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

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
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, 0g fiber), trace 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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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."

Reviewed Dec. 15, 2015

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

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?"

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!"

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."

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