Making caramel is a kind of alchemy: sugar transforms as it colors into something altogether deeper and more flavorful, still sweet but with a hint of bitterness. These 22 recipes use caramel to full advantage, from chewy candies to creamy sauces that are perfect drizzled on ice cream.
Salted Caramel Apple Pie
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.
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.
Flan de Caramelo (Caramel Flan)
Luscious, eggy, caramel-coated custard is a favorite in Buenos Aires, and the perfect sweet ending to a languorous meal.
See the recipe for Flan de Caramelo (Caramel Flan) »
Caramel Apple Butter
A cinnamon-spiced sauce of butter and melted caramel candies poured over apples makes a wonderfully sweet, gooey pie filling.
Mini caramels flavored with almond, orange zest, and syrup make simple, delicious treats (and wonderful gifts).
A combination of earthy white truffles and salty pistachios puts a decadent twist on classic caramel corn.
Get the recipe for White Truffle-Pistachio Caramel Corn »
Lavender and Earl Grey tea lend this caramel sauce a citrusy, floral note—serve it warm on top of ice cream.
Crunchy, sweet homemade caramel corn can be made even better with the addition of nuts or chocolate chips. This recipe first appeared in our Jan/Feb 2013 issue along with our article
Caramel Corn. Get the recipe for Classic Caramel Corn »
Chewy caramel topped with crushed peppermint candies is one of many versions of kola, a kind of semisoft toffee adored all over Sweden.
Sticky caramel and dark chocolate are a natural pair. We found using that darker, Dutch-process cocoa powder in this recipe makes for a more flavorful, cookie-like crust.
Get the recipe for Chocolate Caramel Tart »
Chewy, pleasantly salty caramels are flavored simply with coconut milk and sugar.
A rich bread pudding served with vanilla cream sauce makes for an equally indulgent breakfast or dessert.
See the recipe for Caramel Apple Strata »
A smooth sauce made from sweetened condensed milk finds a textural counterpoint in nutty toasted coconut atop classic caramel corn.
Michael Laiskonis, executive pastry chef at New York City’s
Le Bernardin, gave us the recipe for these caramel candies. Be sure to wrap them individually in wax paper to store them. Get the recipe for Salted Caramels »
These cakey brownies are loaded with gooey caramels and marshmallows, crunchy nuts, and melty shards of chocolate.
Get the recipe for Rocky Road Brownies »
Buttery layer cake draped in caramel fudge, with its over-the-top grandeur and unapologetic sweetness, is a Southern classic.
Buttery shortbread meets gooey caramel meets salty pretzels in cookie bar form. We love that the caramel calls for sugar, honey, and maple syrup; it creates a multifaceted sweetness that pairs beautifully with the pretzel’s salt.
Literally named “crunch in the mouth,” croquembouche is an edible monument of caramelized pastry.
Caramel-crumb bars made with sweetened condensed milk are a cookie jar staple in New Zealand.
See the recipe for Caramel-Crumb Bars »
What could be better than gooey, delicious caramel-coated apples? Gooey, delicious caramel-coated apples with nuts.
Fuji apples hold their shape perfectly when baked and coated in caramel.
Indulge in a creamy, frosty blend of caramel and vanilla.
Cinna-Myron Caramel Rolls
Sweet and goeey, these rolls are everything a breakfast confection should be. **
See the recipe for Cinna-Myron Caramel Rolls »**