TEN MINUTE MICROWAVE CARAMELS — Delicious, chewy caramels made in 10 minutes or less in your microwave oven!
Believe me, I was very skeptical about making caramels in the microwave. So skeptical that I tested this recipe for Ten Minute Microwave Caramels several times before posting it here.
Let me tell you, the fact that it actually works, and you can make delicious chewy caramel in under 10 minutes, is very dangerous for a caramel lover like me.
This is the best recipe I’ve ever seen and it makes delicious caramels!! I’m 14 and if I can follow directions like these and make them taste perfect, you can too!!!
They even said I needed to open my own caramel bakery. Thanks for this recipe!! ~ Sweet Queen
Just a few tips: first, it should be noted that this recipe is for making caramels in an 1100 watt microwave oven, but chances are, that’s what you’ve got. To prevent grainy caramels, take care to scrape the sides of the bowl well during the stirring process.
Every microwave is a little different, so you may have to increase or decrease the cooking time by 15 seconds or so to get the caramels just the way you’d like them.
The original recipe called for 2 cooking times of 3 1/2 minutes each, but I found that my caramels were too hard after cooking that long. Three minutes 10 seconds each time gave me the perfect chewy consistency.
If you prefer a very soft caramel, you may want to decrease the cooking time to 3 minutes for each cooking period. But even if your first batch comes out a bit hard or a bit soft, the result will still be delicious!
Update: Since moving to a new home with a new microwave, I now do 2 cooking times of 3 minutes 5 seconds each.
Made these this week and they are amazing. Try sprinkling a little kosher salt on the top of them once you pour them in the pan. Delish! ~ Angela
If you’d like to add chopped nuts, stir those in along with the vanilla. You can also add a sprinkling of sea salt once you’ve poured the caramel mixture into the pan.
For a really decadent treat, try dipping the finished caramels in chocolate.
The best thing of all though, is that you can have caramels in a matter of minutes, without spending 30 minutes stirring over a hot stove-top with one eye always on a candy thermometer!
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT TEN MINUTE MICROWAVE CARAMELS
Made these tonight and wow am I amazed. They are wonderful. I cooked them for 3 min and 5 seconds and they came out soft and chewy. Wrap individual pieces in wax paper and had to open one to see if it stuck to the paper. They did not! Thanks for sharing your recipe. You have made this southern girl smile. ~ Karon
Awesome…love it…had to make 2 batches in 3 days so everyone got a share to take home. THANK YOU. ~ Nancy
Made these yesterday and they are a hit!! ~ Anthony
These were absolutely wonderful and so easy to make. Thank you for sharing! ~ Julie
Be sure to save this Ten Minute Microwave Caramels recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Ten Minute Microwave Caramels
- Corn syrup
- Brown sugar
- Sweetened condensed milk
Ten Minute Microwave Caramels
Delicious, chewy caramels made in 10 minutes or less in your microwave oven!
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Butter an 8-inch square pan, or for thicker caramels, a 9x5 inch loaf pan. If you like, you can then line the buttered pan with foil and butter the foil.
- Melt butter in a large microwaveable bowl (microwave for about 1 minute).
- Stir in the corn syrup, both sugars and sweetened condensed milk. Continue stirring until most of the sugar is dissolved.
- Microwave on high for 3 minutes and 5 to 15 seconds. ( I recommend starting with the shorter time of 3 minutes 5 seconds, since I'd rather have my caramels too soft than too hard). Remove from microwave and stir and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Return to microwave and cook on high for another 3 minutes and 5 to 15 seconds. Stir in the vanilla. Pour immediately into the buttered dish.
- Allow to sit for several hours until cooled and set. Cut into squares and wrap in waxed paper.
Two cooking times of 3 minutes each (6 minutes total) should give you a caramel that is quite soft. Three minutes and 10-15 seconds each time should give you a slightly firmer caramel, but it all depends on your microwave. I recommend erring on the side of softer caramels and starting with a shorter cooking time until you figure out your own microwave.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 106Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 44mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 1g
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Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from That’s Some Good Cookin’.
