Caramel candies are a part of many people’s childhood. They can be hard, chewy, or soft – either way, they have a distinct sweetness.
These candy memories have made caramel a comfort sweet. We’ve tried it at least once and encountered it in its many forms.
Besides candy, it can exist as a sauce, syrup, drizzle, and more. It can have cream, vanilla, and many other ingredients.
But at its core, sugar remains the essence of caramel.
I’ll introduce you to some of the easiest caramel recipes in this article. Satisfy your sweet tooth any day with these caramel goodies.
1. Homemade Caramel
As they say, nothing beats homemade, especially caramel made with love. You can use this rich sauce for various applications, like cakes or vanilla ice cream drizzle.
You can even eat it as it is if that’s your thing. I’m not judging (because maybe I do too).
But anyways, making homemade caramel is simple. You only need four ingredients, after all.
For this caramel recipe, you’ll need sugar, unsalted butter, cream, and sea salt. The salt cuts through the sweetness and richness of the caramel.
Thus, if you want a balanced treat, make sure you have that sea salt.
2. Salted Caramel
Honestly, it may appear like this salted caramel recipe looks a lot like the first one. It’s got similar ingredients: sugar, heavy cream, unsalted butter, and salt.
However, there are subtle differences in Bobby Flay’s Salted Caramel Sauce. First off, it uses kosher salt, not sea salt.
Kosher salt dissolves better and has a more straightforward salt flavor. That’s because it doesn’t have other minerals like iodine or iron, which are in sea salt.
Moreover, this recipe uses much less butter – two tablespoons instead of six. Thus, the salt isn’t diluted much, highlighting the sweet and salty flavor.
3. Hard Caramel Candy
Most recipes cater to chewy caramel candies. But if you’re a fan of harder, brittle candies, I’ve got you.
You’ll need a candy thermometer and a glass of cold ice water. These will help you track the caramel stages better.
What are the caramel stages? As caramel cooks, it takes on different forms across various temperatures.
The higher the temperature, the harder, less malleable, and more brittle the caramel becomes. From a sauce consistency, it becomes more solid.
Hard candies have to reach temperatures of 295 to 309 degrees F. But you can adjust according to your preference.
4. Chewy Caramel
Chewy caramels are fun to eat if you’re a fan of them. The flavors ooze into your mouth as it kind of dances inside it.
If you haven’t tried making them, it’s simple. You need butter, granulated sugar, corn syrup, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract.
Like the previous recipe, you’ll need to monitor the candy. The temperature for chewy candy is lower, around 240 degrees F.
The author recommends the ice water test because there can be discrepancies when using a thermometer.
While it is still completely melted, you can also use the caramel as a pretzel or rod coating.
5. Chocolate Caramel
Love chocolate AND caramel? If yes, this is the marriage you’ve been waiting for. Both flavors are the highlight.
According to the author, this is her Grandma Klein’s recipe and a family tradition. Nothing beats a treat from grandma, huh?
To make them, you’ll need white sugar, corn syrup, heavy cream, butter, unsweetened chocolate, and vanilla. You can add chopped nuts for flavor and crunch, but it’s optional.
You’ll cook all the ingredients (except vanilla and nuts) over medium heat. Once done, you can add the rest.
Like other candies, be careful with the temperature to have a perfect caramel.
6. Bourbon Caramel
If you want a homemade caramel sauce with a kick, this is the one. Although the recipe and title say bourbon, you can add any whiskey you love.
Basically, you’ll be making a liquor-infused caramel sauce. The best caramel sauce for alcohol lovers!
You’ll need white sugar, water, heavy whipping cream, butter, vanilla, bourbon, and sea salt. Make sure the cream and butter are at room temperature.
Make caramelized sugar first using water and sugar before adding the other ingredients. You can serve it as a hot caramel or cool completely, then store it in a jar.
7. Peanut Caramel Sauce
This is another caramel sauce recipe but with peanut butter. It’s kind of out of the box for caramel, but it’s terrific.
You can use it as a topping or drizzle for pancakes, brownies, cookies, and popcorn. Basically, everything.
With so many uses, it’s worth the few minutes and few ingredients. You’ll need maple syrup, creamy peanut butter, vanilla, salt, and water.
Skip the salt if your butter is flavorful enough for you. You can also use almond butter if you don’t have creamy peanut butter.
Monitor it carefully because the sauce thickens as it cooks and cools.
8. Caramel Sauce
I know there’s been a lot of caramel sauce recipes already. But we can’t get enough of it, can we?
