Table of Contents
  1. Watch how to make these Christmas caramels:
  2. Homemade Christmas Caramels Recipe

I don’t think Christmas could happen without caramels. Well, at least not at my farm! I don’t mean a caramel sauce or a hard caramel candy, but instead those soft, chewy, melt-in-your-mouth caramels; the ones I really think you can only truly understand if they’re homemade. Growing up, I seemed to always know who made the “good” caramels and I knew someday that I had to make them as well. As with many homemade candies, I think people are scared of caramels. But honestly, a thermometer makes the work easy and pretty much stress-free! Soon you can be “the one” with the good caramels!

This recipe makes one 9×13 pan, but I also explain how to variate the recipe to make unique caramels!

Wax wrapped pieces of caramel sitting on wood surface with greenery in background and unwrapped caramels beside
Top down view of pieces of caramel, some with sea salt on top, sitting on white piece of parchment

Watch how to make these Christmas caramels:

YouTube video
Pieces of golden caramel sitting on white piece of parchment, some topped with flaky sea salt

Homemade Christmas Caramels

4.49 from 49 votes
Everyone loves a delicious, chewy homemade caramel! And what better time to whip up a batch than at Christmas time? These are a breeze to make!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 80 caramels


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups light corn syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Grease a 9×13 baking sheet pan well with vegetable oil. Line pan with parchment paper and grease paper as well. Set aside.
  • In a 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring cream, sugar, butter, and corn syrup to a boil. Continue to boil until 248°F is reached on a candy or thermometer. Swirl pan every so often to evenly heat.
  • When the temperature reaches 248°F, remove from heat and stir in salt and vanilla. Immediately pour into prepared pan.
  • Cool 6-8 hours or up to 24 hours to allow caramel to set up.
  • Use parchment sling to remove caramels from pan. Remove caramels from parchment and cut with a large sharp knife. The caramels are slightly sticky, so to keep the shape and keep from sticking to each other, individually wrap in parchment papers or wax paper.

For turtle caramels

  • Sprinkle 1 cup toasted and chopped pecans over hot caramel. Let cool. Drizzle over ½ cup melted semi-sweet chocolate. Let chocolate cool before cutting.

For salted caramels

  • Let caramels cool 30 minutes then sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons flaky sea salt over caramels. Finish cooling and cut.


Serving: 1caramelCalories: 55kcalCarbohydrates: 9.8gProtein: 0.1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.5gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 5.7mgSodium: 4.3mgPotassium: 3.3mgFiber: 0gSugar: 9.8gVitamin A: 19.6IUVitamin C: 0mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 0mg
Course Candy
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Cooking

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I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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  1. Your recipe looks super delicious! I tried to make another recipe for caramels and they were a disaster. I cannot wait to try your recipe!

  2. This is now my go-to caramel recipe! I made a couple batches for christmas and now my coworkers want them for nurse’s week! Deceptively simple and so delicious! ????

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Kaleb! How long will these caramels keep? I want to make before Christmas but not too early…Love your videos!
    Coleen Barnes

  4. 5 stars
    I’m new to you and your livestreams, you are adorable and I love your recipes.. Your mom and grandma are just as sweet and that farmhouse is a slice of Heaven.. Keep up the great work.. I loved you the first time I saw you.. I like or not like people within the first few seconds, it’s their energy.. You have a sweet sincere energy.. I wish you all the best..

  5. My recipe is similar but i only go to 240 they are soft and I have turtle molds i paint the mold then fill it with carmel and peacans. I also use dark karo. yours look like mine. Trying your toffee tonite.

  6. 5 stars
    I’m making these this weekend to give out for Christmas gifts this year. I can’t wait to make them! This will be my first time making candy! 🤞🤞🤞

  7. 5 stars
    Hello Kaleb! Long time no see! I wish I had time to make everything you most, but when I do, I am never disappointed! Thanks for this recipe! They are going to my work goodie exchange tomorrow! 🙂

  8. Kaleb:
    I will be making these this weekend. I love seal salt flakes. I keep them in my kitchen as I use them to top cupcakes and cheesecakes. I hope this turns out. I am excited to share this recipe with my family on Christmas when we have appetizers together.
    Merry Christmas, Kaleb to you and your precious family.
    Keep sharing the love.

