Caramel Apple Bark with Pretzels
Enjoy the flavors of caramel apples in this easy-to-make and easy-to-eat Caramel Apple Bark! It features a rich chocolate base that’s topped with sweet, gooey caramel and crisp apple bits, plus a sprinkling of crispy, salty pretzels. A fun, sweet & savory treat!
Easy Caramel Apple Bark Recipe
The local apple orchards are crazy busy right now, which puts me in a caramel apple kind of mood. This Caramel Apple Bark is a super fun twist on a classic fall treat!
I’ve always been a big fan of caramel apples. Growing up on the farm, we’d pick apples from the yard and wrap them in sheets of caramel that Mom brought home from the store. Or we’d cut up the apples and make caramel dip, so good!!
This caramel apple bark recipe features crips apple bites and soft caramel over a chocolate base, plus crunchy pretzels and a sprinkle of sea salt flakes to finish it off.
If you love caramel apples, you’re in for a big treat!
Why You’ll Love This Caramel Chocolate Bark
Apples, caramel, chocolate, and pretzels? Yes, please! This sweet & salty snack is both unexpected and irresistible!
Here’s why you’ll love this caramel apple bark with pretzels:
- The perfect blend of sweet-salty and crunchy-chewy. A sweet chocolate base. Tart, crisp apple bites. Sweet, gooey caramel. Crispy, salty pretzels and sea salt flakes. These all come together for an irresistible combination of flavors and textures.
- Easy ingredients. You won’t have to go to any specialty store to locate these ingredients. You’ll be able to get everything you need at your local grocery store, making this a super easy recipe to put together.
- Uncomplicated method. The basic method for this bark involves a little chopping, some melting, and then spreading and sprinkling.
- Versatile. You can play around with the toppings in this recipe – you don’t just have to use pretzels. Try chopped nuts or chopped-up candy bits.
- Easy to eat! I don’t know about you, but eating a caramel apple off a stick is never easy for me. I’m not going to promise that your fingers won’t get sticky eating this caramel apple bark, but it will be a whole lot easier!
What You’ll Need
I’m highlighting here the ingredients you’ll need, the easy steps you’ll take, and my top tips for making this caramel chocolate bark. If you prefer to skip these sections, just scroll to the recipe card at the end of this post for the printable recipe card.
- Dark chocolate chips – I melt dark chocolate chips and chocolate bark for the base. This makes for a delicious layer of chocolate that melts easily and then sets up sturdy. You could sub semi-sweet chocolate chips if you like.
- Chocolate bark – Look for chocolate bark in the same area as chocolate chips at the grocery store.
- Caramels – Baking caramels are a great shortcut in this recipe because they melt smoothly, taste great, and set up well. I use individually wrapped Kraft Baking Caramels, but you could also use Kraft Caramel Bits.
- Heavy cream – Cream helps the caramel melt smoothly. Make sure to use heavy cream as lower-fat milks will thin the caramel too much.
- Green apple – Green apple adds delicious freshness and crunch to the bark.
- Mini pretzels – Pretzels add a crunch as well but they also add saltiness to help balance out the sweetness of the caramel and chocolate.
- Sea salt – Flakey sea salt is optional but it adds a little more of that delicious salty contrast. My family loves it! I recommend Maldon Sea Salt Flakes.
How To Make Caramel Apple Bark with Pretzels
Follow along with the photos and method here to help you make this fun caramel apple bark with pretzels:
- Prep. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Melt the chocolates. Add the dark chocolate chips and chocolate bark to a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Spread the chocolate and chill. Spread the chocolate into a ¼” thick layer on the prepared baking sheet and place it in the fridge to chill while you prepare the caramel.
- Make the caramel. Heat the caramels and heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the caramel is smooth and melted, about 5 minutes.
- Add the apples. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 2 cups of chopped green apple.
- Layer on the caramel apple mixture, more apples, pretzels, and salt. Spread the caramel apple mixture over the chilled chocolate layer. Then sprinkle it with the remaining ½ cup chopped apple, mini pretzels, and sea salt flakes.
- Chill the bark. Place the finished bark in the fridge. Let chill until the caramel is firmly set, 1-2 hour.
- Slice the bark and eat. Slice and enjoy! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Tips for Success + Variations
This caramel apple bark is not difficult to make, but here are a few helpful tips, plus some variation possibilities:
- Use a different chocolate. I like to mix dark chocolate chips with the chocolate bark, so the bark has a deeper chocolate flavor. When melted together, the chocolate doesn’t taste overly dark at all. But if you’re really not a fan of dark chocolate, feel free to use semi-sweet chocolate. I just caution using milk chocolate, as it’s much softer and makes the bark too sweet for me.
- Use crisp, tart apples. I like to use tart, firm apples like Granny Smith in this bark recipe because they are a nice flavor contrast to all of the sweetness going on. And, they hold their shape well. Another great option would be Honeycrisp.
- Use Kraft caramels. Baking caramels, such as individually wrapped Kraft Baking Caramels or Kraft Caramel Bits, are perfect for this recipe. They melt smoothly, taste great, and set up well. Do not use a purchased or other homemade caramel sauce for this recipe, as these can make the finished treat pretty messy.
- Add or substitute nuts. Toasted nuts, like almonds, walnuts, or pecans, chopped up and sprinkled over the bark would also be god. You could add nuts to the topping or switch out the pretzels for nuts.
- Try other toppings. If you want to go all-in on candy, try adding mini M&Ms, mini chocolate chips, or Reese’s Pieces as toppings.
- Chill the bark thoroughly. Before serving, make sure the bark is thoroughly chilled. This will help with cutting, serving, and eating.
- Enjoy slightly chilled. This caramel chocolate bark will soften if it sits out too long. It’s best to enjoy it slightly chilled. And because it has fresh apple bits, it’ll always be best when eaten shortly after it’s made.
Caramel chocolate bark with apples is a fun fall dessert and snack option. Just know that it’s best enjoyed soon after you make and chill it.
This is not a treat that you want to make too far in advance, and you don’t want to let it set out for a long period of time either. The wonderful texture of the fresh apple bits and crispy pretzels, together in caramel, will diminish with time. So it’s important to know that it’s best enjoyed the same day you make it.
How To Store Caramel Chocolate Bark
Caramel chocolate bark will always have the best flavor and texture on the day that it’s made — the longer it’s kept, the less crisp the apples and pretzels will be.
That said, you can store leftover caramel apple bark with pretzels in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve the bark cold.
- 8 ounces good quality dark chocolate chips
- 8 ounces chocolate bark, roughly chopped
- 2 cups melting caramels, such as individually wrapped Kraft Baking Caramels or Kraft Caramel Bits
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2½ cups diced green apple, divided
- 1 cup mini pretzels (or chopped pretzels)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes, such Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Add the dark chocolate chips and chocolate bark to a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, until the chocolate is smooth and melted.
- Spread the chocolate into a ¼” thick layer on the prepared baking sheet and place the chocolate in the fridge to chill while you prepare the caramel.
- Add the melting caramels and heavy cream to a small saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the caramel is smooth and melted, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 2 cups of the green apple.
- Spread the caramel apple mixture over the chilled chocolate layer and then sprinkle it with the remaining ½ cup diced apple, plus the mini pretzels and sea salt flakes.
- Return the bark to the fridge and chill until the caramel is firmly set, 1-2 hours.
- Slice and enjoy!
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days - just know that the textures of the fresh apple and crispy pretzels will diminish with time.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 236Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 188mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.