Soft Chewy Caramels Recipe
Soft Chewy Caramels Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Soft Chewy Caramels Recipe

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One of my first experiences with cooking was helping my mother make these caramels. We'd make up to 12 batches each year. Today, I do at least 95 percent of the cooking at home, but my wife does much of the baking. —Robert Sprenkle, Hurst, Texas
Featured In: Homemade Easter Candy
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 5 min. Cook: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:100 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 5 min. Cook: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES: 100 servings


  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 cup butter, divided
  • 2-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 58 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 7mg cholesterol, 32mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.


  1. Line a 15x10x1-in. pan with foil; grease the foil with 1 tablespoon butter. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt remaining butter. Add the brown sugar, milk and corn syrup. Cook and stir until candy thermometer reads 250° (hard-ball stage).
  2. Pour into prepared pan (do not scrape saucepan). Cool completely before cutting. Yield: about 2-1/2 pounds.
Editor's Note: We recommend that you test your candy thermometer before each use by bringing water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212°. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on your test.
Originally published as Soft Chewy Caramels in Taste of Home December/January 2004, p19

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Lucy User ID: 8974342 257180
Reviewed Nov. 23, 2016

"I made this recipe yesterday fit the first time, I added vanilla at the end but next time will add spiced rum. I cooked it to 250 and the texture was perfect. I then dusted the top of the caramel with kosher salt. Super awesome delicious and will be wrapping them in a ginger cookie for a super awesome sweet treat. Thank you for this recipe"

bluewithoutu User ID: 4349299 256004
Reviewed Oct. 27, 2016

"I used this recipe last night and while the flavor was amazing, heating it to 250 degrees was WAAAAAAY too high. I have brittle, not soft chewy caramels. Pretty disappointed.

I wasted a lot of ingredients to have a pan full of inedible caramel.
Do NOT boil this to 250! Otherwise the flavor is perfect!"

dot444 User ID: 6616315 244663
Reviewed Feb. 29, 2016

"These are SO GOOD!!!! I kept some in the fridg to keep for a while, of course I had to hide them."

randcbruns User ID: 828588 239490
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2015

"This is one of the best caramel recipes I've made. These never last long in my house."

Nerak1960 User ID: 1430605 239482
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2015

"I would have given a 5 star rating, because the caramels are great, but they do not keep long. They start turning sugary and grainy. Maybe they don't last that long at your house, but when I gave them for gifts everyone said they were great, but started getting grainy after a few days. Has anyone ever put them in the refrigerator? Would that work?"

tsuop User ID: 6274346 238826
Reviewed Dec. 6, 2015

"I also make these every year. It is important to cook them long enough, I too use the cold water method. It is also important to use a non-stick pan, makes clean up sooo much easier!! I use a jelly roll pan, it gives the correct thickness for me. Thanks for the pizza cutter idea. My husband ( the cutter upper) will appreciate that tip!"

ilenemchone User ID: 8369422 238786
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2015

"I would give this recipe 6 stars! I have made this recipe for decades using light corn syrup instead of dark syrup. They are an institution! :) I make them every year for family and give them to my employees as part of their Christmas. The caramels are very much expected! I prefer using the cold water method to test when they are done. I pour just a little mixture in cold water. I roll it into a ball and taste. Whatever the firmness is then is about what it will be when they are cool. So you can instantly tell how soft or firm they are. I did made them too firm one time. I put the room temp caramels into a bigger pot, added all the ingredients for another batch and cooked them again. They turned out perfect. I have also cooked them in a huge pot with four batches at once. It works fine....just a little longer cooking time. I usually make about 8 batches each year, so this cuts down on cooking time considerably."

PaulID User ID: 8042664 235554
Reviewed Oct. 24, 2015

"I like to add rum extract at the end my family keeps asking for these."

[email protected] User ID: 2044675 234123
Reviewed Oct. 6, 2015

"This is an awesome recipe, love it. Thanks Hoosier Texan for the pizza cutter idea it worked great and made the cutting and wrapping in the waxed paper so much easier!"

HoosierTexan User ID: 8358956 225819
Reviewed May. 3, 2015

"This is basically the same recipe I've used for over 45 years. It is really hard to beat, and everyone loves them and begs for more. In fact, this week I have to make 800 of them for a fundraiser that will go in the guest's goodie bags. I have been asked to make them for this same fundraiser for the past 3 years, ever since those in charge tasted them. I find that if I let them sit in my 9x13 pan until not quite cool, but cool to the touch, and then dump the entire pan out onto a piece of parchment paper, I can quickly cut the strips with my pizza cutter, and then snip off pieces with kitchen scissors before wrapping them in waxed paper. If I wait until totally cooled, the cutting process takes longer."

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