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Creamy Caramels Recipe

Creamy Caramels Recipe

I discovered this recipe in a local newspaper years ago and have made these soft buttery caramels ever since. I make them for Christmas, picnics and charity auctions—and they are so much better than store-bought caramels. Once people have a taste, they ask for the recipe. —Marcie Wolfe, Williamsburg, Virginia
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 30 min. + cooling YIELD:64 servings


  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 cup butter, divided
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1. Line an 8-in. square pan with foil; grease the foil with 1 teaspoon butter and set aside.
  • 2. In a large heavy saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup and remaining butter; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil slowly for 4 minutes without stirring.
  • 3. Remove from the heat; stir in milk. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until a candy thermometer reads 238° (soft-ball stage), stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.
  • 4. Pour into prepared pan (do not scrape saucepan). Cool. Using foil, lift candy out of pan. Discard foil; cut candy into 1-in. squares. Wrap individually in waxed paper; twist ends. Yield: 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.

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 72 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 45mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

Reviews for Creamy Caramels

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2124arizona User ID: 845443 265739
Reviewed May. 8, 2017

"This is incredibly easy!! My son love these."

Melody User ID: 8991963 258383
Reviewed Dec. 20, 2016

"Turned out perfectly and could not have been easier! Another recipe I tried last year failed miserably. Thrilled with these results and have plans for another batch with chopped pecans stirred in!! SO excited!"

Linda User ID: 8985013 258083
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2016

"This recipe is fabulous. Very light and creamy and doesn't stick to your teeth."

ratcmt6 User ID: 2171300 240007
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2015

"Love this recipe! Taste like a brand name caramel"

valeriegallery User ID: 8612065 237109
Reviewed Nov. 10, 2015

"Thanks mbrech119 for the tip on using parchment instead of foil to line the pan . . . worked perfectly! This recipe is great! Never made caramels before. Made this recipe for our wedding anniversary as my husband loves caramels. Used a 1.2 quart copper pot, which will only fit a half recipe--true what they say about the stuff climbing up the sides of the pot as it boils. Took about an hour until they were at the soft-ball stage and about 2 hours to cool enough to cut and wrap. Followed the directions to the letter (except for lining the pan with parchment) and ended up with the most delicious caramels my husband and I ever ate. Will make again for Christmas gifts!"

mbrech119 User ID: 8470970 230626
Reviewed Aug. 3, 2015

"Fabulous! Line pan w/parchment and you'll never need foil or spray again . .the caramels just slip right off! I usually cook to a degree or two over as I like a slightly darker color and a *bit* more chew. I always double the recipe - perfect for a half jelly roll plan. To speed up the process I also cook medium high until a few degrees off the temp, then turn it down - but you have to stir constantly or scorching happens . .and I scrap my pan, too with no ill effect!"

skippy3716 User ID: 8096608 217934
Reviewed Jan. 15, 2015 Edited Jan. 19, 2015

"My first time making caramels and haven't made any candy in a long time. They were easy to make. The hardest thing was the stirring for me with a sore wrist and shoulder. They turned out better than I expected and very good. I sprinkled with coarse sea salt immediately after pouring into pan to cool."

SwtAngel76 User ID: 1060686 216337
Reviewed Dec. 29, 2014

"This was my first time to make caramels. This recipe was very easy to follow, and they turned out delicious. I've already been asked to make more!!!"

ojc0806 User ID: 4482783 215654
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2014

"This was my first time making caramels. They turned out wonderfully :-)"

mel_h_md User ID: 8170593 215360
Reviewed Dec. 19, 2014

"I have been making this recipe for about 3 year now. Other then the first time, I have always doubled the recipe since then. I honestly don't know what kind of stove the people who put this recipe up was using, but it always takes me a total of 3 hours to make. If doubling still only 4 min boil. It is always after you add the condensed milk that take the longest, raising the temp to 238 degrees (soft ball stage) takes most of the time because on med-low heat it takes forever. I have let them cool both in the fridge and room temp and they always turn out beautifully either way. I too have dripped them in chocolate. Plain or with the chocolate everyone loves them. Friends rave about them and are always asking if I am making them any time soon."