Terri @ that's some good cookin'
Amazing, aren’t they!
Katie @ Hippos and Dinosaurs
Jus tmade these!! SO SO SO much better than my failed recipe from last week… Thank you:)
I am glad to see your recipe has vanilla. I followed another similar recipe and although the caramels tasted ok, there was something missing. I told myself if I made them again I would add vanilla. I will print your recipe. Looks delicious.
Got to try these. I need to make so treat boxes for my daughter. I think these would go well in the box. Thanks.
I just made these! Now we’re waiting for them to cool! My children and I are excited to see how they turn out!
Hope everyone loves them Tianna! They’re so easy, it’s kind of dangerous! 😉
Can’t wait to try them! Yummy.
Made these this week and they are amazing. Try sprinkling a little kosher salt on the top of them once you pour them in the pan. Delish!
I love microwave candy recipes , it takes the guess out of hard ball, soft ball stage of the process . There is one thing I wish they would add to the recipe, what the wattage is of the microwave they are useing . Microwaves come in different watt power, ranging from 900- 1200 watts . This can make the difference between success and failure in a candy recipe. The power is found sometimes on the back of the microwave or the inside of the door .
Happy candy making this Holiday Season.
The text says it is for an 1100 watt microwave. Good luck
Can I use whipping cream instead of sweetened condensed milk? thank you.
I just found your site. will try some other recipes.
I honestly don’t know if that would work or not. Caramel recipes can be pretty finicky, so I would probably stick with the recipe as is. If you do try it and get good results, I’d love to know. Thanks!
I really doubt whipping cream would work, either plain or with sugar/sweetener added. Condensed milk gets its texture and volume by removing water. Whipped cream gets its texture and volume by adding air. They don’t behave the same way when reacting with other substances. I am pretty sure that, using whipped cream, your caramels would not set up. You may get a great sauce out of it though!
After I tried a recipe with the pot on the stove and the candy therometer and a fail (too hard and burned on the bottom) I thought I’d try this easy way. WOW! So much easier and taste great! I used parchment paper in my 8×8 pan and should have buttered the paper cause it stuck something awful! I may just butter the glass 8×8 next time. Followed the recipe for time and cold water to check hardness but maybe could have cooked just a little more? But they are holding their shape in the wax paper wraping. I lightly buttered the cutting board before I put it on to cut but 24 hours later they are not sticking to the wax paper wrap. I cut the carmels in half and doubled them before I cut them into pieces because they were quite thin. Made 24 large two bite pieces. I think my microwave is 1000 watt.
Thanks so much Rosemary! It does take a few tries with your own microwave to get the timing just right. So glad you liked the caramels! 🙂
This is the best recipe I’ve ever seen and it makes delicious caramels!! I’m 14 and if I can follow directions like these and make them taste perfect… You can too!!! They even said I needed to open my own caramel bakery. Thanks for this recipe!!
That is awesome! So glad you liked them. 🙂
What is corn syrup? Is this golden syrup or a maple syrup?
It’s a thick, clear syrup. Like Karo brand.
How did you get your caramels to look so beautiful? They look a bit rounded on the top.
Thank you for the recipe.
I inverted them when I took them out of the pan. So the “top” is actually the bottom of the pan, if that makes sense? Besides that I didn’t do anything special. Since the were slightly soft, they just sort of took that shape when I cut them.
What is white sugar? ISO granulated or powdered?
Thinking of using your caramel recipe between 2 layers of rice krispy treats, wondering if it would harden to much or stay soft. Any Ideas?
I think it would work if you made the caramels very soft to begin with. I think a really thick caramel sauce might work better.
