Creamy Microwave Caramels

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These Creamy Microwave Caramels couldn’t be more simple! They are so rich and buttery that no one will guess how easy they are to make.

I love making homemade candies over the holiday season. Crispy peanut butter balls, caramel turtles, and homemade toffee are favorites, and they all make great neighbor gifts!

homemade microwave caramels on a cutting board

My mom and I have started a Christmas tradition of getting together to make goodies to hand out to neighbors. Last Christmas my sister in law joined us, and it was even more fun!

We made a few family favorites, but also tried a few new recipes like these microwave caramels.

creamy microwave caramels on waxed paper

In the past we’ve made my aunt’s recipe for traditional caramels that requires a lot of stirring over the stove. We decided to try this speedier version to see how they compared.

Honestly, they are so close that I don’t know if I can ever go back to my old recipe. With just six minutes of cooking in the microwave, you have rich and buttery caramels that are simply out of this world!

homemade caramels on a cutting board, and wrapped in waxed paper

Even if you’ve never made candy before, you should be able to make perfect caramels with this recipe! Cooking the mixture in the microwave takes out so much of the guesswork. Some people like to use a candy thermometer, but I prefer the ice water test. It’s easier to see the exact consistency of your caramels that way.

Just spoon a little bit of caramel into ice cold water and let it sit for a few seconds. When you pull it out, you should be able to roll it into a soft ball that holds its shape but can be molded.

cut up microwave caramels on waxed paper

How to make microwave caramels:

-The first thing you need to do is prepare your pan so it’s all ready to go when your caramel mixture is ready.

-Next up you melt your butter, then stir in the sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk.

-You cook the mixture for 6 minutes, stirring once. Yep, just once!

-Stir in the vanilla and salt and pour the mixture into your prepared pan.

-Let the caramels set, then cut into rectangles and wrap in waxed paper.

So easy, so very delicious!

microwave caramels on a cutting board with a knife

Can I add nuts or other ingredients to my microwave caramels?

-Absolutely! You can stir in chopped nuts with the vanilla (pecans are our favorite), or you can sprinkle nuts on top after you pour the caramel into the pan. I prefer the sprinkling method, I think it makes for prettier caramels.

-You could also sprinkle chocolate chips or toffee bits on top of the caramel mixture after you pour it into the pan.

Be creative and see what other flavor combinations you can come up with!

What is the best way to store homemade caramels?

Wrap the individual caramels up in waxed paper and store them in an airtight container. A ziplock bag works just fine. I always store mine at room temperature, but you can store them in the refrigerator.

How long will microwave caramels last?

Homemade caramels will last for about 2-3 months at cool room temperature. If you live in a hot and humid place, you may want to store them in the refrigerator.


easy microwave caramels recipe collage

Yield: 4 dozen

Creamy Microwave Caramels

Creamy Microwave Caramels
These creamy caramels are so easy to make! They are cooked in the microwave and turn out perfect every time!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Additional Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 1 minute



  1. Butter a square 8" pan, line with parchment. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large glass mixing bowl. Add sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk. Cook 3 minutes, stir, cook 3 more minutes.
  3. Spoon a bit of the caramel into a cup of ice cold water. If it can be rolled into a soft ball, it's ready.
  4. Stir in the vanilla and salt.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and let sit till completely cooled.
  6. Cut into rectangle or square shaped pieces and wrap in waxed paper.


Recipe inspired by I Heart Naptime

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 45 Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 4mg Sodium: 17mg Carbohydrates: 9g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 9g Protein: 0g
Love caramel? Check out these recipes:

Homemade Caramel Sauce
Copycat Leatherby's Caramel sauce - this homemade caramel sauce recipe is easy and absolutely delicious!
Frozen Caramel Crunch Torte
Every bite of this Caramel Crunch Dessert is scrumptious!!
Caramel Shortbread Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle


  1. Scroll down a bit further!

  2. I’ve been planning to try making caramels this year and hopefully be able to give some out for gifts!This will be so much easier and I might even get some for us too! I have a question- when you line the pan the parchment goes up the sides too, correct? Do you fold the corners to make it fit?

    • I didn’t fold the corners, I just squished it into the corners because I was in a hurry. But you could definitely fold them for a prettier look. I let my kids eat the corners. 🙂

  3. Are the caramels suppose to be soft or hard after they cool? Mine ended up hard. Taste great but hard to cut. I think my microwave is pretty powerful so maybe less cook time would be better.

  4. kara how do you find any of the recipes for your yummies. I went on Pinterest and they show me the picture but no recipe’s now after an hour of trying to email you with no luck I finally went to your site here and saw all these candy yummies and even comments but no matter what I click on there is NO RECIPE’S. for the microwave caramels, it shows the picture then in blue where you are to click on candy recipe and up comes artesian bread –no recipe but then scroll down one space and there is the picture of the candy again BUT NO RECIPE. HELPPPP PLEEEZE. I AM OLD AND TIRED CAN YOU HELP ME?

  5. Love how QUICK and EASY this is!

  6. Oh my!! These look delicious – my boys will love these!

  7. You had me at 6 minutes and stir once! These would be the perfect holiday treat!!!

  8. Courtney O'Dell says:

    The perfect easy holiday gift – and they are SO delicious!

  9. SO easy and perfect for the holidays! 🙂

  10. Krissy Allori says:

    I’ve made caramels before but never in the microwave. Great recipe!

  11. Amy Huntley says:

    I love making homemade caramels! I can’t wait to try this quicker version! Thanks!

  12. Emily Hill says:

    I had no idea you could make caramels in the microwave! These are perfect for the holidays!

  13. Andie Thueson says:

    I love caramels and I have never tried making them in the microwave, I didn’t even know you could! I will have to give these a try! Yum!

    • Until I tried this recipe, I didn’t know it was an option either. They are so much easier than the traditional recipes I’ve tried!

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