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Chewy & Creamy MICROWAVABLE Caramels…Yum!

As you all know, I’m a sucker for sweets!  I love them.  Especially chewy things.  And you know that Chewy Caramel Popcorn recipe that I’ve shared here??  Well, whenever there’s leftover caramel in the pan, I pick at it and eat it all up!  However, it never hardens enough to actually make caramels out of them.  But, I always think, “if this would just harden a bit more, this caramel popcorn sauce would be delicious as caramel candies”.

Now, let a little time pass and I was talking to a sweet friend of mine (hey Janet!) and she mentioned finding a microwave caramel candy recipe online that is fast and super simple.  Oh yeah, and delicious to boot!  Hey…..I jump all over fast, easy, and delicious!!

So I looked around online to see what recipes I could see, to kind of compare them all.  And I found very similar ones on Eat Cake For Dinner, the Yummy Life, CBSOP, and Country Home.  And wouldn’t you know, the recipes are very similar to my Chewy Caramel Popcorn……you just cook it a little longer to help harden up the caramels a bit more.  Makes sense.

And the result……..are these little lovelies!!!!


All I have to say……is that these are a serious palate pleaser.  Especially if you like a little salty and sweet together.


And just think.  You know that work party you have coming up, or that neighbor who just had a baby, or hey, how about that friend who just needs a little pick-me up??  Just whip up a batch and serve it on a little plate or wrap them individually in wax paper……and you have a yummy little treat to share!


And please, whatever you do, don’t skip the little bits of sea salt on top.  The flavor is perfect harmony. :)


Oh, need some variety?  Dip in chocolate, roll in nuts, add sprinkles, etc.  Or leave it plain……because they’re completely delicious on their own!


All it takes is a few ingredients, 7 minutes (or less) in the microwave, a little time to cool/harden……and you’re ready for little chewy pieces of heaven!!


Want to make your own??

Just like I mentioned above, there are several recipes above that are all a little different……but mostly the same.  I’d say that the recipe I used is most similar to CBSOP’s variation.


Full recipe below.


All you do is:

  1. gather some white sugar, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup, butter and vanilla.
  2. add everything to a microwave-safe bowl
  3. combine
  4. microwave for 2 minutes, stir, 2 more minutes, stir, 2 more minutes, stir, 1 more minute, and then stir again.  If you add that up, it’s 7 minutes.  Ha. :)  (microwave time may vary, depending on your microwave. my microwave is 950 watts.)

EDITED 12/2015: Since moving to different houses with different microwaves, I have noticed a difference in cooking time.  Since moving to Oklahoma, we have a microwave that is 1100 watts.  It’s best if I cook for 2 minutes, stir, cook more 2 minutes, stir, cook 1 minute, stir, and then cook 1 more minute… a total of 6 minutes.  The best way for me to check is to drop some of the hot caramel into a cup of cold water and then to taste it.  If it’s the chewy consistency you like, it’s probably done.  If it isn’t quite chewy enough, cook another 30-60 seconds.  If it’s too hard and is really sticking to your teeth and becoming too hard….you’ve cooked it too long.  Hope that help!! -Ashley


Then, pour your hot mixture into a buttered square baking dish.  Then sprinkle with coarse sea salt.


Place in the fridge for 45 minutes or so and then peel out of the pan.  Lay flat on some wax paper and cut into small pieces.  Buttering your knife helps with the cutting.


Then wrap each piece individually in wax paper or serve on a plate.



Microwave Sea Salt Caramels

adapted from here


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • coarse sea salt


Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 7 minutes, stirring every two minutes.  (My microwave is 950 watts……time may vary with each microwave.)  (UPDATE: Check the notes above for slight variation in cook time.) Pour mixture into a generously greased (I used butter) 8 inch square baking dish.  Sprinkle sea salt over the top while it’s still sticky.  Then let cool in the fridge for 45 minutes or until hardened.  Then peel out of the pan (I used a fork to loosen up the edges) and place on a sheet of wax paper.  Then slice into pieces with a buttered knife and place on a plate (keep them separate) or wrap in small pieces of wax paper.




And enjoy.



Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Angela says:

    Hi Ashley,

    Can’t wait to make these….I used a different recipe before and they were no bueno…..I was also wondering do you have a tutorial for the little boxes you have pictured above. BTW, I love your site it’s been very helpful.


  2. Sofia says:

    I just made these as gifts for my daughter’s 6 teachers & bus driver. I have never attempted to make caramels (or any other candy for that matter) before; and figured that I’d try something different.

    I doubled the recipe and used a larger micro safe bowl. I cooked a total of 10 minutes; taking out to stir every 2 minutes. When done, I poured the hot mix in a regular sized flat cookie sheet.

    These came out “to die for”. Wish that I could post a photo; but none the less – a great recipe, easy enough for the novice, and dee-lish. Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Jennifer Chambers says:

    Yummy! I topped mine with Trader Joe’s Sugar, Coffee beans, and Chocolate Grinder set on a coarse grind along with the salt… sooo good and seriously adult. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Janet says:

    Woohoo! I’m so glad you tried it. Seriously yummy, right? Yours look so pretty.

