Fleur de Sel Caramels

by Jamie on January 10, 2011

Post image for Fleur de Sel Caramels

This week is full of caramel deliciousness. I have three different recipes that will stand on their own or combine into one amazing confectionery creation. First on the agenda are simple Fleur de Sel Caramels that will make you weak in the knees.

Although I thoroughly enjoy consuming candy, I can’t make the stuff to save my life. Trust me; I have tried…numerous times. I always end up blaming the thermometer…because it couldn’t possibly me, right? Well numerous specialty thermometers later, candy is still not my forte.

However, when I saw this salted caramels recipe on Annie’s Eats back in December, I thought they appeared simple enough for someone with zero candy making skills like myself. Well, I was right, these buttery caramels are rich, smooth, and insanely tasty. Be careful…these are so incredibly addictive that I’m betting you could easily eat yourself into a caramel coma.

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Vanilla Bean Caramels with Fleur de Sel

January 10th, 2011

Yield: 64 caramels


1 cup heavy cream
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise and scraped
1¼ tsp. fleur de sel, plus more for sprinkling
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water


1. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the cream, butter, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, pods, and fleur de sel. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture is a light golden caramel color.

4. Remove the vanilla bean pods from the cream mixture and carefully stir the cream mixture into the caramel – the mixture will bubble up, so pour slowly and stir constantly. Continue simmering the mixture until it registers 248˚ F on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from the heat and pour into the prepared pan. Let cool for 30 minutes, then sprinkle lightly with additional fleur de sel. Continue to let sit until completely set and cooled. Cut into 1-inch pieces (a buttered pizza cutter works well). Wrap the individual caramels in small pieces of wax paper, about 4-inch squares.


- I stored my caramels in the refrigerator. Leaving them out at room temp made them a little more pliable than I wanted them to be.

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Estela @ Weekly Bite January 10, 2011 at 7:41 am

These look delicious! I love salty caramels! I can’t wait to see your other recipes :)


avatar Heather (Heather's Dish) January 10, 2011 at 7:45 am

fleur de sel is the one this i asked for for Christmas that i didn’t get…probably because my family KNEW i’d try to make stuff like this and they’d have to eat it all! not that it’s a problem, but i think at that point they were all “sweeted” out!


avatar Katrina January 10, 2011 at 8:02 am

These look amazing! I’ve been wanting to make my own caramels for a while. Mmm.


avatar Blog is the New black January 10, 2011 at 8:17 am

Dying to try these ever since I saw Ina’s!


avatar Rachel @ Baked by Rachel January 10, 2011 at 8:27 am

They really do look amazing! The only problem…. I already have a HUGE problem with store bought caramels so I’m not sure making homemade is a good idea for me. Maybe someday I’ll do it when I have restraint lol


avatar The Blue-Eyed Bakers January 10, 2011 at 8:29 am

Delicious! We too are EXCELLENT candy eaters, but do get a little timid when we’re trying to make it ourselves. Although we think we could handle this…yummy!


avatar artdecodiamonds January 10, 2011 at 8:56 am

The caramel looks fantastic!…. really yummy.


avatar leslie January 10, 2011 at 9:14 am

Amazing. I love caramels with the salty suprise!


avatar shelly (cookies and cups) January 10, 2011 at 9:19 am

I cannot under any circumstances makes these…I will sit and eat the entire batch all by myself until my teeth hurt and my tongue is raw.
ok, maybe I will make them…things will be different this time, right?


avatar Annie January 10, 2011 at 9:54 am

Glad you enjoyed these as much as I did. Thanks for the link – love your blog!


avatar Maria January 10, 2011 at 9:58 am

Love the sweet and salty combo!


avatar Celia January 10, 2011 at 10:00 am

Gorgeous! Salty-sweet is the ultimate flavor combo. And I do have a bunch of corn syrup needs using up…


avatar Amanda January 10, 2011 at 10:04 am

Great recipe… gorgeous pic!


avatar Tracy January 10, 2011 at 10:17 am

I really need to try my hand at making these – I just love the salty-sweet combination of flavors!


Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies January 10, 2011 at 11:07 am

I really need to try my hand at making caramels. These look super tasty, Jamie!


avatar Nourhan @ Miss Anthropist's Kitchen January 10, 2011 at 11:15 am

These look fabulous! I think this will be the first caramel recipe I will try :)


avatar Michelle January 10, 2011 at 5:06 pm

They look perfect. Love the sprinkling of salt on top!


avatar Lucy January 10, 2011 at 5:33 pm

These look dangerously delicious! I think I’ll definitely have to give them a try.


avatar Aimee @ Simple Bites January 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Like bread baking, I think making homemade candies is one of the most sensual and rewarding tasks one can accomplish in the kitchen. Looks like you nailed this one.


avatar Susan: My Food Obsession January 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Yum! These look fabulous, I have always wanted to make Caramels. I will have to give them a go soon.