I use this recipe for a few different things. First, I make chocolate fudge and put it in pans with layers about 1″ thick. Next, I make the caramels and pour a 1/2″ layer on top of the fudge, sprinkle with pecan pieces, then I make white chocolate fudge and pour about a 1/2″ layer on top of the caramel. The leftover caramels, I cut in pieces, wrap around a pecan half and coat with melted chocolate. This caramel recipe works best of any I have tried for these candies.l
That sounds delicious! Thanks so much for sharing!
I will be shipping a box of goodies from California to Iowa will these hold up for shipping? Most of the recipes say to keep them refrigerated. Thank you, Ginny
I have shipped them to my son in Florida (from Colorado) twice this month already and as far as I know, they arrived just fine. They should be stored at room temperature, so I can’t think of any reason they wouldn’t be fine being shipped. Unless they are really soft and don’t hold they’re shape very well, they don’t need to be refrigerated.
Thank you so much for the answer! I have looked at a lot of recipes that have said that they need to be refrigerated so I am glad to know that they can be kept at room temperature!
Do you pack the brown sugar or just fill and scrape the cup. I love making caramel used many different recipes, my own. My family loves when winter and a weekend comes… I can’t sit and watch a movies, so I make dipping caramel for apples. I have never however made any candy in the microwave. I am one of those who does candy, bread, cookie, cake and most everything by feel. New experience that I want to try. Thanks for the new experience.
I pack the brown sugar.
Love making candy!! I always have made my candy with the cooking method. This will be the first time for me to make microwave candy. I love caramels!!!
I doubled the recipe and added a cup of walnuts. Because I doubled the recipe it took between 12-13 minutes. When it cooled I melted dark chocolate and pored it over.I sprinkled the top with pink Himalayan salt. Delicious.
Made these today…unfortunately my micro is from 2006 and my daughters college one at that! Mine were too soft after cooling. I wasn’t able to locate the watts on micro but figured since they were too gooey/ soft, there’d be no harm to reheat them in same micro and use instant read thermometer to 240/soft ball stage. It worked! They’re excellent! BTW, the wattage of this dinosaur micro by googling…700! Thanks for the recipe.
Can this recipe be used to make caramel apples?
I haven’t tried it, but I would think so.
Is there a substitute for corn syrup.
Not that I am aware of.
Glucose or Trimoline can be used in place of Corn Syrup. Many professionals use these in candy making. They can increase the shelf life of professional candy. They can be found on Amazon. However, they aren’t used in a 1:1 replacement- you would need to adjust the amount. Both of them are less sweet than corn syrup.
awesome…love it…had to make 2 batches in 3 days so everyone got a share to
take home. This will def be good Christmas gift ideas. THANKYOU
I don’t have wax paper is it ok if I use parchment paper to wrap the candies once they are done?
Do you use any special cutting method to make them look so perfect? And what is the wattage of your microwave? someone stated they came out stuck to the pan….shall I butter the pan? Going to try this recipe soon
Yes, step #1 in the directions says to butter the pan. They shouldn’t stick if you do that. I line my pans with parchment and butter that, then I can lift the caramels out before cutting. They are much easier to cut that way. I just use a large chef’s knife to cut them. It helps to clean it off every few cuts to keep it from sticking to the caramels. My microwave is 1100 watts.
Easy and tasted great! Definitely used buttered foil-it is easier to take out of pan to cut into pieces. I cooked 3:15 first time and 3:05 second. The Carmel’s were firm but soft. This would be great on taffy apples❣️
I absolutely loved these. Thank you for the recipe. Probably not a good idea to recommend putting the aluminum foil in pan Microwaves don’t tend to like that too much and you might have to call the fire dept.
Thank you! I think the foil was meant for the pan you pour the caramel into to set. Not the pan that goes in the microwave. You are right, that would be bad news!
I make caramels the old fashioned way by boiling and using heavy cream. I have never had a failure since I purchased a Thermapen thermometer. I much prefer the taste using heavy cream over condensed milk. Have you ever tried using this and do you think it would work as well? Your recipe is very similar to mine except I use all brown sugar and cream. This sounds much easier than the way I do it so I would like to try.
