The addition of creamy chocolate morphs these soft caramels into a chewy, fudge-like consistency. What is the Christmas season without caramel!?

What would the holiday season be without homemade caramels, I ask you?

Caramels happened to make an appearance during last year’s Sugar Rush. My mom’s famous caramels to be exact.

But this year I wanted to try a chocolate version – little did I know it would be as easy as adding chocolate to the initial caramel mixture.

Squares of chocolate caramel on small sheets or parchment paper.

I went with a different recipe this year and wow. Wow. WOW!

These were beyond delicious. The soft chocolate-infused caramel about sent me into chocolate-caramel heaven.

Seriously, these caramels are beyond divine.

The addition of creamy, dreamy chocolate morphs these caramels into a chewy, fudge-like consistency. Definitely caramelly but still deepened to a rich, decadent consistency the likes I’ve never seen.

Be sure to check out the Candy Thermometer page for information on calibrating and using a candy thermometer and see below the recipe for step-by-step pictures on the chocolate caramels.

Click on the Sugar Rush button to the right to see all the Sugar Rush recipes so far!

Three parchment wrapped chocolate caramels on top of a red and green ribbon.

One Year Ago: Caramel Shortbread Cookies
Two Years Ago: Holiday Morning Buns


Soft Chocolate Caramels

4.38 stars (53 ratings)


  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups (424 g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 ½ sticks (170 g) butter
  • 1 cup (170 g) dark chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Lightly butter a 9X13-inch pan and set aside.
  • In a heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan, combine the water, sugar, vanilla, condensed milk, corn syrup, butter and chocolate. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant rubber spatula. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, ensuring that the tip of the thermometer isn’t touching the bottom of the pan and is inserted at least 1-2 inches into the liquid (or according to your thermometer’s directions).
  • Continue stirring while the mixture boils and cooks, until the caramels reach 245 degrees F. If the caramels seem to be scorching on the bottom of the pan, moderate the heat to a lower temperature. You can also test the caramels using a spoon and dropping a pea-sized amount of the hot caramel into cold water. If the cooled piece of caramel is firm but not hard, the caramel is properly cooked.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the salt. Pour the caramels into the prepared pan and allow to cool completely to room temperature, at least 2 hours.
  • When cool, remove the sheet of caramels from the pan. Cut the caramels into pieces using a large knife or bench scraper.


Caramels: for regular caramels, simply omit the chocolate and proceed with the recipe.
Butter: also, if you prefer using unsalted butter, increase the salt amount to 1 teaspoon.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Chocolate and Confections by The Culinary Institute of America

Combine all of the ingredients but the salt in a large pot. Caramels tend to foam and bubble so use a larger pot to accommodate boiling over.

stainless steel pot with caramel ingredients starting to melt and a rubber spatula inside

Cook the mixture and stir as it dissolves.

ingredients for chocolate caramel melting in a large pot

Almost there.

chocolate caramel liquid in a large stainless steel pot

There we go. Nice and dissolved.

chocolate caramel liquid mixture in a large stainless steel pot

Continue cooking until the mixture comes to a boil. Clip your candy thermometer onto the side of the pot.

chocolate caramel starting to boil in a large pot

Stir constantly while the mixture cooks.

chocolate caramel mixture starting to come to a rapid boil in a large pot

You can see how as the cooking process goes on, the bubbles get smaller and closer together.

chocolate caramel mixture with a rapid boil in a large stainless steel pot

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the salt.

chocolate caramel mixture in a pot with a rubber spatula

Pour the caramels into the buttered pan. It’s going to be hot, baby, so be careful!

large pot pouring caramel mixture into a pan

Let the caramels harden at room temperature for at least 2 hours. It may take longer for them to cool enough to cut so just judge according to your kitchen temp, etc.

chocolate caramel mixture poured into a 9x13 pan

Cut the caramels into strips.

chocolate caramel rolled into a log shape

Then into little squares.

small squares of chocolate caramels on a white cutting board

Then place the caramel on small squares of wax paper…

small squares of chocolate caramels on a white cutting and one on a piece of parchment

Twist the ends and you’re done! Oh, wait, except for the other 100 caramels you have to wrap. It’s worth it, trust me!

small square of chocolate caramel on a white cutting board with one wrapped in parchment paper