Homemade Microwave Caramels Recipe (2024)

Candy making has never been so easy. These Homemade Microwave Caramels only require a few simple ingredients, and taste amazing. I love making these caramels for the holidays, and giving them as gifts to my neighbors.

Homemade Microwave Caramels Recipe (1)

Looking for an easy and foolproof recipe to surprise your friends and neighbors during the holiday season? Look no further than this microwave caramel recipe!

With just a few simple ingredients like real butter, light corn syrup, light brown sugar, and sweetened condensed milk – you’ll be making the best thing ever – soft and buttery caramels that are sure to become one of your favorite treats.

The best part? This simple recipe requires no candy thermometer and can be made in just a matter of minutes. All you need is a large microwave-safe bowl, some parchment paper or aluminum foil, and a greased pan. And if it’s your first time making candy, don’t worry – just follow the steps and the cold water test to know when your caramel mixture has reached the soft ball stage.

Once the mixture has reached the perfect consistency, simply pour it into the prepared pan and top with coarse or flaky sea salt for a delicious holiday treat. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try drizzling melted chocolate over the top of the caramel before adding a little sea salt. Trust us – it’s a game-changer.

Cutting the soft caramel candies into small squares is easy using a pizza cutter on a cutting board. And the best thing about this recipe is that it’s so versatile – you can use it to make caramel sauce, salted caramel ice cream, or even salted caramel brownies.

These Homemade Microwave Caramels will make you fall in love with candy making – without any major failures. I love our homemade caramels, but with two kids running around it just wasn’t going to work.

My husband and I tried these a few weeks ago and they are our new favorite treat.

They taste just like our homemade caramels, but were SO EASY to make. These would make a perfect treat to bring to neighbors for the holidays.

Love caramel? Try our Rolo Turtle Pretzel Bites!

How to make Homemade Microwave Caramels:

Homemade Microwave Caramels Recipe (2)

Combine butter, sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 6 minutes, removing and stirring every two minutes.

Homemade Microwave Caramels Recipe (3)

When caramel is done cooking, pour into a 9×13-inch baking pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Let cool completely.

Homemade Microwave Caramels Recipe (4)

Cut into pieces using a sharp knife.

Homemade Microwave Caramels Recipe (5)

Place each piece of caramel on a piece of waxed paper.

Homemade Microwave Caramels Recipe (6)

Wrap up each piece of caramel and twist the ends of the waxed paper to secure.

Tips for making homemade Microwave caramels

  • Be sure you use a microwave safe bowl, when making these caramels. I prefer to use a glass bowl.
  • When making the caramels, it’s important to take them out of the microwave every 1-2 minutes. If you let the mixture cook for the full 6, the caramel will be burned in some areas, and not others.
  • When I mix my caramel, I like to grease a rubber spatula with non-stick cooking spray, to avoid caramel sticking to my spoon.
  • Be sure your 9×13 inch pan is also sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. You want to avoid all sticking, or your caramels will have a hard time being cut and removed from the pan.
  • I cut up all my wax paper ahead of time, and wrap them all at once, in wax paper. I use the tootsie roll wrapping method.

Do I need a candy thermometer?

No candy thermometer is needed for this recipe. That’s what makes this recipe so simple! It requires no strange ingredients, or tools. Just a microwave and five basic ingredients.

As long as you follow the recipe directions, you will have no problem with these Homemade Microwavable Caramels.

How should I store my caramels?

If your Homemade Microwavable Caramels are not eaten within the first day, you can place them in an airtight container, or sealed ziplock bag, with all the air out of it.

I usually keep mine in a decorative bowl in my kitchen and my family will eat them throughout the week. They usually get a little more chewy by day 3 or 4, but they still taste amazing.

If you are making them more than a week in advance, you may want to put them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge.

This is an easy recipe that will truly become a staple in your holiday recipe collection. Whether you’re looking to give a unique neighbor gift or just make some sweet treats for the family, these microwave caramels are the perfect option!

