Mini Caramel Apple Pies nestled in easy soft, buttery, sugar cookie crusts – apple pie doesn’t get much easier – or more delicious!
These Caramel Apple Pies with Streusel Topping are everyone’s favorite pie with soft, tender apples spiked with cinnamon and caramel but in mini pie form! The crust is made from pre-made sugar cookie dough which means the crust – and the whole pies – just got exponentially more delicious. These Caramel Apple Pies belong on your Thanksgiving Table – and of course should be sampled ahead of time too :)! (Video coming soon!)
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CARAMEL APPLE PIE RECIPE VIDEO
Caramel Apple Pie
Are you loving Fall?! I’m loving sharing my pumpkin recipes with you from my Pumpkin Bars with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting to my Pumpkin Dip but Fall also means apples! I have soooo many apple pie inspired recipes because does it really get better than warm cinnamon apples and creamy vanilla ice cream?!
A few of my apple dessert favs include: Toffee Apple Pound Cake, Caramel Apple Pie Blondies, Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Apple Dip, Peanut Butter Caramel Apple Pie Dumplings. and Apple Pie Pancake Bowls – so you can even devour apple pie for breakfast!
But on to the main event – these Mini Caramel Apple Pies AKA the most adorable, crowd pleasing, make ahead dessert! If you’ve never made homemade Caramel Apple Pie or even Apple Pie before, you will be shocked at how surprisingly easy it is AND these mini apple pies are even less time consuming because you don’t have to thinly slice all those apples or make your pie crust BUT they epically delicious.
How to Make Caramel Apple Pie
There are 4 parts to my Caramel Apple Streusel Pies, but I promise they are easy. First: the buttery, chewy sugar cookie crust, 2) caramel cinnamon apples filling 3) buttery pecan streusel, 4) caramel drizzle. So let’s get to it!
How to Make Caramel Apple Pie Crust
Pie crust is one of the most important elements of a pie so it has to be deeeelicous! That being said, I have to admit, I am not a fan of traditional pie crust. I know, blasmphemously un-American. But I still love pie so I tend to make them with nontraditional crusts, and my favorite pie crust to date – sugar cookie crust! It’s so soft and chewy and melt in your mouth delicious all on it’s own and absolutely perfect for these Mini Caramel Apple Pies. Once you try pie filling in sugar cookie crust – nothing else will be good enough to cocoon your pies!
These buttery sugar cookie crusts are not only delectable – they are super simple to make -winning! Simply cut a package of sugar cookie dough into 12 slices and press them into your muffin tins to bake. As you can see, they don’t need to be perfect, so don’t stress about it!
TIP: I dip my fingertips in flour before I press the dough into the cups – this makes the dough super easy to work and keeps your fingers from sticking to the dough.
How to Make Caramel Apple Pie Filling
Many apple pie recipes mix a few kinds of apples, but for our Caramel Apple Pies, we want Granny Smith Apples otherwise the filling will be too sweet. Granny smith apples are known for their brilliant tartness which pair beautifully with our sugars and caramel. You will need about 4-5 Granny Smith Apples for the filling, but apples can vary widely in size, so be sure to measure your chopped apples so they equal 3 ½ cups.
To make the Caramel Apple Pie Filling:
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped, peeled apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, ground ginger, nutmeg and lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
Add caramels and continue to cook until caramels are completely melted and apples are tender, about 3 additional minutes. Remove from heat.
Remove filling using a slotted spoon and evenly divide it between baked sugar cookie crusts.
TIP: You may need to press cookie crust down with the back of a tablespoon if they are still puffed up after baking for 15 minutes. I use a 2 tablespoon cookie dough scoop.
How to Make Caramel Apple Pie Streusel
Caramel Apple Pie with Streusel in sugar cookie crusts. All is right with the world. I’ve kept this a pretty traditional streusel with the addition of pecans. I love making my streusels in my food processor because it literally takes less than 2 minutes and no elbow grease, but if you don’t have a food processor you can cut your butter into the dry ingredients by hand then stir in chopped pecans.
To make Pecan Streusel:
- Add pecans flour, sugar and cinnamon and pulse until pecans are mostly chopped small. Sprinkle cold butter over top and the mixture resembles small pebbles.
