How To Soften Caramel That Is Too Hard

What will you do when your caramel gets too hard or crystalized? You may need to dip your ice cream or grapes to dip into soft caramel. But too hard caramel is not suitable to have the taste of dip. You cannot dip it at all.

It will take time to make another batch of caramel. It will be a waste if you discharge the hard caramel. If you know how to soften caramel that is too hard, you can easily tackle the situation. So, let’s understand the methods to soften the hard caramel and have the same texture and softness.

How To Soften Caramel That Is Too Hard

Caramel is necessary for many recipes. It is not too hard to soften hard caramel if you know the process and so it correctly. It may take a little more time, but the techniques are simple.

how to soften hard caramel

You can make the caramel yourself, but if it gets too hard, try to soften it. There is candy caramel readymade in the market. If you purchase it and keep it in your kitchen, it may become hard. That’s when you may need to soften it. There are three most straightforward processes to soften the caramel. You can use the microwave, stove, or slow cooker. Whatever you have, use the method and get your desired soft caramel.

Method-1: In the Microwave

Softening caramel in a microwave oven takes the shortest time than any other process. So, if you are in more hurry, you can use this process and instantly soften the caramel. It will take only 5 to 10 minutes. So, follow the steps below and have a unique soft caramel dip.

Step-1: At first, take a microwave-proof bowl and place the caramel on it. Take as much caramel as you want to soften. Add milk into the bowl. Maintain the milk and caramel ratios. If you have 14 ounces of caramel, you have to add two tablespoons of liquid milk. You have to increase or reduce the amount of milk depending on the caramel quantity.

How To Soften Caramel That Is Too Hard

If you like the milk flavor more, you can add heavy cream instead of milk. If you do not want the milk flavor, you can add water instead of milk.

Step-2: Now, it is time to use the microwave. Place the bowl with caramel into the microwave. Set the high settings and set the timer for about one minute. Then stop the microwave, open it up, and then stir a little using a rubber spatula. Again, place it in the microwave and set it for another one minute. Repeat the process two to three times, and you will get the desired soft form of the caramel.

Now take the bowl out of the microwave and let it cool for a while. Then your caramel is ready to use.

Method-2: In the Slow Cooker

This method is the best process to melt the readymade candy caramel well. The slow cooker process may take more time, but it keeps the food value and taste intact, and you will all smooth and soft caramel. It seems like you have made it fresh. So, if you have enough time, use this method as the first choice.

In this process, you have to use a slow cooker, milk, or water. Let’s follow the steps below and have yummy caramel.

Step-1: Collect a heat-safe bowl to place in the slow cooker. The size of the bowl should also fit to sit in the slow cooker.

Step-2: Now, place the caramel, how much you want to soften, to the bowl. If it is too hard to take the caramel loaf, take some loaf slices and add them into the bowl. Do not fill the bowl up to the top; instead, keep the caramel 1 inch below the top.

how to melt hard caramel

Step-3: Add liquid milk, or water, or heavy cream that you like the most. The liquid will help in melting the hard caramel and provide a soft texture to it. The amount of caramel and milk should be in 14 ounces and two tablespoon ratios.

Step-4: Add hot water inside the cooker and place the caramel bowl on the slow cooker as such that the water is leveled to the caramel bowl top, but the water does not enter the bowl.

Step-5: Cover the top of the cooker and cook it at medium heat level for two to three hours. After two to three hours, open the lid and stir the caramel mixture with a rubber spatula. Repeat the process two to three times every 5 to 7 minutes interval. So, you have to cook the caramel more. But if you find that, the caramel turns into a smooth brown sauce.

If there are still some lumps of the caramel left, ad a little more water and let it melt. So, cook it for another 15 to 30 minutes as needed. In this time, you have to stir the caramel slowly within a time interval.

Step-6: At last, stop the cooker and let the caramel a slight cool before use. But o not cool it for a long time. If you want to use the caramel to dip your chocolate or apple, you have to keep the caramel in the cooker in a warm setting, not the cook settings. It is because the caramel can get a little thicker if you keep it at room temperature. The friendly environment will keep the caramel sauce soft and smooth for a long.

Method-3: In the Stove

This process uses a liquid that you like and heats it on the stove to soften the caramel. Let’s follow the steps.

Step-1: Take a medium-sized non-stick saucepan and place the hard caramel into it. Now add heavy cream to the caramel. Add two tablespoons of heavy cream for 400 grams of caramel. If you see that the mixture does not get thin enough, you can add a little heavy cream during cooking.

If you do not like the milk flavor or heavy cream, you can add water. It will work similarly.

how to fix caramel that crystallized

Step-2: Set the stove at medium-low temperature and place the pan onto the stove. Heat the caramel mixture for about 10 to 15 minutes. You have to stir the caramel mixture in 2-3 minutes intervals. It will avoid the burning of the caramel mixture and make it softer.

Now, check the consistency. You can customize the thickness of the caramel as you need. Some recipe needs thinner consistency than other recipes. Then you have to add more liquid and stir to mix it.

Step-3: Finally, cool the caramel for a while and then use it for your dish or decoration of cookies or ice cream.


Caramel is a fantastic tasty structure made of sugar or chocolate-sugar mix. It offers immense taste when you garnish your dessert with it. The brown color of it makes a lovely decoration over the dessert, cakes, cookies, ice cream, or chocolates. After keeping it for long, it quickly becomes hard.

If you know how to soften caramel that is too hard, you can use all the caramel and avoid wasting it. After chilling the caramel using the three processes shown above, the caramel becomes as fresh as you make it now. So, have the yummy taste and delicious look of your caramel after softening it.

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