  9. 5 stars
    I love your recipes they are so easy and make me look like the beat cook . I swear I’m going to gain 20 but it’s so fun cooking these . Me and my grand daughter are having the beat time thank you so much

  10. 5 stars
    I did it! My granddaughter and I made the caramels today! She is 6 and even said it was so easy! Thanks for inspiring me to do something new, having fun and making memories with Libby.

  11. I adore Caramels and Carmel, California has Lula’s which is super famous for their Caramels. I can’t wait to make your recipe!! I know they will be just as good.

    I am a hopeless gardener. Certified black thumbs. Do you know how to get Orchids to re-bloom? I have sa shelf full of pots with leaves. Help!


  12. My grandmother made the best caramels, but I lost her recipe ages ago. We used to make them together in the 1970s. Her recipe had all of these same ingredients as yours; I especially remember the cream, and the vanilla bubbling when she added it. I’d cut the little wax paper squares for her while she cooked the caramel. When cut and ready to wrap, we’d position a perfect pecan half on top of each piece, then wrap them up. She was from central-western Illinois, so maybe your recipe is close to her long lost version. I’m gonna try it and find out!

  13. Yummo!!!! You are just the Best! I look forward to seeing you! I wish I could just adopt you! Keep doing what you are doing I think you are loved by all! Merry Christmas to you and your family. 🎄🍾🥂🇨🇦

  14. 5 stars
    Just got done making these caramels. I did one batch with sea salt and tomorrow I am going to do a batch of regular caramels. Really easy recipe to follow!! Thanks Kaleb for your wonderful delicious recipe!!

  15. I think that Pan might be too big. Too thin. I like the size you used. Makes candy thicker. But I followed the directions. Next time will go smaller and not as hot.

  16. 5 stars
    I wish I could leave you a photo of all three batches I made using this delicious recipe!!! Never before tried to make Caramels. Nothing could be easier! Thank you

  17. Hi Kaleb. I made your Christmas caramels today and tasted them just now (had to wait for them to cool). I will say that they are amazingly good – I really like your recipe!

    By any chance, do you have a recipe for marshmallow? I would like to try your recipe. Happy Holidays, cheers!

  18. What temp should the burner be on? How long does it take to get to the darker color/248 temp? Will it burn or should I occasionally stir while it’s getting there?

    1. 4 stars
      Similar to what I used to make but lost my recipe, I make the sauce in several flavors. I have the same questions, have you tried it yet? I was wondering how yours turned out.

  19. Hi Kaleb!
    I just made your Christmas caramels on this very cold winter day. Everything looks great, but they are a bit too soft. I’ve watched your video a hundred times, but I used a candy thermometer and the thermometer you used in the video. The candy thermometer reached 248 but the meat thermometer did not. I put my faith in the candy thermometer which I wish I didn’t. I may have gotten a harder chew. I’ll try it again next time. How long will these keep? I enjoy you sooo much! Wish we were neighbors!!

  20. Love your Website and videos on all topics near and dear to me a MidWestern grandma ☺️❤️
    Keep your Joyful zest for Life !!!
    God Bless and Keep you 🙏🏻🥰

  21. Hi! I’m Jeannine, a mom and G’ma and I really like you. I love cooking shows but only watch those who exude kindness and YOU are just that. Thank you for making the world a better place with your knowledge and loving kindness

  22. Hello, Kaleb. I want you to know I am that person that you talk about who makes caramels. I’ve been making them for about 30+ years, only my recipe uses condensed milk and brown sugar. I’ve had people request them every year and some people who even wanted to pay for them. I never took their money was just glad to pass along the caramels. And you know the hardest part was always the cutting, or as my husband used to call it the “cut and cuss” method. So he made me a stainless steel spatula about 40+ years ago that I am actually able to sharpen and it sails right through the caramels. It’s the one thing my kids were fighting over “when mom and dad die” so we had one made for each of them as adults. Love your videos and your enthusiasm. Don’t ever stop making them!

    1. Sounds like you are a wonderful person! What a wonderful thing to be known for, the caramel maker is always the best!

    2. Hi Connie,

      I’m not sure where you are from but I would definitely be willing to purchase one of those cutters if you would be willing to make one for me.

