Earl Grey Soft Caramels

These earl grey caramels are smooth, chewy and incredibly addictive! Tea-infused caramels are easy to make and a fun addition to any holiday treat bag!

After making quite a few batches of soft espresso caramels, we’ve started experimenting with tea infused candies! And while this recipe will work with anything from rooibos to thai tea, our absolute favorite flavor has been earl grey. The black tea balances the sweetness of the caramel while the bergamot brightens the flavor. That combination makes these melt-in-your-mouth candies irresistible!

stack of earl grey infused soft caramels

tea-infused caramels

The process for making these soft caramels is pretty standard, we’ll just be using tea-infused heavy cream instead of regular. To infuse heavy cream, just follow these steps:

  1. Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until it just begins to bubble.
  2. Stir in the tea and remove from heat. Cover and steep until the cream develops a strong flavor.
  3. Strain and discard the solids.
  4. Return the heavy cream to its original volume.
how long should I steep the tea?

The steeping time will depend on the type of tea you use, as well as its strength and quality. About 15 minutes is perfect for a high quality earl grey tea. If you decide to try a different type of tea, just make sure to adjust the steeping time as necessary. Herbal teas can steep a bit longer, but you’ll need to check on green teas a bit sooner as they can easily become bitter.

can I use tea bags?

I’ve used tea bags several times when making this recipe and they work great! I would suggest using three tea bags per recipe and removing the tea from the bags. Because the contents of tea bags are smaller than leaves, you may need to use cheesecloth (as opposed to a fine mesh sieve) to strain out all of the particles.

earl grey caramels cut and wrapped into individual candies

tips and tricks for making soft caramels

to stir or not to stir

Stirring sugar syrup is generally not recommended as it can cause crystallization, which makes for a grainy texture. But we also have corn syrup in our lineup, which helps prevent crystallization and makes stirring the mixture a viable option. I find that the benefits of stirring the caramel (namely avoiding burning the batch) outweigh the costs — especially for beginners. Just take care to stir carefully and avoid splashing the mixture onto the sides of the pan as best as you can.

adjust the heat as necessary

We recommend cooking your caramel over medium heat. For more control over your caramel and to ensure your mixture doesn’t burn, you can reduce the heat to low or medium-low once the caramel begins to take on color. This will make the process a bit longer, but it can be worth it to make sure your caramel comes out perfectly!

have a candy thermometer handy

Temperature is incredibly important for candy making. By far the easiest and most foolproof way to test that your caramel has reached the correct stage is to use a candy thermometer. If you’re someone who makes caramels often and can generally determine its readiness by color and texture, I would actually still recommend using a thermometer for this specific recipe. The tea will alter the color of the cream a bit, which makes going off color a bit more difficult.

storing soft caramels

Once the caramels have cooled, you can cut and individually wrap them using cellophane or wax wrappers. Store the wrapped caramels in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. They will keep for several weeks.

Looking for more recipes perfect for the holidays? Check these out!

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stack of earl grey infused soft caramels with loose leaf tea

earl grey soft caramels

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  • Author: Brittney
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 54 caramels
    • Prep Time: 20 minutes
    • Cook Time: 30 minutes
    • Cuisine: global


tea-infused heavy cream

  • 1.5 cups (360 ml) heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons (12 grams) loose leaf earl grey (or substitute 3 tea bags*)

earl grey soft caramels

  • vegetable oil for greasing
  • 1.5 cups (360 ml) tea-infused heavy cream
  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) light corn syrup
  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt


tea-infused heavy cream

  1. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. If using tea bags, remove the tea from the bags. Stir in the tea and immediately remove from heat and cover.
  2. Let infuse for 15 minutes or until the tea flavor is strong.
  3. Strain using a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Return the heavy cream to its original volume by adding additional heavy cream until you have exactly 1.5 c (360 ml).

earl grey soft caramels

  1. Line a 9×9 inch (23×23 cm) baking pan with lightly greased parchment paper. Make sure to leave a slight overhang.
  2. Cut the butter into small pieces and measure out the vanilla extract and salt. Set aside.
  3. Combine the tea-infused heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring continuously*, until the mixture reaches 240 F (116 C) on a candy thermometer (about 15-20 minutes). The mixture will bubble as the moisture evaporates.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the butter, vanilla extract and salt. Continue stirring until the butter has melted and immediately pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan.
  5. Allow to cool completely (at least 4 hours) and then cut into small pieces. Wrap in cellophane wrappers or wax paper and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.


Tea bags: If using tea bags, I would suggest using three tea bags per recipe and removing the tea from the bags. Because the contents of tea bags are smaller than leaves, you may need to use cheesecloth (as opposed to a fine mesh sieve) to strain out all of the particles.

Stirring: When it comes to stirring your caramel you have two options.
Option 1: Stir the mixture continuously, making sure to splash the sides of the pot as little as possible. This method will ensure you don’t burn your caramels.
Option 2: Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring and continue cooking until the mixture begins to take on color. Reduce heat to medium-low and swirl the pan occasionally.

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