This caramel apple brandy gelato recipe is creamy amazingness, infused with fall’s classic fall flavors and speckled with dulce de leche. Make it and eat it by the spoonful, or scoop it out onto a fresh slice of apple pie and prepare it to be mind-blown!

Looking for a delicious gelato recipe?

This caramel apple gelato recipe is made with sweet and tart apple chunks mixed with a rich, creamy caramel base. Then there’s a hint of boozy warmth from the apple brandy, and a touch of spice to remind you of fall. It’s basically like having an apple pie in a frozen, delicious form!

When fall rolls around, we can’t help but crave desserts with a sweet apple flavor profile, especially paired with caramel. That caramel apple combo just screams fall, whether it’s in a caramel apple cake or caramel apple bread. For this treat, we’re taking that same drool-worthy caramel apple goodness and making an indulgent caramel apple gelato with apple jack brandy. It’s a grown-up twist on basic gelato that will take your dessert recipes to the next level. 

What Is Gelato?

The history of gelato began in Italy way back in the 1500s. Maybe someone named Bernardo Buontalenti made a yummy frozen treat that everyone loved. This delicious dessert spread all over Italy and Europe, and people even started making it in their families for generations. Gelato even hitched a ride across the ocean in 1770 thanks to an Italian explorer named Giovanni Biasiolo.

But then a new invention called the hand crank freezer came along around the same time, and ice cream became more popular for a while. Gelato didn’t come back into the spotlight until the 1900s, and then everyone loved it again, not just in Italy and the US, but all over the world.

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • TART – The diced Granny Smith apples add a burst of refreshing tartness that cuts through the rich sweetness of the caramel, creating the perfect flavor contrast.
  • BOOZY – The subtle kick of apple brandy complements the creamy caramel base, adding a touch of complexity and a grown-up twist on a classic fall flavor combination.

What You Need to Make Caramel Apple Gelato

  • Apples: Tart Granny Smith apples give the gelato a refreshing fruity taste that cuts through the sweetness. Chopping them small makes sure you get apple in every bite!
  • Light brown sugar: This sugar adds a deep caramel flavor, kind of like those yummy caramel candies.
  • Butter: Butter makes the gelato nice and creamy and helps it churn smoothly.
  • Egg yolks: These help thicken the gelato and give it that smooth, custard-y texture you love.
  • Sugar: Regular sugar sweetens the gelato base and helps it freeze properly.
  • Milk and cream: These two combine to make the gelato base super creamy and rich. Think of it like a milkshake base!
  • Spices: Cinnamon and cardamom add a warm, cozy flavor that reminds you of apple pie.
  • Vanilla: A splash of vanilla adds a touch of sweetness and makes all the other flavors taste even better.
  • Apple brandy: This boozy ingredient gives the gelato a grown-up kick and makes the apple flavor even stronger. But don’t worry, you only use a little bit!
  • Caramel sauce: This swirls through the gelato and adds an extra layer of rich, delicious caramel flavor.

How to Make Caramel Apple Gelato

  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Toss apple chunks with butter and brown sugar in a baking dish. Bake for 25-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft and caramelized. Cool completely.
  • Whisk egg yolks and sugar until light yellow. Set aside.
  • Heat milk, cream, cinnamon, and cardamom in a saucepan until simmering.
  • Slowly whisk hot milk mixture into egg yolks, then return to pan and cook until thick (coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170°F).
  • Strain the mixture and stir in vanilla, apple, caramel sauce, and apple brandy. Cool completely over an ice bath, then refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
  • Churn the mixture in the ice cream maker according to the instructions.
  • Layer half the gelato in a container, drizzle with half the dulce de leche and swirl with a knife. Repeat with remaining gelato and dulce de leche. Freeze overnight.

Expert Recipe Tips

  • Make sure your eggs are fresh and at room temperature for optimal whisking and emulsification.
  • When slowly adding the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks, do so gradually while whisking constantly. This process, called tempering, prevents the yolks from cooking and scrambling, ensuring a smooth and creamy base.

