Caramel Recipes

Caramel is a staple of the dessert world for good reason

Caramel is a staple of the dessert world for good reason. It adds not just sweetness, but richness and depth, to whatever it's cooked into, mixed with, or drizzled on. From nutty brittles to decadent cakes to fruity pies, we've rounded up our favorite caramel recipes.

The most basic way to enjoy caramel is as a sauce that you can serve on ice cream, pie, or anything else you want. Making your own caramel sauce is incredibly easy—in just 20 minutes you can whip up a batch of our salted caramel sauce. The salt intensifies the sweetness of the caramel. If you want something more adventurous try our fried chicken caramel—yes, it's really made with chicken skin, fat, and stock. It might sound weird, but the sweet-savory combo is totally delicious.

Mix buttery caramel with nuts, let it cool, and you have brittle. This crunchy dessert is a great gift, though you might want to keep it around to snack on yourself. Our pecan pie brittle uses broken peanuts and vanilla to evoke the Southern classic. A little more savory is our pine nut brittle scented with rosemary.

We love the combination of bananas and caramel. In our banana tarte tatin, tart Manzano bananas are set on a layer of rich caramel, covered in puff pastry, and baked. Glacéed bananas are an addictive treat. To make them, bananas are quartered, deep-fried, and dipped in caramel. Shocking them in ice water hardens the caramel into a crispy shell.

Find all of these dishes and more in our collection of caramel recipes.

Croquembouche

Croquembouche

Literally named "crunch in the mouth," croquembouche is an edible monument of caramelized pastry.Todd Coleman
Flaxseed Caramels

Flaxseed Caramels

Flaxseeds add a toasted depth an sophisticated note to these chewy caramels—a heritage recipe Wetzel found when he took over the inn.Charity Burggraaf
Salted Caramel Sauce

Salted Caramel Sauce

This simple salted caramel sauce is the perfect topping on ice cream, cakes, bread pudding, and other desserts.Matt Taylor-Gross
Baked Custard with Caramel Sauce (Leche Asada)

Baked Custard with Caramel Sauce (Leche Asada)

This classic custard is ubiquitous in Chile, where it is served in cups for a quick afternoon snack or baked in a larger pan for a family-style dessert.Matt Taylor-Gross
Fried Chicken Caramel

Fried Chicken Caramel

Think of it as the more refined version of bacon popping up in your dessert: In this creative caramel adapted from Coolhaus, an ice cream sandwich maker with a national fleet of ice cream trucks, schmaltz and salty chicken bouillon add a subtle thrum of savory to store-bought caramel sauce, while crispy chicken skin lends the perfect crunch. Your guests will never guess the secret ingredient.Matt Taylor-Gross
Coffee Honeycomb Crunch

Coffee Honeycomb Crunch

Adding baking soda to molten sugar creates bubbles that get trapped once the mixture cools. The hardened result has an airy, honeycomb-like structure. Morgenstern’s of New York City adds honey and instant coffee to its version of this candy, which, when crushed up, becomes a bittersweet, crunchy topping that offsets the sweetness of ice cream.Matt Taylor-Gross
Apple Pie Ice Cream Pie

Apple Pie Ice Cream Pie

A crust of finely ground gingersnap cookie crumbs adds delicious crunch to a pie of caramel-drizzled, maple-apple ice cream. Get the recipe for Apple Pie Ice Cream Pie »Maxime Iattoni
Classic Caramel Corn

Classic Caramel Corn

Crunchy, sweet homemade caramel corn can be made even better with the addition of nuts or chocolate chips.Todd Coleman

White Truffle-Pistachio Caramel Corn

White Truffle-Pistachio Caramel Corn
A combination of earthy white truffles and salty pistachios puts a decadent twist on classic caramel corn.Yossy Arefi
Caramel Apple Butter

Caramel Apple Butter

Rich caramel sauce adds creamy sweetness to standard apple butter; spread it on toast, use it to fill pastries, or just eat it with a spoon.Laura Sant
Coconut Milk Caramels

Coconut Milk Caramels

Chewy, pleasantly salty caramels are flavored simply with coconut milk and sugar.Anna Stockwell

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Salted Caramel Apple Pie
A deep-dish pie is packed with both sweet and tart apples to balance the rich, salted caramel sauce. Get the recipe for Salted Caramel Apple Pie »Andrew Ingalls
Caramel Lassi

Caramel Lassi

This sweet riff on the Indian yogurt drinks known as lassis comes from Lingaraj Lassi, a popular refreshment stand in Bhubaneshwar in the east Indian state of Odisha. Its honeyed taste and caramel hue come from the sugars in the milk, which caramelize as the milk reduces, deepening and intensifying it in color and flavor.James Roper

Crepes Cajeta

Crepes Cajeta
Cajeta, a homemade caramel used in traditional Mexican desserts, is a terrific sauce to have on hand for drizzling over ice cream or baked treats.Helen Rosner
Lavender Earl Grey Caramel

Lavender Earl Grey Caramel

Lavender and Earl Grey tea lend this caramel sauce a citrusy, floral note—serve it warm on top of ice cream.Yossy Arefi

Caramel-Apple Pie

Caramel apple pie recipe
A cinnamon-spiced sauce of butter and melted caramel candies poured over apples makes a wonderfully sweet, gooey pie filling.James Roper
Glacéed Bananas

Glacéed Bananas

Inspired by a dessert from Beijing's China Club restaurant, chef and restaurateur Cecilia Chiang coats fried bananas in a thin, delicate shell of caramel.Ingalls Photography
Dark Chocolate Matzo Brittle

Dark Chocolate Matzo Brittle

You can tailor this crisp kosher dessert by using white, milk or dark chocolate, sliced almonds or dried cranberries, or even omitting the chocolate all together. Get the recipe for Dark Chocolate Matzo Brittle »Helen Rosner
Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

A veil of luscious caramel sauce cloaks a gooey, indulgent bread pudding from Canada's Prince Edward Island.Gemma and Andrew Ingalls
Banana Tarte Tatin

Banana Tarte Tatin

Try using tart, apple-like Manzano bananas for this delicious take on the classic French dessert, which is traditionally made with apples.Todd Coleman
Rose's Famous Caramel Cake

Rose's Famous Caramel Cake

This buttery cake slathered with rich caramel icing has earned local fame on Chicago's South Side—it's one of our favorites to make for special occasions.James Oseland
Pecan Pie Brittle

Pecan Pie Brittle

This twist on traditional pecan pie provides a snack-able ending to any holiday feast.Todd Coleman
Banoffee Pie

Banoffee Pie

An irresistible British dessert, banoffee pie has its share of fanatics on this side of the pond, too. Banana slices, sticky toffee, and whipped cream are arranged in layers over a cookie-like crust, resulting in a dense, cool treat.Maxime Iattoni
White Chocolate Bread Pudding

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

This decadent take on an iconic New Orleans dessert, from Mat & Naddie's Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana, gilds the lily, pan-frying white chocolate-enriched bread pudding, and plating it with satiny caramel and brûléed bananas. Using caramelized white chocolate gilds it even more.Todd Coleman
Pine Nut Brittle

Pine Nut Brittle

Crunchy, salty, and rosemary-scented, pine nut brittle makes a great gift.Noah Fecks
Peppermint Caramels

Peppermint Caramels

Chewy caramel topped with crushed peppermint candies is one of many versions of kola, a kind of semisoft toffee adored all over Sweden.Todd Coleman
Salted Caramels

Salted Caramels

Michael Laiskonis, executive pastry chef at New York City's Le Bernardin, gave us the recipe for these caramel candies.Todd Coleman