Caramel – oh the rich, velvety sweetness that gently unfolds with every bite. This recipe, in my eyes, is the epitome of heaven in the world of treats. The way that you slow cook the caramel, cooling it down every 5 minutes with a bit of cream creates a deep, rich caramel flavor. The best part about this recipe is how long it lasts. If stored properly, this candy caramel will stay good and soft for up to 6 months. Believe me though, it’s so tasty, it won’t be around for long.

What is the secret to making caramel?

Patience. Caramel is a slow candy to make, you have to allow the sugar to caramelize. The slower you allow the temperature to rise in the candy, the more rich and flavorful it’ll become. Furthermore, there’s a very good likelihood you’ll avoid the frustration of burning this amazing treat. One thing is for sure, you cannot make candy caramel without a candy thermometer. You HAVE to know the exact temperature of the candy. Once it reaches soft ball (234 degrees fahrenheit) it must be stopped and cooled. With candy, even just 2 degrees will make a huge difference in the outcome.

Caramel starting to boil
Caramel finished cooking

What makes caramel candy soft or hard?

This is all about the temperature. If you cook your caramel to firm ball temperature (245 degrees) then it will make the caramel hard. If you cook the caramel to soft ball temperature (234 degrees) it will be soft. It can take less than a minute for the temperature of the candy to jump from 234 degrees to 245 degrees, especially if your heat is too high. This is why a candy thermometer, as well as cooking on low heat, are the keys to creating a perfect, soft & chewy candy caramel.

What is the best thing to wrap homemade caramel candy in?

Whatever you wrap your caramels in, just make sure the material isn’t going to get your caramel stuck to the wrapper. The best thing to wrap your candy in is wax paper or parchment paper, you can cut them into little squares to wrap them. You can also buy clear cellophane candy wrappers that your candy will not stick to.

Caramel Candy getting cut and wrapped

How do you cut caramel candy?

Cutting caramel can be tricky, especially if you are a perfectionist and want the candies all the exact same size and shape. This is why I love to use The Candy Pan. If you don’t have The Candy Pan you can use a sharp knife to cut the caramel or a bench scrapper.

What is caramel candy made of?

Karo syrup

Prevents sugar crystallization while cooking. It keeps your caramel from going grainy. It will also help stabilize the caramels structure.

Granulated sugar

Caramels flavor all comes from the granulated sugar caramelizing.

Heavy whipping cream

Helps your caramel to be creamy, chewy and have a smooth & buttery texture.

Sweetened condensed milk

This is milk without the extra liquid. When it boils down it becomes dulce de leche. Added to caramel candy it will make it have a sweet, milky flavor.

Vanilla extract

Using pure vanilla extract will add the perfect flavor to your candy caramel.

Caramel Candy in a bowl

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Caramel Candy

5 from 2 votes
Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 144 pieces
These chewy, rich caramels will keep you coming back for more. The hard part will be not eating them all as you wrap them in their wrappers.


  • 2 cups karo syrup
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 7 oz sweetened condensed milk half a 14 oz can
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Plug in a large (10 quart) kettle and put to 200 degrees or place a large pot on a stove top over medium heat
  • Pour karo syrup & sugar into the pot or kettle, stir over heat until the sugar is melted
  • Once sugar is melted, put cream & condensed milk in a double broiler. I use a glass bowl placed over a small sauce pan of simmering water. Warm up the cream mixture for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, turn heat up to 250 degrees on the kettle. Put 1/2 cup of cream mixture into the sugar mixture and stir. Let it simmer for 5 minutes before adding another 1/2 cup of cream to the sugar mixture. Repeat until all the cream is added.
  • Once all the cream is added, put in a candy thermometer and cook until soft ball stage (234 degrees)
  • Take off heat immediately & stir in the vanilla
  • Pour out onto a lined cookie sheet or Candy Pan
  • Let cool completely before slicing (8 hours)


Calories: 49kcal Carbohydrates: 4g Protein: 0.4g Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 2g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 12mg Sodium: 4mg Potassium: 15mg Sugar: 4g Vitamin A: 149IU Vitamin C: 0.1mg Calcium: 10mg Iron: 0.01mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.

Caramel Candy Titled