Soft Caramels
Prep time
Total time
Rich, buttery and chewy, these vanilla flavored caramel candies will almost melt in your mouth. Soft caramels are a reminder of timeless old-school candies, unwrap a piece and treat yourself.
Recipe type: Dessert | Candy | Caramel
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or fleur de sel
  • 2 cups whipping (heavy) cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Tip: Sea salt normally has a mixture of large and small granules. Finely crush the sea salt so it distributes more evenly in the caramel. Crush with a salt grinder, or mortar and pestle, or rolling pin, or in a small food grinder.
Prepare one 9x13 inch oblong pan. Line the pan with parchment paper, allowing overhang on all sides. Tip: rub a bit of vegetable shortening or butter in the bottom of the pan corners and well as the pan sides to help the parchment paper to stay in place. Lightly grease the top of the parchment paper. Place the pan on a wire rack to protect your countertop from the hot caramel.
  1. In a large, at least 4 quart-size, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the butter is melted. Stir in the whipping cream. Stir gently to avoid splashing the mixture onto the sides of the pan. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, stirring frequently and scraping the pan bottom to avoid scorching, until the mixture reaches a temperature of 247 degrees F, a firm ball stage, using a candy or instant read thermometer to gauge the temperature. Immediately remove pan from the heat. Tip: Lower the heat when the temperature reaches about 240 degrees to slow the cooking because at this point it will quickly reach 247 degrees.
  2. Let the hot mixture sit about 30 seconds to let the bubbling subside. Working carefully to prevent splattering, add the vanilla and stir just until mixed.
  3. Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with the rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Do not scrape out the pan as separated ingredients will mar the top of the caramel. Be careful, the caramel is extremely hot and will burn your skin if you touch it.
  4. Let the caramel sit undisturbed until cool and thoroughly set, 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
  5. When caramel is firm, remove from the pan by grabbing the edge of the parchment paper and lifting out of the pan. Use a sharp kitchen knife or bench scraper to cut into 1½ by 1-inch rectangles; cut the caramel lengthwise into 1½ inch strips, and then cut each strip into 1 inch pieces. Tip: Rub a tiny bit of vegetable oil or vegetable shortening on the knife blade if necessary to prevent sticking.
  6. Wrap each caramel in a piece of wax paper cut about 5 inches by 6 inches, and then twist the ends to keep closed.
Recipe Notes
Equipment: Heavy Bottom Pan, Candy Thermometer Method: Stovetop Pan: 9x13 inch Rectangle Pan Prep: Parchment Lined Yield: About 70 Pieces Storage: Airtight Container, Room Temperature or Refrigerate

Help: Sugar and Caramel Stages

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