Spiced Caramels

Spiced Caramels Recipe

This spiced caramels recipe is sinfully easy to make but really impressive when finished. The garam masala and vanilla bean add depth of flavor, and of course, the salty-sweet combo is delicious. Homemade confections are so much fun when you’re entertaining.–Aliya LeeKong


OGM. No, we don’t mean OMG. We mean OGM. As in, “Oh, garam masala.” Because that’s what’s responsible for the sweetly earthy loveliness in these moan-inducing spiced caramels. It’s one of those things where once you tasted it, you’re overwhelmed. If you’ll excuse us, we have sticky fingers, so we’re going to stop gushing (and awkwardly typing) and go back to indulging.

Spiced Caramels

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 3 H
  • Makes 70 to 80 1/2-inch caramels

Special Equipment: candy thermometer

5/5 - 1 reviews
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  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes, plus more for the pan
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • Flaky or coarse sea salt, for sprinkling


  • 1. Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan (or, for thinner caramels, a 9-by-13-inch baking dish) with foil or parchment paper and butter the foil or paper.
  • 2. In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream, butter, vanilla bean and seeds, table salt, and garam masala to a boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and carefully fish out the vanilla bean.
  • 3. In a large saucepan, heat the honey and sugar over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches 280°F (138°C), stirring just in the beginning with a heatproof spatula. Brush down the sugar on the sides of the pan occasionally with a wet pastry brush.
  • 4. When the sugar mixture reaches the designated temperature, carefully strain the heavy cream mixture into it. Stand back, as the ingredients will bubble and spatter. Continue to cook until it reaches 250°F (121°C).
  • 5. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan and cool at room temperature for a half hour. Transfer to the fridge, uncovered, for a minimum of 2 hours.
  • 6. Transfer the cooled caramel to a cutting board, using the foil or paper to help release the caramel from the pan. Sprinkle the slab of caramel with the salt. Cut as desired. (If it’s been in the fridge longer than 2 hours, you may need to let it come closer to room temperature before you’ll be able to cut them. Store the caramels individually wrapped or spaced apart (they tend to stick together!) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks.

Recipe Testers Reviews

Oh. My. Goodness. I made this spiced caramels recipe thinking they'd make a lovely gift for friends and family at the holidays, but there weren't enough—we couldn't stop eating them! These are perfectly spiced, sweetened, and salted—the balance of flavors is perfection. I don't know that a 9-by-5-inch pan is really the best vessel for these. I found better cooling times and cuts in a 9-by-13-inch pan, but I think it really depends on how you plan to store them. We did long rectangular cuts and rolled them in candy foil, which we then stuck inside an airtight jar. The rolling took a long time, but it wasn't difficult. These caramels were easy to make, easy to roll, and will be a staple in our household once we get past our current sugar rush!


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  1. I don’t know where I went wrong with these. I used both a candy thermometer and a thermapen to check the temps along the way. The flavor is good, but at room temperature they will not hold their shape. I put mine on a plate and after time they turned into a pool of caramel, not quite runny enough to be sauce.

    1. Hi Julie, a couple of thoughts. Have you recently calibrated your thermometers? A couple of degrees off can often make a big difference. Also, what was your weather like when you were making the caramels? I always have a difficult time getting them to set properly when humidity is a factor. I would also try using the cold water method to check the set in addition to a thermometer. Hope this helps.

    2. Yes, I had the same problem. Very tasty recipe, but did not set properly. I was very pleased to find a recipe without corn syrup.. Will try again to be sure. If not, it is still great as a topper for ice cream or cookies.

      1. Hi Corey, I’m so sorry that these did not set up for you. We are going to run this recipe through testing to see if we can ascertain the problem. Couple of questions for you. Have you calibrated your thermometer? A couple of degrees off can often make a big difference. Also, what was your weather like when you were making the caramels? Humidity can be a factor. I would also try using the cold water method to check the set in addition to a thermometer. Hope this helps.

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