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Easy Candy Recipes: Recipe On How To Make Your Own Soft Dairy Caramels

Updated on February 27, 2011

How To Make Dairy Caramels From Scratch

Making soft dairy caramels from scratch is really not that hard to do and the result is fantastic. These are some of the most creamy and delicious caramels you'll ever taste.

Wrapping them in individual little squares of waxed paper keeps them fresh and chewy for long periods of time but these caramels are also great frozen.

Just wrap as usual and pop into the freezer - that is if you can keep from eating them all on the spot!


Caramel Recipe

The possibilities for homemade gift giving are endless but here is another of my Christmas candy ideas that sounds like it would be complicated to make but really is a snap! These are melt in your mouth old-fashioned soft dairy caramels. They also freeze well!


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup


  • Grease bottom and sides of square baking dish/pan 8x8x2 or 9x9x2 with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
  • Heat all ingredients to boiling in heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  • Cook about 35 minutes stirring frequently to just under (about 3 degrees) soft ball stage on the candy thermometer.
  • For chewier caramels, cook until soft ball stage.
  • Immediately pour/spread in baking dish.
  • Cool completely about 2 hours or overnight.
  • Cut into 8 x 8 rows or desired size using kitchen scissors or sharp knife.
  • Wrap individually in waxed paper or plastic wrap. (Tip: Having your squares of plastic wrap or waxed paper already ready is a great help here)
  • Store wrapped candies in airtight container at room temperature.

Soft Caramels


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 2 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter, cut into small cubes


  • Line a 9x9 square pan with aluminum foil and then spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Combine the cream and condensed milk in a small saucepan and place pan on burner set to lowest heat setting.  You want the milk and cream to be warm but do not boil it.
  • In a medium-large saucepan combine the corn syrup, water and granulated sugar over medium-high heat.  Stir the candy until the sugar dissolves, then use a wet pastry brush to wash down the sides of the pan to prevent sugar crystals from forming and making the candy grainy.
  • Insert candy thermometer and reduce the heat to medium.  Allow the mixture to come to a boil and cook until thermometer reads 250 degrees.
  • Add softened butter chunks and the warm milk-cream mixture.  The temp should go down about 30 degrees.
  • Continue to cook caramel, stirring constantly so the bottom does not scorch.  Cook until the thermometer reads 244 and the caramel is a dark, golden brown.
  • Remove the caramel from the heat and immediately pour into prepared pan.  Do not scrape candy from the bottom of the saucepan. 
  • Allow candy to sit overnight to set up and develop a smooth, silky texture.
  • When you are ready to cut caramels, place a piece of waxed paper on counter and lift the caramel from the pan using the foil as handles.  Flip the top of the caramel onto the waxed paper and peel off the foil from the bottom side.
  • Spray a large knife with nonstick cooking spray.  Firmly cut the caramels creating 1-inch squares.  Wipe the blade and respray as necessary.
  • Wrap the squares in waxed paper.  The caramels will gradually spread and lose their square shape if not wrapped soon after cutting.
  • You can also dip in chocolate once they are cut.
  • Store these caramels at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

How To Make Caramels


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