Homemade Christmas Caramels

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:

Pieces of golden caramel sitting on white piece of parchment, some topped with flaky sea salt
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4.63 from 24 votes

Homemade Christmas Caramels

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 Time30 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Candy
Cuisine: American
Keyword: candy, Christmas
Difficulty: Intermediate
Method: Cooking
Servings: 80 caramels
Author: Kaleb


  • 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: 1 caramelCalories: 55 kcal (3%)Carbohydrates: 9.8 g (3%)Protein: 0.1 gFat: 2 g (3%)Saturated Fat: 1.2 g (8%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.5 gTrans Fat: 0 gCholesterol: 5.7 mg (2%)Sodium: 4.3 mgPotassium: 3.3 mgFiber: 0 gSugar: 9.8 g (11%)Vitamin A: 19.6 IUVitamin C: 0 mgCalcium: 3 mgIron: 0 mg

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  • 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!

  • 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! ????

  • 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

  • 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..

  • 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.

  • 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! 🤞🤞🤞

  • 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! 🙂

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!


  • 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!

  • 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. 🎄🍾🥂🇨🇦

  • 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!!

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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?