Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies

If you had to choose between pie and cake for dessert, what would you choose?

I always find it hard to choose. I love cake, especially a good layer cake slathered with thick frosting. But I also love pie, especially pie with fruit and a crumbly crust.

I think for me the best way to answer that question is to choose cake for dessert, and then save a slice of pie for breakfast the next day.

And you can easily trick yourself into eating these Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies for breakfast – after all, I intentionally made them to resemble breakfast pastries like turn overs and pop tarts.

These individual pies fit nicely in your hand, although I do recommend serving them on a plate with a dollop of extra salted caramel sauce. Which takes them away from breakfast territory and places them right smack in the middle of holiday extravagance.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I did go the semi-homemade route again, using pre-made pie crust and jarred salted caramel sauce.

But I am ashamed to admit that after making these pies, I went on a date and I didn’t realize I had caramel in my hair. (And no, I don’t mean caramel highlights, although I do pay a pretty price for that. I mean legit salted caramel sauce on a big chunk of my hair.)

You are right in assuming that 1) it was my date who discovered the caramel, 2) I was horrified, and 3) I fought the urge to lick my own hair.

But back to these hand pies. They didn’t turn out perfect – some looked lumpy, some of the edges were a little too brown, some of the caramel oozed out while baking, and they were uneven in size.  But they tasted pretty darn good. I wanted to test-drive these for Thanksgiving, and gave away this batch to some friends. In return, I got tight hugs, beaming smiles, and mouthfuls of buttery and sticky thank you’s as they gobbled these up.

I think for now, cake does not stand a chance against these salted caramel apple hand pies. And for that I am thankful.

Yield: 9 hand pies

Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies


2 pre-made pie crusts, thawed according to package directions (I used Trader Joe's frozen pie crusts)
2 cups small diced Granny Smith apples (you can also use Fuji, Braeburn, or Pink Lady appples, which are sweet-tart apples that are best for baking)
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce (I used Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce)
1 tablespoon sanding sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Unwrap one pie crust and form into a large ball. Using a rolling pin, roll out and shape into a square (tip: sprinkle some flour on the surface first so the crust doesn't stick). Cut into 9 squares. Do the same with the other pie crust, set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the chopped apples, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Spoon a small portion of the apples in the center of each square. Top with about a tablespoon of caramel sauce. Continue until all 9 squares from the first pie crust are filled.
  4. Place a second square of pie crust on top, and use a fork to crimp and seal the edges. Cut three incisions on top of each pie. Place hand pies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle tops with sanding sugar. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the tops and edges are golden brown. Cool for at least 10 minutes.


I hope these little hand pies can be a simple reminder to be grateful for all the blessing we have, both big and small – whether it’s a table filled with your loved ones, laughing out loud, caramel in your hair, or an extra slice of pie for breakfast the next day.


26 Responses to “Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies”

  1. #
    Kathryn posted November 19, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Handpies are my absolute favourite thing in the world – throw some salted caramel in there and I’m sold!

  2. #
    Alaina posted November 19, 2013 at 10:45 am

    This is genius!! I know what I’m making for the holidays. :-)

  3. #
    Erica @ In and Around Town posted November 19, 2013 at 11:05 am

    So decadent looking! love the forward thinking of making these appetizing around the clock ;) Although, I am not sure how much convincing I would need!

  4. #
    Megan posted November 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    I’d actually pick tarts. :) Though I do love cake and pie. These would be wonderful for breakfast!

  5. #
    Meghan M. (@TraveleatloveMM) posted November 19, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I love the semi-homemade aspect of these. It looks like something I could actually make without messing up too badly! :)

  6. #
    Simply Life posted November 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Wowowow!! these look soooo good!

  7. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen posted November 20, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    I think I’d almost always choose pie over cake…especially if these were the pies!

  8. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet posted November 21, 2013 at 8:08 am

    I’m pretty sure I always have butter or chocolate on me when I leave the house. At least caramel smells good:-) These look delicious and no harm in semi-homemade!

  9. #
    Honey,What's Cooking posted November 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    LOL.. love your honesty.. awww.. I’m sure your date must have found that so endearing though. Men love women who can cook/bake. :-)
    These look awesome.. and super easy. I’ve never tried the frozen dough from TJs, will give it a shot. Thanks for sharing!

  10. #
    anna @ annamayeveryday posted November 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Salted caramel apple pies – what a fabulous idea, and to have for breakfast – even better! These look just delicious.

  11. #
    Shikha @ Shikha la mode posted November 21, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I like the way you think. I’ve used the Trader Joe’s caramel sauce tons of times and it never fails me! Trader Joe’s itself is amazing.

  12. #
    The Squishy Monster posted November 21, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I’ve heard such great things about tj’s crust …now I’m totally convinced. Love the look of these, girl! Great combination of flavors and love that you get one (or 3) all to yourself =)

  13. #
    Amy (Savory Moments) posted November 21, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    These look so delicious! I’ve become a big hand pie fan – they are so fun.

  14. #
    Choc Chip Uru posted November 22, 2013 at 5:05 am

    These pies are magic in your mouth :D


    P.S Unfortunately, I have lost around 1000 subscribers on my blog, and I have no idea how, so if you were subscribed, would you be able to resubscribe? Thank you!

  15. #
    My Kitchen Stories posted November 22, 2013 at 6:02 am

    These look like the most delicious little creation and a great idea when you are totally craving pastry and caramel, which in my case is all the time

  16. #
    Barbara posted November 22, 2013 at 9:24 am

    I like the rustic look to your hand pies! Perfection is greatly over-rated. :)
    And I don’t see any reason not to take short cuts when you lead a busy life, either. These look amazing. I can’t wait for our Trader Joe’s to open…not too long now.

  17. #
    Joanne posted November 23, 2013 at 9:29 am

    I definitely vacillate between pie and cake love throughout the year, but around T-Day, it’s all about the pie! The salted caramel is the perfect addition to these hand pies! Mmm.

  18. #
    The Sketched Chef posted November 24, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Sometimes semi-homemade products are the perfect solution !
    Really beautiful

  19. #
    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor posted November 26, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    You had me at salted caramel! I love salted caramel and these apple pies look amazing.

  20. #
    vanillasugarblog posted November 29, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Yep I’m in love with all the new trends in “sea salted” baked goods.
    About time! LOL
    These sound delish!

  21. #
    grace posted November 30, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    that’s a really tough question. it would depend on the type of cake or pie being offered and whether or not ice cream was available. :)
    LOVE these hand pies, though. salted caramel gets me every time.

  22. #
    DessertForTwo posted December 2, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    HAH. I hope your date realized that the only women worth dating and marrying are women who cook. Who cares if you have a little food in your hair? He’ll be skinny and hungry without a woman like you! ;)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 5, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      Thanks for the vote of confidence :)

  23. #
    Meg posted December 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    These sound and look so good — and I would definitely eat them for breakfast! Also, I’ve been there regarding metaphorical caramel in the hair . . . it was cupcake batter for me, and thankfully my guy was cool about it, but I was not excited that happened! Ah, well. :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 5, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      Haha thanks, Meg! Cupcake batter is less sticky, I wouldn’t mind that either!

  24. #
    Amy @ Elephant Eats posted December 13, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    I didn’t know TJ’s sold pie crusts! Good to know. These look AMAZING!!!

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