Sour Cherry Apple Cider Caramels

Sour Cherry Apple Cider Caramels squares with maldon “Seriously Barrett, Sour Cherry Apple Cider Caramels?” I know, I know, I’m always figuring out dishes in which to stick sour cherries, as well as their juice. But it’s for good reason- they’re that good. Recently, I found one more such dish. I’ve been making soft caramels as party favors for years, but recently, I’ve seen lots of recipes for Apple Cider Soft Caramels, which just sounds so deliciously fall. And of course, the topic of apple cider got me thinking about Cherry Cider, and Cherry Apple Cider, (two very different things, I swear) which were prevalent where I grew up. Ruminating about cherry cider necessitated a Fall update for my soft caramel recipe. So here we are, Sour Cherry Apple Cider Caramels. I tested it out with just cherry cider, and frankly it was a bit too much, but this blend hints at cherry. In fact, it kind of plays with your mind and has you wondering what you’re tasting until boom, you know it’s cherries. “It sounds delicious Barrett, but a candy thermometer, that sounds technical?” This is a very forgiving foray into caramel making, so don’t let the thermometer intimidate you. And dive right into the delicious world of caramel making with these Sour Cherry Apple Cider Caramels.

Sour Cherry Apple Cider Caramels
Yields 60
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Prep Time
1 hr 15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
1 hr 15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
73 calories
8 g
15 g
5 g
0 g
3 g
35 g
44 g
7 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 73
Calories from Fat 40
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 3g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 15mg
Sodium 44mg
Total Carbohydrates 8g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 7g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 quart apple cider
  2. 1 cup sour cherry juice
  3. 3 inch piece of ginger; peeled and sliced thin
  4. 1 cup granulated sugar
  5. ½ cup brown sugar
  6. 4 ounces butter (1 stick)
  7. 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  9. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  10. ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  11. ¼ teaspoon cardamom
You'll also need
  1. waxed paper
  2. candy thermometer
  1. Bring the apple cider and sour cherry juice to a boil in a heavy weight pot (if you can’t find cherry, cranberry works well too; just make sure it’s juice, not cocktail). I like to use a 4 quart soup pot that is stainless. The light colored bottom makes it easier to check on my progress. Peel and slice the ginger. Sour Cherry Apple Cider Caramels fresh ginger slices
  2. Add to the cider juice mixture. Sour Cherry Apple Cider Caramels reducing cider
  3. Reduce until it is about one cup of thick syrup. This takes 40-60 minutes. Meanwhile, line a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside. When the syrup is getting close to ready, it will be very bubbly and thick.Sour Cherry Apple Cider Caramels cider to syrup
  4. Pour into a measuring cup periodically to check how reduced it is. When you’re down to one cup, or just a little less, remove the ginger. Reserve ginger as a delicious candied ginger snack. Return syrup to the pot you reduced it in. Add butter, sugars, and cream. Sour Cherry Apple Cider Caramels add butter sugar cream
  5. Return to a boil. Insert a candy thermometer. When it approaches 230° start paying close attention. When candy thermometer reads 242° remove from heat. (Temperature matters a lot! If you let it get too hot, it will form a very hard candy, rather than the soft caramel. But good news, since this recipe has a lot of cream in it, it buys you a little flexibility). Mix in vanilla, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. When you’re sure it’s well mixed, pour into your prepared pan and let cool completely. Sour Cherry Apple Cider Caramels in pan to set
  6. This will take at least 2 hours, but overnight is best. Using a paring knife, trim the edges of the large block until it’s a rectangle. If you’re saving them for a rainy day (these will store for two weeks or so) then I like to cut them into small rectangles (about ½ inch x 1 ½ inch).Sour Cherry Apple Cider Caramels to wrap
  7. Cut waxed paper into 2 inch squares. (If you have problems with the candy sticking to the knife, you can oil the knife with vegetable oil in between cuts. I haven’t had to do this though, so you may not have to either.) Wrap the caramels and twist the ends.Sour Cherry Apple Cider Caramels wrapped in wax paper
  8. Store in the refrigerator. If you’re being fancy and serving these as dessert, cut the caramel into one-inch squares. I like to sprinkle a little Maldon sea salt on the squares for texture and a rounder flavor.Sour Cherry Apple Cider Caramels and maldon salt Happy Fall!
Dirty Laundry Kitchen


Sour Cherry Apple Cider Caramels — 1 Comment

  1. These cherry caramels are absolutely delicious! I confess though it took me three tries to get them right. A couple of comments from a beginner. The biggest mistake I made was using a 6 qt pot rather than the 4 qt pot recommended. The candy therometer doesn’t record the temperature correctly in the larger pot (the caramel is probably not bubbling high enough in the pan) and the result is the caramel over cooks and/or burns before you see 242 degrees. It works perfectly in the 4 qt pot. I also used wax paper squares about 5×5″ to wrap the candies. I have a great sour cherry tree in my backyard and am always looking for new ways to use them. If followed to the letter, this recipe rocks! The caramels are going in gift baskets for the holidays. Thanks Barrett!

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