How to Make Lavender-Infused Caramels for Valentine's Day

February 11, 2014

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Whether you're celebrating Valentine's Day or Galentine's Day, these chocolate-covered caramels by Em Hassan from MBakes will make your holiday a little bit sweeter. 

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Every Valentine’s Day, my better half surprises me with a three-layer red velvet cake from my favorite American-style bakery. It’s a surprise because every year I forget it’s coming. 

This year, he wants to change things up a bit, “Forget about the cake,” he shrugs. “Let’s go for a meal instead.” But I can’t celebrate a man-made holiday without a touch of sweetness -- and how sweet do chocolate-coated caramels made with lavender-infused sugar sound?

The mellow, fragrant, and downright doting inclusion of lavender runs through the buttery center of each of these caramels. At first bite, it’s enough to melt even the toughest of hearts. 

We’re all too familiar with eating lavender-scented desserts and feeling like we’re drinking perfume. To keep the intrusion of bathroom scents at bay, this recipe uses lavender-scented sugar, which tones down the bold herbal flavors so that they mix perfectly with the chocolate and caramel. 

Wrap these candies in parchment and sneak one every afternoon until they’re gone, or serve them up on a little plate for your nearest and dearest. Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Chocolate-Coated Lavender Caramels

Makes 28 one-inch caramels

3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons full-fat milk
1 cup lavender sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup golden syrup (or corn syrup)
1 cup dark chocolate, melted
Dried lavender, for garnish

Line and butter a 6 x 6-inch square baking and set aside. Sift the lavender sugar into a saucepan using a large mesh sieve or fine colander. Don't worry if some of the lavender falls through.

Clip a candy thermometer to the saucepan. Add cream, milk, brown sugar, salt, butter, syrup, and water and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.

Whisk constantly so that the mixture doesn't burn, until the caramel reaches 246° F, just above the soft ball stage. This should take about 25 minutes. 

Remove from the heat and pour into the lined dish. Tap the pan to help smooth the top, set aside to cool for 15 minutes, and then place in the fridge for 1 hour.

Immerse the heart cutter (or any other cookie cutter) in boiling water to make cutting easier, then stamp out the caramels.

Place melted chocolate in a glass and drop the caramels in the chocolate to coat.

Gently pick up the caramels with a fork, sprinkle with lavender, and place on parchment to cool.

Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 

Photos by Emine Hassan

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Erica Marie
    Erica Marie
  • Vivian
  • dana
  • Cynthia Chen McTernan
    Cynthia Chen McTernan
  • Em Hassan
    Em Hassan
Mbakes grew up in London, her Turkish background inspires her to add more salt and butter in her recipes than is probably necessary. In short, she is a journalism student in the week, cake decorating teaching assistant at the weekends and blogger of all things baked in between.


Erica M. February 13, 2016
How would I do this with just lavender if I don't have lavender sugar? Could I just infuse my cream with culinary lavender and then use that? I guess it would just be the one extra step. Please help! <4
Em H. February 13, 2016
Hi Erica
If you're making these today and don't have time to make your own lavender sugar (you can let the sugar infuse with lavender for 1 day in a jar), I would add 1 tbsp lavender to the dairy, bring to a simmer, let it cool completely then sieve and use as normal. Hope that makes sense!
Erica M. February 13, 2016
Thank you so much for the quick reply! I'll be trying today :]
Vivian February 15, 2014
I love this recipe if you are looking for some excellent lavender go to and order some they are wonderful.You will be supporting an American farmer.
Or you can call at 509 244 0767 and order. We use no chemicals on our farm.
dana February 11, 2014
like whoa. gorgeous.
Em H. February 28, 2014
thank you!
Cynthia C. February 11, 2014
Love this, Emine! So unique, and the photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing!!! :)
Em H. February 11, 2014
Thank you Cynthia!!!