I have not tried it with all cream. Maybe try an internet search of microwave caramel recipes using heavy cream and see if anything comes up? Then you’d have an idea if someone has done it successfully. If you decide to give it a try, I’d love to know how it turns out.
Can’t wait to try this Danelle,
Made these tonight and wow am I amazed. They are wonderful . I cooked them for 3 min and 5 seconds and they came out soft and chewy. Wrap individual pieces in wax paper and had to open one to see if it stuck to the paper . They did not! Thanks for sharing your recipe you have made this southern girl smile . Sending them to work with my hubby can’t wait to hear their thoughts ! K. Crowley-Tupelo, Mississippi
Thank you so much!!!
My microwave is 1250 watt how long should I use for cooking Judy
You may have to experiment a bit, but I would not do any longer than 3 minutes each time to start, so six minutes total. Then adjust the timing up or down a bit depending on how your caramels turn out.
These were absolutely wonderful and so easy to make. Thank you for sharing!
Love this recipe and do easy. Only problem is after about a week mine try to go to sugar. What am I doing wrong
I’m really not sure. Mine have never lasted that long, so I haven’t experienced that problem.
I have a question for you. If I were to half the recipe to make a smaller batch, would I need to half the microwave time too? Or would it be about the same do you think?
I made these at Christmas and they turned out amazing! Now I’m wanting to experiment with different flavors in smaller batches…
It’s generally not recommended to adjust candy recipes, although you could try. You wouldn’t half the cooking time, but it would be tricky to figure out how long to cook it. I would suggest just experimenting with the full recipe.
Could the corn syrup be replaced with honey?
No, not in this recipe.
I am so looking forward to making your caramels tomorrow . My husband likes chocolate caramels so I will be adding cocoa powder . I made my first batch, last week, on the stove top cooking n stirring for a half an hour I thought my wrist was going to fall off, put it in the pan to cool and it turned out as hard as a rock had to throw the whole batch out. Xo
Hi there. Made these yesterday and they are a hit!! I have a 900W microwave and let them go for 3 min 40 cos we like harder toffee. They are hard and then soften in you mouth in about 10sec!!
Sprinkled half with salt and they are definitely better.
Really want to try these caramels. but I don’t know the wattage of my microwave – it’s an older model, & I don’t think it’s over 1000 watts. ? Thank you! Also, can I use dark brown sugar?
Does the brown sugar have to be lite brown sugar? Going to make them for Christmas!
I don’t think so…..dark would just change the color a bit, but it should work.
My caramel went too hard (brittle), so I added 3 Tbsp water and recooked using the cold water ball test to check for readyness. I like them firm so it should stay steady on my hand and not flatten out. . Now Great. Don’t throw away hard caramels.
Wow Danielle, these caramel are perfect. Caramel is on of my favorite thing on the planet. I love this recipe. Just sent it to my niece for her boyfriend, a fellow lover of Caramel. I’m going to make another batch and use them to make homemade turtles. Thank you kindly for sharing Danielle.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!!
I want to make different flavors. What would you suggest as far as brand of extract or oil(s) and how much to use?
These were amazing! I couldn’t find light corn syrup, so I used dark and it was still delicious. I like soft caramels so I used 3 min & 5 seconds then 3 min 5 seconds again. I sprinkled sea salt on top. I can’t believe how good these are and no hassle with candy thermometer or stovetop cooking. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.
I cooked mine for 3min 5 seconds x2 and left overnight to cool. This morning they are way too soft. Turned out more like a paste. Not cut-able. Is there a way to harden them up?
I Microwaved mine for 3 minutes and 5 seconds and they worked great for me. Firm but soft and they cut up great. Thanks for sharing. I can’t stop eating them. This is the last time I have to stand at the stove for 45 minutes stirring caramels!