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Caramel Filling

This caramel filling is thick, buttery, and perfect for just about any dessert! It sets firmly enough to fill cakes, cupcakes, macarons, and even cookies!

I used this recipe to make my Twix Cake and it works like a charm!! It really is the perfect consistency for layer cakes like this.

It’s thick enough to keep its shape but soft enough to easily cut through.

image of a twix cake that's been cut open to show its fluffy vanilla cake layers, thick caramel filling and shortbread crust

This recipe is based on Jodie Avery’s thick caramel sauce recipe! It’s a half batch of the original recipe, which I find is the perfect amount to fill a layer cake.

How to Make This Thick Caramel Filling

Let’s walk through each step of this recipe so that it turns out as amazing as possible! I’ve also included a video tutorial of the process below.

This recipe can be made up to a month in advance and stored in the fridge.

Start by adding the unsalted butter, light brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk into the saucepan.

image of sweetened condensed milk being poured into a pot to make a thick caramel filling

Heat over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the mixture starts to bubble.

image of thick caramel filling being cooked until it reaches 230 degrees Fahrenheit

Slowly stir in 1 Tbsp of heavy cream. Next, place a digital thermometer in the pan.

Then continue to stir until the mixture reaches 225 F / 107 C (just below soft ball stage). Remove from heat and add the vanilla and salt.

image of thick caramel filling being poured into a separate container to cool

Pour into a separate container to let it cool. Cover the bowl once it has reached room temperature. It should thicken up quite a bit as it cools.

image of thick caramel cake filling that's been cooled and has thickened and is ready to be added to a cake

How Much Caramel Does This Recipe Make?

This recipe makes about 2 1/4 cups of caramel filling, which is the perfect amount to fill an 8-inch layer cake or about 3 dozen cupcakes. This recipe can also be doubled or cut in half if needed.

image of a slice of a Twix cake on a plate, showing its shortbread crust, vanilla cake layers, thick caramel filling, and chocolate buttercream

Substitutions & Swaps in this Caramel Filling Recipe

Some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe include:

  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand, you can use it in place of the unsalted butter. Just be sure to omit the salt that this frosting recipe calls for. Or you can also use vegan butter in its place!
  • Heavy Cream – You can use whole milk or alternative milk (soy, almond, oat) instead of heavy cream or whipping cream if needed.
image of ingredients in a pot to make thick caramel filling

Tips for Making the Best Caramel Filling

  • Use a digital thermometer to make sure the mixture reaches 225 F / 107 C (just below the softball stage). This will ensure the caramel has a nice, thick consistency once it reaches room temperature.
  • Constantly stir the caramel as it cooks to prevent the mixture at the bottom of the pan from burning.
  • Pour the caramel into a separate container once it’s made so that it can cool to room temperature more quickly. If you leave the caramel in the hot pan as it cools, it can overcook the caramel and make it difficult to use.
image of thick caramel filling being added into a cake to make a Twix flavored cake

Making This Caramel Filling in Advance and Storage Tips

You can make this recipe up to a month in advance! Store it in an airtight container in the fridge.

It can also be stored at room temperature for 2 days in an airtight container.

To make the chilled filling easier to use, heat it in the microwave in 15-second intervals (stirring between), then pipe or scoop it into your dessert. It will set as it cools back down to room temperature.

image of a Twix cake that's been cut open to show its fluffy vanilla cake layers, thick caramel filling and shortbread crust

Let Me Know What You Think

I’d love to hear what you think about this recipe! Please leave a rating below and comment below.

Tag me @chelsweets and use #chelsweets on social media so I can see your amazing creations!

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Yield: 2 1/4 cups

Caramel Filling

image of thick caramel cake filling that's been cooled and has thickened and is ready to be added to a cake

This caramel filling is thick, buttery, and perfect for just about any dessert! It sets firmly enough to fill cakes, cupcakes, macarons, and cookies!

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes

Ingredients

Thick Caramel Filling

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (113g)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar (200g)
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup (120ml)
  • 7 oz or 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (198g)
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream or whipping cream, room temperature (15ml)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4ml)
  • 1 tsp salt (6g)

Instructions

Caramel Filling (Recipe based on Jodie Avery's Thick Caramel Sauce Recipe)

  1. Add 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, 1 cup of light brown sugar, 1/2 cup of corn syrup, and 7 oz. of sweetened condensed milk into a large saucepan.
  2. Heat over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the mixture starts to bubble.
  3. Slowly stir in 1 Tbsp of heavy cream. Place a digital thermometer in the pan at this point. Continue to stir until the caramel reaches 225 F / 107 C (just below soft ball stage).
  4. Remove from heat and add 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 tsp of salt. Pour into a separate container to let the caramel cool. Cover the bowl once the caramel has reached room temperature. This can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, or a month in the fridge.

Notes

Yield

This recipe makes about 2 1/4 cups of caramel filling, which is the perfect amount to fill an 8-inch layer cake or about 3 dozen cupcakes. This recipe can also be doubled or cut in half if needed.

My Tips for Making the Best Caramel Filling

  • Use a digital thermometer to make sure the mixture reaches 225 F / 107 C (just below the softball stage). This will ensure the caramel has a nice, thick consistency once it reaches room temperature.
  • Constantly stir the caramel as it cooks to prevent the mixture at the bottom of the pan from burning.
  • Pour the caramel into a separate container once it's made so that it can cool to room temperature more quickly. If you leave the caramel in the hot pan as it cools, it can overcook the caramel and make it difficult to use.
  • To make the caramel filling easier to use, heat it in the microwave in 15-second intervals (stirring between), then pipe or scoop it into your dessert It will set as it cools back down to room temperature.

Making This Caramel Filling in Advance & Storage Tips

The caramel can be stored at room temperature for 2 days or made up to a month in advance if stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Nutrition Information

Yield

2

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 1108Total Fat 55gSaturated Fat 34gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 151mgSodium 1266mgCarbohydrates 161gFiber 0gSugar 160gProtein 2g

Mary Campbell

Wednesday 27th of December 2023

Hello just wanted to ask if this filling can be used to frost a layer cake? Thanks much! Happy New Year!!!

Chelsweets

Sunday 31st of December 2023

Hi Mary,

While this caramel makes an amazing filling, it's a bit too thick to frost a cake with. I haven't tried it, but I feel like it would cause a lot of crumbing and would tear up the layers if you tried to spread it around a cake. I'm so sorry!

Hope you have a great New Year too!!

Anna

Friday 22nd of December 2023

I've always struggled with caramel I'm the past, but this turned out beautifully. I'm going to use it to top brownies for Christmas eve lunch. Thanks for the recipe!

Chelsweets

Friday 22nd of December 2023

I'm so happy to hear that Anna!! That sounds absolutely delicious :) Happy baking!!

Donna

Sunday 17th of December 2023

I agree with the husband who could bathe in this. I have not put it between the cake layers yet, but the flavor is amazing, much better than the carmels in the squares.

Thank you so much for this recipe!

Chelsweets

Friday 22nd of December 2023

Hahaha I love that!!! I bet this recipe would be delicious in little squares :) So happy to hear you're loving this recipe!!

Klaris

Saturday 9th of December 2023

Hi, i tried making this caramel but every-time it cools down it crystallised and when I heat it up the butter separates. What do you do when this happens?

Chelsweets

Saturday 9th of December 2023

Hi Klaris,

Are you using a digital thermometer when making the caramel? That can help prevent the caramel from crystallizing. How are you reheating the caramel? It might help to heat up the caramel on a lower power in the microwave (if you're not already), and to stir it in intervals as it reheats. Hopefully that helps for the future, happy baking!

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