
Julia Bird
October 10, 2013 6:49 am

Fantastic resource – thanks!

Julia Bird
Julia Bird
October 10, 2013 6:35 am

What non-dairy milk do you use ? Soya, almond? I’m assuming it should be unsweetened?

Chef AJ
October 10, 2013 6:45 am
Reply to  Julia Bird

5 stars
I actually don’t used boxed milks because I don’t like to buy food in packages for environmental reasons, and I don’t eat salt or carageneen which is added to all of the boxed milk. I simply and easily and cheaply make my own out of raw almond butter and water, you can get the recipe in my book UNPROCESSED or free on my website hch is

October 9, 2013 2:38 pm

This is a cool (and beautiful) idea but it can’t possibly taste like caramel. ..can it?

Charles B
Charles B
October 9, 2013 6:25 pm
Reply to  Jill

5 stars
If you use a creamy milk for the liquid and be sure to include the vanilla extract in the date paste, then yes, it tastes a lot like cream caramel. I used 1/2 lb dates, 1/2 cup half and half (dairy), and 1/2 TBSP vanilla.

Chef AJ
October 9, 2013 7:04 pm
Reply to  Charles B

5 stars
I have fooled many people with these the last 13 years. I was an Executive Pastry Chef at a Los Angeles restaurant for many years and fooled many people with my gluten free, oil free, salt free date sweetened desserts. Dates inherently taste like caramel. Especially the Bahri variety.

Chef AJ
October 9, 2013 7:05 pm
Reply to  Chef AJ

5 stars
I am allergic to milk but even with non dairy milk it tastes like caramel.

October 9, 2013 10:02 am

Mmm. Cinnamon would be excellent in the date paste, too.

Chef AJ
October 9, 2013 7:04 pm
Reply to  James

5 stars
it is, it is.