Soft and chewy microwave salted caramels. These buttery vanilla candies can be made in just minutes. Easy, delicious and perfect for the holidays!
Homemade caramels seem kind of intimidating, right? This simple microwave version will have you whipping out batches of amazing homemade caramels like a pro! Over the past few years I’ve become really comfortable making salted caramel sauce on the stovetop, but never really enjoyed sitting and watching a pan full of molten hot sugar reach the precise temperature to form caramel candies. That’s where this EASY, practically fool-proof microwave version comes in! It only requires a few ingredients and just under 15 minutes to make. The hardest part is waiting for these golden beauties to set!
Here’s what you’ll need to make microwave salted caramels:
- An 8×8-inch baking pan (anything bigger will result in caramels that are too thin)
- Parchment paper (to prevent caramels to stick to the pan and for easy removal)
- A VERY large microwave-safe glass bowl (it must be big to avoid spillage)
- Pure vanilla extract, a vanilla bean and finishing sea salt (to take them to the next level)
The key to making these microwave caramels is closely monitoring the mixture. It cooks fast so don’t walk away or get distracted. Start to finish it takes 8 minutes tops. You’ve got this! Depending on your microwave the caramel will cook faster or slower. You’re looking for a temperature of about 24o degrees. You can use a kitchen thermometer to test it as it cooks. Once it reaches the appropriate consistency/temperature, you’ll whisk in the good stuff! I used a combo of vanilla extract and vanilla bean to make them extra special. They are for the holidays after all! I also sprinkled the top with Maldon sea salt. Again, totally optional but it really takes them over the top!
When the caramels have set, pull them from the fridge and slice them. You can cut them into strips like I did, or you can go the more traditional route and make squares. Wrap them up in wax paper and they’re good to go. These buttery, soft homemade caramels are the perfect treat to give to neighbors, co-workers, friends and family. Everyone will be begging you for this recipe!
Microwave Salted Caramels Recipe
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter - melted
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar - packed
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup - OR dark corn syrup
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 tsp kosher sea salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 vanilla bean - seeds scraped(optional)
- 3 pinches sea salt
- Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment, set aside.
- In a large microwave-safe glass bowl, add butter. Place in microwave and melt, about 1 minute on HIGH.
- Add sugars, corn syrup, condensed milk and salt to the mixing bowl, whisk to combine.
- Place in microwave and cook mixture on HIGH for 6-8 minutes, removing to stir every 2 minutes (the temperature of the finished caramel should be right around 240 degrees).
- Remove the bowl from microwave and whisk in vanilla and vanilla bean, if desired.
- Pour into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle top with sea salt.
- Place pan in refrigerator to allow caramels to set, about 30 minutes. Cut into long strips, then into thirds, or cut into squares. Wrap caramels in wax paper.