Soft, Buttery Homemade Caramels! A tried-and-true recipe you’ll want to make every Christmas.
If you’re looking for the best soft, buttery homemade caramel recipe this is it. This recipe is tried-and-true and can’t be beat!
I’ve tried other caramel recipes over the years but always come back to this one. It has the ideal caramel flavor and texture if you ask me.
I like caramels when they are soft and melt-in-your-mouth. These are perfectly soft, but not too soft that they fall apart.
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The most important part of making homemade caramels is to be sure they come up to the right temperature. For soft caramels 238F is the perfect temperature. I like to use a candy thermometer while I’m stirring/cooking the caramels then double check the temperature with an instant thermometer.
The Cold Water Test for Caramels
You can also use a cup of cold water to double-check the consistency of your caramels! I highly recommend using a thermometer AND the cold water test to be sure your caramels turn out right.
To do the cold water test, simply fill a small cup with cold water then drizzle a little of the caramel into the cup. You should be able to use your fingers to form it into a stable ball, but it will still be soft and easy to smoosh. You can see the video in this post for a visual example!
This recipe makes a ton of caramels! I usually make them for my yearly Christmas “neighbor gifts”. It’s a family tradition to make a batch or two the weeks leading up to Christmas.
I actually look forward to spending the evening wrapping caramels in wax paper (and sneaking some bites!) and hanging out with family. This recipe makes a ton of caramels- so you’ll want to recruit the whole family to help wrap them.
Long ago my Grandma would cut individual pieces of wax paper to wrap up these caramels. Now I just buy a pack of pre-cut wrappers on Amazon. I like these wax paper squares or these clear wrappers.
The original recipe my Grandma always made comes from an old church cookbook. It was submitted by a woman named Elda Peck.
So wherever you are Elda Peck, thank you – your soft homemade caramels are enjoyed by all year after year!
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Soft, buttery and perfect. Our family’s tried and true recipe!
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 sticks butter (1 cup)
- 2 cups white corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 12oz. cans evaporated milk
- Melt the sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt together in a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat.
- Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the evaporated milk a little at a time, taking 15 minutes per can and stirring constantly. A labor of love indeed.
- Once all the milk is added use a candy thermometer and bring the mixture to 238F and not a touch hotter! Even 2 degrees hotter will make them chewy instead of soft.
- Pour into a parchment lined 13×9 pan and cool completely. Cut and serve. Enjoy!