Easy Homemade Caramels Recipe

by Merissa on December 11, 2014

in Recipes

Easy Homemade Caramels Recipe - Little House Living


Easy Homemade Caramels Recipe

There is nothing better as we are getting into the holiday time of year than all the yummy homemade baking. It just wouldn't be the same if you bought things from the store! At least not in my house. We always like to pick out several cookie and treat recipes that we want to make for the year and make them throughout the month of December (instead of having a TON of cookies to be made at the same time, we spread them out). But not only do we make cookies, we like to make a variety of other treats too! Like:

The Best Bad-For-You Fudge Ever
Caramel Chocolate Popcorn
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
Homemade Gummies

Yum! That's enough to get your mouth watering! One of the new recipes we are making this year is this easy Homemade Caramels recipe. It contains no corn syrup and we use raw sugar instead of any kind of processed sugar to make it as natural as possible. Caramels are my very favorite (I like them more than chocolate!) so I'm very excited about making up a few batches of these! I may even end up making a few batches for gifts if I decide we can give some away! Here's how to make them!

Easy Homemade Caramels Recipe

Easy Homemade Caramels Recipe

What You Need:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups raw or brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • wax or parchment paper
  • candy thermometer

Easy Homemade Caramels Recipe

Pull out all your ingredients. Start by placing a good sized piece of parchment or waxed paper out on your table or in a bar pan to be ready. You can place this in a cookie sheet or a baking sheet if you will need to move the caramels from your table at some point (since they need to sit for a while before you can put them away).

Easy Homemade Caramels Recipe

In a saucepan, mix the cream, sugar, and salt. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until boiling. Just stir as needed until the mixture reaches 250 degrees F.

Easy Homemade Caramels Recipe

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract until incorporated. Pour the mixture onto your waxed or parchment paper on your table or baking sheet.

Easy Homemade Caramels Recipe

After your caramels have sat for at least 8 hours, use a knife coated in butter and cut out the shapes of your caramels.

Easy Homemade Caramels Recipe

This will give it a nice buttery flavor plus help you cut through the caramel.

Easy Homemade Caramels Recipe

Using more wax paper, wrap each piece individually so they can't stick together. Store the caramels at room temp. They won't last more than a week so make sure you don't make more than you can eat or give away during that time. Enjoy your yummy treat!

Easy Homemade Caramels Recipe

Find even more Desserts and Treats Recipes on Little House Living to make this holiday season!

Do you have a special easy Homemade Caramels recipe that you family likes? How many different kinds of treats do you make this time of year? merissabio

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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Deb November 25, 2013 at 9:48 am

The picture show’s tub butter but I do not see it in the recipe.

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2 Deb November 25, 2013 at 9:50 am

Is it only for getting it out of the pan

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3 Merissa November 25, 2013 at 9:55 am

The butter is not used in the recipe, only in using with the knife to help separate the caramels when you are cutting them into pieces.

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4 Tejas Prairie Hen November 25, 2013 at 9:59 am

Yummy! Now where do you find the brown waxed paper? Is it a “natural” variety of waxed paper?

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5 Merissa November 25, 2013 at 10:00 am

Yes it is. It’s “If You Care” brand and I get it from my co-op (azure standard). I’ve seen it at health food stores though. We like it because it’s not bleached πŸ™‚

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6 Elise November 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I’m betting this would be fabulous for candy apple bites, which makes me really excited!

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7 Gracie November 25, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Great recipe, I never think of making this. Thanks for the inspiration. πŸ™‚

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8 Judi November 25, 2013 at 7:25 pm

This looks wonderful–I have a taste for the caramel with a pretzel and some chocolate drizzled on top. Thank you for posting!

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9 Life Breath Present November 25, 2013 at 10:44 pm

I never think about making caramels, but they certainly sound wonderful! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

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10 Merissa November 26, 2013 at 6:27 am

Enjoy them if you make them! πŸ™‚

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11 Cynthia L November 26, 2013 at 5:20 pm

I love caramels, but have never tried making them from scratch. I will have to give this recipe a try.

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12 Becky November 27, 2013 at 5:57 am

Looks great -I have never tried making them myself before. I”ll have to do this!

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13 Rosalyn Q. Fry November 28, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Soooooo like my grandmother’s recipe! Even the finished product wrapped in waxed paper looks the same. One year I got so excited, because I found Christmas patterned wax paper. Had to make a batch of caramels for it. I’m glad people like you are still making homemade candy.

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14 Bethany November 29, 2013 at 11:06 am

Hoping for some advice on the carmels. We made carmels for Halloween. They were great for a couple of days and then they became very dry. Any ideas.
Great website.

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15 Merissa November 29, 2013 at 11:06 am

Did you use this recipe?

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16 Rin November 30, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Hi! Why don’t they last longer than week? What happens? Just a textural thing, or do they actually go bad?

