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Easy Microwave Caramels Recipe

Easy Microwave Caramels Recipe

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.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling YIELD:64 servings


  • 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.) Yield: about 2-3/4 lbs.
Editor's Note: This recipe was tested in a 1,100-watt microwave.

Reviews for Easy Microwave Caramels

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thecreativebaker User ID: 7200207 25144
Reviewed Oct. 31, 2013

"I am a volunteer TOH field editor and have made these carmels for years!!!!! They are so good! My advice is to make sure to use high quality ingredients and measure temp. I have made these every year for my clients at Christmas!! A huge hit!!!!"

scoutskoshi User ID: 3625261 20638
Reviewed Nov. 16, 2012

"Great recipe have made since recipe was first published. It depends on your microwave as to how long it needs to cook. I would encourage you to purchase an excellent candy thermometer."

jmpnjac User ID: 3941870 21219
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2011

"I've been making these for years! A real family favorite!"

beckyskate User ID: 4952532 21252
Reviewed Apr. 29, 2010

"This turned out hard as a rock. I tried to slice it and my knife got stuck."

Lisa502 User ID: 1084457 52077
Reviewed Dec. 4, 2009

"This recipe was a hit. I get many requests for this recipe."

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