10 Flavors to Incorporate into Caramels from Bourbon to Blood Orange

Today we will talk about the sexiest candy recipe out there: caramel.  With its amber color and salted sweetness, it is eye candy at its best. Not only are they pleasing to look at (which is why they make awesome gifts), but they are also chewy, melt-in-your-mouth, deeply sweet, and insanely addictive. Basically there is every reason that you need to learn how to make homemade caramels at home. Besides, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry anyway.

So grab your candy thermometer, your favorite pot, and let's get candy making! Then, of course, we'll show you how to change up these caramel candies in 10 delicious ways.

How to Make Both Soft Caramels and Firm Caramels

Before you can begin experimenting with flavor profiles, you need to be able to whip up a batch of this traditional candy.

Sure it only takes a handful of ingredients, but the real secret to these deeply flavored candies is time and temperature.

Naturally adding unsalted butter, heavy cream, corn syrup, vanilla extract and sugar to a recipe will make whatever you produce yummy, but to bring your caramel to the next level, you need to focus on its texture.


If you have ever made caramel sauce, you're off to a great start. However, if this is your first time making caramel, one thing to remember is not to walk away from the stovetop. I repeat, do not take your eyes off that pot. That means no answering the phone, no bathroom breaks, and no YouTube (we all know how easy it is to get distracted there). You also want to make sure you have a pastry brush and a bowl of cold water handy. To prevent sugar crystals from forming on the sides of the pan, a wet pastry brush will do the trick. Once you do it once, however, you'll be an old pro.

After a trial run, you'll find making caramels to be a cinch. Just be careful how you apply this new knowledge, caramel consumption can easily get out of hand.

Check out these step-by-step directions from The Kitchn to learn how to whip up a batch of these morsels. Just make sure to read through the entire recipe before you begin so that you can continually watch that pot.

Variations on Caramel

Once you've mastered a basic caramel, it's time to take things up a notch and start experimenting with different flavors.

Try one, try them all. Just make sure to share!

1. Salted Caramel

BS' in the Kitchen

This classic variation is a must when you start getting fancy with your treats. Just make sure to get a good quality sea salt and don't add too much.

Try Maldon for a great flaky option. Get the recipe here.

2. Bourbon Caramel


Bourbon is the liquid form of caramel. Both treats have smokey, salty undertones with a breath of honey. Both are absolutely delightful and decadent.

But when you put the two parts of this indulgent equation together you get one answer: perfection. Get the recipe here.

3. Chocolate Caramel

Mel's Kitchen

No, this isn't chocolate fudge-tt's chocolate caramel! If you're making variations on this classic treat, why wouldn't you try adding chocolate? It's one of the natural pairings in the dessert world.

Just make sure you know what you're doing so that you can maintain the satiny, softer caramel texture. Get the recipe here.

4. Almond Caramel


Sometimes you want to add a bit of texture and crunch to an otherwise silky dessert. That is where almonds come in.

Toast them, pair them with a hint of orange zest, and you will find yourself with a treat to please all the senses.

Get the recipe here.

5. Rose Water + Orange Blossom Caramel

Maureen Abood

Browned butter, rich rose, and velvety orange come together to transport your senses to another dimension. This is like no caramel you've ever had the joy of sampling.

Get the recipe here.

6. Cardamom Caramel

Sweet & Savory

A little bit of spice and a lot a bit of nice, you will find these little squares of joy to be pleasantly addictive.

Get the recipe here.

7. Blood Orange Caramel

Husbands that Cook

Citrus contrasts admirably with buttery caramels to blend into this dreamy rendition of a classic.

Get the caramel recipe here.

8. Gingerbread Caramel

Love & Olive Oil

Gingerbread is not just for Christmas. And now you can have an excuse to enjoy those beautifully balanced flavors year-round with this recipe.

Get the recipe here.

9. Black Sesame Caramel

Belly Rumbles

This unusual addition to a classic chewy caramel is surprisingly compelling. The toasty flavor of black sesame is perfectly suited for the dark flavor profile of caramel.

Get the recipe here.

10. Coffee Caramel

Girl Cooks World

What doesn't coffee go with? It certainly goes with chocolate, so why wouldn't it belong comfortably with its other natural counterpart, caramel?

Get the recipe here.

11. Honey, Pistachio, Saffron Caramels


Traditionally called sohan asali, these loaded caramels are a popular feature at many a Persian New Year's table.

Complex and aromatic, these treats are sure to satisfy even the most adventurous caramel enthusiast. Get the recipe here.

This post was originally published on February 21, 2017. 

Read More: Craving a Brownie, But Not 12? Learn How to Bake a Brownie for One