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17 Merissa December 1, 2013 at 8:18 am

Because there are no preservatives in them. They tend to get crystallized.

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18 Deanna December 1, 2013 at 7:29 pm

What did I do wrong? They taste great but are stuck to the wax paper, cannot get the wax paper off?

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19 Merissa December 1, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Did you cook them to the right temp? And did they sit long enough?

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20 Mommy on Demand December 3, 2013 at 11:54 am

I love homemade caramels!! They so easy to make and taste so much better! Would love for you to come share and my linky party http://mommyondemand.com/create-bake-8/

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21 Heather @ French Press December 4, 2013 at 8:35 am

these would make great holiday gifts

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22 Susan Croteau December 4, 2013 at 11:59 pm

With 2 tsp. salt is it salty tasting?? I want to make some of these for Christmas gifts.. It just sounded like a lot of salt! Thanks

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23 Merissa December 5, 2013 at 8:01 am

Nope, not salty tasting at all, just adds a good dimension to the flavor.

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24 Emily @ It Bakes Me Happy December 6, 2013 at 5:12 am

Great recipe Melissa! I love caramels, thanks for linking up at Showcase Your Talent!

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25 Karly December 8, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Love homemade caramels! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

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26 Aviva December 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm

I am wondering can these be used in recipes calling for caramels?

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27 Merissa December 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm

I don’t think they could…if they are baked/cooked again it will probably change the consistency.

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28 Miz Helen December 9, 2013 at 8:34 am

We would really enjoy your Homemade Caramels and just in time for gift giving. Hope you are staying warm and cozy in this cold weather and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

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29 Emily @ It Bakes Me Happy December 12, 2013 at 8:11 am

Merissa just wanted to stop by and let you know your featured this week at Showcase Your Talent Thursday #90!

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30 Pamela December 17, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Love the caramel and I am cooling it on wax paper. BUT it does not want to separate from the wax paper. It has not been 8 hours but I am worried that after all that, that I wont be able to serve it because the wax paper is permanently attached to the caramel. Any thoughts?

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31 Merissa December 18, 2013 at 6:24 am

Was it cooked to the right temp?

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32 jilly December 21, 2013 at 1:06 pm

1st batch tastes great, but i seemed to have done it to the wrong temp. they are not crackling hard, but not shiny or chewy either. i’m still going to cut & wrap them, they taste that yummy! any advice before i start my next batch?

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33 Merissa December 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Maybe the temp just just a bit too high? Anything higher will start them on the way to becoming hard caramel πŸ™‚

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34 Angie December 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Just made these and waiting for them to cool! Thanks for this recipe.

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35 Sandy M December 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm

These look so yummy! I wonder if it would work to use honey instead of the sugar. May need to give it a try.

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36 Sarah Lyn January 19, 2014 at 7:04 am

We made a batch and it looked perfect, tasted delicious, but we left them in the pan overnight and they are still too gooey to cut, like it didn’t set right. As soon as it was 250 degrees we took it off the heat. This is the first time we’ve ever tried candies- do you know maybe where we went wrong?

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37 Skye October 23, 2014 at 8:15 pm

I couldn’t get it up to the temp? Highest I got was 230 F. I eventually gave up cause it all tastes the same in the end right? Oh well. Learn from my mistakes. any tips for next time though?

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38 Merissa October 23, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Did you try putting a lid on the saucepan? Sometimes I’ve found that it can help when I’m having trouble getting it up to temp. Although on some of the newer stovetops I think they don’t go up to as high of a temp as is needed.

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39 Sara November 22, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Hi. Do you have an idea of how many caramels one recipe makes? I am doing a cookie/candy sharing weekend with friends. Thanks.

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40 Merissa November 22, 2014 at 8:55 pm

It depends on the size you cut them, it will make a large bar pan full of caramels so at least around 50 or more?

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41 Lizzzy December 11, 2014 at 8:33 am

I am sooooo doing this. Thank you for the wonderful idea. This should make a great little Christmas gift along with my rumballs.

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42 Lisa/Syncopated Mama December 12, 2014 at 10:14 am

Yum! I just recently tried making homemade caramels, too. I created a version with coconut milk, since my husband is allergic to dairy (although it still uses a little butter) and we loved the result, even if dairy wasn’t an issue! (http://syncopatedmama.blogspot.com/2014/11/coconut-milk-caramels.html if you want to try it out yourself sometime) I plan on making mine to give as Christmas presents, but hadn’t found the perfect thing to wrap them in, so I’m glad I discovered this post of yours!

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43 Gail Akeman December 13, 2014 at 8:50 am

I love caramels.

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44 Dana December 13, 2014 at 11:40 pm

A handy hint for caramel making – be sure to calibrate your thermometer each year. Simply stick it in a pot of water, bring the water to a boil, and note how far off of 212 F the thermometer was. A couple degrees either way makes a big difference, and candy thermometers seem to change from year to year. That way your 250F will really be 250F!

