BEST HOMEMADE CARAMELS RECIPE (2024)

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These Homemade Caramels will absolutely melt in your mouth! Incredible from scratch recipe for Homemade Caramel made with heavy cream and butter.

BEST HOMEMADE CARAMELS RECIPE (1)

I love the holidays! One of my favorite parts is making all sorts of wonderful treats that I only make once a year. I’ve decided to share my creations with you all each day and first on the list was the homemade caramels.

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How to Make these Homemade Caramel Candies

If you’ve never made caramel before, don’t be afraid, it’s actually really easy. You just need the ingredients, a large saucepan, and a candy thermometer. Well, a candy thermometer isn’t required, but it’s certainly very handy!

Important tips on making caramels:

  1. Use a STAINLESS STEEL pot when making candy! I’ve tried so many different kinds of pans. Stainless steel is the best!
  2. Know that different types of stoves cook candy at different rates. Gas ranges cook the fastest and electric take much longer.
  3. Line your pan with foil, then spray the foil. Taking the caramel block out of the pan is a breeze after it’s cooled!
    Don’t feel like you have to stir the mixture continuously. it’s OK to let it boil for a few minutes in between periods of stirring. I did the morning dishes while mine cooked!
  4. When cutting the caramels, err on the side of smaller pieces, especially if you have small children. My kids love caramel, but I find sizes much larger than a penny are too big.

Products that will help you re-create this recipe at home:

BEST HOMEMADE CARAMELS RECIPE (2)

Does Homemade Caramel Need to be Refrigerated?

Your homemade caramel candy does not need to be placed in the fridge as it can do just fine on the counter at room temperature for up to 2 weeks if kept in an airtight container. I recommend wrapping each piece in wax paper, rolling up the ends and keeping them together in a Ziploc bag.

BEST HOMEMADE CARAMELS RECIPE (3)

Does Homemade Caramel go Bad?

Eventually, your candy will no longer taste as good as it once did when it was fresh. As it’s exposed to more air, you may find that it dries out or becomes harder. While you may not get sick from eating an aged piece of caramel, you should avoid eating pieces that are too old as it just isn’t as enjoyable.

BEST HOMEMADE CARAMELS RECIPE (4)

What do you need to make Homemade Caramels?

-SUGAR: you’ll need 2 cups granulated sugar AND 1 cup packed brown sugar

-CORN SYRUP: More sugar, but in syrup form! I use 1 cup of light corn syrup. You can use dark corn syrup, but remember your caramels will be much darker in color!

-MILK: You’ll need both 1 cup evaporated milk and 1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream

-BUTTER: This recipe uses 1 cup butter, which is 2 sticks. No margarine, real butter only! I like using salted butter too.

-VANILLA: You’ll add 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract to the caramel after you remove it from the stove.

How to Make Homemade Caramels

In a medium-sized stainless steel pot, combine everything except the vanilla.

Monitor the heat of the mixture with a candy thermometer while stirring occasionally.

When the thermometer reaches 245 degrees F, remove it from the stove.

Stir in the vanilla and then transfer to a 9×13 pan lined with parchment paper.

Let the mixture cool completely.

Once cooled, cut the caramel into small squares and wrap them in wax paper. Store wrapped caramels in an airtight container or a Ziploc bag.

How Long is Homemade Caramel Good for?

Homemade caramel, wrapped in wax paper and enclosed in an airtight container will actually last up to a month! The caramel will gradually get harder, but it still tastes wonderful & is safe to eat.

What Type of Vanilla Extract Should I Use?

A few years ago I tested 10 different vanilla extracts and found new favorites! I love using TOTONAC’s Mexican Vanilla for everyday use. It’s pure vanilla and contains no alcohol, which I like because I don’t like the taste of extracts made with alcohol. Each time I try another, I go back to Totonac’s quickly afterward; it’s so good! I also love using Nielsen Massey Vanilla Bean Paste. Again, this one has the best flavor by far!

