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Apple Bourbon Caramel Sundaes with Hot Honey Cinnamon Crunch

A sweet and creamy celebration of the transition between summer and fall. The hot honey cinnamon crunch adds warm flavor and the honey tradition of Rosh Hashanah.
Servings 4 Sundaes


For the Apples

  • 3 cups (2 to 3 large apples) peeled and thinly sliced apples (such as Honeycrisp)
  • ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar (or more if the apples are tart)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

For the Hot Honey Cinnamon Crunch

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • A pinch of ground cayenne pepper (no more than 1/16 of a teaspoon)
  • ½ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

For the Sundaes

  • 1 pint vanilla gelato
  • Cooked apples
  • Bourbon caramel sauce, store bought or your favorite recipe, slightly warmed (see the note for a link to my recipe)
  • Whipped cream, store bought or your favorite recipe (see the note for a link to my recipe)
  • Hot Honey Cinnamon Crunch (or substitute crushed cinnamon graham crackers)


  • To make the apples: In a medium saucepan, toss together the apples and lemon juice. Stir in the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-low heat and cook stirring occasionally until the apples are tender. Taste for seasoning. Transfer to a bowl and cool to lukewarm, or cool completely and cover and refrigerate until ready to use (warm slightly before using).
  • To make the hot honey cinnamon crunch: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside. In a small bowl, add the butter, honey, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne pepper and stir to combine well. Add the panko and stir until well coated.
    Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice, until crisped and just starting to brown. Remove and cool completely. Cover and store at room temperature until ready to use. 
  • When ready to serve, set out 4 to 5 serving dishes. Assemble in this order: A scoop of vanilla gelato, ¼ cup of apple mixture, a drizzle of caramel sauce, a spoonful of whipped cream, another generous drizzle of caramel sauce, and a sprinkling of cinnamon crunch.


Here is my Bourbon Caramel Sauce recipe (from within the Salted Bourbon Caramel Hamantashen recipe); for the apple sundaes, I recommend using 1 tablespoon of bourbon, or you can omit it.
Here is my Whipped Cream recipe; omit the whiskey for this purpose and use 2 teaspoons of vanilla.