Love and Olive Oil

Passion Fruit Caramels

Passion Fruit Caramel Candy

There’s a fine-line between passion and compulsion, and I fear I’m starting to exhibit stalker-like tendencies. Seriously. Since my first encounter with passion fruit a few months back, I’ve been buying puree and concentrate and syrup and whatever other iteration of the fruit I can find. Not to mention the tote-full of fresh passion fruit I carted all the way back from California.

At what point do I dare admit I have a problem?

Luckily for you, this obsession has resulted in a purple-and-gold-filled week known as Passion Fruit Week. In case you missed it, I’ve already posted recipes for Passion Fruit Passion Fruit Créme Brûlée and Passion Fruit Meringue Tart earlier this week. And, while not technically part of passion fruit week, I can’t ignore the Peach Passion Jam and Passion Fruit Bubble Tea I posted earlier this year.

Passion Fruit Caramels

Let’s talk about these caramels, for a sec. Ok, maybe more than a second as I’ll probably ramble on about their wonderfulness for more than a few paragraphs. But they turned out so well that I couldn’t not share them with you.

Passion Fruit Caramel Candy

Unlike the peach caramels I made last summer, the passion fruit flavor comes through loud and clear. I think, especially when it comes to cooked desserts, butter and cream can easily overpower a subtle flavor. Which is why the addition of passion fruit is so perfect here, as it can hold its own in a sea of caramelized sugar.

Homemade Passionfruit Caramels

These caramels came out slightly softer than previous batches, but luckily not so soft that they’d need to be sacrificed for caramel sauce (which, if it were the case, I would not have been disappointed in the least). I’m not sure if it was due to the addition of the passion fruit, the weather perhaps, or if I just needed to cook the syrup to a few degrees higher next time.

Homemade Passionfruit Caramel Candy

Look at them sparkle! I say, I’d take passion fruit caramels over diamonds, any day. Hear that, husband?

I wrapped these in special cellophane wrappers made for caramels. They come pre-cut into 5×5-inch squares, unlike my previous waxed paper wrappers which required hand cutting hundreds of stupid little squares (I made Taylor cut them for me). I think he’d agree these were well worth the $30. Plus they are strikingly transparent so you can clearly see the vibrant gold color of the candy inside.

While I chose not to add any seeds back to the caramels, I think they’d be a fun addition. Just like the cocoa nibs gave my chocolate caramels a delightful crunch, so too could the passion fruit seeds. I’d wait to stir them in until the very end though, at the same time as the vanilla, otherwise they’d probably burn.

Passion Fruit Caramels


  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup passion fruit puree or concentrate
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract


  1. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. If needed, use a few dabs of corn syrup to keep the paper firmly in place.
  2. In a large pot (the pot should be at least three times the volume of the ingredients inside as the mixture will bubble up) combine sugar, cream, passion fruit, butter, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved and brushing any stray sugar crystals off the side of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Reduce heat to medium-high and continue to boil, without stirring, until mixture reaches 252 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Immediately pour into prepared pan. Let sit at room temperature, uncovered, for at least 12 hours until set.
  4. Lift the caramel out of the pan using the parchment paper as a handle. Using a sharp knife or rotary cutter (lightly buttered or sprayed with cooking spray if needed), cut caramel into 1 1/4-inch strips, and then crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces. Wrap each piece individually in cellophane or waxed paper. Caramels can be stored up to 1 month in airtight containers.
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  1. Rating: 5

    Passion fruit is one of my favorite flavors. I have several vines and have been making PF jellies for Christmas gifts every year, and I now have a huge fan base within my family and friends. I have also made regular caramels for Christmas as well, with a very good response. So, trying this recipe was a new twist on my Christmas gifts last year. Let me tell you, they were a big hit. I will be adding PF caramels to my gift giving every year. Great recipe.

  2. How would you modify this recipe to make Guava Caramels using Goya Guava Jelly as a simple substitution for the fruit? Thanks

  3. Came across your recipe while looking for another way to use up the passion fruit harvest. Have you ever made plain passionfruit syrup? I use it to pour over ice cream or cakes. We have a passionfruit vine that covers half the side of our house and probably won’t last another year or two, but in the meantime we’ve collected over 300 fruit so far for 5 years and still going.

