Soft Vanilla Caramels

Mmm Soft Vanilla Caramels. Need an irresistible holiday treat to share with your friends and neighbors? Try these Soft Vanilla Caramels and sit back and wait for the rave reviews!

Soft Vanilla Caramels | Sweet, chewy, melt in your mouth candies

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Christmas Week Continues!!!

Welcome to Day Three of Christmas Week. This event is hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen. We hope to inspire you to break out those holiday sprinkles and get your bake on! Today I’m sharing these soft vanilla caramels. My family knows I’m a sucker for caramel desserts and straight up caramels are just as irresistible! These are a little softer than other recipes I have shared…and were perfect for filling my boozy holiday truffles. But these Soft Vanilla Caramels are terrific as a sweet nibble on your holiday buffet, too.

Soft Vanilla Caramels | Sweet, chewy, melt in your mouth candies

Soft Vanilla Caramels

Pick up a reliable candy thermometer and you, too, can make homemade Soft Vanilla Caramels. These caramels make a wonderful holiday gift. It takes a little time to boil the sugar and half and half mixture up to temperature, but it’s not complicated. Just keep in mind that the molten bubbling mixture is dangerously hot. You may want to have a bowl of ice water nearby in case some accidentally drips on your skin. The addition ofcorn syrup helps prevent recrystallization of the sugar, so it’s a crucial ingredient in this recipe. I don’t mind using it once or twice a year for special recipes. These Soft Vanilla Caramels keep forever in the freezer, so this is one treat you can make well ahead of the holidays. A double bonus!!

Soft Vanilla Caramels | Sweet, chewy, melt in your mouth candies

Swing by all the participants to see what they’ve been whipping up for the holidays:

UPDATE: giveaway closed and entry form removed

The Giveaway!

Giveaway photo

Giveaway Prizes include:

Be sure to enter the giveaway below. Open to U.S. residents only. Good luck everyone!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Soft Caramels #ChristmasWeek

Serves 36 caramels     adjust servings

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 50 mins


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon rum


  1. Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with nonstick foil and set aside.
  2. Combine all ingredients except vanilla and rum in a heavy sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, till it begins to boil.
  3. Put candy thermometer into boiling mixture and continue to cook, stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn't burn, till the temperature reaches 244º. Immediately add vanilla and rum, stir till combined and pour into prepared pan.
  4. Let cool completely. Cut into small squares or rectangles. Wrap in waxed paper. Store in refrigerator. Freezes well.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 75kcal Calories from fat 30
% Daily Value
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Transfat 0g
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 7mg 0%
Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Sugars 11g
Protein 0g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g
Did you make this recipe?
Leave review!



  1. Liz, These sound great! I like the idea of boozing the caramels up a bit. Now you have me wanting to make yet one more attempt at making caramels. Usually, I end up with sauce 🙁

  2. Liz, love these caramels!!! I so need a candy thermometer!!! my fave thing to bake over the holidays are cookies!!! gingersnaps!!

  3. Love making gingerbread houses.

  4. Look absolutely delicious Lizzy!
    I would to make these candies for my mama . She loves this type of candies!

  5. I’m not much of a sweet eater but I do have a weakness for caramel, Liz. Especially when you add a little booze. Rum makes everything better!

  6. Your caramels look wonderful – love how you wrapped them and how you photographed them – beautiful! These sound irresistible – especially with the rum addition.

  7. oooooh I love these vanilla caramels! I’d love to receive them as a gift, that’s for sure!

  8. Your vanilla caramels sound so good and with a touch of rum in them – WOW I bet that puts them right over the top. I’ll be sure to try these out during the holidays. I’m sure they will go fast!

  9. Soft caramels are the way to go. I see chewing on these all day and love the vanilla flavor with the extra rum boost.

  10. Who doesn’t like caramels? Love the texture and the deep flavor. And homemade are definitely the best. These look wonderful! Thanks, and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

  11. There is nothing better than homemade caramels! 😀 😀 😀

    What a fabulous idea, Lizzy 🙂

    Hmmm let’s see my favorite thing to bake for the holidays would probably be cookies. We bake them for everyone in our family as gifts, and for our neighbors and friends. It’s just a great time of year ^_^


  12. Caramels scare me but really I just to get a thermometer. I really hope my mom is baking up a storm for me when I come home for the holidays.

  13. Woow Liz, I was just about to ask you in your previous version of Caramel if you have another preferred recipe because I’ve noticed this in the comments. This is just what I was looking for :). Happy holidays dear.

  14. I’m fresh out of caramels and dying to make a fresh batch, these look wonderful!

  15. Love this recipe! Now if I can get over my candy thermometer fear, I might make these! I also have a math fear because i always have to adjust for Denver’s altitude. And then I have a fear that I’m not really reading the thermometer correctly, because of my bad eyes. I really should conquer these!

  16. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud says:

    I like the addition of rum, bet it adds great flavor:@)

  17. Great little soft caramels with vanilla notes. I have made sauce but never a caramel candy, very tempting. Great tip too on the corn syrup.

  18. definitely cookies!

  19. I love making baked brie!

  20. Chocolate Truffle Cake is always a holiday baking favorite. This giveaway it great also!

  21. I love caramels and never skip baking cookies during the holidays

  22. Please please please count me in on one of the most delicious, lovely giftable desserts I’ve seen this month! 😉

  23. Karen Oliver says:

    This recipe looks wonderful. I hope to make it before Christmas.

  24. theresa krier says:

    hi, i love making many different breakfast breads & cookies, thanks for such a great giveaway

  25. My favorite thing to bake for the holidays is sugar cookies.

  26. My favorite thing to bake for the holidays is anything with pumpkin! I love baking pumpkin pies, oatmeal, smoothies, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin hummus, pumpkin butter, bars, muffins…I could go on. but I’m sure I’ve made my pumpkin addiction pretty clear! Happy Holidays!

  27. My favorite thing to bake for the holidays is anything containing pumpkin. Pumpkin pies definitely, pumpkin pancakes, baked oats, smoothies, fudge, hummus, pasta sauce, pumpkin syrup and butter, muffins, scones…that’s probably more than enough to show my slight addiction to baking all things pumpkin (or kabocha squash-it gets points for having an edible flesh, which makes baking go a lot faster! Happy Holidays!

  28. ooh…I bet these taste like my favorite butter rum lifesavers. Must try! 🙂

  29. Kirsten Deacon says:

    Cookies – cookies and more cookies!

  30. Kirsen Deacon says:

    I absolutely love to make chocolate covered cherries….its kind of my signature recipe – you know it is Christmas Time when you start seeing these leaving my kitchen.

  31. Christmas cookies of any kind are my favorite baking. Unless maybe it’s gingerbread or cinnamon rolls.

  32. I love soft caramels and have always wanted to try making them. Yours look perfect 🙂 Love that you added rum in here too! These are perfect tasty gifts for the holidays!

  33. Love homemade soft caramels! Yours looks really perfect, Liz.

  34. Clever recipe! Have a happy Christmas and a happy New Year! 🙂

  35. Hotly Spiced says:

    What a great prize! I love the jars. That group of gifts will really make someone’s Christmas. I also love soft caramels but it’s a very long time since I made any. I love how you wrapped them in wax paper – they look like little bonbons xx

  36. I’ve never made caramels before. These look great! I just tried homemade peanut butter cups for our neighbors this year, so now I am hooked on making candy! Thanks for such a great recipe–and giveaway!

  37. What gorgeous caramels, they wouldn’t last a second here 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  38. Each year I have to maket hose festive funfetti cupcakes, with the red and green sprinkles inside! It takes me back to my childhood.


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