Need a holiday treat to share with friends and neighbors? Try this Soft Caramel Candy recipe then sit back and wait for the rave reviews!

Making Caramel Candy takes a bit of finesse, but it’s worth the effort. A Homemade Caramel Recipe is a million times better than anything you’d find bagged on a grocery store shelf. I promise!

Soft Vanilla Caramels in a small glass dish

Why You Must Make Vanilla Caramel Candy

  • Everyone will be impressed when you let them know you made caramels from scratch.
  • Once you mastered making caramels, you’ll make them again and again.
  • They’re the perfect homemade holiday gift. Everyone shares cookies and fudge, but homemade caramels definitely stand out as something special.

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.

 Two unwrapped Soft Vanilla Caramels in front of a glass bowl of caramels

Tips for Making Soft Homemade Caramels

  • PRO-Tip: 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.
  • PRO-Tip: Candy-making can be tricky. Use a heavy saucepan for this recipe as it will keep the temperature of the caramel mixture stable. Make sure not to make drastic changes to the heat of the burner as this may cause the caramel to split. Slow and steady is best!
  • 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 of the hot syrup accidentally drips on your skin.
  • PRO-Tip: The addition of corn 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.
  • Bonus: 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 lined up on a small square green plate

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

Soft Caramel Candy

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 36 caramels

Soft, vanilla-infused caramels that are perfect for gifting! Plus, they're so much better than any caramels you can buy in a grocery store!!!


  • 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.
  4. Immediately add vanilla and rum, stir till combined and pour into prepared pan.
  5. Let cool completely. Cut into small squares or rectangles. Wrap in waxed paper.
  6. Store in refrigerator. Freezes well.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 caramel

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 76Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 28mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 0g occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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