From caramel candies to caramel sauce, this rich candy is one of the most popular sweet treats in the world. But, with so many different types of caramel and uses for caramel, you may be wondering if it’s safe for those with gluten intolerance or Celiac disease.
This post dives into what goes into caramel, if there is any gluten in caramel, and brands of gluten-free caramel treat. Is caramel gluten-free?
What Is Caramel?
Caramel is a golden-colored candy traditionally made from cooking sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt. Different recipes may include other ingredients, but these are the base ingredients for a classic caramel.
There are plenty of ways to use caramel. Depending on how it is cooked, caramel can be made into soft candies or a sauce that can be drizzled onto ice cream. Add a bit of salt to the mix and salted caramel.
Caramel is wonderful for all types of recipes. You can look at my baking list to see which baking ingredients are safe for those who are gluten free.
Answer: Is Caramel Gluten Free?
Yes, the majority of caramel products are gluten-free. All base ingredients in caramel are gluten-free, so a homemade or plain caramel sauce should be gluten-free. The issue comes more so from cross-contamination or additives.
Most manufacturers have cleaning practices that keep caramel safe from gluten contamination, but it may still creep into the caramel. Therefore, it is best to check the ingredients label and allergen statement for any mention of being made in the same facility as gluten.
When it comes to additives, it can get a bit more complicated. These ingredients can have complex names that the average consumer may not understand. The easiest way to check if the caramel or caramel product has gluten is to check the allergens statement for any wording that mentions containing wheat, barley, or gluten.
Since caramel and caramel products are naturally gluten-free, they aren’t usually labeled gluten-free. So if you are following a gluten-free diet, give the allergen statement a quick glance before purchasing.
I research a lot of candies, so check out my Candy List to see which candy is safe!
Typical Ingredients Found in Caramel:
Caramel is typically made with just a few simple ingredients, including sugar, butter, cream, salt, and water. Where it gets complicated for those who are trying to decipher an ingredients label is the preservatives and added flavorings.
What About Caramel Apples and Caramel Baking Chips?
Most caramel byproducts will also be gluten-free. However, the other ingredients often make it unsafe for the gluten-free community than the caramel itself.
Caramel apples are usually dipped in plain caramel, so you probably won't need to worry about consuming gluten. A caramel apple will only have gluten if it is covered in toppings made from gluten-containing ingredients. This could include toppings like cookies or cereal.
Always check the ingredients label to ensure a food product is safe from gluten contamination!
Most caramel baking chips are gluten-free, but it’s always best to check the ingredient’s label and the allergen statement. Hershey's Kitchen Cinnamon chips are gluten free!
Brands of Gluten Free Caramel:
- Lovely Caramels
- Rolo Chewy Caramels
- Oregon Farm Fresh
- Shotwell Bourbon & Maple Pecan Caramel
- Cocomels Coconut Milk Caramels
- Crown Candy
- Blue House Candies
- Brach's Caramel - Not certified, but it contains no gluten ingredients, and it is not made on shared equipment.
Note that Kraft Caramel is no longer gluten free. This is from one of my readers: I just called the 1-800 number on my Kraft bag of Carmel's, provided the upc code, and was just told they are not gluten free and that Kraft labels all of their gluten free items. She told me that the natural and artificial flavors are from a 3rd party and contain over 20ppms of gluten.
Gluten Free Recipes with Caramel:
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This post was updated from an older June 2015 post with more details and easier-to-follow directions.