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Vanilla Bean Salted Caramels + Video

Vanilla Salted Caramels are a classic candy, perfect for gift giving, and sneaking from the cupboard!


Salted caramel started as a food trend. Something fancy chefs devised in restaurant kitchens and it made it’s way into fine chocolate shops, magazines, cookbooks, regular awesome restaurants and now, well, everywhere! (thank goodness!)

Tara Teaspoon Buttery Vanilla CaramelsIn cooking, salt is a preservative, a yeast inhibitor but also a flavor enhancer. The reason we put salt in baked goods is simply to enhance or bring out the flavors of all the other ingredients. It brings out buttery flavors, the caramels of brown sugar, enhances chocolate’s subtle flavors and balances each bite.

These caramels are super easy, thanks to a combo of sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup that speed up the process of homemade caramels by at least half! Use a candy thermometer (order it here) to get just the right consistency.

There’s a bit of extra salt (sea salt for a lovely flavor) in the caramel itself, but I also sprinkled gorgeous sea salt crystals on top of each piece before wrapping. Find the pretty cellophane candy wrappers here, or at specialty candy stores.

Tara Teaspoon Buttery Vanilla Caramels WrappingThe salt on top gives you a burst of that flavor enhancing power and immediately makes the butter, vanilla and caramelized sugar flavors explode in your mouth!

Watch my video for a glance at how simple they are to make. And check out the Buttery Black Licorice Caramels recipe in the demo for another amazing flavor.

5 from 2 votes
Vanilla Bean Salted Caramels
Cook Time
25 mins
I used a vanilla bean paste so I get flecks of beautiful vanilla seeds in the caramel. You can just use vanilla extract if you'd like.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vanilla Bean Salted Caramels
Calories: 5914 kcal
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 ½ cups light corn syrup
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • cellophane wrappers or waxed paper
  1. Line a 9-by-13 inch pan with parchment and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Using some butter, coat the inside of a 4 qt heavy saucepan. Add the sticks of butter, sugar, sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup and salt. Cook over medium-high heat until butter is melted, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium.
  3. Insert a candy thermometer into the pan and continue stirring constantly until the temperature is 244ºF (for sea level. check local temperature adjustments according to your elevation), or medium firm-ball stage. Remove from heat.
  4. Stir in vanilla bean paste and pour into prepared pan. Pan will be hot. Transfer to a flat surface and let cool overnight. When caramel sets after a few hours you can wrap the pan in plastic wrap to rest overnight.
  5. Transfer caramel to a clean cutting board and remove any parchment. Cut with a sharp knife into desired sizes. I cut mine about 1/2 inch deep and 1 1/4 inches long. You will get over 100 pieces.
  6. Sprinkle each piece with flaked sea salt before wrapping well in cellophane or waxed paper. Will keep for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe Notes

There's a bit of extra salt (sea salt for a lovely flavor) in the caramel itself, but I also sprinkled gorgeous sea salt crystals on top of each piece before wrapping.

Nutrition Facts
Vanilla Bean Salted Caramels
Amount Per Serving
Calories 5914 Calories from Fat 1971
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 219g 337%
Saturated Fat 138g 690%
Cholesterol 622mg 207%
Sodium 2011mg 84%
Potassium 1523mg 44%
Total Carbohydrates 1011g 337%
Sugars 1010g
Protein 33g 66%
Vitamin A 134.6%
Vitamin C 12.5%
Calcium 124.6%
Iron 5.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post may include affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure policy.

Recipe by Tara Bench
Photography Tara Bench
Videography and editing Melanie Donahoo


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