homemade salted caramels

by Amy on 31 August 2011

well, i successfully made candy for the first time, + surprisingly, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as i anticipated. in fact, it was easy. who knew? i know that august isn’t exactly caramel season, but over the weekend, i made some delicious salted caramel buttercream for the Let’s Bring On Fall party (full recipe coming soon!), which made me wonder, how hard would it be to make actual salted caramels?

a quick google search revealed tons of caramel recipes, + conveniently, i had all the ingredients + equipment in the house. i decided to make them on the spot + the results were absolutely delicious! being more of a salty person than a sweet person, these caramels combine both in a way that is 100% irresistable to me. if you’re a caramel lover, you must give this recipe a try, even if you’re a newbie to candy-making like me — i promise, this recipe is a piece of cake (or rather, candy). =)

apologies that the picture isn’t wonderful, but taking photos of caramels outside on a hot, sunny day meant that i had to act quickly (before they melted) + this was the first picture i took!

fleur de sel caramels

makes about 40 caramels, adapted from gourmet


1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon fleur de sel (a sea salt available in specialty food shops + online)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water

Special equipment: parchment paper + a candy/oil thermometer


line bottom + sides of an 8” square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly oil parchment.

bring cream, butter, + fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat + set aside.

boil sugar, corn syrup, + water in a 3-4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel.

carefully stir in cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) + simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer, 10 – 15 minutes. pour into baking pan + cool 2 hours. cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4” square of wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close.

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl August 31, 2011 at 9:09 am

I’ve been waiting for this recipe, and it did not disappoint–I love how easy it looks. Meaning a non-candy maker like me might even be able to give it a whirl! I love caramels, so I’ll definitely try my hand at these. Thanks!

2 amy August 31, 2011 at 9:18 am

yay! if i successfully made these, anyone can – it’s really simple! we got a candy thermometer as a wedding gift so it was pretty much just a matter of watching ’til it hit the right temperature, pouring it, letting it set, + cutting it. voila!

3 Caroline @ chocolate and carrots August 31, 2011 at 10:52 am

I have to admit, I’ve never been brave enough to try making candy. You sure do make it sound easy! :-) They look delicious too. And tell me about it…I am sooo over this heat. Bring on Fall! :-)

4 amy August 31, 2011 at 11:00 am

i’ve seen some of the amazing things you make – if i can make these, you can probably make ’em blindfolded! i’ve got good news for you – the 10 day forecast shows quickly dropping temps, so our beloved fall might just be here soon. i guess the Bring On Fall party must’ve worked?!

5 Ally Garner August 31, 2011 at 11:01 am

Oh those looks so pretty, like straight out of a Williams Sonoma catalog! Candy intimidates the crud out of me. My Mom’s an expert, so i just let her supply us with homemade candy around the holidays. But these look super easy. And salted caramel butercream? Can. Not. Wait. for that recipe. Hope y’all had fun at the party!

6 amy August 31, 2011 at 11:12 am

the party was a blast, thanks for asking! you could definitely make these – i thought caramels (+ candy in general) was super difficult to make – apparently not! although it would be awfully tempting to just let your mom supply you with her (i’m sure) fantastic homemade sweets! =)

7 Renee August 31, 2011 at 12:04 pm

they look so good! I’ll take a package…just ship some right now. Recipe will be bookmarked and/or printed. I’ll need it when I get into candy making mode during the holidays.

8 amy August 31, 2011 at 12:18 pm

i’ll gladly send you a package in exchange for some of your peanut butter cookies or maybe some of that recently-mentioned caramel cake. =)

9 Rachel @ The Avid Appetite August 31, 2011 at 12:20 pm

These look SO beautiful! I adore the little sprinkling of salt on them…pure perfection :)

10 amy August 31, 2011 at 12:32 pm

aww, thank you so much Rachel! i’m glad you found your way to my blog – off to check yours out now!

11 The Waspy Redhead August 31, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Yum! I made salted caramels for the first (only) time last Christmas. I agree it is simple, but I think it is TERRIFYING! Boiling sugar and adding cream so that it bubbles up like crazy – seems like I narrowly escaped with my life. I’m kinda klutzy, so I was shocked that I didnt burn myself while doing it.