    ($1500 of fruit from a $7 plant). Not sure where you live, but in New Zealand, you can grow it as far south as Christchurch as long as it is sheltered under the eaves of the house in winter (we do get hard frosts at times). It loves coffee grounds and tea leaves since it likes acid soil. My mother-in-law would scoop pulp from the fruit. For each cup of fruit pulp, stir in 1 cup white sugar. I stir and heat very gently until all the sugar has dissolved. Some people just stir from time to time for a day. Pour into sterile jars (120F in the oven for 10 minutes) and place the lid loosely on but do NOT screw down until the jar is completely cold. You could probably just cover the jars with a clean tea towel instead until cold. I’ve kept it in the fridge for a year. Stir before using to mix the seeds and liquid together. Her recipe called for a pinch of salicylic acid, but that can be hard to get these days.

  4. These look delicious. I am wondering how to tweak the recipe to use it as a caramel filling or sauce instead of chewy caramels, would I need to add more cream? Or perhaps use less sugar? Which controls the firmness of the caramels? Thanks!

  5. Could you cut these and add them to cookie dough pre-baking?

  6. Surely going to try it. How long will these last??

    • Caramels will keep pretty well for 2-3 weeks or so (individually wrapped then stored in an airtight container). Possibly in the fridge for longer!

  7. Love the taste of passion fruit. When I visited Australia last year I was happily surprised to see them so inexpensive. I would buy a bag at a time, around $10, and have 4 passion fruit for breakfast each morning. If only I could find them easily and less expensive in the USA.

  8. I have 100% pure Passion Fruit Puree that is shelf stable at

  9. Well, add me to the list of people whose caramel didn’t firm up, unfortunately. Weird, because I used my candy thermometer AND I also did the ice water test because I wanted to be absolutely sure.
    Tastes absolutely phenomenal, so I will try again and cook a few extra degrees to see if that helps. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Hi Lindsay,
    I have the same question as SP above (Dec. 23 post). Do you strain the seeds out when preparing. I live in San Francisco and have been to several stores that I thought would have passion fruit pulp and have come up empty-handed. If anyone has a suggestion for where I can get it, please send it my way!

    • If you want to use fresh passionfruit, pulse the pulp on the lowest possible speed setting so you don’t crush the seeds (some blenders might not work for this because they don’t have a super low setting). Then strain. You just want to separate the pulp from the seeds, not crush them.
      As for finding passionfruit concentrate/pulp/juice, sometimes latin food markets or international sections of some grocery stores will have things like this. I know passionfruit juice (Ceres brand for example) you can find at places like World Market sometimes.

  11. Thank you for this recipe! What is your preferred method for getting the pulp from fresh fruit? Blend the pulp, seeds and all, then strain? Or press pulp+seeds through a fine mesh sieve?

  12. In the Latin section of my grocery store, they sell a passion fruit concentrate and also frozen passion fruit pulp. Is there a preference you have for this recipe?

    • I think those two things should be fairly similar. Ideally it wouldn’t have any added sugar or other ingredients, but either should work here just fine!

  13. Better late than never but just came across your site today. I love passion fruit and right now my vine is weighted down. Am def going to try the caramels. When I have limitless passionfruit I freeze the juice in small bottles and use as needed.It is not unknown for me to have 20 or 30 bottles in freezer. Passionfruit is seasonal and after this load, I may not see them again for a year or so.

  14. This sounds sooo delicious! Combining 2 of my fave flavors. Do you think I could pipe this for a filling into a macaron? Or is it too hard for that? Any suggestions?

    • I think it’d be too thick and sticky for a delicate macaron. If you thinned it out a bit with more cream so it was more of a sauce, then you could maybe use that in a caramel buttercream, perhaps?

  15. Almost certainly the reason why they were soft is that you should omit the butter and cream until the rest of the mixture has come to temperature ….then add carefully and bring back to temperature. :))

    • Btw I would raise the initial temperature to 300 F and after the cream and butter are mixed in raise to 252 F and mould.

  16. How would you make a passion fruit caramel sauce? a softer, creamy thick one, for the base of a tart maybe? Would you just cook it less?

    • That would be fabulous! You could try cooking it a few minutes less and also increasing the amount of cream (maybe refer to some other caramel sauce recipes for timing/proportions).

  17. I followed your recipe exactly and the caramels are delicious but the mixture did not set. Can you tell me some tips? I used fresh passion fruit juice that I extracted from passion fruits.

    • I would guess the sugar wasn’t cooked to a high enough temperature.
      Good news is a softer caramel makes a great caramel sauce! :)

  18. I live in Australia in the tropics and have a passion fruit vine in my backyard that is overflowing with fruit. Am absolutely going to try the caramels

  19. made some lavender caramel last week; it was perfectly balanced, but today it’s overwhelming! have you ever experienced that with flavoring caramels? the flavor intensifying as time passes?

  20. I’d choose a batch of this over diamonds too! You describe them with such detail that I feel like I can taste them already (and I don’t have nearly the same vast experience with passion fruit you do!;). 

