Get two new free healthy recipes each week. Sign Up

Caramel Apple Milkshake

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.

No ratings yet.

Rate this recipe

Published on October 3, 2011

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
featured on The 
Today Show, CNN, 
Fox, The 
Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day!

Learn more about Katie

Get Free Recipes

Don’t Miss Out On The NEW Free Healthy Recipes

Sign up below to receive exclusive & always free healthy recipes right in your inbox:

Chocolate Covered Katie The Healthy Dessert Blog Recipes

Popular Right Now

Reader Interactions


Leave a comment or reviewLeave a rating
  1. Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes says

    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. Qi Ting @ Misadventures of Fat free Baking says

    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. Ali @ Peaches and Football says

    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. 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 🙂

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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?

  10. 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?

  11. 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? (:

  12. 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…

  13. Michaela says

    ah no, it seems like my comment has just vanished!
    This is such a creative recipe! Seems like one that will win carnivores over 😉
    I was wearing braces for a couple of years… I also liked choosing colours and stuff, but besides that, I just wanted them off. And when they eventually came off, my teeth seemed soooo huge and when biting into an apple I felt like my teeth were falling out. So weird. But I like my straight teeth 🙂

  14. Robin says

    This looks more than delicious. I can’t wait till the weekend, when I have planned a trip to the organic grocery store to buy dates (among many other things).

    I have never had braces. When I was younger I really wanted braces, because of the split between my two front teeth. When I came to the orthodontist, however, he laughed at me because he found it a silly thing to get braces for. At first I was quite angry, but I am glad I have never had braces now. I love my split, it’s one of the things that defines me.

  15. Anna @ The Guiltless Life says

    Ooh yummy! I actually had Invisalign and got them a few years ago, in my early 20s. They were pretty easy and barely anyone could tell I was wearing them though I still felt they were a bit obvious. I would recommend those for sure for the new teenagers as I think they came out with an Invisalign Teen or something!

  16. Gus says

    I love your blog and especially the drinks/shakes.
    I’m going to make this as a reward for finishing everything I have to do tonight.
    I never wore braces, but so many people have, and at one point in life, I was kind of disappointed that I was going to miss out on this. But then on a skiing trip, my friend skied into a tree and her braces stuck to the back of her lip and her dad had to rip them free. It was horrifying and since then, I’ve been glad I didn’t have braces 🙂

  17. kaitlin @4loveofcarrots says

    I never had braces but I really really wanted them when I was younger so I used to try and make them with a paperclip and gum! It never stayed in place for longer then a few seconds!

  18. Becky @ Skinnyfat Girls says

    Wow, that’s definitely not a combination of ingredients I would have thought of, but it looks scumptious! I’ve been wanting to experiment with dates as a sweetener but can only ever find the kind with added sugar. I guess I need to shop somewhere besides H-E-B for once. 🙂 Did you find that they really add a caramel flavor?

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      They add a very nice sweetness. I don’t know if you can say they make the recipe overly caramel-y (maybe if you added twice the amount?), but I do see why people say dates taste like caramel. They have the same sticky-sweetness.

  19. Molly says

    i had braces and i felt the exact same way you did about them!!! The idea of them were cool (since when is having braces cool?!?! i was that much of a loser i guess) but then i got them..and they hurt..and were ugly..and i wanted them off. haha

  20. Erica @ For the Sake of Cake says

    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!

  21. Vanessa @ L'épice de la Vie says

    I had braces for 3.5 years. It was awful! And when my brother got braces a few years later, my mom ended up getting them too so she was way more lenient with him than she was with me.
    I know, totally unfair. LOL. The one and only time I did break a bracket was while eating something that was not on the banned foods list. Go figure…

  22. A Tablespoon of Liz says

    This looks so good! I love using dates as a sweetener. I never had braces. I always wanted them though. (I was such a weird kid!)

  23. Katie @ Peace Love and Oats says

    my first reaction to the title of this post: “OH NO SHE DID NOT.” Caramel apples are my FAVORITE thing ever! Ok other than cake and ice cream. Not being able to have caramel was definitely annoying when I had braces. I also hated that I couldn’t have Starburst candies – I LOVED starburst in middle school!

  24. Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather says

    I missed corn on the cob when I had braces! This looks like a fall treat :). Nice work girl!

  25. Jillian says

    Ohh I love caramel apples so I can’t wait to try this! I always wanted braces. My little sister had them and she always got cool multicoloured bands on them. So when I was 18, (waaaay too old!) I went to my dentist and told him that I was certain that one of my teeth was moving and was not straight. So I finally got them, just on my bottom teeth. But the novelty definately wore off, I went back soon after and asked them to take them off….they hurt a lot! But still when I see people who have them I think its so cool. Lol.

  26. Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) says

    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! 😛

Leave A Reply

Get Free Recipes

Don’t Miss Out On The NEW Free Healthy Recipes

Sign up below to receive exclusive & always free healthy recipes right in your inbox:

Chocolate Covered Katie The Healthy Dessert Blog Recipes