How to Store Caramel Apple Gelato

Store gelato in an airtight container or loaf pan in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

This caramel apple brandy gelato recipe is like a taste of fall in every bite! It’s like biting into a crisp fall apple drizzled with creamy caramel, with a hint of boozy warmth for an extra kick. The chunks of apple and swirls of caramel sauce throughout the gelato make it a truly irresistible treat. If you try this recipe, please rate the recipe card and leave a comment down below to help out the next reader! 

Caramel Apple Brandy Gelato

Indulge in fall flavors with this easy homemade caramel apple gelato! Chunks of sweet apples and swirls of rich caramel sauce create the perfect balance of fall flavors in this refreshing frozen treat.
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Author: Kita
Serves: 6


  • Ice cream maker
  • baking dish
  • small container
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • wooden spoon
  • Strainer
  • mixing bowls
  • butter knife


  • 3 large Granny Smith apples - cored, and cut into small chunks
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup Applejack
  • cup dulce de leche - room temperature


  • Preheat oven to 400F°.
  • Place apple chunks in a large baking dish so that they fit in a single layer place dollops of butter over top and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 25-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft enough to mash with a fork and the butter and sugar have caramelized. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Place in a small container and refrigerate until chilled completely.
  • When the apples have cooled, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl until they are light yellow and fluffy. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan, combine the milk, cream, cinnamon, and cardamom. Cook over medium heat until the edges just begin to bubble, stirring occasionally.
  • While whisking the egg mixture, slowly drizzle in the milk mixture. Mix until combined. Return the egg mixture to the saucepan over medium heat and continue to cook until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and registered 170F° on a candy thermometer.
  • Strain the mixture into a large bowl and stir in the vanilla extract, apple, and caramel sauce, and Applejack. Cool bowl over an ice bath to reduce the mixture’s temperature. Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 4-6 hours.
  • Process the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Transfer half of the mixture to a container and drizzle half of the dulce de leche in. Using a butter knife, swirl around. Add the rest of the gelato and repeat with the dulce de leche. Freeze overnight.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 459kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 197mg | Sodium: 52mg | Potassium: 287mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 1161IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional informations provided as a courtesy and is only an approximatation. Values will changes based on ingredients used.

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Recipe FAQs

But what exactly sets gelato apart from its icy cousin, ice cream? The key lies in the churning process. Gelato incorporates less air and butterfat compared to ice cream, resulting in a denser texture. This density allows the flavors in gelato to shine through more intensely. Interestingly, gelato packs a bit more sugar than ice cream. Another difference is the serving temperature. Gelato is typically served slightly warmer than ice cream, allowing for a smoother and creamier mouthfeel.

While Granny Smith apples are ideal for their tartness, you can experiment with other varieties like Honeycrisp or Pink Lady. Just be aware that sweeter apples might require adjusting the amount of sugar in the recipe.

Any apple brandy will work, but for the best flavor, choose one with a good balance of apple and brandy notes. Look for brands known for their quality, and avoid using cooking brandy.

Absolutely! Simply omit the apple brandy for a delicious, non-alcoholic gelato. You may want to add a touch more vanilla extract to enhance the apple flavor.

Technically, you can make a type of frozen treat without an ice cream maker, but it will be icier and less creamy than gelato made in a machine. An ice cream maker helps churn the mixture and incorporate air, resulting in a smoother and creamier gelato.


  1. Thank you so much for joining in on the party, Kita! I’ve been wanting an apple ice cream for ages. This sounds fantastic.

  2. Fall is here! Love your pictures and I can’t wait to get hold of that recipe. Such a delicious combination of flavors and celebration of my favorite season.

  3. These photos are gorgeous! I can’t even get over the light. And of course, (prepare to be shocked) I’m a total sucker for boozy ice cream.

  4. Love this! Linking back to this post today 🙂

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