How much sugar is in a caramel apple pop?

Caramel apple pops are a popular fall treat consisting of a green apple coated in a hard caramel candy shell. They are often found at carnivals, fairs, and festivals during the autumn months and make for a delicious, indulgent snack. However, with their sweet caramel coating, caramel apple pops are far from a healthy treat. This leads many to wonder just how much sugar is hiding beneath that layer of caramel.

What is a Caramel Apple Pop?

A caramel apple pop starts with a green apple, often a Granny Smith, which provides a nice tart flavor and added crunch. The apple is speared onto a stick, mimicking a lollipop. It is then coated in a layer of caramel candy. The caramel is typically made from butter, cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla extract. It has a sweet, buttery, rich flavor when hardened. The end result is the perfect combination of flavors – the sweetness of the caramel paired with the tartness of the crisp apple.

Caramel apple pops are most often found at autumn fairs, festivals, carnivals, and orchards. They make for a fun handheld treat to enjoy while perusing the pumpkin patches or going on rides. Many food trucks and carnival vendors specialize in caramel apples and other candy apples during the fall months. Caramel apple pops can also easily be made at home for a fun weekend project with the kids.

Nutritional Information

So how much sugar is actually hiding in the average caramel apple pop? Let’s take a look at the nutrition facts:

Serving Size

A typical caramel apple pop weighs about 100 grams or 3.5 ounces. This is considered one serving.


One caramel apple pop contains around 170 calories. Over half of these calories (110 calories) come from carbohydrates, predominantly sugars.


Caramel apple pops contain 5 grams of fat per serving, mostly from the caramel coating. Much of this comes from saturated fat.


There are less than 1 gram of protein in a caramel apple pop. The majority of calories come from carbohydrates and fat.


This is where caramel apple pops really pack in the calories. A single pop contains about 28 grams of carbohydrates.


The most important part – a caramel apple pop contains 25 grams of sugar per 100 gram serving. That equates to about 6 teaspoons of added sugar in just one snack-sized treat!

This is far beyond the recommended daily limits for added sugar intake. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons (38 grams) for men. Just one caramel apple pop exceeds the daily recommendations.


Caramel apple pops contain 1 gram of dietary fiber, which comes from the apple itself.


There are 25 milligrams of sodium in each caramel apple pop. This comes mostly from the caramel coating rather than the apple itself.

Nutrition Facts Per 100g
Calories 170
Fat 5g
Protein Less than 1g
Carbohydrates 28g
Sugars 25g
Fiber 1g
Sodium 25mg

As the table shows, a single caramel apple pop packs in 25 grams of sugar – the same as 6 teaspoons of granulated sugar!

Daily Recommended Sugar Intake

Eating too much added sugar can negatively impact your health in many ways. That’s why health organizations like the American Heart Association recommend limiting added sugar intake.

According to the American Heart Association, the recommended daily limits for added sugar are:

– Men: 38 grams or 9 teaspoons
– Women: 25 grams or 6 teaspoons
– Children: 15-20 grams or 3-4 teaspoons

Consuming more added sugar than the recommendations can increase your risk for:

– Obesity
– Heart disease
– Type 2 diabetes
– High blood pressure
– High cholesterol
– Fatty liver disease

As we saw earlier, a single caramel apple pop exceeds the daily recommended sugar limits for women and children. And it provides 2/3 of the recommendation for men.

Eating caramel apples and other sweets in moderation is fine for most healthy individuals. But consuming them in excess can negatively impact your health over time.

Ingredients in Caramel Apple Pops

Now let’s take a more in-depth look at the two main ingredients in caramel apple pops – the apple and the caramel coating. This will give us a better understanding of precisely where all that sugar is coming from.


Caramel apple pops typically use tart green apple varieties like Granny Smith. Apples are fat-free and cholesterol-free. They provide fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants.

A medium apple contains around 25 grams of carbohydrates and 19 grams of sugar. They also provide 4 grams of fiber.

So the apple itself contains some natural occurring sugars. But it also provides beneficial nutrients and fiber.


The sweet caramel coating is where caramel apples get most of their sugar. Traditional caramel is made by cooking butter, cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla extract to 245°F.

