That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Soft Vanilla Caramels in a small glass dish

Soft Caramel Candy

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

Vanilla Caramel Candy

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

Soft Homemade 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.

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 accidentally drips on your skin.

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. 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

Swing by some of my friends’ blogs to see what they’ve been whipping up for the holidays:

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

The Recipe: Soft Caramel Candy

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!!!

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


  • 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.

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44 comments on “Soft Caramel Candy”

  1. 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!

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

  3. 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!

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

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

  6. 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!

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

  8. Love making gingerbread houses.

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

  10. 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 🙁

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