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Homemade caramels

This is the first of twelve Christmas treats I will post about in the next twelve days! Exciting! Or maybe it's just me. Part of the reason I love this season so much is because of the baking and stirring and cutting and wrapping and eating and delivering. This caramel recipe is possibly my favorite of all Christmas treats. I remember the first time I made these, back when I was the only one who lived in my then clean but very boring home. I stood over my stove stirring for what seemed like forever, thinking, THESE BETTER BE GOOD. When they were finished, I vowed to never complain about the cooking and stirring again because they are chewy, buttery, sugary deliciousness at its very best. So here you go, friends..

Day One of Twelve Days of Christmas Treats!

Coat a 9x13 baking dish generously with cooking spray and set aside. You will be needing a candy thermometer for this recipe. Candy thermometers aren't as intimidating as they may seem. You can purchase a decent one for ~$10, and they are easy to use.

In a large, heavy-duty saucepan, combine:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup evaporated milk

1 pint heavy whipping cream

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reads 243 degrees F. 

At first the stirring speed can be fairly slow. You can, say, stir with one hand while perusing Pinterest with your other, if that is your thing. The entire cooking process takes me somewhere around 45-50 minutes. A little over halfway through, the stirring must become a little more vigorous, as you must make sure the mixture does not burn.

Occasionally dip the candy thermometer into the middle, being careful not to touch the bottom of the pan, until you get a reading. 243 degrees is my magic number. Any less and the caramels are too gooey. Any more, and they are too chewy.

When you reach the magic number, immediately remove the pan from the heat and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Stir until combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared 9x13 pan. Allow the caramel to cool completely.

Cut into 1/2-inch x 1-inch pieces and wrap individually in wax paper. 

You will love these! So will your neighbors, friends, children, you get the idea. ENJOY!

Homemade Caramels

My FAVORITE holiday recipe. These are chewy and caramely and sooooooooo good.

Contributed by Megan Porta from

Published Dec 1, 2012

Serves: 64 caramels

Total time: 1 hr, plus cooling time

Homemade Caramels


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Coat a 9x13 dish generously with cooking spray and set aside. Combine the butter, sugars, corn syrup, evaporated milk and heavy whipping cream in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until candy thermometer reads 243 degrees F. Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  2. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan and allow mixture to cool completely. Cut into small squares and wrap in wax paper.



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Reader Comments (9)

These look beautiful! Nicely done and a perfect holiday treat to gift.

12.1.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal


12.1.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Garrard

There's nothing like homemade caramels. I use parchment paper so they don't stick to the pan. Your photos are gorgeous--thank you!

12.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterVespa Woolf

Yay! I think I can actually make these. I LOVE caramel...can't wait to try it out. Thanks~

These look amazing. How do you store them?

12.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterArchina Yoo

Hi Archina, Just wrap the caramels in wax paper and they can be stored at room temp. Hope this helps!

12.10.2012 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

Hello! Some of ours crystalized.... what would cause this?

12.23.2012 | Unregistered CommenterEarline & Jason

I think you've just given me my gift idea for next year's extended family Christmas gifts....thanks! Hopefully I'm able to give them away after making them, they look so good!

01.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTia

I gave these to family at Christmas and they wanted
more. I will have to make 2 patches this year.

01.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterA. Too

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