Caramel is one of my all time favorite treats and this is a foolproof recipe that turns out perfectly! They’re soft and chewy and perfectly buttery with a rich caramel flavor. These make one of the best homemade gifts and no one will know how easy it was for your to make them!
The Easiest Caramel Recipe Ever!
Oh the things you can make in the microwave! Honestly though, I don’t know if it gets much better than this one, caramel made in the microwave. I got this recipe from my mother-in-law and it is one of my favorite recipes ever!
This is caramel made easy and they taste completely perfect. She’s used this recipe for about 30 years and she said everyone she gives the recipe to absolutely loves it and I can see why.
She also said it’s so easy that her kids always used to make it when they were younger (adult supervision required here though people, this bowl gets HOT!). And now my kids love to help me make it, and we’ve been using the recipe for 4 years.
I’ve added a few minor changes to the recipe, like adding some vanilla and adding Maldon sea salt, add them if you’ve got them otherwise feel free to leave them out.
Try a batch this weekend, you’ll be amazed!
Post originally shared Apr. 2014.
Ingredients for Caramel
- Unsalted butter
- Light corn syrup
- Granulated sugar and brown sugar
- Sweetened condensed milk
How to Make Caramels
- Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking dish.
- Place butter in a large microwave safe bowl (not anything plastic, something micro safe glass or ceramic), heat in microwave until melted.
- Add corn syrup, granulated sugar, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk and salt and whisk mixture very well. R
- Return to microwave and cook mixture on HIGH power for 6 to 7 minutes (some have even mentioned 5.5 worked for them).
- Using hot pads, carefully remove bowl from microwave. Mix in vanilla.
- Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with flaky sea salt if desired.
- Let set in refrigerator then cut into pieces and wrap.
Tips for This Recipe
- Use unsalted butter, salted butter will splatter.
- Test caramel at 6 minutes instead of going to the full 7 minutes. To do so test with a candy thermometer (should be 238 – 242d) or you can drop a small spoonful in ice water and after just a bit is should be pliable and chewy.
My first batch was too hard because I went the full 7 minutes, the time will vary based on your microwave wattage and the how large the bowl is you’re using.
Can you believe it though, caramels made in 7 minutes in the microwave!? Trust me, I’m hanging onto this recipe forever, and I’m thinking you will too!
More Easy Treats and Desserts to Try!
- Easiest Fudge
- Microwave Peanut Brittle
- Pretzel M&M Hugs
- Christmas Crunch
- One Santa Cookie
- Hot Chocolate
Follow Cooking Classy
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter,* cut into 4 pieces
- 1/2 cup (120ml) light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light-brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (120ml) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Maldon sea salt or fleur de sel (optional)
- Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking dish. Place butter in a large microwave safe bowl (that is microwave safe to high temps such as heavy duty glass**), heat in microwave until melted.
- To bowl with butter, add corn syrup, granulated sugar, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk and salt and whisk mixture very well.
- Return to microwave and cook mixture on HIGH power for 6 to 7 minutes.***
- Using hot pads, carefully remove bowl from microwave. Add in vanilla extract and mix well.
- Pour mixture into prepared baking dish, sprinkle top lightly with Maldon sea salt or fleur de sel if using.
- Place in refrigerator until set, about 20 - 30 minutes. Cut into rectangular pieces (I cut into rows slightly less than 1/2-inch then cut each row into three) and wrap in cut rectangles of wax paper.
- *Don't use salted butter or it will splatter a lot.
- **For safety I recommend referring to the bowls manufacturer to ensure the bowl is microwave safe to high temperatures. For safety avoid setting on a cold surface after removing from the microwave and be sure that you don't begin with a cold bowl or it could shatter.
- ***I recommend taking it out around 6 and testing either with a candy thermometer which should register between 238 - 242 degrees or placing a small spoon of the caramel in a bowl of ice water then remove it from the water and it should have formed a small pliable ball - nothing too soft or too hard.
- ***If it needs a little more time return to microwave and heat in 20 second increments. Mine was done at 6 minutes 20 seconds but will will vary slightly based on the wattage of your microwave and the size of the bowl you use.
- Recipe from my mother-in-law, thanks Jill!