Espresso Caramels

Recipe created by Pastry Project graduate Rhonda Hawkins

Total Time 1.5 hours

Servings 40


  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ tsp espresso powder
  • ⅓ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Flaky sea salt, as needed for finishing
  • Pan spray or oil


  1. Cut parchment paper to 12”x 7”. Form parchment into the bottom of the loaf pan, then lightly grease with pan spray or oil. The edges will be a bit imperfect and crinkled – that’s okay.
  2. Stir together the vanilla and espresso powder
  3. Combine sweetened condensed milk, sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan. Begin cooking on medium heat, stirring constantly. Once mixture reaches 230 degrees F, add butter and salt and continue cooking while stirring constantly until caramel reaches 243 degrees F. Don’t be fooled – because this is a small amount of caramel, tip the pot and insert your thermometer in the deepest area to get an accurate read.
  4. Remove from heat stir in vanilla and espresso mixture, and pour immediately into prepared pan. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Set aside to cool for about 1 hour.
  5. Cut parchment paper into forty 4” squares.
  6. Place room temperature caramel slab onto a lightly greased cutting board.
  7. Lightly grease your knife with oil, then just trim off the imperfect edges of the caramel to create a clean rectangle. Cut the caramel slab into 1.5” strips. Cut those strips every ½” to make 1.5”x1/2” rectangles. Wrap each rectangle in parchment and twist the ends to secure.