  5. Thalea says:

    Oh my – I’ve made two batches using your recipe in the last week. Evil but seriously delish! I’ve always wanted to learn how to make homemade caramels and your recipe was just the thing! Thanks for sharing!

  6. cindy says:

    ohh my gosh these are the best carmels ever! the only problem is I am seriously addicted. Lol. so incredibly easy will be making these for gifts definitely thank you for sharing your recipe.

  7. Gabriele Johnson says:

    If you microwave them too long (or at a higher wattage) will they turn out too hard to cut? The taste i good, but so hard to cut… Thanks!

  8. Kristina Noall says:

    A friend who went to culinary school made us some professional chocolates–seriously gorgeous, I felt bad eating them!–and the caramel dipped in chocolate and topped with sea salt was so delicious, I was sad when it was gone. I think I’ll need to try these soon! Thanks for the easy-sounding recipe!
    Hope you and your sweet family have had a wonderful Christmas!

  9. Cindy says:

    Sounds yummy! For even more simplicity, just use sweetened condensed milk–only ingredient. Yummy, too.

  10. denise says:

    esto se ve muy deliciosos tendré que probar, gracias y Felices Fiestas ,
    un beso

  11. Aimee says:

    I made these in my microwave and they would not set. I figured my microwave is just lower wattage so I just put it back in the microwaved and cooked longer. They set wonderfully.

    I tried it again in my mom’s microwave. Same thing and I know hers is 1000 watts, so I cooked longer again. Maybe I just don’t like super chewy caramel?

  12. Séco says:

    I just made them, they are wonderful and chewy and just salty and easy too. Thanks a million for the recipe!

  13. Misty says:

    I tried to make these last night. They were in the refrigerator for 2 hours, when I took them out to cut them…stuck to the glass buttered dish…then I let them sit on the counter for a few minutes and they melted…did not turn out well at all..The goo tasted ok…but the dish will be interesting to wash…

  14. Stephanie says:

    I made these yesterday and they are to die for. Earlier in the season I had a fail with stove top caramels and I was truly sad. These are amazingly chewy and oh so good. Thanks for an easy recipe this time of year.

  15. Kathy says:

    Well, I’m glad this is a sewing blog, ’cause I’m going to need all the sewing skills I can get to let out all my clothes that will be too tight after eating a whole pan of these AWESOME caramels.

  16. Ashley says:

    is there a recipe for this that doesn’t include a microwave? (Your pics made my mouth water!!! :-D)

    1. Ashley says:

      With a replacement, of course… like the stove.

  17. magdalena says:

    I want to make them on the stove, is it possible? Thanks

  18. Adina says:

    You made my mouth water… so I just had to make this.
    I dipped some apple sections into it, then let them cool on a plate. it was so chewy and delicious.
    Thank you so much!

  19. abigail says:

    by any chance did you make those cute little boxes? do you have a tutorial for them? thanks!

  20. lorinda says:

    I’m just wondering where you got those cute little boxes. I love all of your recipes! Spinach Feta eggs, caramel corn, avacado salsa….yum. We have similar tastes! Thanks for sharing.

  21. Nicole says:

    I am making these tonight for lat minute teacher gifts! I wonder if leaving hemnoutbwill cause them to not be firm anymore… I hope not! :). Thanks for the easy recipe!!

  22. Mandy says:

    Ashley, I just made these for a teacher gift and they turned out perfect! So quick and easy, plus super tasty!

  23. Lisa says:

    I cannot tell you how very very excited I am! I tried to make caramels yesterday, on the stove, candy thermometer and all. Epic fail! Today I made your recipe and my confidence in the kitchen is restored! Easy Peasy and so Good! Thank you!

  24. Stephanie says:

    Hi! This looks great! Did you mean to change the original recipe to salted butter? Someone on Facebook was mentioning that might cause it to not set up correctly? I want to make these for a party tomorrow so I want to have everything right :)

    1. Ashley says:

      I used regular salted butter and it worked great. If someone has an issue with it setting up, I’d keep microwaving it for 1 minute intervals to help heat up those sugars and bind everything together. Every microwave is a little different, so that will affect the outcome. Good luck!


  25. Kimberly T. says:

    Perfect timing!! I needed one more quick, easy treat to add to my neighbor boxes. Thanks!

  26. Kim says:

    This is fantastic! Thanks so much :)

  27. Anonymous says:

    Going to make these for Christmas! Thanks for sharing!!

  28. Anonymous says:

    sounds delicious! i love sweet things, perfect!

  29. Diana says:

    I had to laugh…”sprinkle with coarse *sew* salt”!! :) Perfect for your blog! ;)

    I love sea salt and caramel and when I can have dairy products again, I’ll be coming back to make these! Thanks! :)

    1. Ashley says:

      Haha…..thanks, I just fixed it!!


  30. Rachel says:

    These look amazing!! I love caramel… oh man. I may have to make this at the in-laws house over the holiday.

  31. Janelle says:

    Thank you! I love caramels and needed an idea for a simple neighbor gift because I just don’t have the time for something labor intensive this year!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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