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Caramel Candy has never been easier to make! With just a few ingredients and a few minutes of time you can make rich, chewy caramel squares in your microwave.

caramel squares on the counter with sea salt on top of them.

Homemade Caramel Candies

I don’t know about you, but I can hardly contain my excitement when a Christmas plate is delivered and they have some homemade caramels wrapped in wax paper on them. They are always the softest, melt in your mouth caramels and I have great news for you..

YOU can make them. Seriously, with just a few ingredients, a microwave and a little stirring you’ve got those decadent caramel squares dreams are made of.

caramels wrapped in wax paper on a plate.

Caramel Candy Recipe ingredients

There is a full list of ingredients with exact measurements in the printable recipe card below.

  • Butter– I generally use salted butter, but be warned that salted butter will pop in the microwave when you are initially melting it down. I just place a paper towel over my bowl to avoid a mess in the microwave. You could use unsalted if you have it though. Just add a pinch of salt to the caramel mixture prior to microwaving.
  • Sweetened condensed milk– just one 14 oz can.
  • Corn syrup– light corn syrup is what we will use. Dark corn syrup will yield a richer and darker flavor and color.
  • Brown Sugar– You need brown sugar for this recipe, don’t try and substitute granulated sugar. Trust me, you will be so disappointed!
  • Vanilla extract
  • flakey sea salt– I use Maldon’s flakey sea salt, I purchased it on amazon.
caramel square on the counter with sea salt on top.

How to Make Caramel Candy in the Microwave

Making Caramels in the microwave couldn’t be easier. Follow the steps below and you’ll be golden!

  1. in a large microwave safe bowl, melt your butter completely. (Please use a heavy duty, microwave safe bowl. The bowl will get very hot. Check the manufacturers website to ensure it is microwave safe to high temperatures.)
  2. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup and brown sugar. The mixture will be grainy, but there should be no lumps.
  3. Microwave on high for 5 minutes and then stir. Continue microwaving and stirring 1 minute at a time until the temperature reaches 240° on an instant read thermometer. (see below for instructions on how to check doneness without a thermometer.)
  4. Pour the mixture into a buttered 8×8 pan. Allow the mixture to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes and then place in the fridge for 3 hours.
  5. Wait until the caramel is cold before cutting.
  6. Cut with a sharp knife in one up and down motion for each cut.
  7. Wrap with wax paper and enjoy!

Tips for this Microwave Caramel Recipe

How to check temperature of Caramel Candies

You’ll check if the caramel is done by quickly bringing it down to room temperature and ‘setting’ the caramel to see what the finished texture would be like. To do this, get a bowl of ice water and drop a small amount of the hot caramel liquid into the ice water. When the caramel is ready, the caramel will ball up and be easily pliable between your fingers. If it is still really soft and doesn’t come together in a ball, you’ll need to cook it for longer. If it hardens and is more like toffee, the caramel has been cooked too long.

How to store Microwave Caramels

How to freeze Microwave Caramel Recipe

Yes, you can! Just make sure that the caramel is wrapped well and then in an air tight container.

pin image for caramel squares with text overlay.

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5 from 13 votes

Microwave Caramel Candies

Caramel Candy has never been easier to make! With just a few ingredients and a few minutes of time you can make rich, chewy caramel squares in your microwave.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Cool Time: 4 hours
Servings: 25 Squares


  • 1/2 cup (111g) salted butter, if using salted butter, make sure to cover your bowl in the microwave
  • 2 cups (492g) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (340g) corn syrup
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • flakey sea salt, optional


  • In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter completely.
  • Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk to the bowl and whisk until completely combined.
  • Microwave on high power for 5 minutes.
  • Stir and check the temperature of the mixture. Our goal is to get it to about 240°.
  • If you don't have a instant read thermometer, you can check the doneness by dropping a small spoonful into a cup with ice water. The texture of the caramel after it cools down in the ice water is what the texture of the caramel will be if you stopped cooking it right now. It should be soft and pliable, but not super hard or super soft.
  • If needed, return the caramel to the microwave and cook for an additional one minute and then check the temperature, repeating until the temperature has reached 240°f (115°c) or until it is done to your liking by the ice water test.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Pour the caramel mixture into a buttered 8×8 pan.
  • Allow the caramel to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Then place the caramel in the fridge for 2-3 hours or until set.
  • Sprinkle with flakey sea salt, if desired.
  • Cut into desired shape and size, wrap in wax paper. Enjoy!


Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 27mg | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 118IU | Vitamin C: 0.001mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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About Karli Bitner

This blog is a little glimpse into my kitchen, family & life. I hope you’ll giggle the days away with me and enjoy the craziness that goes on at my house. If you are Cookie obsessed like I am, check out my Sister Site, Cookies for Days.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Thank you so much for adding gram measurements to your recipe! I prefer to bake with weights than with cups, so this is really helpful! Can’t wait to try these.