Delicious homemade caramels recipe


Hi friends! Hope you had a great weekend! I’m out of town so I have a fabulous guest post for you today. Thanks for stopping by! To get the newest recipes subscribe or join us on facebook.

Hey guys! I’m so excited to be guest posting here today! Isn’t Jamielyn just a doll? I’ve stalked followed her blog for some time now and it is one of my very favorites! Anyways, I’m Sarah and I blog with my husband, Zachary, over at High Heels and Grills. In all reality, that’s just a fancy name for “we love cooking together and we want a place to share our culinary adventures with the world.” We were married about a year and a half ago and as we were getting down to the nitty gritty details of our wedding, it came time to decide what we were going to serve at our reception. I’ve been in love with my aunt’s homemade caramels since before I can remember, so I made sure that was one of the first things on the list. I’m so glad I did too! I was hearing for weeks about how much people liked them and wanted the recipe. Lucky for you, I’m here to share that recipe with you today!

I have to warn you – this recipe is not for the faint of heart. It takes some time, but I promise you this: it is so worth it!


Delicious homemade caramels recipe

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade caramels
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Let Sit: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 38
Calories: 115 kcal
Author: Jamielyn

Delicious homemade caramels recipe - Such a delicious and sweet recipe! 



  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 oz evaporated milk (half 12 oz can)
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream (divided)


  1. Generously butter a 9×13 inch pan or cookie sheet and set aside.

  2. In a large saucepan, mix together sugar, syrup, salt and 1 cup of the cream together on medium low heat.

  3. Bring to boil, stirring full time, and add the rest of the cream.

  4. Stir constantly and bring to boil again and add evaporated milk.

  5. Cook until 232 degrees Fahrenheit (soft ball). (Again, stirring constantly.)

  6. Once it reaches this temperature, remove from heat and add vanilla. Mix well.

  7. Carefully pour caramel into greased pan and let sit for 12+ hours.

  8. Cut into squares and wrap in cellophane or wax paper.

Recipe Notes

To test if the caramel is done, drop a teaspoon in ice cold water. If it forms a soft ball and is the consistency you like, it’s done… if not keep stirring over the heat and test again in a few minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Delicious homemade caramels recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 115 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 30mg 1%
Potassium 22mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 18g 6%
Sugars 17g
Vitamin A 3.9%
Vitamin C 0.2%
Calcium 2.1%
Iron 0.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


These would make the perfect Christmas gifts or if you need something a little more here and now – they’d make great teacher gifts as well! Enjoy. :)


We are two people that have a passion for travel, adventure, and (you guessed it) cooking. We are no experts by any means, but we hope that you’ll join in the fun at High Heels and Grills and learn with us along the way.

Don’t these look delicious?! Thanks Sarah for sharing your yummy recipe! For more recipes take a peek in our recipe box.
more by Jamielyn »

Jamielyn Nye

of I Heart Naptime

Creative director and founder of I Heart Naptime. Jamielyn aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. When she’s not creating, Jamielyn loves to chase her three little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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57 comments on “Delicious homemade caramels recipe”

  1. Just a question about the recipe. it says just ‘vanilla’ I assume that’s vanilla extract, but i wanted to clarify its not vanilla bean or vanilla paste or some such. Looks great, defiantly going to try i out!

    • Hey Erin! Yes, it is just vanilla extract. I’m sorry for the confusion! If you want, you could even leave the vanilla extract out for a more caramel-y flavor or my mom likes to use Mexican vanilla as well. Good luck making them and I’d love to know how they turn out!!

  2. Roughly how long would you say it took you to make a batch of caramels (not including the 12+ hours of cooling time.). I really want to make these but want to make sure I have enough time. They sound delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh my those look tasty! I really need to remember to buy a candy thermometer next time I’m at the store so I can make these!! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  4. These looks so good! I’m loving all the recipes you’re posting.

  5. Great post!! I love caramels but I don’t like the way they stick in my teeth. But these look like they are soft….I am definitely going to keep this recipe. I may be able to go back to eating and enjoying caramel…..thank you for sharing.

  6. Oh yum..give me all of it! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing cooking sweet talents with us!

  7. Yummy! I can imagine those are amazing.

  8. I think I’ll try to make this and if they turn out great…i’ll def do them for christmas

  9. hi there! Just wondering if you could use any kind of substitute for corn syrup? I’d love to make this without it…

  10. BE STILL MY HEART! Caramels are my most favorite thing in the world, second to chocolate anything. These look fabulous. I think it’s so great you and your hubs cook together. Great for you.

  11. one more question, where did u get the wrappers from???

  12. OK last question promise. How long can you store them for? I want to make them for chirstmas just not sure how far ahead of time I can do this.



    • My church makes soft caramels every year with a similar recipe to this one. We cook ours to 240 degrees on Mondays, then cut, wrap, & pack them on Wednesdays. As long as you leave them refrigerated, they will keep for a long time. I had a box in my fridge for over 2 yrs & they tasted just fine. Don’t let them warm up, get cold, warm up because that will cause the sugar to crystallize and they will become gritty. We make over 1000 lbs every year & store them all in the fridge.

  13. Hi There!

    Followed you recipe to a T and it’s been 24 hours and mine are still pretty runny. Was I suppose to refrigerate? HELP!

    • When our church makes them, we let them cool down for several hours (maybe around 8) before putting them in the refrigerator. We leave them in the fridge until they are ready to be cut & wrapped so that they are firm & easier to handle that way.

  14. Made these last nite, and they took almost two hours stirring and stirring stirring…. My husband and I took turns stirring and we got them done. They’re on my kitchen table now , and I can’t wait till I cut and wrap them. Pre-taste these are outstanding for flavor.

