Easy Caramels Recipe

If you like a perfectly soft (without being gooey) buttery caramel, I’ve got just the recipe for you!! These caramels are so good and haven’t failed me yet. And they are ALWAYS a hit! 

Shall we start with the hardest part? But it’s a part you can totally do! We need to do some minor math. DON’T RUN AWAY! It’s okay, I’ll walk you through it. I just want to make sure you do the math before just jumping in. 

We need to quickly calculate the temperature you need to cook your caramels to for your elevation. I’ll give you examples of each step of what I had to do for our elevation.

Step one: Go here and look up your elevation


Ours is 5016 ft

Step two: Go here and plug in your elevation and figure out what your boiling temperature is


So I plugged in 5016 and got 202.94 degrees, so I rounded up to 203 degrees. 

Step three: Subtract your boiling point from 212. 

So for me that was 212-203=9

Step four: Subtract that number from 244 (what you’d cook your caramels to at sea level)

That is the firm ball stage temperature for your elevation. 

And now for the recipe! 


  • 1 c. butter
  • 2  1/4 c. brown sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 cup corn syrup (we’ve used light and dark and it works with either)
  • 1  14oz can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • a candy or meat thermometer


  • Prepare a 9×13 pan. I like to spray the pan with pam, then put down parchment paper (the pam helps it stay put), and then butter the parchment paper. The parchment paper makes it easy to get the caramels out of the pan, and the butter on the paper helps the paper not stick to the caramels!
  • Melt butter in a heavy saucepan
  • Add sugar and salt and stir thoroughly
  • Stir in corn syrup and mix well
  • Gradually add sweetened condensed milk, stirring constantly
  • Cook and stir over medium heat to your firm ball stage temperature that we calculated at the beginning. Stir constantly!
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla
  • Pour onto your prepared pan. If there are dark areas of caramel stuck to the pan, don’t scrape those off into the caramel as they will crystalize and be like biting into a rock in the caramels. Those are little overcooked parts. Hopefully you dont’ get any, but we usually have one or two. 
  • Cool and cut into squares or rectangles (these may take 8 hours to cool completely if it’s warm…but in the winter we put it in our back room and they set up fast). To keep them from sticking together, we like to cut rectangles of wax paper and wrap the pieces individually. 

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