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Fleur de Sel Caramels

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Ever since I saw Ina Garten make homemade fleur de sel caramels awhile back, I’ve been itching to give them a try myself. I have to admit that candy thermometers still make me nervous (always get so anxious waiting for candies to reach the right temperature!!), but these looked too good to resist!! And after conquering the homemade caramel sauce for this amazing buttercream earlier this year, I figured I could wait just a little longer for them to reach the “firm ball” stage for this recipe. :-)

So I dug out my candy thermometer, picked up an extra carton of heavy cream (somehow I always forget what’s behind the “creamy-ness” in caramel!), and decided to give these a go on my lunch break this week. And I’m pleased to report….


Well, there was one fatality with my candy thermometer. After making it through the process, it accidentally got bumped and shattered in the sink. Oops. But the caramel was a total, and utterly delicious success. Again, I felt like the cooking part of it felt like a project in science class — watching (while not stirring) the caramel go from clear, to faint yellow, to “golden brown”. And then, as Ina says, watching the mixture boil up “violently” as the cream is added in. But overall, it really wasn’t that difficult! I took the extra step of making “rolled” caramels like Ina, but next time will probably just do simple cubes. (They get wrapped up anyway!)

So if you love caramel, and even if you’re not the best of friends with your candy thermometer, I completely recommend giving these a try! Especially with that yummy fleur de sel, these truly are a huge step up from anything you can purchase in the store. Classy. Cute. Delicious.


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Fleur de Sel Caramels

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4 from 4 reviews
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12-16 caramels 1x


Sweet, simple and oh-so-delicious homemade treats! You will love this Fleur de Sel Caramels recipe!


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • parchment paper or wax paper, for wrapping


  1. Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan (or loaf pan) with parchment paper, then brush the paper lightly with oil (or lightly cover with cooking spray), allowing the paper to drape over 2 sides.
  2. In a deep saucepan (6 inches diameter by 4 1/2 inches deep) combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil until the caramel is a warm golden brown color. Don’t stir – just swirl the pan to mix. Watch carefully, as it will burn quickly at the end!
  3. In the meantime, bring the cream, butter, and 1 teaspoon fleur de sel to a simmer in a small pan over medium heat. Remove from the heat, set aside and keep warm.
  4. When the caramelized sugar is the right color, very slowly add the cream mixture to the caramel while stirring – it will boil up violently. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees F (firm ball) on a candy thermometer. Very carefully (it’s hot!) pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate until firm.

For rolled caramels:

  1. When the caramels are cool, use the parchment paper to pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Starting at 1 end, roll the caramel up tightly until you’ve rolled up half of the sheet. Cut the sheet across and then roll the second half tightly. You will have 2 (1 by 8-inch) logs. Sprinkle both logs lightly with fleur de sel, cut each log in 8 pieces. Cut parchment papers (or wax paper) in 6 by 4 1/2-inch squares and wrap each caramel in a paper, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

For square/cubed caramels:

  1. When the caramels are cool, use the parchment paper to pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Then use a large knife to carefully cut the caramel into squares of your desired size.


Ali’s Tip:

These would also be delicious dipped in chocolate!!!

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53 comments on “Fleur de Sel Caramels”

  1. They look totally delicious! I may have to give some a go this year.

  2. I’ve never really gotten into the whole candy-making process, but you make it look easy, so I might have to give it a shot sometime!

  3. I have been wanting to try carmels for a long time but have been chicken. You have inspired me – I think I’ll try them. What exactly is Fleur de Sel and where do you buy it?

  4. I love Ina’s recipes, and this one definitely sounds like a keeper. Love that salt on top!

  5. Oh my! I love caramel… especially with sea salt. I can’t wait to make some of my own!

  6. these look so amazing!! totally gonna make some!!

  7. What a beautiful posting!

  8. I’ve been making caramels for years! It’s really easy – patience and keep your eye on the thermometer, especially at the end! It helps to keep your cream out of the fridge for about 5-10 mins to take off the chill.
    What I’d like to see is a taffy pull recipe – we did this when I was a kid (I’m not that old, 43) and that was my biggest Christmas memory. :)

  9. This recipe was fabulous! Made these caramels this evening and found them perfect! thnks 4 sharing!

  10. Just made these! I tried dipping them in chocolate, and it’s a huge mess, so I only did a quarter of them that way. My husband and our roommate say they’re yummy. I haven’t tried them yet. Thanks!

  11. I’m so glad you posted this, bc I’ve been dying to try this recipe! My candy thermometer broke years ago, well before I ever got acquainted with it. I’ll be sure to purchase another one soon and get started on these. Yours look wonderful!


  12. Your caramels look professionally done! I’m going to make them today – as soon as I replace my broken candy thermometer. And I LOVE the addition of the salt. (I’m also an Ina fan – which book did these come from? I know I’ve seen them in one of them but can’t find it!!)

  13. Hi! I made these last year and they were MAGICAL!!!! I’m excited to see the recipe up because when I found it there was an error on the Food Network site and I had to hunt around for someone’s blog post for the real thing then I lost the little paper I wrote it on and I was SO SAD! Imagine my delight when I saw your post.

    Thanks so much for yet another lovely entry on the site.

  14. These are bubbling away on the stove right now but I couldn’t wait to comment.
    I’ve been trying to replicate my favorite restaurant’s caramels, so I hope this a success! :)

  15. Just made these and let me tell you…they are dangerously addictive! The sweet and salty combo is just to die for

  16. How long does it take for the corn syrup mixture to get a golden color? Mine has been cooking for 45 min and it’s still not golden!