- Divide filling evenly between sugar cookie crust (about 1 ½ tablespoons). Top each pie with 1 tablespoon streusesl and push into pie. Top evenly with remaining streusel (leave loose).
TIP: If you have a couple stubborn pieces of butter that are not quite mixed in, remove the blade from the food processor and mix them in with your fingertips.
HOW LONG TO BAKE CARAMEL APPLE PIE
We first bake our sugar cookie crusts for 15 minutes so they are mostly baked before we add the Caramel Apple Pie filling. This ensures they emerge golden and not soggy. After adding the filling, bake an traditional 5-7 minutes or until the tops of the pies and crusts are golden.
Let Caramel Apple Pies Cool
It is essential that you let your Caramel Apple Pies cool so they will hold their shape when removed from the muffin tin. If you try and remove them when they are still warm, they will fall apart because the pie crust will still be soft and won’t hold its form. Once the pies are cool, remove them by running a sharp knife along the edge of each pie then gently prying up.
If you love warm apple pie (don’t we all?!), then microwave for a few seconds before servings but honestly, these Mini Caramel Apple Pies area so good just as they are!
How to Make Caramel Drizzle
These Caramel Apple Pies have built in caramel yummines so the Caramel Drizzle is optional luscious decadence. For ease, you can make the Caramel Drizzle out of the soft caramels you will already have a package of for your filling or if you want the best Caramel Sauce on the planet, see my Homemade Caramel Sauc Recipee which makes more than you will ever need for this recipe – but not more than you will ever want.
To make easy Caramel Drizzle:
Add 10 soft caramels, 1 ½ tablespoons heavy cream and salt to a medium microwave safe dish. Microwave for 1 ½ minutes then whisk vigorously until smooth. Microwave an additional 30 seconds if needed.
TIP: I don’t recommend trying to make the Caramel Drizzle on the stoveop because the caramels easily scorch.
TIP: Don’t make and add the Caramel Drizzle to the pies until ready to serve or else the streusel will get soggy.
DOES CARAMEL APPLE PIE NEED TO BE REFRIGERATED?
These Caramel Apple Pies will be completely cooked so they don’t need to be refrigerated. Store them in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 days.
Looking for more Thanksgiving Desserts?
- Almost No Bake Nutella S’mores Pie (MY FAV PIE)
- Double Layer Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecake
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pound Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Glaze
- Cranberry Eggnog Cheesecake
- Best Ever Pecan Pie with Pecan Graham Cracker Crust
- Almost No Bake Ultimate Mud Pie
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Mini Caramel Apple Pies
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- 1 16 oz. pkg. Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter chilled and cut into pieces
Caramel Drizzle (Optional)
- 10 soft caramels
- 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray with FLOUR or grease and flour your pan.
- Cut cookie dough into 12 even slices and press into the bottom and up the sides of prepared muffin cups.* Bake for 15 minutes then remove from oven.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, ground ginger and nutmeg and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
- Add caramels and continue to cook until caramels are completely melted and apples are tender, about 3 additional minutes. Remove from heat.
- While the apples are cooking, add pecans flour, sugar and cinnamon and pulse until pecans are mostly chopped. Sprinkle cold butter over top and pulse until the mixture resembles small pebbles. (You may also combine in a bowl and cut butter in by hand).
- Remove filling using a slotted spoon and evenly divide it between sugar cookie crusts (about 1 ½ tablespoons each). You may need to press cookie crust down with the back of a tablespoon if they are still puffed up. Top each pie with 1 tablespoon streusesl and push into pie. Top evenly with remaining streusel (leave loose). Bake an additional 5-7 minutes or until crusts and streusel are golden.
- Cool COMPLETELY before removing from muffin tin or they will fall apart. When cooled, run a sharp knife along the edge of each pie before gently removing.
Caramel Drizzle (optional)
- Add caramels, heavy cream and salt to a medium microwave safe dish. Microwave for 1 ½ minutes then whisk vigorously until smooth. Microwave an additional 30 seconds if needed. Drizzle over pies just before serving – NOT BEFORE or the streusel will get soggy.
- If you love warm apple pie, then microwave for a few seconds before servings but honestly, these Mini Caramel Apple Pies area so good just as they are! Drizzle Caramel Apple pies with Caramel (optional).
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