Homemade Caramel Candy

4 Min Read

The BEST Homemade Caramel Recipe

I’m so pleased to share my absolute favorite caramel recipe with you today! It’s simple (a bit time consuming, yes, but very straightforward) and yields incredibly perfect caramel candy. The caramels have a rich flavor balanced with just the right amount of salt and vanilla. You are going to love them!

These caramels are soft, but not so soft they melt in your hand. They’re sturdy enough to hold their shape while still being chewy (but they don’t stick to your teeth obnoxiously like peanut brittle!).

I love topping my caramel candy with sea salt (reminds me of my salted caramel frosting), but they also taste great dipped in melted chocolate. I’m linking my favorite cellophane wrappers below (they’ll last forever!) so you can wrap yours up just like a candy shop!

I highly recommend watching the video below before getting started. I include lots of tips and visuals that I think you’ll find helpful, even if this isn’t your first candy recipe.

What You Need

Seven simple ingredients and a little patience are all you need to make my caramel recipe:

  • Light brown sugar. I know brown sugar is not a typical caramel ingredient, but I promise it adds such a beautiful flavor to this caramel recipe. I don’t recommend substituting this for more granulated sugar; if you do, your caramel candy won’t turn out properly. If you really must use all granulated sugar, stop cooking when your caramel reaches 240F (115C).
  • Evaporated milk. Do NOT use sweetened condensed milk! The cans look similar, but evaporated milk is what you need (sweetened condensed milk does have a place in caramel, I use it in my Millionaire’s shortbread, but not here).
  • Heavy cream. Whipping cream or double cream will also work.
  • Vanilla. We will add the vanilla after cooking to preserve its flavor. Now would be a great time to use your homemade vanilla extract, if you have some!

Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!

How to Make Caramel Candy

  1. Melt the butter – Cook the sugars, milk, cream, corn syrup, butter, and salt over medium heat until the butter melts.
  2. Bubble and boil – Attach your candy thermometer and keep cooking and stirring as your caramel boils.
  3. Just keep stirring – Keep stirring constantly as the caramel gets darker and reaches 240-243F. This will take quite a long time, it consistently takes me an hour from start to finish, but your mileage may vary.
  4. Add the vanilla – Once at the proper temperature, remove the caramel from the heat and add the vanilla extract.
  1. Pour it out – Carefully pour the hot caramel into a parchment lined pan and let it cool completely until set, preferably overnight.
  2. Cut and enjoy! Use a sharp knife to cut the caramels into squares or rectangles. Top with sea salt or chocolate, if desired, and enjoy!
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