12 Recipes That Feature Caramel as the Star

Posted: April 5, 2023 1:00 pm

National Caramel Day is set for Wednesday, April 5. This date celebrates the beloved confection that is an ingredient in many desserts. Caramel is made by combining milk and fat to make a sugary syrup that is heated until it reaches the perfect consistency, sweetness, and distinctive light brown color. Here are 12 desserts using caramel that you can make for this date.

Homemade Caramel Popcorn

One of the most popular ways to enjoy caramel is on popcorn. This homemade caramel popcorn is easier than you think to pull off. You can use either air popped or microwave popped popcorn for this recipe as long as you take care to remove all of the unpopped kernels. The homemade caramel sauce is made with sweet cream salted butter, light brown sugar, vanilla, and baking soda. That is all that you need for this delicious recipe.

Salted Cashew and Caramel Chews

Salt and caramel go together like peanut butter and jelly, making these salted cashew and caramel chews a match made in heaven. The base of the chew is made with butter, brown sugar, eggs, caramel topping, flour, baking soda, and vanilla extract. Chocolate chips and cashews are mixed into this base and baked until golden. A drizzle of melted chocolate and a sprinkle of chopped cashews finish off this indulgence.

Easy Salted Caramel Cheesecake


Orville Redenbacher’s Original Gourmet Popping Corn Kernels, 8 lb.

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This easy salted caramel cheesecake will make a great dessert for your dinner on National Caramel Day. A classic graham cracker crust holds all of the cheesecake filling, made with cream cheese, vanilla, sour cream, and eggs. The distinguishing ingredient in the filling is undoubtedly the homemade caramel sauce. Another layer of caramel sauce and a sprinkling of toffee finishes this buttery and creamy cheesecake beautifully. Be sure to store this cheesecake in your refrigerator after it is finished.

Caramel Pecan Shortbread Bars

Everyone will go crazy for these caramel pecan shortbread bars. The buttery shortbread base comes together with the sweet caramel and toasted pecans for a lovely texture. The addition of espresso powder gives the bars a bit of oomph. A dusting of sea salt is the last thing that makes these bars stand out from the usual desserts. The bars will need to rest so that they harden fully after the caramel is poured on top of the baked shortbread. This makes it important to leave yourself plenty of time in the preparation process.

Chocolate Caramel Trifle Cake

This chocolate caramel trifle cake is perfection with every bite. The layered dessert features rich chocolate cake, pudding, whipped cream, and a decadent caramel drizzle. What could be better than this? You can use a store-bought cake or mix or make your cake base from scratch. Serve this in a large trifle bowl or use small individual serving bowls. It will taste amazing either way.

Caramel Pear Pudding

This unique caramel pear pudding dessert is a fun way to commemorate National Caramel Day. The sweet pears are enveloped in a caramel sauce along with cinnamon and nutmeg to create a dessert masterpiece. This caramel pear pudding tastes wonderful right out of the oven alongside a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or whipped topping. While this is certainly an indulgent dessert, you will feel good knowing that you also got in some fruit.

Salted Caramel Banana Pudding

This salted caramel banana pudding takes a quintessential Southern dessert recipe and gives it a new twist. Dive into the layers of fresh banana slices, vanilla wafer cookies, and pudding. Within the layers, you will find salted caramel swirls. The pudding is crowned with fresh whipped cream and cookie crumbles. You can make this dessert up to a day in advance and refrigerate it until eating. Nobody will ever want to eat banana pudding without the caramel sauce ever again after trying this beauty.

Bourbon Salted Caramel Oatmeal Cookies

These bourbon salted caramel oatmeal cookies are soft and chewy and everything that you would want from a cookie. The salted caramel contrasts beautifully with the sweet and buttery cookie dough. Keep in mind that the dough needs to chill for a bit so you will want to plan ahead. You can use your favorite variety of bourbon whiskey or whatever you have on hand. These cookies will go quickly so you might want to double the recipe if you are feeding a crowd.

Skillet Apple Pie Recipe with Homemade Caramel Sauce

Is there anything more comforting than the scent of a homemade apple pie? This skillet apple pie recipe with homemade caramel sauce is both classic and trendy. After melting butter and brown sugar in a cast iron skillet, you will place a pie crust over the homemade caramel. Top this pie crust with sliced apples and another layer of crust. The caramel sauce will bubble up and fill in all of the holes. The whole thing then bakes in the oven, filling your entire house with the mouth-watering aroma. Top this goodness with whipped topping or vanilla ice cream. You can even add more caramel sauce to the top if you are in the mood to go all out.

Cinnamon Caramel Cake Batter Pancakes

While not technically a dessert, these cinnamon caramel cake batter pancakes will satisfy any sweets craving. A vanilla cake mix forms the base of these pancakes. You will want to make your pancakes thin so that you can layer them with the salted caramel sauce in between each one. Top your stack with crunchy walnuts and sweet pomegranates. These pancakes are so sweet that you will not even need to use maple syrup, however, nobody will fault you for adding a dollop of whipped cream to your stack.

Homemade Caramel Apples

Caramel apples are not just for the fall. You can enjoy this treat any time of the year if you learn to make them in your own kitchen. This easy caramel apples recipe will get you started. The homemade caramel is made using heavy cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla extract. You will want to thoroughly wash your apples to remove the waxy coating so that the caramel properly sticks to the surface. Any variety of apple can be used in this recipe, however, many people prefer the tart taste of the Granny Smith to contrast with the sweet caramel. A candy thermometer is an invaluable tool in the preparation of these caramel apples.

Caramel Frappuccino

This copycat recipe for a Starbucks caramel frappuccino is a great way to get your caffeine fix while enjoying the taste of caramel. The drink is made by blending caramel syrup with espresso, milk, and ice, finished off with a swirl of whipped cream. The result is an icy and refreshing drink. How strong you make this coffee drink is up to you. Feel free to use espresso for a stronger drink or you can go with instant or cold brew varieties.

National Caramel Day may end up being your favorite day of the month if you use it as an excuse to try one or more of these delicious recipes. What could go wrong with caramel as the star?

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