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These Easy Five Ingredient Homemade Caramel Candies are so soft and buttery, just like your grandma used to make. They are simply the best!
I absolutely love homemade caramel, which is probably more obvious than I think since I do have several caramel recipes on the site, haha. The thing is, most people love caramel, but most people don't love making caramel. I get it; it can seem complicated to make for a result that might not be what you were expecting.
Don't worry, I totally understand that, but I am here to tell you that it doesn't have to be hard or complicated and you can make it in no time flat. Your friends and family will be amazed by the sweet treat that you've made completely homemade.
Why you need to make these ASAP!
- Simple Ingredients - Only 5 ingredients, and none of them are CORN SYRUP!
- Easy to Make - Literally, you throw everything into one pot and let it cook!
- Soft and buttery texture that will keep you going back for more!
- Add a bit of salt for an extra fancy flair!
- Perfect for the holidays and all year long!
Five Simple Ingredients
- Brown Sugar
- Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Salt (optional)
What makes these better than just sugar, cream, and butter? Traditionally, caramels are made of, and I do make it this way (see my Homemade Rollo Recipe), but that does require watching the sugar so it doesn't burn, which can be frustrating. This recipe is much easier, and I promise there is no guesswork here.
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Tips and Tricks
I actually prefer my enameled cast iron pan for making caramel because it heats really evenly. A heavy-bottomed pot will help the caramel ingredients cook at the same rate and reduce the possibility of scorching.
This is especially important for the butter. When all of the ingredients are at the same temperature, it allows everything to melt and cook evenly. If the butter is cold, it will melt at a different rate than everything else, and it can cause the caramel to separate. Don't worry if this happens; just keep whisking it, and it will all come together.
You don't want your caramel to cook too fast. You want the caramel to come together and then come to temperature as one. If it cooks too fast, some ingredients might not cook right, and it could separate.
This will be a little hard at first as everything comes together but just keep whisking. This keeps the caramel moving and keeps it from getting hot spots and scorching, so it cooks evenly.
While I prefer a candy thermometer clipped to the pot, it's unnecessary. If you have any good food-grade thermometer, you are good. You just want to watch the temperature, so you pull the caramel to get the results you want.
Soft or Hard Caramel?
This is a total preference, and both can be made with this recipe. I prefer my caramel super soft, so it melts in my mouth. When it comes to the final texture of caramel, it comes down to the temperature you cook. This is why a good thermometer is important.
For soft caramel, pull it when it reaches 220-225 degrees. I pull mine, usually about 222 degrees. If you want a little bit firmer caramel, you can take it closer to 230 degrees.
Let's Make Some Carmel Candy
- Grease and line a baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Combine all the ingredients, except the salt, into a pan.
- Cook the mixture over medium-low heat until it reaches 220-230 degrees, depending on the consistency that you prefer.
- Once the caramel is cooked, add salt if desired.
- Pour the caramel into the prepared pan and allow it to cool completely before enjoying.
Caramel can be stored at room temperature for about two weeks if it lasts that long before it's eaten.
I like to wrap individually in pieces of wax paper for easy grabbing when enjoying or sharing.
When cutting caramel, do not push straight down with a knife. The caramel will stick to the knife this way. Instead, lightly brush a knife with some butter and then cut back and forth like you are sawing. This will reduce sticking and allow the caramel to cut easier.
Ways to Enjoy Homemade Caramel Candy
These caramel candies are good to enjoy in pieces by themselves, or you can make some homemade caramel truffles. Just shape the caramel once it's cooled and dip in chocolate. You can also pour the caramel into candy molds for fun little festive treats. You can even use this caramel recipe to make the best caramel apples. Just dip your apples into the caramel before it's cooled, and then enjoy!
More Caramel Recipes to Enjoy
Easy Five Ingredient Homemade Caramel Candy
- 1 C Sugar
- 1 C Brown Sugar
- 1 C Honey
- 14 OZ Sweetened Condensed Milk
- ½ C Butter unsalted
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon Salt Optional
- Lightly grease a baking pan, line it with parchment paper, and set it aside. I like to use a 8x8 because I like thicker pieces but you can also use a 9x13.
- Attach a candy thermometer to a heavy-bottomed stockpot If you don't have one you can use an instant-read thermometor to check temperature while it cooks. A candy thermometer just makes it easier.
- Combine all of the ingredients except the salt to the pan.
- Cook the mixture over medium heat until it reaches 225 degrees for soft caramels. If you want a little bit firmer caramel, then cook it to about 230 degrees Add the salt if desired at this point.
- Once the caramel has reached the desired temperature, pour it into the prepared pan and smooth it out.
- Allow the mixture to cool completely and then cut it into desired sizes and wrap it into pieces of wax paper to store.