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Caramel Apple Milkshake

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Like a sticky-sweet caramel apple.

In liquid form.

caramel shake

Caramel Apples

This recipe reminds me of those gorgeous caramel apples on display at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Until I got my braces, I looked forward to caramel apples every autumn. (After the braces went on, I was probably more upset about not being allowed caramel than gum.)

Ever since I made the (No Sugar!) Cookie Dough Dip, I’d been curious to experiment more with blending dates as a substitute for sugar. I’ve heard people say they think dates have a caramel-like taste, and therefore I figured an apple recipe would be the perfect place to start.

This caramel-apple milkshake manages to capture all the deliciousness of a crisp, juicy apple, dripping with thick caramel sauce.

caramel apple shake

Caramel Apple Milkshake

(sugar and gluten-free)

  • scant 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup pitted dates (such as Sunmaid)
  • scant 1/16 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice
  • 3 tbsp nondairy creamer (I used Silk. You can substitute milk of choice, for a caramel-apple smoothie as opposed to the richer taste of a shake. Or you can sub full-fat canned coconut milk.)

In a little dish, pour a little water over the dates and let them sit for at least two hours. Then blend all other ingredients with the dates and 1 tbsp of the water. (Drain the rest of the water before blending.) Alternatively, you can blend the dates a little before adding the other ingredients. The shake will get thicker as it sits.

View Nutrition Facts


caramel shake

Generously topped with Healthy Whipped Cream.

The cream melts into the shake, making it even more rich and delicious. I also drizzled on some brown rice syrup, more for presentation than anything else!

apple pie shake

Question of the Day:

Did you ever have braces?

Initially, I was really excited to get my braces on. I even worried I might not need them, because my teeth were always pretty straight. But once the novelty of having braces wore off, I wished I hadn’t needed them. Every orthodontist appointment, I hoped to hear that the darn things were coming off soon!

Yummy link of the day: Healthy Milkshake Recipes.

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. This milkshake looks awesome!
    I had braces for about a year in 3rd grade. Being so young, I LOVED them! I looked forward to the orthodontist to change my band colors, especially for holidays. 🙂 But when I got them off, it was nice to have smooth teeth again. 🙂 And I would have hated them if I had to have them in HS…

  2. Jenny says:

    Despite being a huge apple-lover, I’ve never thought of putting apple into a smoothie and/or milkshake! Great idea… and recipe, as always. 🙂 Drizzling on some brown syrup for presentation was a great idea! It really does take it over the top in terms of looks.

    I was completely the same when it comes to braces! I was super excited to get them on and customize the colours in the braces and blah blah because everyone else around me was getting them (in middle school; I lived in Illinois at the time)… then getting them on was no fun and they caused so many problems, and I hated them and couldn’t wait to get them off. (Getting metal bands put on my molars was THE most painful experience I’ve had at the orthodontist’s office, also. Never again!)

    I still have to wear a retainer and it bugs me too. Argh, wish teeth just came out perfect and stayed that way… 😐

  3. Ashley says:

    I have braces right now and I am 25 they suck but I know I will have perfect teeth eventually. All your recipes look so good, maybe one day I will finally attempt one instead of drooling on my keyboard each day I look at your blog.

  4. I’ve never had braces though my dentist suggested I did! My teeth didn’t pose any problem to me and still don’t so I’ve never had them done before (also because their pretty expensive here! A few grand at least!) I totally agree about caramel! Its outrageously delicious. And since dates taste like caramel, I think I’m going to add it to some recipes! Maybe oatmeal!

  5. I had braces for 2 years in middle school. Actually aside from the adjustments and added difficulty brushing, they didn’t bother me much. I cut my corn off the cob but caramel, as yummy as it is, I never ate it that often.

    This milkshake looks good. I bet the applesauce really lightens it up too. Sometimes (ok often) when you drink a milkshake it sits like a ton of bricks in your tummy. I so love Fall and all things apple. 🙂

  6. Oh my goodness; this looks delicious!

    I had braces all throughout middle school & was so happy to get them off! I probably should admit this (?!) but I still wear my retainer at night… 10 years later!

    1. I mean… “shouldn’t”* 🙂

  7. Gen says:

    I’ve never had braces….
    that shake looks incredible! 😀

  8. Kat says:

    Shake looks scrumptious! I <3 caramel apple – it's so perfect for fall (and in Florida right now it's in the 70s – finally FEELS like fall compared to the 90s last week!).
    I had braces in middle school, complete with headgear (that fortunately only had to be worn at home!)… I hated them but love my straight teeth now 🙂

  9. katie says:

    LOVE this! Apple yum!

    I did have braces from when I was 17-20 !

    I am sad to say, my bottom teeth moved a little, I might get braces on the bottom again someday!

  10. Michaela says:

    Very creative recipe!!
    I told my mum you had created a sugar free cookie dough dip recipe and she was delighted! I guess I better head to the kitchen and blend up some chickpeas 😉 She loves the dip soooo much!

  11. w says:

    This milkshake looks so delicious! Yes, I wear braces and am still wearing them as I type! I just put them on not too long ago and already can’t wait to get them off! I just went for tightening and it hurts so badly right now! Btw, what dates do you use? Medjool?

    1. As I wrote in the recipe, I suggest Sunmaid. I think they’re delget noor. They seem much softer than the fancy (and more-expensive) ones at places like Whole Foods.

      1. w says:

        Thanks for your prompt reply and sorry for the dumb Q! I thought sunmaid was a brand and not a type of date so I asked! Sorry!

        1. Oh my gosh, not a dumb question at all!
          Yes, sunmaid is a brand. You weren’t wrong at all! The type is “delget noor.” 🙂 🙂

  12. Rebecca says:

    What a nice fall treat, especially when Indian summer is here. I made some date muffins last year that used soaked and pureed dates and were surprisingly delicious. I had kind of forgotten about using dates that way, thanks for the reminder!

    By the way, where do you get your big straws?

    1. These were from Bed Bath Beyond!

  13. That looks SO AMAZING!! Caramel and apple are totally the best fall combo!! Except maybe pumpkin and chocolate/peanut butter 😉

    I had braces for SIX LONG YEARS and that was quite enough! 😛

  14. Dalai Lina says:

    Five years, Katie. Five flipping years and in the last 10, my teeth started moving. I wished I had never stopped wearing my retainer!!!

  15. What a excellent idea for fall! It sounds and looks fantastic 🙂

  16. Anonymous says:

    This looks great. Have you ever made cakepops? They are so cute and yummy. I got a recipe book for making them, but the recipes aren’t vegan and have a lot of processed sugar. Any tips? (:

    1. Amber K says:

      Have you seen Mama Pea’s vegan cake pops? I made them with gluten-free flour and they rock!

    2. LOL I’ve done cookie ball pops:

      But not cake pops. If you google vegan cake pops, a lot of links come up. I’m not sure if they have processed sugar or not, though. Maybe I should make some! 🙂

  17. Amber K says:

    Looks delicious!

    I had to have braces for three years and it was absolutely awful. Getting them tightened was horrible, but so was spending all of that time at the orthodontist’s office! I wonder what I could have done with all of those extra hours…

  18. jayna says:

    looks delicious!

  19. I had braces….twice…ouch.

  20. Omg this sounds fabulous! I have been wanting a carmel apple now for the past week!

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