BEST HOMEMADE CARAMELS RECIPE (6)

HOLIDAY BAKING: HOMEMADE CARAMELS

These Homemade Caramels will absolutely melt in your mouth! Incredible from scratch recipe for Homemade Caramel made with heavy cream and butter.

4.57 from 30 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Candy, Dessert

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Homemade Caramel

Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour hour

Total Time: 1 hour hour 5 minutes minutes

Servings: 40

Calories: 174kcal

Author:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream 2 cups
  • 1 cup butter 2 sticks
  • 1 ¼ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • In a medium size pot, combine everything except the vanilla.

  • Monitor the heat of the mixture with a candy thermometer while stirring occasionally.

  • When the thermometer reaches 245 degrees F {240 degrees is also called soft ball stage, I like to cook mine to 245 degrees}, remove pot from heat.

  • Stir in vanilla.

  • Transfer mixture to a 9×13 pan lined with parchment paper. Let the caramel cool completely. (I generally cover it with plastic wrap after a couple hours and leave it on the counter overnight to cool.)

  • When cooled cut the caramel into small squares and wrap them in wax paper for storage. Enjoy!

Notes

High Elevation: Cook caramel to 10 degrees less!!If you live above 4,000 feet, you’ll need to cook it to just 235 degrees F for it to be the perfect consistency.

Important tips on making caramels:

  1. Use a STAINLESS STEEL pot when making candy! I’ve tried so many different kinds of pans. Stainless steel is the best!
  2. Know that different types of stoves cook candy at different rates. Gas ranges cook the fastest and electric take much longer.
  3. Line your pan with foil, then spray the foil. Taking the caramel block out of the pan is a breeze after it’s cooled!
    Don’t feel like you have to stir the mixture continuously. it’s OK to let it boil for a few minutes in between periods of stirring. I did the morning dishes while mine cooked!
  4. When cutting the caramels, err on the side of smaller pieces, especially if you have small children. My kids love caramel, but I find sizes much larger than a penny are too big.

Nutrition

Serving: 2g | Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 37mg | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 331IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg


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What Do I Do If My Caramel is Too Soft?

If your homemade caramel is too soft, it means that you didn’t heat it to the correct degrees. You can either reheat the mixture until it reaches a few degrees higher than it was originally or you can eat it as is and mark it as a lesson learned for next time.

Can You Freeze Caramel Candy?

Caramel freezes well, but you’ll want it to come to room temperature before eating so you don’t break a tooth or lose a filling, haha. You may also notice that as the caramel thaws it might begin to “sweat” this is sugary water excreted from your caramel which may make it into a mess to eat, but it’s still perfectly fine. Remember to have each piece of caramel individually wrapped inside an airtight container so that they don’t all form together in the freezer.

What Happens If You Cook Caramel Too Long?

You do not want to overcook your caramel but you also shouldn’t rush the process. If you cook your caramel too hot or too long you’ll end up with a harder and more brittle end result and we want soft and chewy caramel, not a peanut brittle texture. Also, remember that the caramel continues to cook a small amount even after it’s been removed from the heat.

How to package homemade caramel

After you cut the caramel into small squares, you can wrap them in wax paper and twist the ends to secure it. For years and years, I cut the small 4-5″ squares of wax paper myself. A couple of years ago I discovered that you can purchase them already cut! See Cut Wax Paper Squares Here. I’d say that’s $7 well spent. One package should last you 3-4 years as well, depending on how much caramel you make.

Check out these delicious caramel recipes that are sure to satisfy those tastebuds.

  • Chocolate Caramel Apples
  • Cinnamon Caramel Apple Dip
  • Caramel Snickerdoodle Cookies
  • Chocolate Caramel Turtle Pie
  • Caramel Popcorn Cake
  • Salted Caramel Bars

These Homemade Caramels will absolutely melt in your mouth! Incredible from scratch recipe for Homemade Caramel made with heavy cream and butter.

BEST HOMEMADE CARAMELS RECIPE (2024)
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