Thus, I’ve included an easy caramel sauce recipe. You’ll only need six ingredients, which are likely sitting in your pantry already.
You’ll also like the tips the author shared. For instance, they recommend using a heat-resistant silicone or wooden spoon for best results.
If you want salted caramel sauce, use the unsalted kind over salted butter. You’d have better control over the flavors.
Thus, take out your ingredients and make yourself a great caramel sauce, salted or not.
9. Caramel Syrup
A pump of caramel syrup makes any beverage instantly sweeter and better. But it’s not just your local cafe that can have it.
You can make your own caramel syrup, which you can use for coffee or your fave drink. It dissolves better, so there’s no lumps and the sweetness is more evenly distributed.
The recipe needs sugar, water, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt. If you don’t have corn syrup, use honey, which changes the flavor profile slightly.
Don’t cook it for too long or too slow. Your syrup may burn, caramelize, or evaporate if you don’t pay careful attention.
10. Salted Caramel Nut Brittle
Caramel brittle was a favorite growing up. It’s sweet and crunchy, and the nuts give a unique flavor to every bite.
Let your kids or yourself have that experience by making this salted caramel nut brittle. It’s got different nuts, which make it even better.
You can use pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, anything you like, really. You can add them whole or chopped, too.
Besides the nuts, you’ll need sugar, water, butter, corn syrup, baking soda, and salt. You need only 30 minutes or less once you get the hang of it.
Cool the brittle before snapping into pieces.
11. Caramel Apples
Of course, we can’t talk about caramel without these fan favorites: caramel apples. These make the best fall desserts and don’t require much effort.
You might wonder if the caramel sauces above can coat apples, and voila! Caramel apples. It’s not that simple.
Some recipes make the sauce too thick or thin to cling to the fruits. Thus, I’ve included this specific recipe for perfect caramel apples.
Essential ingredients are apples, heavy cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, unsalted butter, salt, and vanilla. You can include candies for garnish.
You’ll also need sticks for the apples, for an easier grip.
12. Caramel Ice Cream
Yes, you can pour caramel sauce over your vanilla ice cream and call it a day. But why miss the chance of ice cream with caramel at its core?
If you have an ice cream maker at home, you can try a hand at this recipe. You need sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, salt, egg yolks, and chilled whole milk.
You’ll incorporate a homemade caramel into a custard ice cream base. Then, load the mixture into an ice cream maker and wait.
The final ice cream has a beautiful, light brown color with a perfectly smooth, silky texture.
13. Caramel Popcorn
Caramel is a classic popcorn flavor. No movie night is complete without it.
Thus, get ready for a great night by making yourself this homemade caramel corn.
Awesome caramel popcorn is a balance between sweetness and buttery goodness. This one hits the spot, even without corn syrup.
You’ll need a lot of popcorn, salt, salted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and baking soda. Except for the popcorn, you’ll use all the ingredients to make a caramel coating for the popcorn.
This recipe takes less than 30 minutes. After that, you’ll have ten cups of super delicious caramel popcorn for movie night.
14. Two-Ingredient Caramel Sauce
Most of the recipes here are simple and straightforward. But I wanted to include a really easy caramel recipe.
And I found it! This one calls for two ingredients only: coconut cream and raw honey.
Even with very few ingredients, you’ll have a thick and creamy caramel sauce. It’s sweet, delicious, and healthy!
Coconut cream is not just a great dairy-free ingredient; it’s packed with antioxidants and nutrients. Get the kind with no emulsifiers or additives.
Raw honey also has antioxidants and antibacterial components. You can easily swap the raw honey for maple syrup if you want a vegan version.
15. Dalgona Candy
The Squid Game hype has taken us in a storm. One of the things it has left us with is a dalgona candy obsession.
Dalgona candy is kind of like caramel. But I have to say, it looks cuter than most caramel candies.
Maybe it’s the star and umbrella stamps that make them cute. But anyways, it’s pretty easy to make – you just need sugar and baking soda.
Literally, just those two. Plus, some tools like cookie cutters, skewers, etc.
This caramel candy doesn’t take more than five minutes to make. But cutting the shape out of it perfectly does.
15 Easy Caramel Recipes
Make the best caramel desserts with these easy recipes!
Hard Caramel Candy
Peanut Caramel Sauce
Salted Caramel Nut Brittle
Caramel Ice Cream
Two-Ingredient Caramel Sauce
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all the required ingredients.
- Prep a caramel in 30 minutes or less!