This homemade caramel recipe is easy to make in a snap! Use it to make caramel popcorn, caramel apples, or just a delicious bowl of caramel for dipping. It is sure to be a new fall favorite.

This easy homemade caramel recipe is perfect for Fall - Tips from Fun Cheap or Free

Today, I've got an amazing homemade caramel recipe that I've been making for years! It's perfect for caramel apples, caramel popcorn, dipping sauce, bathing in, the norm. It's not only a cost-effective way to enjoy caramel, but it's homemade so it's healthier for you. You're welcome. This is a perfect example of a recipe for shelf cooking since you probably have all the ingredients on hand.

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Bubba's mom has always made this recipe for caramel popcorn (check out how to make it below!), but I prefer it for making caramel apples. However you choose to use it, enjoy it! It's crazy easy to make and it will have you enjoying your Fall season (or pretending that it's Fall while you eat it!). Alright, so let's get on to the…


This recipe is originally from the Page Family recipe book (from the recipe book Christmas gift I mention HERE). I love using recipes that have been passed down from generations before, it just makes them extra special that way!


The key to making homemade caramel is to continue whisking over medium to medium-low heat (so that it doesn't burn) until it gets to the desired thickness for you. I prefer to pull mine off the heat right before it reaches the soft-ball stage. If you were to drop some into a glass of water, you should be able to smush the caramel into a little ball without it dissolving in the water. At this point, it's easy to drizzle over popcorn or make caramel apples with.

This recipe makes for some delicious caramel apples - Tips from Fun Cheap or Free

If you're wanting a thicker caramel for dipping, or wanting to make it into candies, then continue heating it until you can form a ball with your fingers once it's out of the water. You can also use a candy thermometer if you know what temperature you want your caramel to reach. Once it's done cooking, you can use it right away or store it in a jar in the refrigerator.


To reheat, simply microwave for 20 seconds at a time (stirring in between) until melted, or heat on very low heat on the stove or in a small slow cooker. For our caramel apple bars, we keep it in our small slow cooker on the lowest setting. Works like a champ!


Enjoy this over apples, popcorn, dipped pretzel rods (see HERE), or any other decadent treat you can imagine. You can also make your own caramel candies with this recipe!

Homemade Caramel

This homemade caramel recipe is so easy to make, using just a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand!


  • 2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Karo Syrup or any kind of light syrup
  • 8 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 14 Oz Can Sweetened Condensed Milk


  • Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat.
  • Whisk in sugar, then add syrup and milk.
  • Whisk on medium to medium-low heat until sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil.
  • Keep it lightly boiling and continue whisking on medium to medium-low until it comes to a soft-ball stage (*see notes), or until it reaches the desired thickness for you.
  • Store in a jar in the refrigerator.


*Soft-ball stage: If you drop some into a glass of water, you should be able to smush the caramel into a little ball without it dissolving in the water. For a firmer caramel, let it boil until you can form a ball with your fingers once it’s out of the water.

Doesn't that sound so easy? Give it a try and I can promise that you won't be sorry!


If you're a popcorn fan, then you HAVE to make your own caramel popcorn with your delicious homemade caramel! Put some plain popcorn in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the caramel over the top and mix it up well. Put in a large baking dish and bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before breaking it into pieces and completely devouring (you don't wanna burn your tongue!). 😉

Use it as a topping over popcorn - Tips from Fun Cheap or Free

Since I like to stock up in October (check out all the details HERE!), now is a great time to stock up on the ingredients to make this delicious and easy caramel. It makes a great gift, and provides a great snack for the upcoming holidays.

World’s Best (and easiest…) homemade caramel! Great for popcorn, apples, and anything dip-worthy. From Fun Cheap or Free

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Check out these posts while you're snacking on your caramel 😉

Happy dipping!