KarenKuhta User ID: 8141002 215229
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2014

"A wonderful candy. I dipped the caramels in chocolate and sprinkled a few granules of sea salt on top of each one. Amazing!"

jaspercakejones User ID: 6524175 215199
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2014

"I have made 4 batches of these, 2 at a time. And I'll be making them again next Christmas. That is how good this recipe is. Candy making can take FOREVER, but stick to it, stir like crazy, and it is more than worth it. I will answer a few questions: the 4 minute boil stays the same when you double the recipe. Also, they cool beautifully at room temp. Amazing. Delicious!!"

jojomeow User ID: 5505315 215137
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2014

"My Mother made caramels for years and she always said to NEVER double the recipe."

sassygrammy2 User ID: 8165965 215136
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2014

"Great and so easy!!! My first caramels and they were perfect. I didn't have trouble reaching soft ball temp, it just takes some patience. Will be making some more!"

cookiebaker92 User ID: 7637138 214982
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2014

"I would not double."

Sarasonheim User ID: 8156189 214776
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2014

"Delicious! And does anyone know if this can de doubled? I'm making some as gifts and wonder if I would need to boil 8 minutes or 4 for a double batch? Thanks!!!"

pltyler72 User ID: 4530612 214247
Reviewed Dec. 7, 2014

"Was surprised at all the good reviews.I had to cook too long to reach soft-ball stage.

Too much stirring . Disappointed. Made recipe twice with same results."

kalarotti User ID: 8087095 214090
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2014

"I just made these and have them cooling. Am I supposed to cool at room temp. or in refrigerator?"

Sue Zappa User ID: 1094741 213972
Reviewed Dec. 4, 2014

"Absolutely my favorite candy ever! A bit time-consuming to cut & wrap, but well worth every moment. It's a fun family experience to cut & wrap the caramels while listening to Christmas music or watching a favorite Christmas movie!!"

darlido User ID: 7285137 1165
Reviewed Nov. 30, 2014

"My mom used to make these for me when I lived far away from home.. What a special treat they were to receive made with love!!!"

islandnana User ID: 1335211 1963
Reviewed Nov. 28, 2014 Edited Nov. 29, 2014

"I have used this recipe for about ten years. My recipe adds 1 cup dark brown sugar and 1 cup light corn syrup- then..... hmmmm I add 3 oz Unsweetened chocolate baking bars. I also cut my pieces in about 3/4 inch pieces..... and I cook it to 245? which takes about 30 minutes.... it's worth the wait!!! My original recipe was from (another baking company) and it said to wrap the pieces in Saran wrap...well, you only do THAT once.....I now use wax paper...much easier. Happy calories!!!!"

Lizzysmith User ID: 7239494 198381
Reviewed Mar. 26, 2014

"I had a problem getting this to soft ball stage. They didnt end up firm enough, but I was still able to wrap the as candies. Wonderful flavor ! It's a keeper recipe if I can figure out the cooking time."

EllaFitzbag User ID: 7708761 198380
Reviewed Mar. 9, 2014

"They are so delicious I could eat a batch by myself. However, I can't get the mixture to heat to the soft ball stage (238 degrees F). they turn out too soft. Can anyone suggest why? I tried it twice and used using an All-Clad pan."

jenntill User ID: 7536121 1871
Reviewed Jan. 9, 2014

"Delicious! My family thought it tasted better than See's candy!"

2dye4 User ID: 7327836 1145
Reviewed Jan. 7, 2014

"Fantastic! I put these on my cookie trays for Christmas this year and they were everyone's favorite"

cottagebarbie User ID: 1668904 198379
Reviewed Jun. 12, 2013

"These caramels were so "melt in your mouth" wonderful and had such a buttery flavor that this recipe is going to be my number one "go to" recipes for caramels from here on out."

Jnick66 User ID: 7044808 542
Reviewed Dec. 19, 2012

"This is a fantastic easy to make recipe! The first batch I made with the vanilla and it was so yummy I quickly made a second batch with maple extract instead. Unbelievably fantastic!!!!! I plan on trying raspberry and maybe trying to make egg nog flavored...the possibilities are endless!!!!"

ChrisBlair User ID: 6995611 2766
Reviewed Dec. 3, 2012

"It's addictive. Be forewarned!"

Potsie1 User ID: 6915342 1959
Reviewed Oct. 14, 2012

"Creamy, smooth and simple to make. Dip in some chocolate after it sets and take it to the ultimate level..."