    3. Hi Connie,

      I’m not sure where you are from but I would definitely be willing to purchase one of those cutters if you would be willing to make one for me.

  23. 5 stars
    These caramels are AMAZING! Best caramels I have had! They take some time to wrap but the taste is 100% worth it!

  24. I love watching your channel. You make EVERYTHING seem so easy. I tried your applesauce pie with caramel icing and it was a huge hit. Thank you so much for sharing your family recipes.

    Also, I wanted to ask, where do you get the wrappers for the caramels?

  25. 5 stars
    Do you use room temperature butter and room temperature heavy cream. The first time I made them at 290 degrees they were too hard. For high altitude what temperature do you suggest? Thank you. Would like to make them as soon as you can reply.
    Thank you,
    Great video’s

  26. Hi Kaleb,
    I made the Christmas Caramels this evening and they turned out fantastic! Thank you for a great recipe. I enjoy all of your videos.
    Happy Holidays!

  27. 5 stars
    My kids call this Christmas Crack! They can’t stop eating this. Did I mention, my kids are 37 and 43 years old! ♥️♥️♥️

  28. 5 stars
    Just made 3 double batches of your caramels tonight. My friends and I are going to wrap all of these on Saturday while making cookies, watching Christmas movies, and maybe a few cocktails. Love this recipe!

  29. Love how you explain the making of candy. Last year I made your peanut brittle. Was very good. Now I will make your caramel. I love watching you. If I am sad you make me smile. Love Angie

  30. 5 stars
    I made these for my husband, and he said they were perfect in every way. Perfect taste, texture, and creaminess. I even tucked some away to make Turtles for Christmas. Another great recipe Kaleb. I love how you make everything seem so easy, and an enjoyable and fun adventure, in your kitchen. Happy Holidays!

  31. 5 stars
    I made the caramel tonight. These really are soft chewy and melt in your mouth. They are absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.

    1. Hi Barbara
      Cant figure out why my caramels are not soft and chewey?
      I followed recipe exactly…
      Can you see my comment below?
      I’m sure Kaleb is too busy to respond…..☺️

  32. Hi kaleb
    I’ve made the caramels twice. First batch, had to throw out…SO HARD, could not cut. Went to exactly 248 degrees w candy thermometer. Let cool for about 18 hours. Thought maybe too long. Just made 2nd batch, cooled for only ONE HOUR. was able to cut, was difficult! Have all wrapped. They look cute, but are a HARD CANDY, NOT SOFT AND CHEWY as I hoped. Not sure I can gift these. 🤷‍♀️

  33. 5 stars
    Kaleb – since seeing this post a few months ago, I have made these 10 times. Always a double batch, and they have turned out perfect each time! Love, love, love this recipe! My family loves them, and so do our friends. I have been giving them away as gifts. I add the sea salt on the top, and they are fantastic! You have made me enjoy cooking again, so thank you for that!

  34. I love watching your video clips! Your zest for life and the joy you share with each video is much appreciated! So much of what is going on in this world is depressing! So just know you brighten my little corner in sharing of your life, recipes, tips in gardening and beyond. So blessings for a Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year!

  35. I, too, love outdoor landscaping and trying things in the kitchen. Now, if I could make it all happen as easily as you seem to make it. Your videos inspire me to give it a try!!

  36. 5 stars
    I made the yummy caramel recipe. I did not have the light Karo but had plenty of dark so I used that. Without having a comparison I am super happy but will try again with the light Karo. This time I will add the pecans and chocolate. I would post a photo, but there’s no place to do it.

  37. 4 stars
    so I tried this recipe. I felt like it took forever to reach 248. I just put away to cool. I hope I have not wrecked them. I also made Mac and cheese recipe for guests that are coming tomorrow night. I will let you know how both turned. up. Watch you all the time.

  38. Going to try to make your caramel tomorrow! I am so excited! You make it look so easy ! Love your videos! Merry Christmas 🎄

  39. 5 stars
    Made you toffee to share it was quick easy and delicious
    I am making your carmel now just for us. Enjoy your u tube channel. Have a Happy New Year.

  40. Kaleb, Can I use this recipe for covering marshmallows if I use it hot?-I want it chewy around the marshmallow. I didn’t think a caramel sauce because it won’t harden enough. Thank You.