Why am I just now realizing the miracle of caramel powder? It’s pulverized perfection that just casually greets your taste buds. Hello.
If you’ve spent any time on The Frayed Apron, you know I regularly write about caramel. There’s this salted caramel ice cream, ricotta cheese flans, and salted caramel chocolate tarts.
Want to know the best part? It has to be used same day, so you can just start sprinkling it on everything. Go ahead and try it on ice cream, in your morning coffee, or this amazing berries and whipped cream with orange liqueur.
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which may pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you!
What is Caramel Powder?
One ingredient: sugar. That’s all. Sugar gets caramelized into a liquid when heat is applied. Then you just grind it up and poof: caramel powder.
How to Make Perfect Caramel Powder
- Heat the sugar in a skillet. Keep a close eye and swirl the pan (no need to stir). Wait for bubbles to form. It will turn an amber color within 5-6 minutes.
- Pour it out onto a sheet tray. Other recipes tell you to pour it over foil (don’t do it!) – it creates a burden for you later when you try to peel it up. As you can see, I tried it with foil and had to painfully separate it by hand.
- Remove and break the hardened caramel into manageable pieces. You can pound it with a meat mallet or hammer.
- Grind the hardened caramel in a food processor until completely fine.
Ta-dah! Now you have golden hued dust that also resembles beach sand that tastes like really light and airy caramel. It’s a tiny bit like cotton candy, and it’s naturally vegan and gluten free.
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- In a small skillet, warm the sugar over medium heat until it turns to liquid. Shake (don’t stir) very frequently and do not walk away. The sugar can burn easily.
- Cook for 5-6 minutes until bubbles form and the syrup changes to an amber colored caramel. Pour immediately over a sheet tray. Allow to cool and harden. Leave overnight or use right away.
- Pound into pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulverize into a fine powder and immediately transfer to a container or use right away.
Thank you for being here! Did you make this recipe? Click on the star rating or leave a comment below. I’d love to hear how you got on. Connect with me @thefrayedapron on Instagram or Pinterest.
Could this be preserved with a dehydrator so some can be kept on hand for those who don’t use this every day?
Using a dehydrator will remove excess moisture. Even without a dehydrator, you can keep this on hand for months. It will form clumps if exposed to moisture so you can re-dry it out as needed. Another option if it clumps up is to pulse it through the food processor again.
hey Sara, have you considered adding an anticaking agent? this recipe is similar to how powdered sugar is made (white sugar in a food processor instead of hard caramel), and they add cornstarch (or tricalcium phosphate for industry) to the food processor. i’m gonna use a little less than for powdered sugar (because prob bigger particles need less covering) to see if i can keep this in the pantry to sprinkle on things like french toast or lattes
Great idea! Lemme know how that works for you.
Instead of a baking shert, use parchment paper. It won’t stick at all.
Thanks for the great tip, Dave!
Can this caramel powder be used to make caramel swiss meringue buttercream? I have avoided making caramel buttercream because I like to pipe decorations on my cakes, and adding caramel sauce thins out the buttercream. I am wondering if this could be added after mixing the buttercream up like cocoa can be added?
Hi Rachel, This caramel powder is very similar to maple sugar. It has a nice dry texture but a warning: humidity affects it. I think if you add it to buttercream in its powdered state, it shouldn’t be a problem. My advice would be to make your buttercream and try adding a small amount to see if you like the texture and flavor. It has a bit of a heavy weight that could make your buttercream have a denser texture. Please let me know if you try it and how it works for you. I think it’s a great idea!
Thank you so much!
hey! thanks for the recipe! do you know if I can use this caramel powder in a refiner? to make a praline nut paste?
I’m not too familiar with how a refiner works. Does it grind while heating? If there’s a heating component, the caramel powder will behave similarly to sugar and will melt down. Please let us know how it goes if you try it.