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Salted Pumpkin Caramels

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Hi Bold Bakers!

Classic desserts always rule during the holidays including Pumpkin, Pecan, and Apple Pies. No baker’s repertoire would be complete without those essentials. My favorite pie recipes are located here.

Salted Pumpkin Caramels may not be a traditional treat for the Holidays but I had to share this recipe with you. I hope it makes its way into your recipe book and becomes part of your Thanksgiving tradition from here on. As an Irish ex-patriot living in California, it didn’t take me long to come around to the flavor of pumpkin in desserts. It was very foreign to me when I first moved to the U.S., however I have never met a dessert I didn’t like, so why would I start with Pumpkin? My rationale was “If it’s as yummy in sweet cooking as it is in savory, then I have nothing to worry about.” Smart, right?

Well, I was not wrong, nor disappointed. I love Pumpkin now, especially when I celebrate Thanksgiving where pumpkin seems to play as much of a role as the Turkey does.

This recipe for Salted Pumpkin Caramels is from . I was introduced to it when I worked as a pastry chef in San Francisco. Part of a pastry chef’s job is to make the petit fours for after dinner. Another chef had this recipe squirreled away in her notebook until I convinced her to share it with me. Just so you know, chefs are VERY protective of their good recipes. The caramels were so wonderful I wasn’t leaving without the recipe.

These Salted Pumpkin Caramels are perfect for the Holiday season. They are sweet, spicy and smooth. My favorite part is the different texture between the soft pumpkin caramel and the crunchy pumpkin seeds. If you are looking for a twist on a traditional Thanksgiving treat then these Salted Pumpkin Caramels are the perfect recipe for you.

Salted Pumpkin Caramels


5 from 1 vote
Salted Pumpkin Caramels
Servings: 50 pieces
  • 2/3 Cup (2oz/60g) unsalted pumpkin seeds/pepitos
  • 1 1/2 Cups (12floz) cream
  • 2/3 Cup (6oz/180g) pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 Cups (16oz/454g) white sugar
  • 8 tablespoons light corn syrup*
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • 4 tablespoons (2oz/60g) butter, cut in chunks
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp fleur de sel
  1. Dry toast the pepitos in a skillet until they start to pop. Line the bottom and the sides of an 8-in square glass pan with parchment.
  2. Evenly spread out the toasted pepitos on the bottom of the pan, on top of the parchment.
  3. In a saucepan, combine heavy cream, pumpkin puree and spices.
  4. Get this mixture quite warm, but not boiling. Set aside.
  5. In a second heavy bottomed pan, with sides at least 4 inches high, combine the sugar, both syrups and water.
  6. Stir until the sugars are melted, Then let it boil until it reaches 244 degrees (the soft ball point on a candy thermometer). Then very carefully add the cream and pumpkin mixture, and slowly bring this mixture to 240 degrees as registered on a on a candy thermometer. This can take awhile -- like 30 minutes -- but don't leave the kitchen, watch it carefully and stir it more frequently once it hits 230 degrees to keep it from burning at the bottom of the pan.
  7. As soon as it reaches the 240, pull it off the heat and stir in the butter and lemon juice. Stir vigorously so that butter is fully incorporated.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Let cool 30 minutes and sprinkle the salt over the top. Let the caramels fully set (at least 2 hours) before using a hot knife to cut them into 1-inch squares and wrapping them individually in waxed paper.
  9. Keep the caramel out at room temperature for 3-4 weeks.
Recipe Notes

*Corn syrup is important to set your caramels. You can use glucose syrup instead.



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Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Jennie Reed on January 18, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Hi Gemma!

    Thank you so much for all of the great recipes!! For this one, would it be ok to omit the pumpkin and spice ingredients for just plain caramels?

    Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 19, 2019 at 8:39 pm

      Hi, yes you can do that too. Enjoy!

  2. Karol on October 7, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Sounds really yummy. Have made several of your recipes. If you were to leave out the pumpkin, would any of the other recipe amounts change?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 7, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Karol,

      I don’t recommend you leave out the pumpkin or you won’t end up with the same result. I’ll be putting a recipe out soon for caramels for the holidays.

      Stand by!

  3. Athena on June 2, 2017 at 1:00 am

    can you use this recipe without pumpkin??

    • Gemma Stafford on June 2, 2017 at 2:39 am

      Sure you can, and you can use it with raisins/cranberries/nuts etc. Experiment, and let me know how you get on,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Isha on November 11, 2016 at 6:42 am

    You are awesome lady.. accidentally saw your video once and after that i’m just drooling over your recipes which are always so easy and yummy..
    Just fabulous

    • Gemma Stafford on November 12, 2016 at 2:44 am

      Thank you Isha, That is so good to hear, I am happy you found us, and stayed! Gemma 🙂

  5. barbkail on July 21, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Do you have a recipe for salted caramel ice cream? Or do you have any idea how I could do it with your ice cream base?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 21, 2016 at 5:09 pm

      Make the base and swirl in salted caramel sauce. You can find the recipe for my salted caramel sauce here on my website. Let me know how it turns out 🙂

  6. My Little Italian Kitchen on November 24, 2015 at 2:48 am

    What an interesting way of using pumpkin and the seeds too! I am a pumpkin addict but I have never seen this before. Must be really moreish. Really nice recipe and nice blog too! 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on November 24, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      Thanks so much for visiting my website. Really glad you liked this recipe 🙂

  7. elizabeth urmson on November 23, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    can you please get the link on you tube thanks

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