Who doesn’t love caramel and apples? Come on, gooey, sweet caramel on a tart, crisp apple. What could be better? I admit that I’m feeling biased at the moment as my sticky fingers write this. I’m full of sugary goodness and it’s making me giddy. And that’s a feeling that should be shared. Good thing I made up a bunch of these cute foodie gifts that I can pass onto my family and friends.

This is a really inexpensive gift because all you need is a can of sweetened condensed milk and some labels. Just make sure that it’s the sweetened condensed milk that you buy, as evaporated milk looks the same but won’t make caramel sauce when cooked.

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Remove the label from the can and clean up any bits of paper and glue. To make your own label, cut a 3″ x 10″ strip of paper and a 1″ x 10″ strip (a textured silver and black scrapbook paper was used here). Use glue dots or tiny dabs of glue on just the edges of the strips to affix them to the can. Before the cans get cooked the label needs to be removed so stow away that hot glue gun for this one!

For this project I make up two labels, a Caramel in a Can label and a text label for the instructions.

Caramel in a Can
Remove labels and place sealed can upright in a crock pot. Submerge in water ensuring there is at least 1″ of water above the top of the can. Set on low and leave overnight to cook. In the morning, carefully remove the can from the water and let cool for 2 hours. Once cool, the can is safe to open. Enjoy caramel with sliced fruit or cookies.

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I found that 12 hours is the sweet spot for my slow cooker to make the darkest caramel that can still be drizzled. Leave it a bit longer and it will get darker and thicker, a bit less and it will be paler and runnier. It will taste delicious no matter which one you choose though!

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Stephanie Rose (96 Posts)

Stephanie Rose is a gardener who lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where she has grown over 100 edibles, 400 perennials, and countless other plants in her small urban yard; a hobby that continues to grow with each season. Stephanie writes DIY garden projects, yummy recipes and crafty goodness at Garden Therapy where she hopes you will find something to inspire you to get outside for a little, well, garden therapy.


  1. Question about the caramel in a can… can you precook it and then put the label on and give it as a gift? How long will it last?

  2. Hi Tanya, You can certainly cook it first. I would do a test can to be certain that the ones you are giving away are ready. I’m not sure, though, how long it will last once prepared.

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