Orange & Vanilla Salted Cardamom Caramels

Sometimes you stumble across a recipe and magic happens. You read between the lines and you can see greatness unfolding. A tweak here and an adjustment there and something truly special happens.

If you're looking to capture the magic of the holiday season, these orange vanilla cardamom caramels are just the ticket.


Caramels can be tricky but the ingredients are the easy part. A little butter, some sugar, some cream and a few flavorings. Plus plenty of heat.


It's always hard to know when to stir and when to leave well enough alone. But this recipe didn't give me a whisper of trouble. Follow it to the letter and pay close attention to temperature and you'll have it made.

I mean look at that gorgeousness. How could you ever say no to that?


I did say these were SALTED caramels, didn't I? I'm pretty sure we established that up front. 


That's much better. 

The time-consuming part here is not really getting the caramel to temperature. Although that does require the patience of a saint. It's the cutting and the rolling of the candy. But once you have these tucked away in tidy little strips of parchment paper, you'll feel quite accomplished. I promise.


Orange Vanilla Cardamom Caramels

1 cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 cup white granulated sugar

1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 cup corn syrup

1/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon orange extract

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Parchment paper for the pan, and to use to wrap the candy

Nonstick cooking spray

Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with the parchment paper, making sure to leave some hanging over the edges. Spray the parchment with the nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. In a small pan, combine the butter, cream, and salt over medium-high heat until the butter melts. Remove from the heat. In another large saucepan (without any heat), combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and cardamom. Add a candy thermometer to the large pan. Turn on the heat to medium-high. Do not stir the mixture, but let it come to a boil. When the thermometer reaches 300 degrees F., turn off the heat and whisk in the cream mixture. Turn the heat back on to medium-high and bring it to a boil, again without stirring. The mixture will turn from a buttery color to a darker color. When the temperature reaches 250 degrees F., remove the pan from the heat and quickly whisk in the orange and vanilla extracts. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Allow to sit for at least 2 hours. Remove from the pan using the overhanging parchment paper. Cut the candy into thin rows down, and across, to the size you like. I cut mine into rectangular pieces, then rolled them slightly. Cut pieces of parchment paper into squares, longer than the candy. Roll them up in the paper and twist the edges. Store in sealed container.

Want more candy inspiration? Follow A Sweet Little Life on Pinterest.