15 Perfect Caramel Recipes So You Can Drizzle and Dunk Your Way Through Fall

Like most great romances, a love affair with caramel is never easy. On the best of days, your caramel recipe will bubble and froth like Mount Vesuvius. It will splatter you with hot sugar; it will bring you to your knees and make you weep on the kitchen floor. And the moment you think you’ve mastered cooking with caramel, it will harden into inedible shards just to spite you.

So why do we keep coming back? Because if you treat it right, homemade caramel is nothing short of glorious. Master it, and you’ll have an ice cream topping to rival hot fudge, a dip for dunking apples, and a sauce for drizzling over everything in sight. Besides, pumpkin spice has had its moment — now, it’s time for caramel to show us how fall is really done.

Here’s the secret: Leave your caramel alone. I mean it. Don’t even think about touching that spatula. Once you get your pot on the stove, the most you should do is tilt it gently to ensure even heating. Let your caramel bubble. Let it go wild. And then, when it’s smoky and sweet and just the right shade of amber, you’ll know it’s ready for anything. Read on, and then break out the sugar bin. It’s about to get messy up in here.

Image: Lady and Pups

Caramel Apple Granola

Caramel apples for breakfast? Heck yes. Pastry Affair turns your favorite fall dessert into a respectable granola.

Image: Pastry Affair

Brioche Pudding

Smack dab on the divide between breakfast and dessert, this bread pudding gets a big old drizzle of salted caramel. Tucker, you complete us.

Image: Tucker

Strawberry Toasts

I know, I know. Strawberries aren’t exactly seasonal — but why should apples have all the caramel fun? Lady and Pups shows us how to make the snack of champions.

Image: Lady and Pups

Caramel Apples

We just couldn’t leave you without a classic caramel apple recipe. Kitchen Confidante breaks it down.

Image: Kitchen Confidante

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Did you end up with caramel everywhere? Even on the cat? These cupcakes from Taste and Tell are everything you love about caramel apples — minus the mess.

Image: Taste and Tell

Old Fashioned Caramels

You know what else caramel is good for? Caramels — as in the chewy, stick-to-everything candy. Bake Love Give has your go-to edible gift this season.

Image: Bake Love Give

Salted Caramel Slice

Once you’ve mastered the classic caramel, drizzle it in chocolate and slice that baby up. Thanks, Moonblush Baker!

Image: Moonblush Baker

Double Chocolate Loaf Cake

Chocolate loaf cakes are good. You know what’s better? Drenching them in warm caramel sauce. How Sweet It Is shows us how it’s done.

Image: How Sweet It Is

Mocha Nutella Brownies

While we’re drizzling caramel over everything, let’s not forget our brownies. Half Baked Harvest makes Nutella brownies even better — yes, it’s possible — with a healthy dose of salted caramel.

Image: Half Baked Harvest

Salted Caramel Cookies

This is not your ordinary chocolate cookie. Pastry Affair sneaks in a few caramel candies for a truly glorious, gooey dessert.

Image: Pastry Affair

Nutella Banana Tarte Tatin

Got someone to impress? You need these caramel-drenched tartes tatin, stat. Half Baked Harvest pairs bananas with Nutella and caramel, which is pretty much everything we’ve ever wanted in life.

Image: Half Baked Harvest

Thumbprint Cookies

Not enough caramel for you? Take a cue from Cozy Kitchen and drown your cookies in salted goodness instead.

Image: A Cozy Kitchen

Chocolate Caramel Cups

Ditch the peanut butter, and whip up these caramel cups from How Sweet It Is. Reese’s ain’t got nothing on you.

Image: How Sweet It Is

Apple Pie Biscuits

If you don’t feel like going all out on a show-stopping apple pie, whip up these pillowy, sugar-dusted biscuits instead. Thanks, Lady and Pups!

Image: Lady and Pups

Bourbon Caramel Corn

You’ve had a long day of baking — and now, it’s time to settle in with your best friends, Netflix and caramel corn. Brown Eyed Baker has your back.

Image: Brown Eyed Baker