Homemade Salted Caramels

Salted Caramels

I’m finding it hard to believe that it’s already February. Where the heck did the first one-twelfth of 2012 go?

This past month has been a whirlwind of working, cooking, dining out and re-discovering free time after the last nine months of writing the book. I never truly appreciated the beauty of parking myself on the couch on a random Tuesday night and watching Real Housewives, Lockup, House Hunters, and Dance Moms (join the addiction!) marathons until my mind went numb. There’s something to be said for the relaxation power of reality TV.

I’ve also had much more time to get back into the kitchen and dream up culinary creations spanning everything from slow-cooker classics to an accidental homerun with my new favorite sandwich cookie. As I gear up for the release of Food Blogging For Dummies, I’ll also be sharing additional content with a behind-the-scenes look at writing the book, photo shoots and all. Chew your way through these sticky Salted Caramels while you stay tuned for tons of new recipes, new content and a whole lot of book giveaways to come!

Salted Caramels

Salted Caramels

Salted Caramels

Salted Caramels


Salted Caramels

Yield: About 40 candies

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 20 min


1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 teaspoon large flake sea salt (Recommended: Maldon)
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water


Line an 8-inch square baking pan with lightly oiled parchment paper.

Combine the heavy cream, cubed butter, and sea salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a boil. Once it's reached a boil, remove it from the heat and set it aside.

In a separate medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water and place it over medium heat, bringing it to a boil and swirling until it's golden brown in color. Do not stir.

Carefully stir the cream mixture into the sugar mixture. Be careful, as it will bubble up. Continue cooking the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 248ºF on a thermometer, about 12 minutes.

Once the mixture has reached 248ºF, immediately pour it into the prepared pan and let cool for at least 2 hours.

Once the caramel has cooled completely, use a sharp knife to cut the block into 40 candies. Store candies in an airtight container until ready to eat.

Kelly's Notes:

Use a very small amount of oil to grease the parchment paper, otherwise the caramels are coated in the oil and lose their flavor.

For an added salty kick, top the caramels with additional sea salt after you've poured the hot mixture into the prepared pan. Or, go a step further and coat the hardened caramels in chocolate and garnish with sea salt.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet.



  1. 1


    how darling these are! i love salted caramels! i always get the salted caramel mocha at starbucks during the holidays :)

    • Kelly replied: — February 1st, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

      You’ve just inspired my morning coffee order today :)

  2. 2


    wow! Can you bring some of these in March? ;)

    I tried making caramels recently and failed miserably…they tasted burnt! I need to try your recipe. What type of cookware do you use?

    • Kelly replied: — February 1st, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

      Hi, Julie! I used a heavy-bottomed saucepan. But the real key to avoiding that burnt taste is to make sure you only take them to 248ºF, otherwise they’ll become brittle and have that burnt taste. Cannot wait to see you!

  3. 3


    these look beautiful! i wanted to make salted caramels over the holidays, but i never did. not sure if i psyched myself out of it or if i just ran out of time, but you’ve inspired me. can’t wait to try making these.

    • Kelly replied: — February 1st, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Shannon! Enjoy these chewy treats!

  4. 7


    So… I tried making these tonight and followed the recipe, including the part to cook it until 248 degrees but… I now have toffee. :))) What happened??? :) Okay, for the record, I have been cooking since H.S. let’s just say that’s a lot of years. I can usually make anything I try my hand at but obviously not these. I was hoping to make them for a wedding this Saturday. Hmmm, What advice do you have? Your credentials are phenomenal by the way. I wish I was you. :) Just kidding, but really, I would have loved your culinary education and experience.

    • Kelly replied: — February 2nd, 2012 @ 2:07 am

      Thanks so much for your kind note, Tina! Candy-making can be super tricky, as in a few degrees can mean all the difference between chewy sugar and toffee. Did you definitely take the candy to 248ºF, and not a degree more? That would be my first guess as to why you got hard-crack toffee, rather than chewy caramel. I hope this helps and thanks so much again for your note :)

  5. 8

    Catie says

    Love this! Such a wonderfully easy caramel recipe. I am going to make some up for my co-workers for Valentines Day!

    • Kelly replied: — February 3rd, 2012 @ 12:05 am

      Thanks, Catie! Enjoy, and just make sure to watch the temp so you don’t end up with salted toffee… although that’s not that bad of an alternative ;)

  6. 11


    Oh my! My heart just went pitter patter with love :D I would rather have a box of these for Valentine’s day from my love. I can’t wait to see what else you’ve been cooking up. {New Fan Too}

    • Kelly replied: — February 10th, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

      Welcome, welcome, welcome!

  7. 12


    I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago and have been checking in periodically… I love your ideas! I’m going to try this out tonight or tomorrow and have a quick question… What type of oil do you use on the parchment paper?

    • Kelly replied: — February 13th, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

      Welcome, Bill! I used regular old veg oil for greasing the parchment, and the two keys with this recipe are to really watch the temp (anything above 248°F and you’ll end up with toffee – not a bad alternative!) and really LIGHTLY grease the parchment (otherwise the caramels will taste like veg oil). Enjoy!