avatar lisa p January 10, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I use a recipe from Epicurious that comes out perfect every time! I use a Cyprus white flake sea salt that is so pretty. The grains are like miniature pyramids and they look beautiful and give a nice crunch to the candy. I made at least 10 batches this Christmas. They are out of this world! I’ll have to give yours a shot. They look YUMMY!


avatar Shaina January 10, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Love that you can see both the salt and the vanilla bean specks. I would probably eat the entire batch by myself.


avatar Chele January 11, 2011 at 5:04 am

They look very professional. I’ve always wanted to try making some of these myself, I’ll need to store your recipe while I work up the courage!


avatar Lauren at KeepItSweet January 11, 2011 at 6:21 am

Your caramels look gorgeous in that picture!


avatar Kristen January 11, 2011 at 10:02 am

Caramels are my weakness. What a delicious recipe!


avatar Brooke (Baking with Basil) January 11, 2011 at 10:23 am

Mmmm….homemade caramels!!


avatar Alexis @ There She Goes January 11, 2011 at 11:02 am

Yes, yes, yes! Salt + caramel = two of my favorite things


avatar Michelle (What's Cooking with Kids) January 11, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Aaaah, that sweet and salty combination is the BEST! These look beautiful.


avatar HollyL January 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I am a caramel-a-holic.. If there is such a thing. Yours look AMAZING!!


avatar Sharlene January 12, 2011 at 10:16 am

I made some caramels for this past holiday season too. My first time in candy-making and it was a raging success! These look wonderful.


avatar Lauren @ Crave. Indulge. Satisfy. January 12, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Caramel is my favorite, can’t wait to give these a try!


avatar Sara January 12, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Gorgeous looking Caramels! I tried making these few times but It turned into a caramel sauce instead of the caramels! I will have to try again with your recipe! :)


avatar Medifast Coupon January 13, 2011 at 5:15 pm

These are decadent little treats, that look picture perfect! What a great recipe, these look addictive.


avatar Judy January 16, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Gorgeous! Can’t wait to try these sometime!


avatar Sharon227 January 24, 2011 at 11:20 am

I tried to make these last night but my caramel never hardened. Any advice?


avatar sara April 5, 2011 at 11:05 am

Does anyone know if I can sub in Vanilla Bean Paste for the seeds? Will the caramels still turn out?


avatar Chitra Mehta April 5, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Hi -

I got directed to your blog from Ree’s most recent blog post. These caramel squares look absolutely delicious, I have to try them out!! Thanks for sharing!



avatar Regan May 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Does anyone know how long the caramels will keep? I’m considering making these as wedding favours, but would like to make them a month or so ahead of time so that I’m not making and wrapping candies the week before my wedding.


avatar Jamie May 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm

These caramels become really pliable when left at room temperature, so I don’t know how well they would keep. Sorry I am not more of a help! Best of luck with your wedding plans and congrats!


avatar Margo July 12, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Do you think i can sub in agave for the corn syrup? or is there a different better sub I can use?



avatar Jamie July 12, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Thanks for stopping by, I have never made that substitution, so I can’t comment as to if it will work or not.


avatar Jessica September 15, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Your blog has been inspiring me for the past couple years- it just simply beautiful and the recipes are genius! I tried making these caramels but I replaced the vanilla bean for paste. The caramel turned out and tasted wonderful but it became so hard that I couldn’t cut into beautiful squares. Instead I got candy bark like pieces. I let it sit to cool before cutting for about an hour or two- did I wait too long to cut? Thank you!


avatar Jamie September 15, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Thanks so much for the kind words – I am so please to hear that you enjoy the site. If your caramels turned hard, that typically means that mixture was cooked for too long and got too hot. Hope this helps!


avatar Mary Ellen December 5, 2011 at 9:13 am

Hi Jessica! My friend had this same problem. Though her recipe called for a higher temp than 248, you may have hit that on your candy thermometer but your thermometer could have been off. Just a suggestion. Try boiling some water and using your candy thermometer to see how close to 212 it is. Mine runs low when I tried this test. So I compensate a few degrees when making marshmallows, fudge and caramels.


avatar Heather April 18, 2012 at 12:41 am

Hi. I am new to this site, but love the sound of the caramels. I have been hunting for a recipe that you can bake with to make a firm yet gooey caramel, like you would get in a chocolate bar. Would this work or do you have another recipe or adjustment.

I think this is going to be one of my new best sites for visiting!!


avatar Jamie April 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm

You can definitely dip these in chocolate. They are semi-firm meaning you wouldn’t want them to sit in a warm area. I like to keep them in the refrigerator until just before serving. I hope this helps.


avatar Katie Walker September 25, 2012 at 8:16 pm

I’m hosting a brunch at a fancy restaurant for my girlfriends this weekend. I made these to put in their thank you for coming goodie bags. Smells amazing and I know they’re going to taste the same. The caramel is cooling as I type!


avatar simonne December 3, 2012 at 5:17 am

Can i use this recipe for caramel buttercream ?
Thank you


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