12 amy August 31, 2011 at 12:45 pm

ha! i was nervous about pouring the cream into the boiling sugar, too, + tried to use my go-go gadget arms to get as far away from the pot as possible while pouring. it wound up being less scary than i expected + i also escaped unscathed. =)

13 Lesley August 31, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Lovely! But I refuse to buy a candy thermometer. I will just hope that Trader Joe’s sells their version again this holiday season. Or that I get some at a potluck (hint hint). :)

14 amy August 31, 2011 at 12:55 pm

i had refused to buy a candy thermometer, too, but then one of my lovely friends gave us one as a wedding gift. whoop! i will absolutely make these for you for our holiday potluck. promise!

15 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts August 31, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I LOVE Caramels, and nothing beats homemade! These look perfect! Never have tried a salty version of them though!

16 amy August 31, 2011 at 1:18 pm

you’ll definitely have to give the salted version a try if you’re someone who likes sweet/salty flavor combinations. for me, they are just perfection!

17 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. August 31, 2011 at 1:44 pm

omg these look fabulous!

18 amy August 31, 2011 at 2:02 pm

thank you! i think they turned out pretty darn good for my first attempt at caramels. =)

19 kristen @ notsodomesticated August 31, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Yummmy!! I love caramel. But like you, I’m always afraid that it will be too difficult to make!

20 amy August 31, 2011 at 4:19 pm

i know – i couldn’t even believe how easy it was to make. you’ll have to try it now!

21 Sherri @ The Kitchen Prescription August 31, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Took me like 2.5 seconds flat to get here once I saw the blog posted on FB. Hell to the Yes! I’m totally making these. I love your photo, they look so chewy and gooey!

22 amy August 31, 2011 at 5:52 pm

ha! you’re the fastest mouse clicker on this side of the mississippi. the texture turned out perfectly – i was worried i might overcook them (+ have them turn out like hard candies) but the texture is just like you said – chewy + gooey!

23 Blond Duck August 31, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Can I eat the whole pan and not be looked upon badly?

24 amy August 31, 2011 at 6:16 pm

ha! this is a judgement-free blog, so feel free to eat the whole pan. i will not be held responsible, however, for subsequent caramel-related stomachaches. =)

25 Michelle August 31, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Do you have to use the special brand sea salt? Fun fall teacher treat, I always make chocolate chip pumpkin bread.

26 amy August 31, 2011 at 6:29 pm

great question. no — you don’t need to use fleur de sel. you could substitute regular sea salt or even kosher salt in a pinch. fleur de sel has a higher mineral concentration than other salts + a flake texture (as opposed to the larger grain texture of kosher salt). while the flavor will vary slightly with different salts, the basic result will be the same. also, i’ll gladly take some extra chocolate chip pumpkin bread if you ever have extra! =)

27 Alan Cooke August 31, 2011 at 9:59 pm

These look delicious! Might have to dip a few in Chocolate, too! :)

28 amy August 31, 2011 at 10:11 pm

i didn’t even think about dipping them in chocolate – what an awesome idea! they’d look (+ taste) fabulous half-dipped in dark chocolate. might have to try that soon!

29 Marina September 1, 2011 at 2:41 am

I usually don’t like caramels, but homemade will maybe work for me :)

30 Mommyof2Girlz/StephD September 1, 2011 at 9:41 am

I am so a caramel girl! These look so creamy and beautiful, thanks for the recipe!

31 amy September 1, 2011 at 9:44 am

caramels were one of the candies we ate growing up (our grandmas always had them on hand), so i’m such a caramel girl, too – they’re comfort food to me!

32 Krista @ Revealing You September 12, 2011 at 9:54 am

I am SOOO saving this recipe! I think I may be doing salted caramels for Christmas this year…so I’m glad I found this! :)

33 amy September 12, 2011 at 11:53 am

they’d make a fabulous christmas gift – homemade, delicious + pretty inexpensive to make! i think i’m going to give ’em as gifts this year, too. =)

34 Tasha December 2, 2011 at 7:30 am

I shared a link to these on my blog after making them and LOVING them! Thanks for a great recipe!

35 amy December 2, 2011 at 8:50 am

i am so happy to hear that, tasha! i love it when recipes turn out just as great for other people as they did for me. =) off to check out your post!

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