  8. 13

    Sarah W says

    Hi!! I have been loving checking out your website today! Such great ideas! I do a lot of freezer cooking and I was wondering if you have ever froze these caramels?? Thanks!

    • Kelly replied: — March 14th, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Sarah! I have never frozen these caramels, however I wouldn’t recommend it. Freezing sugar and then trying to defrost it can do weird things to the texture of the candy. Hope this helps!

  9. 14

    Sarah W says

    Wonderful! Thank you so much! I can’t imagine there would be any left to freeze anyway! ;) Thanks for your time!

    • Kelly replied: — March 14th, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

      No prob, Sarah! Just be super careful with the temperature of the sugar, or you’ll end up with toffee (not a bad alternative) ;)

  10. 15

    Kristen says


    Can you please provide me with instructions on how to wrap the carmels individually for gift giving? Since I had to provide my email address is there anyway that you could email the directions to me?? Thanks so much! :)

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — November 1st, 2012 @ 6:44 am

      Just emailed you :) In case anyone else is wondering, to wrap the caramels, cut out small rectangles of wax paper (abot 1 inch larger than the size of your caramels) and wrap them up on both sides, twisting to secure.

  11. 17

    Jennifer says

    Nailed this in one, though I found I had to pull it off before it reached 248, though the cook time on my range was nearly 30 min. Around 235 by my thermometer. It was *just* starting to smell like burning sugar. (I never turn my back when making candy) Caught it in time, and they turned out beautifully. Thanks for sharing. Definitely a make again.

  12. 18

    Theresa M Houghton says

    if you are struggling with the temperature best to take it off a couple degrees early as carryover cooking keeps the temperature rising also calibrate your thermometer as well to make sure it’s correct

  13. 19

    Sharla says

    These turned out great for me. I sprinkled some chopped pecans on top of a few of mine and that heavenly!

  14. 20

    Christopher says

    You recommended this recipe for the homemade samoas, do you use the whole batch as the 15 oz requirement for the recipe??? THANKS! :)

  15. 21


    do you stir the caramel after adding cream and cooking to 248?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — May 30th, 2013 @ 4:21 pm

      Hi Sandioh! You have to stir the cream mixture into the sugar mixture before it reaches 248ºF, but after that, no stirring is required.

  16. 22

    Shelley Wilaine Timm says

    Hey Kelly, I want to have an idea, I have the two kinds of Caramels candy here at home, the Chewy and the Hard one, this Homemade one should be what kind?!

  17. 23

    Aila Goforth says

    Can you use a regular meat thermometer?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — October 14th, 2013 @ 6:14 pm

      Hi Alia! The thermometer has to be able to be submerged in hot liquid (i.e. sugar) and read to the correct temp.

  18. 24

    Atir Patel says

    Hi, my caramels did not set.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — December 7th, 2013 @ 9:15 am

      Hi Atir, Were you using a candy thermometer to make sure the sugar reached the correct temp?

  19. 25

    Atir Patel says

    Unfortunately no, and thats where I went wrong. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do with my unset caramel?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — December 7th, 2013 @ 11:51 pm

      Hi Atir, I can’t say for certain if reheating the sugar will work, but does it maybe work as a sauce over ice cream? Just an idea :)

  20. 27

    Yummy says

    Can I substitute glucose syrup for corn syrup? Corn syrup is proving to be difficult to find in australia.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 19th, 2014 @ 6:58 am

      Hello – I don’t have experience cooking with glucose syrup so I can’t say for certainty if you’ll get the exact same result in this recipe if you were using corn syrup.

  21. 28

    Yummy says

    Thanks for the response. FYI the glucose syrup worked a treat. Delicious, thanks. I’m planning to use the result in some dark, dense brownies.

  22. 29

    Mandi says

    Hi there! So I just finished my second batch of these (The first batch I made I didn’t brown the sugar enough, so while it was good it was very very pale.) and they are so good! and so easy! Thank you for the recipe

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 17th, 2014 @ 4:23 pm

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed them :)

  23. 30

    Emily says

    I just made about six batches of these as holiday gifts and there are a few things I noticed:
    If your candies are coming out pale, it’s because you need to let the sugar/corn syrup/water mixture boil for longer to darken. Maybe it’s just my pot/stovetop combination but it took about 45 minutes for the sugar mixture to get to the golden brown color. I’m not sure how this would only take 20 minutes. The whole process took almost an hour for me!
    If you’re making a ton of these, isntead of cutting a bunch of individual squares of waxed paper to wrap them, head to Smart&Final and get a package of patty paper. It’s the waxed paper that they put between frozen hamburger patties and it works just great!

  24. 31

    agatha and jonathan says

    whilst indulging in the wonderful process of creating your “homemade samoas” cookies, we ran into a few issues regarding this caramel recipe. we found the not-stirring aspect of this recipe to be problematic, as the caramel at the top hardened into a pale, pock-marked shell (hehe), and the caramel at the bottom burnt into a mixture with similar color to barbecue sauce. it tasted like the death of our hopes and dreams for the future. disappointed and disillusioned, we poured the caramel into the trash, along with all of our confidence and self-respect. do you have any suggestions to avoid this going forward? aside from this caramel fiasco, we deeply enjoyed your inventive and flawless recipe for the samoas cookies!


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