Super Easy Microwave Caramel

My aunt Mary shared this sweet recipe several years ago and it’s by far the tastiest caramel I’ve ever had… and since you make it in the microwave, it’s super easy too!  I love to use it for caramel corn, or dipped pretzel rods!

Photo credit

Caramel Candy

½ c. butter
½ c. brown sugar
½ c. white sugar
½ c. Karo syrup
½ c. Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk (got this in my stockpile from last years sale still!)

Combine all ingredients in microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, then stir and return to microwave for additional 1 minute. Continue to do this (probably 2-3 more times) until carmel forms a soft ball, and is a chewy consistency. Careful not to cook too long—it’s better too soft than too hard!

When using this for dipping pretzel rods, dip into warm caramel, then place on parchment paper to cool.  Enough caramel to make about 15-20 sticks.

Meal Type: Sauces, Spreads, and Dressings, Gluten Free

Comments & Reviews

  • Jenny Mertes

    How do you store it? Does it need to be refrigerated? Thinking of making this to dip apple slices in, but wouldn’t use much at a time.

    • Cathy of Fabulessly Frugal

      I’d just put it in an air tight container and leave it on the counter. It usually doesn’t stick around long enough though. YUMMY with apples!

  • MaMaLaLa

    You can also freeze them in an air tight container. Just made a batch of these tonight!

  • Annie

    If I do heat it a bit longer, could I cut it into pieces and wrap them individually?? {my mouth is salivating just thinking about this whole idea …} 🙂

    • Cathy of Fabulessly Frugal

      Absolutely! Do you know how to do the cold water thing to test the caramel? When I made this last night, we had extra caramel (not enough popcorn), so I put some in a glass pie dish and spread it around. It’s a little too soft for wrapping, so for sure cook it longer. I think I ended up cooking mine for 7-8 minutes (stopping every minute).

  • Heather@Creative Family Moments

    A little late to the party… but I’m wondering how you use this for caramel popcorn. Do you just make the caramel and pour over popped popcorn? Do you have to then bake the popcorn?

    • Cathy of Fabulessly Frugal

      Hi Heather, I just pop the popcorn and then poor the hot carmel over the top and stir. I don’t bake the popcorn afterwards because I like it gooey and chewy. 😀 I store it in a ziploc back usually. Hope that helps!

  • Leann

    I’m getting ready to make this for some covered pretzels. My question is…does it matter whether you use light or dark Karo syrup?? What is the difference?? Thanks in advance. :o)

    • Cathy

      It shouldn’t matter. I suspect it’ll change the color slightly is all. 🙂

      • Leann

        Thanks for answering so quickly, I wasn’t sure if the dark had molasses in it?? Also, I forgot to ask. Is it okay to do a double batch at one time, or should I do each batch separately? Should it matter, I thought that it might be too thick if I do too much at one time.

        • Cathy

          I’m not sure on the molasses thing, and I am pretty sure doubling works fine. If I recall you just have to microwave it a bit longer. You pretty much can’t fail on this!

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