  17. I have a ?  What is Fleur de Sel and where do I get it
    Thank you .    Love making caramel.   

  18. How far in advance can I make these? I want to give these as gifts!

  19. These look beautiful and I love salted caramel!  I saw that show with Ina also and you did a great job with this recipe.  Pinned…:)

  20. I just love the taste of a really good piece of caramel, and I try and make it last for as long as I possibly can! I can hardly wait to make this recipe! Just looking at the pictures gets me very excited! And I sure wished it wasn’t so late, I’d probably go my kitchen and start making, but since its late, and I’m trying to recover from shingles in my right eye! But soon, very soon! Thanks, for posting this and many of your delicious & yummy recipes!

    • Thanks, Rosemary, we hope you love these! So sorry you’re dealing with shingles in your eye — no fun at all! :( Hopefully you’ll be rid of them soon!

  21. The caramels looks delicious and I attempted making them but unfortunately it didn’t harden properly and it’s just a pile of caramel mush! I was just wondering what percentage you used for heavy cream, maybe that’s where I went wrong, thanks for the help! Can’t wait to be successful at making these!

    • Hi Kaitlyn! Oh no, we’re sorry to hear the caramel didn’t harden, that’s so frustrating! We’re not sure what you mean by the percentage of heavy cream though – we just used heavy cream (100% cream). Did you use something else? Did you use a thermometer? If you could provide us with a little more info, we might be able to help you better!

  22. One question: Is there really only supposed to be half a cup of sugar for the whole recipe? Just asking because there’s a recipe on Epicurious that’s almost identical, except it has 1.5 cups of sugar and I’d like to make sure. Thanks!

  23. I used 35% heavy cream which is similar to a whipping cream since my grocery store didn’t have 100% heavy cream so maybe that’s where I went wrong since I did use a candy thermometer! Thanks for clarifying this and hopefully if I keep searching I’ll find the heavy cream! 

  24. I just wanted to comment to KAITLYN’s problem. 35% cream is heavy cream also known as whipping cream. The percent refers to how much milk fat is in the cream. 
    As far as I known there is no such thing as 100% cream, unless it’s clarified butter. 

  25. Can I replace the corn syrup with something I can buy easily in France ? Thanking you in advance.

    • Hi Donalda! Sure, if you have anything similar to it in France? The UK makes Lyle’s golden syrup (which is very similar). We hope this helps!

  26. I liked it. I’m going to make it

  27. What exactly is Fleur due Sel? I’m not sure I correctly translated.

  28. These look SO cool and tasty! Its nice to try at home. :D

  29. Hi there! I made these today and they were delicious. It was my first time to attempt caramels and I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was! Question–do you think the cooking time or anything will change if I omit all or half of the salt? I love the sweet/ salty combo, but they were a bit TOO salty for my taste (when you add the salt decor on top). Thanks for the great recipe.

    • Hi Meredith, we’re so happy you enjoyed these! And no, the cooking time should not be affected if you omit some of the salt. We would suggest just using half the salt, or even 1/4 tsp, but we wouldn’t advise leaving it out entirely. We hope this helps! :)

  30. I’ve been boiling mixture for ten minutes and won’t get above about 215 degrees ???  What to do?  Will it burn?? 

    • Hi Stefanie, it shouldn’t burn, sometimes it just takes a little longer. Let us know how these turned out, we hope you enjoyed them! :)

  31. Where do you buy the fluer de sel?

    • We’ve found it at Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, and other specialty cooking stores or gourmet groceries. Whole Foods should have it as well we believe.

  32. May I know how long is the shelf life for this homemade caramel candy?

    • Hi Cheryl! We think if you have them in a tupperware container or wrapped up really well, they should last for around three weeks or so (you can store them at room temperature). We hope this helps!

  33. So I just tried making these and there were on for over half an hour and we’re just getting to 230. I noticed they were starting to separate so I stirred it and there was a bunch of black bits all in it…am I supposed to stir whole time??

    • Oh no, we’re sorry! Yeah, you don’t want to stir at all until you add the cream and vanilla. :( That’s really important, so that’s probably why your caramel separated and didn’t cook evenly. It helps to shake the pan periodically to prevent burning since you’re not stirring.

  34. Looks delicious, can’t wait to make these, especially the rolled ones. Thanks for the recipe.??

  35. I just use your recipe but I cook all ingredients together except for the vanilla and salt that I add to the end. It’s much easier this way. You just stir occasionally cook to 248°F , pour cool, cut and enjoy!! Try it , you won’t miss the extra steps. Have a great day.

  36. These are AMAZING!!!! They are easy enough to make even for those inexperienced in candy making. I would definitely recommend that you give making these a go!

  37. This recipe originally calls for 1 C cream. I followed your version and it didn’t turn out, all of the butter and the cream separated. Hoping trying it again with a different measurement will work?

  38. I made this before and it turned out great. This time it started to burn before it got even to the soft ball stage. What did I do wrong? Should I stir constantly once I add the cream, butter and salt? Should I lower the temp of the burner? I cooked on gas just above medium heat.

    Any assistance would be appreciated!

  39. I have made Ina’s version of this many times and always got great results. I hadn’t made them for several years and decided to try them again, but for some reason I used your version of “her recipe” instead of going to the original source. Your version failed both times for me. Like some other commenters, it took forever to reach 248, and then it split, with the butter rising to the top when I poured it into the pan to harden it. In looking back now at Ina’s version, the amounts of cream and sugar are very different. She uses 1 1/2 cups of sugar compared to your 1/2 cup sugar…and 1 cup cream compared to your 1 1/2. I’m going to return to hers and hope for better results because homemade caramels are just so, so good. I’m a pretty experienced cook, so I’m really not used to having recipes not turn out…especially not twice…