  21. I love passion fruit so, so, so, so, so, so much! When my husband and I were in Hawaii on our honeymoon a girl was eating one on our snorkeling tour. At the time, I had no idea what it was, but I could smell it from across the boat. That smell was absolutely intoxicating, and I couldn’t get that smell out of my mind!!! I remembered what the fruit looked like, so when I got home I Googled the crap out of it until I figured out it was passion fruit. I, too, am completely obsessed with it, and would pay 10 million dollars to have a never ending passion fruit tree in my yard! 

  22. mmmm, these look SO wonderful! love these!

  23. Caramels are my favorite homemade candies to make. Going nuts over this passionfruit!!

  24. I can not get enough of these passion fruit recipes you’re posting!  So perfect.  I would be completely sold on them still if they were too soft and had to be a sauce.

  25. I don’t know how I could have missed this deep obsession since I share the same one. I loved it when I spent 3 wks in New Zealand because passion fruit is everywhere in kind of a ho hum manner that we find apples. I was in HEAVEN. The last thing I ate was a cupcake with passion fruit frosting at the airport. Ha. You are my new ‘sister’. Smiles—-

  26. I absolutely love passion fruit but actually have a difficult time finding it! It’s the most interesting flavor, I think. Would love to try these.

    Jenn Kelly

  27. I love caramel and with passion fruit it must have an amazing taste.

  28. You know what? I don’t think I’ve ever had a passion fruit ?!?! How is this possible? I’ve loved seeing your passion recipes and would love to try but I’m pretty sure I would have a hard time finding passion fruit right now in Washington! Am I wrong? Are they in season? So many questions

  29. I recently got into caramels and MAN are they fun to make. You step back after wrapping 50 of them and get so excited, like you are the proud owner of your own candy shop. Loving the passionfruit addition. I’m craving anything that reminds me of summer right about now! 

  30. I used to make caramels every Christmas to give as gifts and haven’t done it for a few years now.   You’ve inspired me to start it up again, though I’ve only made chocolate or vanilla I’m loving the passion fruit!

  31. I just bought some passion fruit concentrate on a whim, not really certain what I was going to do with it. This popped up on my Pinterest today. I think the universe is speaking to me. Making this weekend. Thanks!

  32. They look awesome! :) I want to make caramels as little Christmas presents and now I’m definitely thinking about adding some fruit flavour, I still have passion fruit and blueberry purree… :)
    I love passion fruit though, it’s just so delicious, I totally agree with you. :)

  33. I too am a passion fruit LOVER! I make an adult beverage with passion fruit juice, orange flavored vodka and cranberry juice that I call a “Passionate  Jeanne” hahahahaHAHAHa. Seriously, really good.  I live in South Florida so I can occasionally get fresh fruit and they sell the juice at the grocery store…The hispanic community calls it “maracuya”.  But I have a question. I have Passion Fruit Olive Oil Curd from Craftsman & Wolves in San Francisco….do you think could I use it here? Or in the tart recipe? I want to honor the ingredient/gift by using it in a cool way, but because of the olive oil fat I’m hesitant.

    • The curd would be perfect as the tart filling, most definitely! I wouldn’t use it in the caramels though, as they really need a more concentrated passion fruit flavor, plus I’m not sure what the super high heat of the process would do to the curd. I’d use straight passion fruit juice or concentrate instead.

  34. These are so pretty that I think an obsession with them is no problem at all!

  35. I’d take passion fruit caramels over diamonds, any day.   <— Okay these babies must be incredible then! They look it! And I love that you say you can really taste the passionfruit in them and it doesnt get lost at all. Pinned!

  36. I am loving Passion Fruit Week!!! I don’t care if you make it a Passion Fruit Month. these recipes are amazing and I am on the hunt for more passion fruit so I can try out a few of these recipes, starting with these caramels. They are calling my name! 

  37. Love this! Such a great idea :)

  38. If you’re stalking passion fruit then I’m going to stalk you stalking passion fruit :) I love this idea!!

  39. Another yummy and unexpected use for passion fruit. Thanks for so much inspiration!

  40. They look incredible! Passion fruit is such a strong and delicious flavour.  These would be great to have handy in the house to snack on, might have to try making them myself.

    Steph – 

  41. Hi Lindsay,

    those look absolutely delicious and it seems as that is not too complicated. Will try that, I just need to find some fruit purree…


  42. They look delicious! Perfect antidote to the cold weather we are having here at the moment :) I had an obsession with Maracuja juice when I visited Madeira recently- they sell it in concentrate, fizzy, flavoured with other things- you would love it there!

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