vanilla caramels with sea salt

I admit, I never thought that vegan caramels could be as good as their heavy cream and butter-filled counterparts.

I’m such a fool sometimes.

I made these dairy-free treats for some very special people that I am grateful to have in my life. They’re the kind of people that make you laugh so hard you find yourself unable to catch your breath. They’re the kind of people that you miss the moment they walk out the door. Hopefully they’re also the kind of people that eat caramels, because I didn’t ask before I mailed these tiny bits of awesome their way.

Vanilla Caramels with Sea Salt (or without sea salt, it’s totally up to you)
Ingredients from The Glad Cow Cookbook
Makes 100 caramels

You’ll need a candy thermometer, a large pot (around 4 quarts) and a 8×8 square pan.


  • 1 cup Earth Balance
  • 2 cups vegan granulated sugar
  • 2 cups plain soy milk
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Making caramels requires a bit of patience. It’s worth it, I promise.

Grease your square pan with Earth Balance and line with parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine all ingredients except for the vanilla into a large pot (around 4 quarts)

Set heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Don’t let it boil too quickly. It should take around 10 minutes.

As soon as the liquid begins to boil, turn down to low-medium heat and clip on your candy thermometer. Allow the liquid to bubble, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 250 degrees (firm ball stage).

This should take around 35-40 minutes. If it hasn’t reached 250 after 40 minutes, increase the heat gradually until it reaches the desired temperature.

Once it hits 250, remove from the stove, stir in the vanilla and pour into the 8×8 pan. Don’t scrape the sides of the pot, just let whatever caramel remains there to stay.

Allow your caramel to cool to room temperature. It’s best to place the pan on a wire rack to speed up the process.

Once cool, remove the parchment and caramel from the pan. Cover a sharp knife with Earth Balance and slice your caramel into pieces.

If you choose to use sea salt, now’s the time to salt your caramels. You can use any kind that you’d like.

This day, I chose to use Himalayan pink salt…

and some coarse sea salt from Trader Joe’s.

Special people deserve a salt-shaped heart, don’t you think?

The sweet and the salty together make my mouth so very happy. Wrap your caramels in some wax paper and you’re ready to go!

Keep an eye on the remaining salt, or this might happen

Can you see what he’s sitting on?


I promise I didn’t use that salt. But I did let him sit on it for as long as he wanted. In return, he let me use his tummy as a pillow while I watched The Office.

12 thoughts on “vanilla caramels with sea salt

    • You’re welcome! Oh and I hope you realize that telling me happy early birthday does not get you off the hook for wishing me happy birthday on my actual birthday. That’s just not how it works.

  1. Ok, where do I start. 1. I love earth balance too! 2. Pink Himalayan salt is one of my favorite things! and 3. I love salted caramels! When I lived in Ann Arbor, there was a deli (Zingerman’s) that sold salted caramels for $2.50 a pop. And you know, I BOUGHT THEM! but only on special occasions :) Thanks for sharing!!!!

  2. question! recipe says this makes 100 caramels! wow! and the 8×8 pan looks deeper than the look of your cut caramels. any clarification would be great! thanks so much :)

    • Hi Emmie! It did make 100 caramels but I cut them really small, about 1″ x 1/2″ so I had 8 rows and then 16 pieces per row. And it looks deeper because I actually did a pretty crappy job of pouring the caramels into that pan. The sides were covered in caramel but the actual layer of caramel was way down at the bottom. Next time I’ll definitely use a longer pan and I’ll pour more slowly. Let me know if you try them out!

  3. Tried this, so yummy! One question–I was sure not to scrape the sides when pouring into tr pan, but darker bits still ended up in it. Any trick to avoiding this cosmetic flaw?

    • Oh man, to be honest, mine are always full of flecks, but I have a suggestion. I haven’t tried this yet, but I’ve seen others use soy creamer instead of soy milk and I think the thickness of the soy creamer will make the caramels look more silky smooth :)

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