Butter Caramels

Total Time:
1 hr 30 min
1 hr 10 min
20 min

Yield: 32 (2-inch) squares

  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup cream, warmed if possible
  • Place sugar in a clean dry saucepan. Pour the water around the wall of the pan to avoid any splashing of sugar crystals onto the sides of the pan. Bring to a boil and continue cooking on high until amber colored. Turn heat off and with a wooden spoon, stir in the butter and then the cream. Pour into an 8 by 8-inch pan that has been lined with foil and well-buttered and let the caramel cool and set until firm. Once firm, cut into squares. Wrap in decorative clear plastic. Store at room temperature.

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3.2 27
Pretty simple, tasty caramel. Mine started to crystallize from boiling too rapidly and splashing up the sides even though I had the lid on. I just turned it down, pushed the crystals back down with a knife and added a tablespoon of lemon juice. If yours crystallized and it's not dark yet, you can probably still save it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ok this recipe is a total thumbs down for me!I followed it completely and both times it crystalized before it turned even a light amber! A waste of ten cups of sugar!Not happy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Third times the charm, I should have read the reviews first!! a few batches later I'd say I wish I'd learned 2nd hand from everyone else, but thanks for posting, after reading your suggestions (lid, DON'T Stirrr) alls well that ends well =) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I didn't add the cream of tartar, so I'd like to try this again. My only question is, should we allow it to boil rapidly? It seems that a rapid boil would be like stirring the mixture. Will it cause crystals? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have used this recipe every Christmas since I found the recipe. My boys are in love with it and can't wait each year when we make it. I, too, use 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar and after the caramels have cooled for about 30 minutes top with a finishing salt. It is a lot of work cutting them and placing them into squares of parchment, but everyone loves them so much that it is worth every minute. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was one of the worst recipes I have ever tried. I tried it twice and it cooked down to just sugat before it turned amber. What did I do wrong? item not reviewed by moderator and published
This caramel has the truest flavor I have yet to find. I do utilize the pan lid, to reduce sugar crystals, and add cream of tartar to prevent it from crystallizing. Do not stir until you are adding the cream or it will be a disaster. Watching Alton Brown's episode on fudge will help you understand why. I have made this the last few years and everyone loves it. I have tried other caramel recipes, but the flavor just isn't the same. item not reviewed by moderator and published
So dissappointed in this recipe. I am a seasoned baker and candy maker and the sugar and water turned into a hard solid disk of sugar. Very vague instructions, stir or no stirring??? Very upset over the wasting of ingredients and it took me forever to melt the sugar mixture down the drain and clean the pan. WILL NOT be making this again. Will get a candy thermometer and make Ina Garten's Fleur Del Sel caramels. If you are a beginner cook, do not attempt this! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Worked great and I have never made candy or caramel before. The bubbles on top crystallized but melted once stirred back in. Delicious. I took it a little past amber for a richer flavor. Did not need cream of tarter for this batch, but will try it next time to help with crystals. item not reviewed by moderator and published
First time I tried it the way it was written and ended up with a bunch of sugar glop. Then I read the reviews and tried it with the cream of tarter and lid and no stirring and it worked perfectly. As a first time candy maker I am thrilled with the results, but the recipe as written is definitely not for beginners. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The recipe, as it's written, is not something someone unfamiliar with candy making would find rewarding. The directions are way too vague, and to make the recipie work, some tweaking definately is required. Add 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar to the sugar water mixture before you put it on to boil. Then keep it covered, preferably with a clear lid so you can watch for it to carmalize, and then DO NOT STIR. Sugar is finicky to work with, and stirring anytime before you add the butter and cream can cause it to form crystals. Also, be careful, when the recipe says to add the warm cream, it will bubble over if you're not careful. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Don't use this recipe. I foolishly wasted money on ingredients and all I got was three batches of crystallized sugar. I tried it repeatedly and I know I followed it exactly. Now I'm completely out of sugar and wished i had taken the time to look for other recipes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was my first time cooking any caramel candy. I read the reviews and got some tips. Do put the 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar in with the sugar. DO NOT STIR the water and sugar mixture. Use a deep pot with a clear lid. Heat on high until boiling, keep lid on at all times, and again DO NOT STIR!! Cook until amber in color and take off heat, add butter and cream, be ready it will boil violently. I added a teaspoon of vanilla and then I stirred until smooth. Pour in pan to set. Tip: Use a good pizza cutter sprayed with vegatable spray to cut through candy. It took me longer to cut candy than to cook it. I added cracked sea salt to mine and it tasted wonderfull. Great for gifts. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is by far the easiest recipe I have ever used for caramels. So much asier than my old stand by recipie... sorry Grandma your recipe has been retired! I think that she'd approve. I'm not sure why Anonymous cooked her candy to 340, it would be a rock at that temp. Following the directions, these are the best I have ever had, hands down. