Salted Caramels Recipe

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This recipe for homemade caramels makes a soft, chewy, incredibly delicious caramel candy. You can make this a salted caramels recipe by adding sea salt to the finished caramel candies, or just leave them as plain caramels.  Either way, they're absolutely delicious!

Wooden bowl filled with homemade salted caramel candies wrapped in waxed paper.

Caramel anything is good, in my opinion. Homemade caramel anything is spectacular. And homemade salted caramel candies are pretty much the best thing ever.

Never made candies before? Don't worry--this is a pretty darn easy recipe to follow, great for a first-timer.

Homemade caramels made with a Salted Caramels Recipe wrapped in waxed paper.

One batch makes approximately 100 perfect bite-sized caramels. I say approximately because I didn't count the irresistible caramels that my daughter and I sampled. Quality control is, you know, important and stuff. Yeah.

Ingredients for Salted Caramels Recipe on a white marble surface.

Salted Caramels Recipe:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice
  • sea salt to taste, for sprinkling on top of the caramels.

How to Make Homemade Caramels

Butter and cream being boiled for homemade caramels recipe.

In a small saucepan, bring butter, cream, and the teaspoon of salt to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.

Sugar, water, and corn syrup being caramelized to make homemade salted caramels recipe.

Boil sugar, water, and corn syrup in a second, good sized (4 quart-ish) pot. Stir frequently until the sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved, stop stirring! Gently swirl the pan until the ingredients turn a light golden caramel color. Watch carefully--this happens quickly!

Ingredients for Salted Caramels Recipe being boiled to 245 degrees.

Slowly pour the cream mixture into the sugar mixture, stirring constantly as you combine the two liquids. It will bubble up impressively, but don't worry! That's why we used a biggish pot. Keep stirring until the mixture reaches 245 on a candy thermometer.

Remove from heat, and quickly stir in the vanilla and vinegar (or lemon juice).  This is a tip I got from my mom when she went back to school to become a pastry chef.  The acid added at the end doesn't give the caramels a distinguishable flavor, but it does add a brightness that you'll absolutely love.

Pour into a well-buttered and parchment lined 8x8 pan or silicone pan (my preference).

Tip for Making Homemade Caramels (and other Candies)

Here's my secret weapon in caramel-making. See this blue pan here:

Homemade salted caramels setting in a blue, square silicone pan.

That's a silicone pan. I don't use them for much, but for bar cookies and caramels, they're absolutely brilliant! If you don't use a silicone pan, you'll need to line your pan with parchment paper, butter or oil the parchment paper and pan, and then cross your fingers and hope hope hope the caramels come out of the pan. If you use a silicone pan, no stress, no worries, it just works. No parchment or oiling or pan prep of any kind necessary.
Let the caramels cool for about five minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. It's not necessary, but I love that burst of salt with the silky-sweet caramel. Yum! If you sprinkle the salt too early, it will dissolve into the surface. Too late, and it won't stick.
Let the caramels cool for at least two hours, then turn them out on a cutting board.
Homemade salted caramels turned out on a wooden cutting board, square  blue silicone pan behind

Look how gorgeously it pops out of the silicone pan! So easy when you have the right tools!

Cut into pieces. You can use a knife, or kitchen scissors. Both work, but I usually grab the scissors, myself. One word of advice--don't turn out the caramels and then leave them sitting on the cutting board for an hour or so. It will meld to the board and stick with a force heretofore unknown outside of the superglue testing labs.

Wooden bowl filled with homemade salted caramel candies wrapped in waxed paper

Wrap the pieces in squares of waxed paper. You can also buy commercial candy wrappers, but I've had sticking issues with those, and I love the classic, old-fashioned, homemade look of the waxed paper.

Homemade caramels made with a Salted Caramels recipe in a clear bowl.

These will technically last for weeks,  but who knows, because they're so delicious you'll definitely eat them more quickly. They're that good.

Wooden apple basket filled with three muslin favor bags full of salted caramels, sitting in dewy grass

They make amazing homemade favors for any wedding or party, especially in a cute little favor bag like these from the gnome themed birthday party.

Printable Salted Caramels Recipe

Want a printable, one page version of the salted caramels recipe?  Click on the image below to print or download a PDF.

Navigational image leading reader to printable, one page PDF version of the Salted Caramels Recipe.

Other Homemade Candy Recipes You Might Like:

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Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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