Easy Microwave Caramels

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. + chilling


about 2-3/4 lbs

Updated: Oct. 14, 2022
These caramels were "homework" for a candy-making class that I took some time ago...and I've repeated that assignment over and over since! I usually make an extra batch and freeze it for company or last-minute gift-giving. After only about 20 quick seconds in the microwave, the frozen caramel is soft enough to cut, wrap and pack into a candy jar.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2-1/3 cups (1 pound) brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional


  1. In 2-qt. microwave-safe pitcher, combine the butter, sugar, syrup, milk and salt. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring once after every minute. When butter is melted, stir well. Attach microwave candy thermometer. Microwave on high for about 8 minutes or until mixture reaches 245° (firm-ball stage). No stirring is needed. Remove from microwave; stir in vanilla and walnuts. Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring well several times. Pour into buttered 13x9-in. pan (smaller 11x7-in. pan yields thicker candy as shown in photo). Refrigerate until cool. Invert pan. Carefully tap out whole block of candy; cut in squares. Wrap in waxed paper and store in refrigerator. (Can also freeze.)