  15. Hi there. I made a batch last night as per the instructions today. I heated the caramel to a solid 232 but today after they had completely cooled, they were VERY soft. I threw the whole thing back in a pot and cooked to 250 (firm ball stage). Hopefully they will turn out more firm by tomorrow. The soft ones were delicious, just too soft.

  16. I think these look easy but do you ever add nuts? When and do they stick to the paper whichever kind you use? Like adding crushed nuts to them by rolling the carmels in them.

  17. I saw this recipe and couldn’t wait to make it since they reminded me of the kind we used to make with my Grandma. I followe the recipe to the “t”. I even bought a new candy thermometer to make sure that I’d have the right temp. 1-1/2 hrs to make mostly stirring the pot. Then they sat for 12 hrs and I couldn’t wait to cut into them. I am so disappointed. They are VERY soft and liquids. Would make a good syrup over ice cream but certainly can’t make then into any square. Must spoon out. I don’t know what I did wrong.

  18. Another good use for the other half of the can of evaporated milk is to cut up some fresh figs, and sprinkle sugar over them, then pour the evap. milk over it. AMAZING. My great grandma fixes it for us all every year when the figs are ripe.

  19. I made tried to make these. I followed all directions. Let them sit out for 24 hours and they never hardened. More like a caramel sauce rather than caramel chews. What am I doing wrong??

    • Lori, and others, I believe the issue is the temperature. To make caramels, you need to get them to the “firm ball” stage which is between 245 – 250 degrees. The temperature of 232 degrees is still a thready stage which will result in a syrup texture.

    I made this recipe last night and doubled it. the only thing I changed was cooking until 240 degrees. they sat up perfectly. Thanks for the amazing recipe

    • I’m glad you liked this recipe! My gramma has been making it for years, it is our favorite!! Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment about how it went! :)

  21. I just love Caramel , gonna try this for sure , thanks for sharing

  22. Curious if you know what the difference in taste is with usin white vs brown sugar? I have been making caramel

    • I have been making caramel for years and my recipe 

    • Hi Stacey! I haven’t tried my caramel recipe with brown sugar. I’ve heard that some baked goods will have a richer flavor if you substitute brown sugar. It also might change the taste and color a bit!

      • the one I make uses brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk instead of cream- it is so buttery and good….my coworkers beg me for it :-); I did make your apple cider caramels (my first time using cream and white sugar in the caramel…I couldn’t taste a significant difference although the caramel seemed to take a lot longer to cook). Thx for sharing your recipes :-)

  23. These are so cute & they sound delish! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Pinned!

  24. Your recipies amazing and easy

  25. Did you just leave them out on the counter or did you put them in the fridge for the 12+ hours to set up? 

  26. I am really looking forward to trying this recipe.  I was at a local craft faire recently and a vendor was selling homemade caramels for $10.00 for 12 pieces.  She was doing a gangbusters business.  

  27. I made these as well and followed the directions to a “T”…. they were far too soft to cut, let alone wrap or eat. I see some of the others have had the same issues, so I will be raising the temp on them as well. Might I suggest that you change the recipe to reflect a more accurate cooking temp so others don’t have the same problem? It’s enough to take the time to do them once, but to have to redo them is another story when the easy fix is to adjust the recipe to a better cooking temp.
    Thanks !

    • Hi Vindi! Every stove is different and it takes a couple tries to get the caramels perfect. Make sure to do the hard ball test in the cold water to make sure it’s done all the way! :)

  28. Thank you for your reply, and although I understand about variances in stoves, this is about the temp the mixture needs to be boiled to, not how long it takes it to get there. In this case, a candy thermometer is used to tell us the degree of the mixture and has little to do with the device it’s being cooked on. It could be a campfire, and would still need to reach the appropriate stage, thus the need for the thermometer. I recall you stating this is an old family recipe, and perhaps you don’t want to alter it? Perhaps a notation at the end of the recipe indicating that the temp mentioned in the recipe needs to be raised in order for the caramels to harden enough to cut and wrap?
    This is your recipe and you’ve been kind enough to share it with us all, we all appreciate that, however you also need to be willing to take some constructive advice regarding said recipe. Looking back, there are several comments with the same issue. Your readers, old and new, are the ones who will benefit. Personally I think it needs to be corrected. Ultimately, doing so is up to you. I submit this respectfully …Vindi

  29. If you have trouble with these your problem could be your altitude.  I’m at 5,000 feet and have to adjust the temperature.   Water boils here at 200° instead of 212°.  Check your phone book and call your local co – operative extension at a university for help to determine the correct temperature.   They help cooks with issues.

  30. love your recipes 

  31. Sry to ask but what is evaporated milk? XD

  32. I made these yesterday  because all the children  in my house  are huge caramel fans.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into being that I have never made them before. But they turned out great and they were not hard to make at all. Thanks for the recipe it’s definitely  one that will stay in our family for a long time. :)

    • I’m so glad this recipe turned out so well for you! This recipe has been in my family for a long time and one of our favorite treats! Thanks for your comment Anne. :)

  33. I was about t try this recipe and I noticed there is no butter in the recipe.  Is this correct?  All of the recipes I’ve tried (so far) had butter.  Just want to make sure I’m not missing something!  Thanks – Donna in CT

    • No butter! The key is to make sure it hits the right temperature, between 232 and 240 – the ice water trick is the main key. :)

  34. There are a lot of recipes for caramels, but these are the best ones. I’ve tried some recipes that call for brown sugar or sweeten-condensed milk. Those recipes take less time to caramelize, but they don’t taste as buttery and as light as caramels made from white sugar and evaporated milk.

  35. Great ideas just getting them done thank you

  36. DELICIOUS!  Great gift at Christmas and delicious addition to dessert trays .

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