Ten Minute Microwave Caramels

Believe me, I was very skeptical about making caramels in the microwave.  So skeptical that I tested the recipe several times before posting it here.  And let me tell you, the fact that it actually works, and you can make delicious chewy caramel in under 10 minutes, is very dangerous for a caramel lover like me.  Just a few tips:  first, it should be noted that this recipe is for making caramels in an 1100 watt microwave oven, but chances are, that’s what you’ve got.  To prevent grainy caramels, take care to scrape the sides of the bowl well during the stirring process.

Every microwave is a little different, so you may have to increase or decrease the cooking time by 15 seconds or so to get the caramels just the way you’d like them.  The original recipe called for 2 cooking times of 3 1/2 minutes each, but I found that my caramels were too hard after cooking that long.  Three minutes 10 seconds each time gave me the perfect chewy consistency.  If you prefer a very soft caramel, you may want to decrease the cooking time to 3 minutes for each cooking period.  But even if you’re first batch comes out a bit hard or a bit soft, they result will still be delicious!

If you’d like to add chopped nuts, stir those in along with the vanilla.  You can also add a sprinkling of sea salt once you’ve poured the caramel mixture into the pan.  For a really decadent treat, try dipping the finished caramels in chocolate.  The best thing of all though, is that you can have caramels in a matter of minutes, without spending 30 minutes stirring over a hot stove-top with one eye always on a candy thermometer!

Ten Minute Microwave Caramels

Ten Minute Microwave Caramels
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Butter an 8-inch square pan. If you like, you can then line the buttered pan with foil and butter the foil.
  2. Melt butter in a large microwaveable bowl (microwave for about 1 minute).
  3. Stir in the corn syrup, both sugars and sweetened condensed milk. Continue stirring until most of the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Microwave on high for 3 minutes 15 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Return to microwave and cook on high for another 3 minutes 15 seconds. Stir in the vanilla.
  6. Pour immediately into the buttered dish.
  7. Allow to sit for several hours until cooled and set. Cut into squares and wrap in waxed paper.

Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from That’s Some Good Cookin’.



  1. Amazing, aren’t they!

  2. Jus tmade these!! SO SO SO much better than my failed recipe from last week… Thank you:)

  3. I am glad to see your recipe has vanilla. I followed another similar recipe and although the caramels tasted ok, there was something missing. I told myself if I made them again I would add vanilla. I will print your recipe. Looks delicious.

  4. Got to try these. I need to make so treat boxes for my daughter. I think these would go well in the box. Thanks.

  5. I just made these! Now we’re waiting for them to cool! My children and I are excited to see how they turn out!

  6. Can’t wait to try them! Yummy.

  7. Made these this week and they are amazing. Try sprinkling a little kosher salt on the top of them once you pour them in the pan. Delish!

  8. I love microwave candy recipes , it takes the guess out of hard ball, soft ball stage of the process . There is one thing I wish they would add to the recipe, what the wattage is of the microwave they are useing . Microwaves come in different watt power, ranging from 900- 1200 watts . This can make the difference between success and failure in a candy recipe. The power is found sometimes on the back of the microwave or the inside of the door .
    Happy candy making this Holiday Season.
    Thank You,

  9. Can I use whipping cream instead of sweetened condensed milk? thank you.
    I just found your site. will try some other recipes.

    • I honestly don’t know if that would work or not. Caramel recipes can be pretty finicky, so I would probably stick with the recipe as is. If you do try it and get good results, I’d love to know. Thanks!

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