How to Make the Best Sea Salt Caramels

Sea Salt Caramels

Elizabeth LaBau

Prep: 0 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 36 servings
Yield: 36 caramels
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
178 Calories
8g Fat
28g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 36
Amount per serving
Calories 178
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 159mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 28g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 24mg 2%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 30mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These are the best sea salt caramels! The combination of smooth, sweet caramel and crunchy salt crystals is completely irresistible. If you've never tried putting a pinch of flaky salt on your caramels, you will be shocked at how much it changes and improves this classic candy. 

Sea salt has become a fashionable ingredient, and should not be hard to find in a well-stocked grocery store. We like to use a salt that has delicate, flaky grains, like fleur de sel, because those add a wonderful texture as well as flavor. If you can't find sea salt, you can substitute a sprinkling of another large-grained salt, like kosher salt. Do not substitute table salt!

For the greatest chance of success, make sure you test and calibrate your candy thermometer before you begin. 


  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

  • 2 cups light corn syrup

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into small cubes

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, such as fleur de sel

  • 1 pound chocolate candy coating, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Prepare a 9x9 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

  3. Combine the cream and condensed milk in a small saucepan, and place the saucepan on a burner set to the lowest heat setting. You want the milk and cream to be warm, but do not allow it to boil.

  4. In a medium-large saucepan combine the corn syrup, water, and granulated sugar over medium-high heat. Stir the candy until the sugar dissolves, and periodically wipe down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent sugar crystals from forming. 

  5. Insert a candy thermometer and reduce the heat to medium. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and cook until the thermometer reads 250 F/121 C.

  6. Add the softened butter chunks and the warm milk-cream mixture. The temperature should go down about 30 degrees. Continue to cook the caramel, stirring constantly so that the bottom does not scorch. Cook it until the thermometer reads 244 F/117 C, and the caramel is a beautiful dark golden brown.

  7. Remove the pan from the heat, and immediately stir in the vanilla and 1 teaspoon of the salt. 

  8. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan, and let it set at room temperature overnight to firm up and develop a smooth, silky texture.

  9. When you are ready to cut the caramel, lift the caramel from the pan using the foil as handles. Spray a large knife with nonstick cooking spray. Firmly cut into the caramels, creating 1 inch squares. Wipe the blade and re-spray as necessary.

  10. If you want to serve the caramels plain, sprinkle the tops with the remaining sea salt. (See recipes variations below for optional chocolate method.)

  11. If you're not serving them immediately, wrap them in waxed paper to help them keep their shape. 

  12. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

Cover caramels with chocolate:

  • Melt the chocolate candy coating in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating.
  • Cover a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper.
  • Use dipping tools or a fork to dip a caramel in the melted coating, then hold it over the bowl to let the excess chocolate drip off.
  • Scrape the bottom against the lip of the bowl, then place it on the prepared baking sheet.
  • While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle the top with a pinch of sea salt.
  • Continue to dip the rest of the caramels until they're all covered with chocolate. Refrigerate the tray briefly to set the chocolate.


  • For the best taste and texture, serve these caramels at room temperature.
  • Caramels should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and last for up to two weeks.

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