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Caramel Cashew Clusters

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I tore the November page off of my desk calendar last night. I’ve been staring at a gigantic diet coke stain for about 2 weeks and couldn’t take it anymore. Although I’m a couple of days early, seeing December in big, bold letters across my desk made me feel flustered and anxious.

In theory, the holidays really shouldn’t be all that stressful, but let’s face it – they are. My holiday to-do list is a mile long. The rational side of me knows that I’ll never accomplish everything on it, but the go-getter in me forces me to give it one hell of a shot.

Because I know how crazy December can be, I decided to create a variety of recipes to share with you. Some will be a little more involved, but others will be incredibly simple like these Caramel Cashew Clusters. My hope is to arm you with a vast array of holiday recipes that will get you through any cookie swap, gift exchange, holiday party, or emotional eating extravaganza.

Today’s post is all about simplicity. These Cashew Clusters only require a few ingredients; they come together in minutes and always end up disappearing just as quickly as you made them. I hope you adore this sweet and salty holiday candy as much as we do.

Caramel cashew clusters on a cooling rack

Caramel Cashew Clusters

Yield: 20 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 30 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped {about 8 ounces}
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup salted cashews, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable shortening


1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine caramels and cream. While stirring constantly, heat mixture until caramels are fully melted. Remove pan from heat.

3. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the vanilla and cashews until they are thoroughly mixed into the melted caramels.

4. Spray a small or medium cookie scoop with non-stick cooking spray and scoop the caramel-cashew mixture 2 inches apart onto the prepared pan. If you prefer a more symmetrically shaped cluster, use your fingers to mold this caramel. Repeat with rest of mixture.

5. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and shortening until smooth stirring every 30 seconds or so.

6. Drizzle melted chocolate over clusters. See recipe notes for storage information.


- The clusters are sticky, so you'll want to store them on parchment in the refrigerator. Leave them on the parchment and remove them to room temperature about 30 minutes before serving.
- Definitely feel free to experiment with the type of nuts that you use. Salted pecans or peanuts would be delicious.
- Love chocolate? You can definitely cover these completely with chocolate, you'll just have to play around with the proportions a bit. We prefer them with just a drizzle.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on social! I want to see what you made! @jamiemba

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Sunday 7th of January 2024

I use coconut oil, not shortening to melt chocolate. It works better and a bit healthier.


Tuesday 15th of October 2013

I go from eating one nut for a few months & then move on to another. First it was pistachios for many months, now it is cashews. I will be making this, thanks. I do bake often using walnuts & pecans. O, I have never baked chocolate w/shortening. I always had issues w/melting it in the micro. it gets dried out to me, so hopefully this will help..


Sunday 20th of October 2013


I go in phases too! Please come back and let us know how you like the recipe! Have a wonderful day and thank you so much for following MBA!



Friday 21st of December 2012

How long do you think these will keep in the fridge?


Saturday 8th of September 2012

I make a lot of chocolate goodies, and have found that using morsels means ending up with a sticky product, especially when mixed with oils or some type of shortening. I recommend using baking chocolate instead.


Tuesday 4th of September 2012

I made these on the weekend! They were absolutely delicious and super easy too. Love.


Tuesday 4th of September 2012

Kimberly- I am so glad to hear you enjoyed the cashew clusters - thanks for coming back and letting us know the recipe was a success in your kitchen! Have a great day. -Jamie

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