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Homemade Microwave Caramels Recipe (7)

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Our simple weekly dinner meal plans take all the stress and guesswork out of “What’s for dinner?” and turn it into a tradition of spending time with family.

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Looking for more homemade candy recipes?

  • Homemade Honey Candy
  • Homemade Big Hunk Candy Bars
  • Peppermint Candy Cane Fudge
  • Homemade Butterfinger Bites
  • Butterscotch Candy
  • Homemade Chocolate Caramels with Sea Salt
  • Snickers Fudge Recipe
  • Instant Pot Chocolate Clusters Recipe

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Homemade Microwave Caramels Recipe (8)

Serves: 24

Homemade Microwave Caramels Recipe

4.34 from 3 votes

Sweet, soft, homemade caramels – no candy thermometer needed.

Prep Time 30 minutes mins

Cook Time 6 minutes mins

Total Time 36 minutes mins



  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk




  • When making the caramels, it’s important to take them out of the microwave every 1-2 minutes. If you let the mixture cook for the full 6, the caramel will be burned in some areas, and not others.


Calories: 91 kcal · Carbohydrates: 18 g · Protein: 1 g · Fat: 2 g · Saturated Fat: 2 g · Cholesterol: 7 mg · Sodium: 31 mg · Potassium: 30 mg · Sugar: 18 g · Vitamin A: 76 IU · Vitamin C: 1 mg · Calcium: 23 mg · Iron: 1 mg


  • Microwave Safe Bowl

  • 9×13" Baking Pan

Recipe Details

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

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Join The Discussion

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  1. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent says:

    Love that you can make them in the microwave :) Definitely making these for my husband!

  2. Deon | ipinnedit.com says:

    Oh my gosh! Do you know how much my husband will LOOOOOOOVE this recipe? He is a caramel fanatic, but alas, I don't know how to make them well! I do know how to punch start on a microwave, however! Thank you so much!!!

  3. Michelle says:

    Do you melt the butter first? Yummy!

  4. Cyd says:

    No, but be sure to stop and stir well every 2 minutes.

  5. Prairie Wife says:

    I have always been afraid to try caramels, and my husband always asks me to make them! I think I'll have to save this one to try next week!

  6. Melissa Hess says:

    HOLY COW! These were so easy to make an taste so awesome! They will be family favorite from now on! Thanks.

  7. Lisa says:

    Make sure you add some course salt immediately after you pour them into a pan to set. They will be irresistible.

  8. Lisa says:

    I mean "coarse".

  9. Deb says:

    These are sooo easy and delicious...I ate way too many though! :) Amazing recipe!

  10. nancy says:

    Help it got too hard and was like toffee instead of carmel. What can I do?

  11. Cyd says:

    Not sure what could have happened. Thinking maybe your microwave is hotter than ours if you only cooked it for the amount of time as directed in the recipe. So sorry about that! :(

  12. Desiree says:

    I would LOVE to make these! But can I use something else in stead of corn syrup? I don't know if I can buy that here... I have never seen it in the supermarkets here (I live in the Netherlands). Hope you can help!

  13. Lindsay says:

    Just made these and they turned out just amazing! I however FORGOT the butter, lol, and they are still delicious with a perfect caramel texture.

  14. Judy says:

    I made these today and they were very easy to make and soooo delicious!!!

  15. Judy says:

    I made these today and they were easy to make and soooo delicious!!!

  16. Vickie says:

    Has anyone tried this recipe but add some flavored extract like butter rum maybe? Let me know how it turned out and how you altered the recipe please....

  17. Kea Jeanie says:

    This is an excellent recipe as it is cheap, easy, delicious. I've made it twice this week and it's perfect each time. This is a keeper.

  18. Beth says:

    I have a 1200 watt microwave. Is that the same wattage as yours CYD?

  19. sharon says:

    Corn syrup could be replaced with a homemade sugar syrup. Google to find a recipe. Or you could use equal amounts of cane syrup or honey.

  20. Sheila says:

    I made 2 batches of this today for neighborhood Christmas treats! So easy and both batches turned out perfect and delicious! Thanks for the great recipe!