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the first time a caramel recipe has worked for me. I used the cream of tartar and a clear lid as suggested by other reviewers, and added vanilla after the cream. Worked well as a filling for chocolate covered caramels as well as a stand alone candy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I did not stir at all until I added the butter and cream I loved it it worked great the first time I didn't let it darken but it still turned out great. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Sugar water mixture went way past hard crack stage before turning amber, therefore adding the butter and the warmed cream just made it all crystalize. I will try somewhere else. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have tried this twice and have never been successful item not reviewed by moderator and published
I followed the recipe exactly as written and it worked out perfectly. No cream of tartar etc. One thing you need to remember, candy making is a finicky think. Do not attempt any sugar making on a humid day (unless you want caramel sauce as opposed to candy) because your candy will not set up. (Sugar is hygroscopic) This is true for any sugar-making recipes. For those that had trouble, try again on a dry day, or a day when you have the A/C running in your home. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this recipe twice and both times it didn't work. I added the cream of tartar like the one reviewer said to, but I had no temperature guidelines so the first time I heated to 360 degrees and I got rock hard caramel. The second time I heated to 340 degrees and it was rock hard in the center of the pan and soupy on the outside. I had high hopes for this recipe, but it just didn?t work. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I read the tips before starting, as I've ruined just about every caramel recipe I've tried. Do add 1/2 t. Cream of Tartar to the sugar, and I used a clear lid so I could watch the color change. The condensation helped with the sugar crystals being kept at bay. Also, use parchment paper instead of tin foil. Nothing will stick, and you need not butter it beforehand. I made two batches. The first, I panicked, and took it off the heat and added the butter and warmed cream too soon- it was tasty, but didn't hold it's shape at room temperature. I simply returned it to the pot, and boiled it for about seven more minutes- I used a test plate with the starting color, then every few minutes I'd add another drop of caramel from the pot so I could see how it changed. The second batch came out MUCH better. I also added a little salt, and I sprinkled the tops with a little more before eating- simply divine. It was an easy, affordable, and luscious gift to give out at the holidays, very impressive in a clear bag with a brown satin bow. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I looked online for a super simple soft caramel recipe. I stumbled upon this one. Thank you to Karen from OH that commented and made suggestions to make this recipe fool-proof. I too used 1/2 tsp. of cream of tartar, greased my pan, kept it covered until it was ready for the next step. My caramels came out GREAT! I also used about a tsp. of vanilla (I eyeballed it). The flavor is rich, smooth and creamy. I'm going to use this recipe for quick & inexpensive gifts for friends & family for the holidays. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I followed the recommendation of another reviewer and used 1/2 tsp. of cream of tartar, greased the pan before I cooked, and kept it covered while boiling. The caramels turned out rich and delicious! I put my pan in some ice water to help it firm up quickly. I also put chocolate chips in half the pan to add another dimension of flavor. I think I will use this recipe often. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Those caramels looked so good in the picture, but in real life...that is NOT what happened. I was looking for a simple recipe for caramels, which as the first poster stated, is hard to find. Imagine my disappointment when I ended up with a heavily crytallized mess. And while I'd love to try this again with the tips given by the first poster, I simply do not have the budget necessary to waste another 5 cups of sugar and 1 cup of cream if it doesn't turn out well AGAIN. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Maybe I should have read the one review first. All I can say is wasted time and ingredients........disaster! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Good, basic caramel recipes are nearly impossible to find. They are all loaded with corn syrup and other unnecessary ingredients. These just take a little know-how that Ms. Gand forgot to write in her recipe. OK--Add a half teaspoon or so of either lemon juice or cream of tartar with the sugar in the beginning. The acid helps prevent crystallization. Keep a lid on it until it starts to brown--the condensation will help keep crystals from forming, also. Some also suggest greasing the pan to further prevent crystals from sticking. You will not find a more flavorful, pure caramel than this. Its worth the practice and effort. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I had high hopes for this since I like the show. Sadly, I ended up with a pan full of crystalized sugar glop rather than caramels. This recipe really needs a warning on what to watch out for or tweaking to make it more foolproof. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The only thing cream of tartar does is invert the sugar, this helps to slow down the hardening...so if you wanted to cut the caramels into bite sized pieces you'd add an acid (lemon juice, cream of tartar, etc) so the sugar would take longer to harden and you'd have more time to cut it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Sugar can be hard to work with. A lot of your problems came from how you made it. While these directions are hard to follow, you should read the other comments...they help to clear up some of the vague directions. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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