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Salted Caramel Candies

5 from 6 votes
My soft, sweet, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth Salted Caramel Candies recipe is perfect for a decadent treat or lovely gift.
Squares of salted caramel candies.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHAT YOU GET: Soft, sweet, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth caramel candies — they’re the stuff of dreams. If you’re worried about making caramel, don’t be. I’ve made all the mistakes so you won’t have to.

I’d argue that these homemade salted caramels, despite seemingly fairly simple and quite humble, are actually one of the greatest candies known to man. 

The flavor is the quintessential caramel that I love, highlighted with sea salt, which helps make the soft caramel more complex in flavor and cuts the sweetness. The texture can’t be beaten either. My homemade caramels are incredibly soft, never sticky, and the flaky salt (which is optional) gifts it the tiniest little crunch. If you prefer a chewier caramel, all you have to do is cook it for a bit longer.

Chewy homemade caramels are a lovely edible gift for holidays, housewarmings, or just because — if you can bring yourself to give these highly addictive treats away to friends. 

Salted Caramel Candies squares lightly topped with salt.

More Recipes With Caramel

The Easiest Way To Make Caramels

The best trick to making caramels is trusting the process and paying attention to what you’re doing. Patience is key, but so is acting quickly — caramel can seem like it is taking forever to get to the texture you want and then become burnt fairly quickly. 

For soft caramels, the mixture should come to 250°F (120°C) before you pour it into your prepped baking dish.

I highly recommend using an instant or candy thermometer for this recipe. If you’re looking for tips on troubleshooting caramel in general, check out my How To Make Caramel (Troubleshooting Guide & Video).

What Is The Cold Water Test When You Are Making Caramel Candies?

Again, I don’t encourage you to make this recipe without a candy thermometer, but you can use this test as a backup to make sure your thermometer is accurate.

To perform a cold water test, keep a small cup or bowl of cold water beside your oven as you are making the caramel. Then, use a spoon to take a bit of the caramel and drizzle it into the water. Test the candy with your fingers — it is ready when you are able to form a ball that is stable but also soft enough to smoosh.

What Type Of Salt Should I Use For Salted Caramel Candies?

In this recipe, you can use either kosher salt or fine sea salt for the actual caramels, and the topping should be flaky sea salt for garnish. 

You want the salt to be the perfect balance for this recipe, and for that reason, I prefer to use unsalted butter while I’m making it so I can be extra sure I know how much salt is going into the caramels. 

Watch The Weather When You Are Making Caramel

Sometimes, even the most skilled bakers have issues with their caramel — and yes, you can blame the weather! To achieve the perfect caramel, you need the right amount of sugar to moisture. You’d ideally make these on a cool, dry day. If it is too humid, the sugar may reabsorb the humidity in the air, which affects the texture of the caramel. 

A salted caramel with a bite taken out of it.

Tools You’ll Need To Make Salted Caramel Candies

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Candy thermometer
  • 8-inch (20-cm) square baking dish
  • Parchment paper
  • Small, high-sided saucepan
  • Wax paper for wrapping

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Salted Caramel Candies

  • The parchment paper is necessary as it will help you neatly lift the caramel out of the pan. Foil is not a good substitute as it will stick to the caramel.
  • If you only have salted butter, reduce the salt to ¼ teaspoon for this recipe.
  • Make sure to place the baking dish for setting the caramel on a heatproof surface, as the caramel will be very hot when you pour it into the dish.
  • Do not stir the sugar and water as it is caramelizing, or you risk the sugar crystalizing — this will create a grainy caramel.
  • Unlike a caramel sauce, a candy thermometer is necessary for this recipe, and it is vital to watch the temperature carefully. If it is underdone, it will never set; if it is overdone, the caramel will be too hard.
  • A high-sided saucepan is vital for making these caramels because the mixture will bubble up relatively high once you add the cream.

Make More Caramel Recipes

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Salted Caramel Candies Recipe

5 from 6 votes
My soft, sweet, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth Salted Caramel Candies recipe is perfect for a decadent treat or lovely gift.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 16 candies
Prep Time 20 mins
Cool for 4 hrs
My soft, sweet, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth Salted Caramel Candies recipe is perfect for a decadent treat or lovely gift.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 16 candies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (4 fl oz/120 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (8 oz/225 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) water
  • Flaky salt for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Butter an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking dish and line with enough parchment paper that it comes up the sides. Butter the parchment paper, then place the baking dish on a heat-proof surface and set aside.
  • In a glass measuring jug, combine the heavy cream, butter, and salt, and microwave until the butter melts. (You can also do this in a small saucepan on the stove.) Set aside.
  • Place the sugar and water in a small, high-sided saucepan. Clip a candy thermometer to the pan and cook over medium heat without stirring.
  • Once the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is boiling, watch the temperature carefully (but do not stir the mixture).
  • After 5 to 10 minutes, the sugar will start to turn a deep amber. As soon as the temperature reaches 320°F (160°C), immediately turn off the heat and carefully pour the cream mixture into the sugar. (It will bubble up and steam.)
  • Turn the heat back on to low. Stir until the mixture is dissolved then stop stirring. Continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes until the mixture reaches 250°F (120°C), then immediately pour the hot caramel into the prepared baking dish. Let cool and set completely, at least 4 hours.
  • Once set, sprinkle with flaky salt, if using, and cut the caramel into 16 squares.
  • Individually wrap each caramel in a square of wax paper to keep them from sticking together and store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days.
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Karen
Karen
11 days ago

Is it possible to pipe this? I’d like to make a chocolate bar

Martha Vrana-Bossart
Martha Vrana-Bossart
5 months ago

Can you make these with maple syrup instead of sugar?

Maria
Maria
5 months ago

Can these be deeped in chocolate?

Julie
Julie
5 months ago

Hi is the sugar granulated or caster because Iam in uk thanks in advance all your recipes are amazing.

Ria Bansal
Ria Bansal
5 months ago

Will the cream mixture have to be hot while it is being poured over or should it be at room temp.

Lucia
Lucia
5 months ago

Hi Gemma, could the caramel be poured over a shortbread made in the pan?

Margie
Margie
5 months ago

Can you add bourbon or rum ?

Kevin IP
Admin
Kevin IP
5 months ago

Looks delicious!

Brenda Yandeau
Brenda Yandeau
5 months ago

Can you use coconut sugar?

Callie
Callie
5 months ago

YES! REAL caramels! Sorry I don’t have a picture – we ate them too fast! LOL Very good recipe.

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

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