Coconut Caramels

Coconut Caramels

Making your own candy may seem daunting, but time and attention are all you need. This recipe calls for two sugars: granulated, which provides the base for your caramel, and an inverted sugar, corn syrup, which stabilizes and keeps the caramel from crystalizing. The line between soft-chewy and hard candy is a delicate one, so a candy thermometer is recommended for precision. Ginger and cardamom will add a nice zing, but lean into other warm spices, such as cinnamon, black pepper or chili powder, if that’s what you have on hand. A final coat of toasted, finely shredded coconut lends an almost buttery crunch, and prevents the pieces from sticking. Wrap up individually if you have the time: These are made for sharing and can be frozen for up to a month.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 72 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the coconut flakes in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast until light golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Step 2

    Brush an 8-inch baking dish generously with coconut oil or coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle about 3 to 4 tablespoons of toasted coconut in an even layer on the bottom of the pan, and set aside.
  3. Step 3

    In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the coconut cream, sugar, corn syrup and sea salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil, stirring frequently especially toward the end, until a candy thermometer reaches 250 degrees and caramel is a light golden brown and thickened, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the ginger and cardamom.
  4. Step 4

    Pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Once the caramel stops bubbling and the surface forms a thin skin, about 3 minutes, sprinkle another 4 tablespoons toasted coconut across the surface. Allow to cool at room temperature and set completely, about 2 hours.
  5. Step 5

    Run a spatula around the sides of the baking dish, loosen and lift the caramel, and move onto a board or clean surface.
  6. Step 6

    Slice the caramel into 8 (1-inch-wide) strips, then across into 1/2-inch pieces, so you have about 72 caramels. Roll the sides of each piece in more toasted coconut. Wrap as individual sweets using 4- to 5-inch squares of parchment, wax paper, or cellophane, or use store-bought candy wrappers, twisting the ends to seal. Store at room temperature in a cool dry place. Caramels will keep stored at room temp for up to 7 days or frozen after wrapping for up to 1 month.