Fast and Easy Microwave Caramels

Perfect Microwave Caramels in 10 minutes!

When you tell your grandma that you made caramels in less than ten minutes she won’t believe you. And she may give you a skeptic look when you told her that you made them in the microwave. Until she bites into one of these soft microwave caramels, she will have her doubts about you. Rest assured, you will win her trust back before she can swallow.

I have always heard how finicky caramels are, and that unless you are an experienced candy maker, they don’t always turn out the way that you want. My grandma is famous for her Christmas caramels. Because she could make them so well and so consistent year to year, I labeled her as some sort of candy-making-super-human. She makes two giant tins full of them each year. Some with nuts, some without. Her health is leaving her slowly and I really wanted to learn to make her caramels before she passes.

Because of my recent success with microwave recipes, I found this homemade microwave caramel recipe and decided to give it a try (as skeptic as Grandma would be). It was almost midnight when I put the first ingredients in the bowl, then realized that my sweetened condensed milk was expired. Not just a little expired, but bulgy, gaseous, 2011 expired. Where on earth did that can come from? I opened it just for fun, and it looked like caramel or yummy Mexican Cajeta instead of silky white milky goodness. Wanting to try this recipe so badly,  I had to make a midnight run to the store for some more.

This is how they turned out. Impressive right?

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How to make Fast and Easy Microwave Caramels

5 T. Butter (sliced into 1 T. squares for quick even distribution)

1/2 c. White Sugar

1/2 c. Brown Sugar

1/2 c. Corn Syrup

1/2 c. Sweetened Condensed Milk

(If you like black licorice caramel – see this microwave recipe)


Place all ingredients into a microwave safe bowl.

Microwave on high for 7 minutes. Stir every 45-60 seconds.

It will get very bubbly.

easy microwave carmels

To test your caramel, do the Ice Water Bath Test.

Grease an 8×8 or a Glass Pie Dish and pour in the mixture.

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Let cool, then cut.

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Wrap in wax paper. I used Freezer Paper and that worked great too.

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Results will vary depending on the microwave that you have. You can do a Ice Bath Test every minute after 3 minutes if you need to on your first attempt to get to know how your microwave heats.

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I have also made Vanilla Bean Caramels by adding the little black flecks from one Vanilla Bean before heating (click to see a mega-cheap way of buying Vanilla Beans).
vanilla bean caramels in the microwave

Come back and let us know how it goes! Do you have any other favorite microwave recipes?

7 thoughts on “Fast and Easy Microwave Caramels”

  1. I want to make these, so please, what do you mean by “t” and “c” in the ingredients? english is not my language.

  2. I want to make these today and I thought the butter was measured and tablespoons but in one of the comments somebody asked what the t stands for and you said tsp just want to make sure, karmel’s can be tricky so I want to make sure I get the amount right

    1. Typically, T. is tablespoons and t. is teaspoons. In this recipe, it is tablespoons (use the pre-marked measuring lines on the butter wrapper to make it easy)

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