Denisue User ID: 6710398 1164
Reviewed May. 26, 2012

"These caramels are by far the best I have ever made and I make them every Christmas due to demand. Make sure you cook it long enough or you will end up with caramel ice cream topping!"

crazycook86 User ID: 5630775 2467
Reviewed Jan. 3, 2012

"I make these caramels every year. They are wonderful. I always get great coments and often get asked to bring them to events. They make great gifts as well.

I agree I do cut them slightly smaller, generally 70-75 per pan. I use heavy duty foil to line my pan it pulls off better"

JessannB User ID: 6188602 1731
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2011

"I haven't made these yet but was wondering if you could use a fat free sweetened condensed milk? Anyone know?"

marshelle User ID: 204090 1730
Reviewed Sep. 24, 2011

"This is the best caramel recipe I have ever made. easy, delicious, and wonderful for any recipe that calls for caramel. My family and friends are very impressed with the taste and texture of these caramels. Thanks so much for a great recipe"

cweesa User ID: 5896004 2466
Reviewed May. 22, 2011

"They turned out perfect and so delicious!"

eleyana User ID: 1142513 1027
Reviewed Apr. 15, 2011

"This was one of the most popular candies I made this Christmas. I used Lyle's Golden syrup because DD is allergic to corn and they were absolutely fabulous!"

debbiesuer User ID: 358002 1654
Reviewed Feb. 22, 2011

"This was the most delicious caramels I have ever tasted. East to make. My son and I could hardly stop eating them while we were wrapping them :). Definitely a keeper!"

jane428 User ID: 3835785 1867
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2010

"YUM !!!! It doesn't get any better. Caramel it doesn't get any better!"

[email protected] User ID: 3102613 2862
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2010

"I have also used this recipe for several years. They are time consuming but well worth the effort. I get many requests for it at Christmas time. I have decreased the butter slightly as mine seem to get a greasy look if I use the full cup. Otherwise they are so creamy and delicious. If wrapped too early, they tend to stick to the foil/wax paper. If this happens, place in the refrigerator for a few minutes and they unwrap perfectly, but will need to soften once unwrapped!"

marshelle User ID: 204090 1729
Reviewed Nov. 20, 2010

"I have used this caramel recipe over and over. I never buy caramels anymore. I use it in recipes just like you would a bag of caramel you buy in the store. It is easy, delicious, and a coveted gift by many of my friends. Don't hesitate to make these, you won't be disappointed."

laurij99 User ID: 2127002 1114
Reviewed Sep. 19, 2010

"Delicious and so easy to make. I sometimes add nuts, but other than that I follow the recipe exactly and it always tastes great."

emili1805 User ID: 1142470 1978
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2010

"These carmels are amazing!! I sprayed the pan with cooking spray and wrapped in parchment paper instead of waxed paper, but other than that, I didn't change a thing. They are delicious and make perfect gifts."

Cassie07 User ID: 3284010 1646
Reviewed Jan. 21, 2010

"Carmels were gooey and the foil would not come off. I looked at other carmel recipes and they say to cook to hard ball stage (this receipe said soft ball stage). I will try them again, but will cook to a hard ball stage and see if that helps. As for taste, they are 'very good.'"

su2harba User ID: 2575323 1862
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2009

"These caramels are excellent! Everyone loves them."

bket User ID: 1284969 1860
Reviewed Dec. 6, 2009

"These caramels are the absolute BEST! Every year I get so many requests for my "secret" recipe caramels I can hardly keep up with the demand. Well worth the time! THANK YOU for this wonderful recipe. Don't change a thing."

Lisa502 User ID: 1084457 198378
Reviewed Dec. 4, 2009

"This is a great recipe. I get many request for this."

bket User ID: 1284969 1724
Reviewed Dec. 1, 2009

"I have used this recipe for several years now and I always get requests from all my neighbors for my "secret" recipe Carmels. It is absolutely the best. Well worth the effort and time it takes. Wonderful Gift! Don't change the recipe at all. It is PERFECT!"

strabue User ID: 3379399 2764
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2008

"These were very good! My mom said they were the best caramels she had ever had."

marydienner User ID: 1073454 1163
Reviewed Jan. 11, 2008

"I use light corn syrup. I also just butter the pan and don't use any foil. it works perfect."

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