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45 Merissa December 14, 2014 at 7:13 am

Thanks for sharing this!

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46 Melissa French, The More With Less Mom December 16, 2014 at 9:54 am

Mmm I love making candy. Thanks for posting. Hello from Treasure Box Tuesday.

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47 Laura at Mommy Maleta December 18, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Yum! Thx for linking these tasty little numbers up to the Thoughtful Spot!

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48 Katherines Corner December 21, 2014 at 10:57 am

oh my goodness I would love one of these. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. xo

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49 Jenni December 23, 2014 at 10:37 pm

I just made these tonight they were so wonderful. I can’t wait to give them as Christmas gifts. Thank you

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50 Chelsea April 12, 2015 at 12:26 am

These look amazing! Do you think they would turn out right if whole milk was substituted for the cream?

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51 Merissa April 13, 2015 at 7:56 pm

I would stick with the cream for this recipe so the caramels thicken up well, otherwise it may be more like a sauce.

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52 Eden August 28, 2015 at 10:23 am

This looks wonderful!! I don’t have a Candy Thermometer, is there any way that I can make the caramels without it??

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53 Merissa August 28, 2015 at 10:48 am

It would be very difficult to tell when the caramels are the right temp without one and you may end up with gooey or crunchy caramels. I would highly recommend one.

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54 Eden August 28, 2015 at 2:53 pm

Thanks for responding so quickly:) Also, are these supposed to be soft or hard caramels?

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55 Merissa August 28, 2015 at 4:24 pm

They are soft caramels.

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56 Sarah September 14, 2015 at 9:00 am

I ran out of heavy cream (I only had a cup left) so I looked up replacements and found that you can make a mixture of butter and milk (for 1 cup of heavy cream, you can mix 1/3 cup melted, unsalted butter and 3/4 cup 2% or whole milk). So I used a 1/2 cup of that and they still turned out nice and chewy. Plus, it makes them taste super buttery. My co-workers said it was delicious! I know what I’m making them for christmas!

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57 Barbara December 14, 2015 at 9:35 am

I would love to try your recipe! In reviewing it for making a trip to the grocery store, I noticed that there was no butter on the ingredient list, but in the photo of the mixture being stirred and cooking, there does seem to be a stick of butter melting in the pan. Am I missing something????

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58 Merissa December 14, 2015 at 11:25 am

There is no butter in the actual recipe, however I do use a butter coated knife to cut.

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59 Barbara December 14, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Thank you! I totally understood about the butter coated knife:) Maybe what I see in the photo of the pan with the spatula is a reflection of a light or something from above. Kind of looks like a stick of melting butter!! Thank you for clarifying.

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60 Lisa December 19, 2015 at 10:24 pm

Question:
I made these, to temp, and everything looked perfect. Until I looked closer. The caramels literally crumbled to powder. Now, I did make a few variations. I added about 3T of butter to the mixture, substituted about 1/4 C of sugar for coconut sugar (I ran out), and poured it into a 7×11 pan instead of flat. The top edges were a delicious caramel, the rest was powder. What went wrong?

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61 Merissa December 20, 2015 at 8:41 pm

I haven’t cooked with coconut sugar before so I’m not sure if that made a difference or not but I do know that caramels can be very picky.

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62 Ankita Bal June 11, 2016 at 6:20 am

We don’t get candy thermometer in India. So how can I make it without a Candy thermometer?

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63 MARIA June 15, 2016 at 11:19 am

Could you use milk instead of heavy cream?

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64 Sandra November 11, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Love this caramel recipe. Just what I was looking for. Love that there is no corn syrup in it – just natural ingredients. πŸ˜€ I’ll be using this for my dipped apples. Thank you for the recipe!

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65 Katie December 19, 2016 at 8:28 am

Good morning! I just made this recipe with goat’s milk and after letting it set the 8 hours found when I cut into it, the finished product is just too sticky to call “candy”…do you have any suggestions to give it more form? I’d like to try again today. Thank you and Merry Christmas πŸ™‚

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66 Merissa December 19, 2016 at 8:41 pm

Are you sure it got up to the correct temperature? Candy making can be rather fickle πŸ™‚

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67 Katie December 20, 2016 at 6:11 pm

I got it up to 250…is that high enough? I made another batch last night and elevated the temp to 275 and it burned πŸ™ I wonder if the pot that I am using needs to be heavier?

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68 Ronni January 1, 2017 at 7:05 pm

I tried this recipe and it was SUPER easy! I love how easy it was…BUT, it turned out a bit salty. I wonder what I did wrong? I doubled the recipe.

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69 Dan February 1, 2017 at 3:01 pm

About how long should i leave it at 250 degrees???

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