Soft Caramel Recipe with Fleur de Sel

This soft caramel recipe with fleur de sel is the perfect caramel recipe. The caramel is deep in flavor, soft in texture, and the fleur de sel really brings out the rich caramel flavor. Make this recipe for Christmas or any time of year really. There is never a bad time for a perfectly soft caramel if you ask me!

homemade soft salted caramels recipe with fleur de sel

What’s in Soft Caramels?

Soft caramels consist of just 6 ingredients, including sugar, light corn syrup, heavy cream, fleur de sel (salt), vanilla, and butter.

The light corn syrup plays a vital role in this soft caramel recipe because corn syrup inhibits crystallization. This basically means that the corn syrup prevents the sugar from becoming grainy in the caramel, which is super important.

Have you ever eaten a grainy caramel? Not very satisfying, is it? The texture should be completely smooth without any sugar granule crunch.

What is Fleur de Sel?

Fleur de sel is the very best salt from the coast of Brittany, France. It rests on the foam of the sea water and is then skimmed from the top to ensure that only the finest sea salt is taken.

Fleur de sel is delicate and fine. It feels different from other salts too. It is almost as if you can still feel the foam of the sea in the grains because they are so soft and delicate.

In short, it’s perfect for this soft caramel recipe. I also recommend Fleur de Sel for making this amazing salted caramel sauce.

While you can use other types of salt, fleur de sel is my recommendation. It adds that extra something special to these caramels.

It might cost a little more than normal salt, but I always remind myself that fleur de sel is still cheaper than a trip to France. (Although I would definitely use running out of fleur de sel as an excuse to go to France!)

soft caramels recipe salted

The Secret to Making Soft Caramels

The trick to making soft caramels(and all soft candy for that matter) is the temperature! Just a few degrees can take a soft caramel from soft to firm. Add a few degrees more and the caramels are no longer soft, but instead that are quite hard.

For this soft caramel recipe, we cook the caramel to 248 degrees F. It is okay if the temperature is 1 or 2 degrees over 248 F, but try to be exact.

If you look at a candy thermometer, you will see that 244-248 F is the firm ball stage for candy making. Stay closer to 248 F so that the caramels aren’t too soft.

salted caramels recipe soft

How to Test a Candy Thermometer for Accuracy

Sometimes thermometers aren’t correct. They can vary a few degrees, which really matters regarding caramel and candy-making.

To check the temperature of your thermometer, stick the end of the thermometer in a pot of boiling water. Check to see if the temperature reaches 212 degrees F. If the temperature does not reach 212 or goes over 212, make note of the discrepancy so that you know how many degrees to adjust the recipe.

For example, if the thermometer only reaches 210 degrees F in boiling water, then it only needs to reach 246 F instead of 248 F.

5 Tips for Making the Best Soft Caramels

Measure Ingredients First

Measure all of the ingredients before beginning. Candy-making requires attention to detail, and you don’t want to be caught off guard by being unprepared for the next step.

Heat the Cream

Boil the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt for just a few seconds so that it is nice and hot. Pouring hot, heavy cream into the caramelized sugar allows the two mixtures to meld better. Cold cream causes the hot sugar to seize up and form little clumps that take a while to melt down again.

Use Good Quality Salt

Use fleur de sel. If you cannot find fleur de sel, try Maldon flaked sea salt, as it is also a high-quality salt that works well for garnishing the caramels. You may want to crush up some of the bigger flakes so there aren’t any giant salt crystals on the caramels.

soft salted caramels recipe

Line the Pan

Use nonstick foil or lightly spray the foil with nonstick spray before pouring the caramel into the pan. Otherwise, the caramel will stick to the foil and will be a big mess!

Store Properly

Sprinkle with fleur de sel right when you pour it into the pan, and then let the caramels cool for 2-3 hours. Cut with a sharp knife on a cutting board, and store between parchment paper or in individual wrappers.

How to Fix Caramel That is Too Soft

If your caramels don’t reach the correct temperature for some reason, they will be too soft and may not hold their shape very well.

Here’s how to make soft caramel harder: Put the caramel back in the pot, add 2-3 tablespoons of water, and remelt the caramel. Cook the caramel until it reaches the correct temperature, and pour it back into a foil-lined pan.

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Soft Caramel Recipe with Fleur de Sel

salted caramels on brown parchment sprinkled with fleur de sel

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  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 9x9 pan 1x
  • Category: Dessert


Units Scale

For the Soft Caramels

  • 350 g granulated sugar
  • 120 ml light corn syrup
  • 237 ml heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp fleur de sel, plus extra for garnish
  • 71 g (5 Tbs) unsalted butter


  1. Line a 9×9 pan with nonstick foil, or line with normal foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Bring heavy cream, vanilla, and salt to a boil in a small pot. Turn off heat and leave pot on the stove.

  3. In a large pot, add sugar and corn syrup. Cook on medium heat, stirring only to moisten the sugar. Wash down the sides of the pot with a pastry brush and water in the beginning if there are sugar crystals on the sides of the pot.

  4. Do not stir constantly. Stir when the sugar starts to caramelize.

  5. Let the sugar caramelize until it is a deep amber color, similar to the color of almond skins. 

  6. Turn the heat off and pour in the hot heavy cream while slowly whisking. It will bubble violently, so add the cream slowly..

  7. Return to medium heat and attach candy thermometer to the pot. Stir frequently and bring temperature to 248 F (120 Celcius).

  8. As soon as the caramel reaches firm ball stage (248 F), remove from heat and stir in the butter until fully melted and combined. Then add vanilla. 

  9. Pour caramel into lined pan and smooth caramel out evenly. Sprinkle with fleur de sel if desired, 

  10. Let caramel cool for 2-3 hours. Remove foil sling from pan and gently peel foil away from caramel. Cut caramel into 1-2 inch pieces. Store between parchment paper or wrap caramels individually for optimal freshness. Enjoy caramels within 3 weeks.

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