  21. Cara@theProjectAddict says:

    I have seen similar recipes that add a tsp of vanilla after cooking so i'm sure it would be tasty with other flavors too. I plan to try it tonight!

  22. Meagan says:

    My caramels are not hardening at all? Do I need to microwave them for longer?

  23. Taina says:

    If I double the recipe, should I double the cooking time too??

  24. Cyd says:

    You shouldn't need to double the cooking time, but it may take a little longer. Watch it closely.

  25. Cyd says:

    Yes, mine is 1200 watts.

  26. Emily says:

    Made these 1/2 an hour ago. With homemade corn syrup. It looks like they turned out good. Can't wait to cut them. Thanks for the recipe!

  27. Connie says:

    These are fantastic. Made 2 batches today and both were absolutely perfect. Smooth, soft, chewy and not super sweet. MMMMMM

  28. Breann says:

    Just made these and they were so so good. And very easy to make. Thanks for the recipe.

  29. cole says:

    These were DELICIOUS and so easy to make! My 4 yr old son keeps asking for me to make more & even my mom was shocked that they were homemade

  30. Judy says:

    If your microwave is only 900 watts howmuch longer should I cook?

  31. Deanna says:

    I have made these a few times and they are really good. I have added anise flavoring (black licorice) and they were amazing! I

  32. Donna says:

    How much coarse salt? What a smashing idea...

  33. Kim Lashbrook says:

    I just made the microwave caramels. They are still cooling. After I cut and wrap them, do I need to keep them in the refrigerator?

  34. Cyd says:

    If not eaten in the first day or so, you may want to store them in the refrigerator.

  35. Denise Fischer says:

    If I didn't know any better, I'd think I was eating a Werthers! Sooooo good!Thank you for this recipe!

  36. Mary says:

    Is it at cooked at 100% or less? Thank you will be making them shortly.

  37. Cyd says:

    We cook it at 100%.

  38. Mary says:

    Thank you, love caramel anything will be making them soonMary.

  39. Liz says:

    I really like these! Much easier than the traditional way when you want a quick batch. I added 1/4 tsp or so of vanilla right before the pour (give it a good stir). I also used a smaller pan as I found a 9x13 was too large (caramel was super thin). Thanks for sharing!!!

  40. Teresa says:

    I made this today in a 9x1e dish and I think the pieces may be too thin. I usually make them in a 8x8 dish. I ended up making one of each. Warning your dish coming out of the microwave will be very hot, so be careful! Very easy and fast to make!

  41. Carla Fox says:

    Ok so these tasted great and were easy to make, but a 9 x 13 pan makes very thin caramels. I would use a slightly smaller one next time.

  42. Shelby says:

    Try this!! If you run into the problem below of it being too hard when cooled try 70% power for each of the 2 min intervals should be muuuuch softer. But every microwave is different it is worth the tinkering trust me these are delicious 🤤

    Homemade Microwave Caramels Recipe (9)

  43. Lara Anthian says:

    I will never make any other camramels again! This is so easy and delicious, I sprinkle some sea salt on top. and I found you can get wax wrappers pre-cut on Amazon!

    Homemade Microwave Caramels Recipe (10)

  44. Momma Cyd says:

    Good to know about the pre-cut wax wrappers! Sea salt on top sounds delicious!

  45. Dee says:

    Sounds delicious, but I do not have a microwave. How would I prepare them?

  46. Mclark says:

    Shoot, my caramels are delicious, but they aren’t really setting up. They have cooled completely. Any suggestions? I would love to be able to wrap them to give away.

  47. Maureen Morris says:

    I like the ease of this candy but mine got awful hard so I'd probably cut the cook time...

    Homemade Microwave Caramels Recipe (11)

  48. Nancy Crocker says:

    Your intro to the caramel recipe mentioned heavy cream but it wasn’t mentioned again in the actual recipe. Did you leave it out?

  49. Momma Cyd says:

    That should be sweetened condensed milk. Thanks for catching that.

Homemade Microwave Caramels Recipe (12)

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