Here is the nutrition breakdown for a typical homemade caramel:

– 1/4 cup butter: 800 calories, 28 grams saturated fat, trace carbs
– 1 cup brown sugar: 830 calories, 0 fat, 214 grams sugar
– 1/4 cup corn syrup: 210 calories, 0 fat, 60 grams carbs
– 1/3 cup heavy cream: 215 calories, 14 grams fat, 3 grams carbs
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract: 12 calories, 0 fat, 3 grams carbs

As you can see, the three main sources of sugar are the brown sugar, corn syrup, and heavy cream. Just 1/4 cup of brown sugar contains a whopping 57 grams of sugar – more than twice the daily recommendation for women!

Store-bought caramel or caramel candies may have slightly different nutrition facts. But they are still high in both sugar and calories.

When all of the ingredients are combined and cooked down into caramel, the sugar becomes even more concentrated. This makes that caramel coating pack a big punch of sugar!

Sugar Content of Other Caramel Apple Treats

Caramel apple pops aren’t the only popular apple treat coated in caramel. Here is how other caramel apple foods compare:

Caramel Apples

Whole caramel apples are another classic fall treat. Since they use a whole large apple, they contain slightly more carbs, sugar, and calories than a pop.

A 6-ounce caramel apple has around:

– 330 calories
– 58 grams carbs
– 44 grams sugar

Caramel Apple Slices

For a snack-sized portion, many choose caramel apple slices instead of a whole apple. These are typically served in snack bags.

A 100-gram serving of caramel apple slices contains:

– 220 calories
– 40 grams carbs
– 34 grams sugar

So the slices are slightly lower in sugar than a whole caramel apple or caramel apple pop. But they are still high in added sugar.

Candy Apples

Candy apples are even more indulgent than caramel apples, as they eliminate the apple flavor entirely. Candy apples are coated with flavors like chocolate, peanut butter, sprinkles, nuts, etc.

A basic candy apple contains around:

– 270 calories
– 55 grams carbs
– 51 grams sugar

Candy apples with more elaborate coatings or toppings can contain even more sugar.

Apple Pie

Fall means apple pie season. So how does this classic dessert compare to the caramel apple?

A 1/8 slice of apple pie (with no ice cream) contains:

– 330 calories
– 46 grams carbs
– 25 grams sugar

So apple pie has a similar calorie count with fewer grams of sugar than a caramel apple. The types of sugars are also different, with apple pie containing more complex sugars than straight white sugar.

Caramel Apples vs Other Treats

Compared to other popular sweet treats, caramel apples are on the higher end for sugar content:

– Snickers bar: 27 grams sugar
– Twix bar: 24 grams sugar
– Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup: 21 grams sugar
– Glazed Donut: 22 grams sugar
– Caramel Apple Pop: 25 grams sugar

Healthier Caramel Apple Options

If you want to enjoy the delicious caramel apple flavor but reduce the sugar intake, here are some healthier options:

Baked Apples

Baked apples are filled with oats, cinnamon, raisins, and a bit of brown sugar or maple syrup for sweetness. Skip the caramel topping for a treat that’s under 5 grams of sugar.

Yogurt Dip

Dip apple slices into vanilla yogurt mixed with a bit of peanut butter or honey for a protein-packed treat.

Fruit Dip

Swap caramel dip for chocolate hummus or fruit dip made from yogurt and berries. Dip apple slices for a treat that contains natural sugars.

Homemade “Caramel” Apples

Make healthy “caramel” by mixing medjool dates with non-dairy milk and warming until smooth. Dip apples for a recipe that’s vegan, dairy-free, and low sugar.

With some easy substitutions, you can still enjoy all the flavors of caramel apples in a healthier way.


Caramel apple pops and other caramel apple treats are classic fall indulgences. But with 25 grams of sugar each, they far exceed the recommended daily limits for added sugars. Just one caramel apple contains more sugar than women and children should consume in a whole day.

The main sources of sugar are the 1/4 cup brown sugar and corn syrup used to make the caramel coating. This condenses down into a concentrated layer of sugar once cooked and hardened onto the apple.

Enjoying the occasional caramel apple pop won’t negatively impact your health. But regular overconsumption can increase risk for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other problems over time.

If you want to reduce sugar intake but still enjoy the flavors of caramel apples, try baking apples, dipping in yogurt or hummus, or making homemade “caramel” with dates. This allows you to satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthier way.

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