How to Make Sea Salt Caramels

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It seems a little daunting to make candy, but no worries! We show you how to make sea salt caramels step by step and give you an amazing candy recipe that your friends & family will adore.

What are sea salt caramels made of?

Technically, sea salt caramels are made with 4 ingredients: butter, sugar, whipping cream and of course, sprinkled with sea salt. This melt-in-your-mouth recipe expands the list to include brown & white sugar as well as dark & light corn syrup for a wonderful color, texture and flavor.

Tips for caramel success

  • No substitutions — use real butter and 36% heavy cream or whipping cream because it gives candy the best flavor and texture.
  • Don’t use table salt – if you can’t find sea salt, you can use kosher salt or a flaky fleur de sel or a large-grained salt
  • Prevent crystallization – butter the pot before you begin to keep sugar from crystalizing on the sides and making your caramels grainy (You can also use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush down the sides if necessary.)
  • Don’t double the batch — extra ingredients may prevent the mixture from cooking properly.
  • Get correct temperature — the bulb of the candy thermometer should be completely covered by liquid, but don’t rest the thermometer on the bottom of the pan. Use the little hook on the thermometer on the edge of the pan.
  • Be patient — candy takes a long time to cook — don’t rush it by turning up the heat.
  • Have all the ingredients ready first — measure all ingredients before beginning the recipe. Cooking candy happens fast.
  • Keep it fresh — store finished confections in an airtight container in a dry location. Use wax paper to separate layers of candy.

A candy thermometer is an important tool.

Taylor Precision Products Stainless Steel Candy Thermometer

  • insulated handle
  • adjustable pan grip for any size pan
  • easy to read & candy temperatures printed as convenient reference
  • measures in both °F and °C from 100 to 400°F

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Taylor Precision Products Stainless Steel Candy thermometer

Sea Salt Caramels

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Butter sides and bottom of heavy 3-quart saucepan. Add butter and melt over low heat. Add sugars, corn syrups and cream; mix well. Raise heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil until mixture reaches 248°F (firm ball stage).
  2. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour caramel immediately into 9-inch square pan lined with buttered foil. Cool at room temperature until caramel begins to set, sprinkle with sea salt; cool completely.
  3. Use foil to lift caramel out of pan. Butter a large chef’s knife and cut caramel into 1-inch squares. Wrap caramels individually in plastic wrap or store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Recipe & photo courtesy of America’s Dairy Farmers

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