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  • Writer's pictureKindall Crummey

Make Delicious Chewy Caramels in Minutes with This Easy Microwave Recipe

If the thought of making caramel conjures images of candy thermometers and endless stirring, think again. This microwave caramel recipe is a game-changer, offering a shortcut to sweet perfection without compromising on that irresistible chewiness and flavor. Whether you're a seasoned dessert enthusiast or a kitchen novice, this recipe promises to make you a caramel connoisseur with its simplicity and mouthwatering results.

The first time I made these sweet candies, I was skeptical that they'd even turn out, and much to my delight, they were better than I expected! Once they come out of the microwave, the mixture is still very runny (and very hot!), but allowing it to cool and set makes the texture perfect and chewy. I added coarse sea salt to the top of mine for a salted caramel, and it was so delicious!

Since every microwave is different, I would start with cooking the caramel for 6 minutes and use a thermometer if you have one to test the temperature of the caramel after 6 minutes. You want the temperature to be anywhere from 238-242 degrees. If you go higher, you'll likely have a hard caramel candy result. Any less, and the candies may not set up just right. Six minutes has been just right for me.

I purchased some candy wrappers from Amazon and wrapped the candies individually for sharing with friends and family and they were a hit! The wrappers are linked for you at the end of this post.

Keep reading for the recipe below...

Prep time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 6 Minutes

Total Time: 30 Minutes


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter,* cut into 4 pieces (see note below)

  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

  • Flaky or coarse ground sea salt (optional)

How to Make:

  • Spray an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray or line it with parchment paper. Either one will work! Cut the butter into four pieces and place them in a large microwave-safe bowl (Be sure to use a bowl that is microwave-safe to high temps such as heavy-duty glass. I wouldn't recommend using a plastic bowl for this recipe), and heat in the microwave until the butter is melted.

*Be sure to use UNSALTED BUTTER! Salted butter will splatter in the microwave and you'll have yourself a mess to clean up. I've learned the hard way a time or two. That's why we use unsalted butter and add in the salt later.

  • Add the corn syrup, granulated sugar, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and 1/8 tsp of salt to the bowl with melted butter and whisk the mixture very well. 

  • Return the bowl to the microwave and cook on HIGH power for 6-7 minutes. I'd start with 6 minutes and then check the temperature. You want the temperature to be between 238 and 242 degrees for a smooth, chewy caramel texture once it cools.

  • Use hot pads to carefully remove the bowl from the microwave. Then, add in the vanilla extract and mix everything well with a whisk.

  • Pour the caramel mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top lightly with the flaky or coarse ground sea salt if you're using it.

  • Place the caramel in your refrigerator until it is set, about 20 - 30 minutes. Cut into rectangular pieces and wrap in cut rectangles of wax paper or candy wrappers. You can purchase candy wrappers on Amazon here.

  • Now all that's left to do is enjoy eating these yummy candies!


For safety, I recommend using a microwave-safe bowl that is made to heat to high temperatures. Avoid setting the hot on a cold surface after removing it from the microwave and be sure that you don't begin with a cold bowl or it could shatter.

I recommend taking the caramel out of the microwave around the 6-minute mark and testing it either with a food thermometer which should register between 238 - 242 degrees or placing a small spoon of the caramel in a bowl of ice water and then removing it from the water. It should have formed a small pliable ball - nothing too soft or too hard. That's how you know your caramel is cooked!

If you find that the caramel needs a little more time in the microwave, heat it at 20-second increments until your desired temperature or consistency is reached. Mine was perfect right at the 6-minute mark, but all microwaves are different.

Other Links you may find useful (The links below are affiliate links with Walmart.)

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