Creamy, chewy, crunchy, and buttery cashew clusters covered in sweet caramel and salted white chocolate.
Now that Sally’s Candy Addiction book tour has come to a close (still working on a few random stops through the year, stay tuned Atlanta, Salt Lake City, and Canada!) and I’ve made 598 batches of caramels and toffee for all the book tour stops, I have… more candy for you.
Caramel candy to be exact. In the form of a cluster, similar to a turtle candy but we’ll swap out pecans for buttery cashews and semi-sweet chocolate for creamy white chocolate. All that with a sprinkle of crushed cashew and sea salt on top? No wonder we’re all addicted.
I have a traditional caramel turtle recipe in Sally’s Candy Addiction and while demoing the recipe in front of my Philadelphia readers a couple weeks ago, I felt inspired to shake things up a bit. Maybe it’s all the regular chocolate I’ve been eating or the fact that WHITE CHOCOLATE & CARAMEL IS EVERYTHING in my life. Shouting, sorry. But for real– how incredible are white chocolate and caramel together? You’re going to love them in these easy cashew clusters.
There are a couple ways you can make today’s white chocolate caramel cashew clusters. The first is with a completely from-scratch caramel, in all of its thick and creamy glory. Or you can totally take a shortcut and melt store-bought caramel squares down with some heavy cream. The choice is completely yours and the two taste pretty much identical. I suggest Kraft caramel squares if you go with the second option.
The caramel made from scratch (pictured below) is made with a candy thermometer. Don’t get scared! You can conquer it. A candy thermometer actually makes your candy making adventures easier because it literally tells you when the candy is ready. In fact, I’d be scared not to use it. Know what I mean? You can find the full recipe on page 93 in Sally’s Candy Addiction, so use the book to make today’s recipe. But, again, you can use the cheater’s method with caramel squares. You won’t need the cookbook or a candy thermometer for that!
There’s only 3 easy steps: make caramel, arrange clusters, chill.
The pictures pretty much write the recipe for me.
The caramel sets and becomes that fabulously chewy caramel, stretching as long as can be when you take each bite. Omg, pure candy heaven.
Will you just look at this?!
This is the candy to make if you’re afraid to make candy. Which you shouldn’t be because if you own Sally’s Candy Addiction, you know just how approachable candy is. It’s candy making, simplified.
What I love most about these white chocolate caramel cashew clusters (say that 3x fast) is all the varying texture. We’ve got smooth and buttery cashews, chewy and thick caramel, sweet and fabulously creamy white chocolate, then a slightly crunch from crumbled cashews and flecks of sea salt on top. They’ll only take about an hour of your time and most of that hour is letting the chocolate set on top. And the best part is that these white chocolate caramel cashew clusters can be made ahead of time and frozen. They won’t lose their texture nor will their taste be compromised.
I loooove them warmed up for about 5 seconds in the microwave. Paired with a cup of coffee. Followed by 6 more clusters because what is self control.Print
White Chocolate Caramel Cashew Clusters
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: about 35 clusters
- Category: Candy
- Method: No Bake
- Cuisine: American
An easy no-bake recipe for white chocolate caramel cashew clusters using only 4 simple ingredients. They’re creamy, chewy, crunchy, and buttery!
- 2 and 1/2 cups (375g) cashew halves*
- 8 ounces (226g) white chocolate, coarsely chopped*
- sea salt for sprinkling
- 30 caramel squares, unwrapped (I like Kraft caramels)
- 1/3 cup (80g) heavy cream
- Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Arrange 35 clusters of cashews each with 1-2 inches between them. Use about 11-12 cashew halves per cluster. Set a couple extra cashew aside if you have any. You can crush them up to sprinkle on top of the clusters in step 4.
- Place the caramels in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Pour cream on top and microwave for 3 minutes total, stopping and stirring every 20 seconds. It’s a lot of stirring, but it’s imperative to prevent the caramels from scorching. If the caramel seems too thick after 3 minutes, stir in 1-2 more Tablespoons of cream. Spoon 2 teaspoons of caramel onto the center of each cluster. Set aside as you melt the chocolate.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave or use a double boiler. If using the microwave, place chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes, stopping and stirring every 20 seconds until completely melted and smooth. Spoon melted chocolate on top of each cluster, then top each with any crushed cashews (from step 2) and a sprinkle of sea salt.
- Allow the chocolate to completely set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before enjoying. Store leftover clusters in the refrigerator.
- Freezing Instructions: Clusters can made ahead and frozen for up to 3 months. Simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Baking Sheets | Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Paper | Glass Mixing Bowls | Spatula
- Cashews: You can use whole cashews instead, though you might need less cashews per cluster.
- White Chocolate: Use pure white chocolate. I prefer either Ghirardelli, Baker’s, or Lindt brands, all found in the baking aisle. Do not use chocolate chips; they are not ideal for melting or coating.
- Homemade Caramel: If you’d rather make homemade caramel from scratch, use my Caramel For Dipping recipe found on page 93 in Sally’s Candy Addiction. You’ll need the full recipe for these white chocolate caramel cashew clusters. If you don’t have the book, use this shortcut method with store-bought caramels. Both caramels are fantastic! I’ve gotten some questions about using my salted caramel recipe. Don’t use that—it’s liquid caramel drizzle, not thick caramel like the Caramel For Dipping in my cookbook or the Easy Caramel recipe above.
Keywords: caramel cashew clusters, white chocolate cashew clusters
Reader Comments & Reviews
These are soooo good and easy to make. My stupid store did not have Kraft caramels (how does that even happen?), so I used the soft Werther’s and had to guess as to the numbers. Those are slightly smaller than the Kraft. I would request that the recipe includes the weight of the caramels for this reason, in addition to the count number. Also, I suspect that the people who had trouble with the carmel setting up didn’t cook it long/hot enough. I let mine boil up a couple of times while stirring as directed. I had no problem with it setting up or sticking to the parchment, and due to the Werther’s probably had less caramel than the recipe called for. Don’t let it get to “hard crack” temperature though.
I had never melted chocolate in a microwave, and made a mistake, even though I followed the directions. I used chips. I stirred. I *thought* I was seeing unmelted little chips still but what I was seeing is the white chocolate scortching and re-solidifying. I ruined about half of the chocolate that way, luckily I had extra to try again.
Thanks for the tips, Amy! I’m going to make these for the first time and follow your advice since so many people seem to be having issues with these 2 things.
To avoid the caramel sticking to the parchment paper, I laid a small circle of melted chocolate and then formed the cashew mound. I also reduced the amount of heavy cream to 1/4 c. The clusters turned out terrific and so yummy!!
My favorite cashew and dark chocolate bark is no longer made by my candy store. I’m going to try your recipe with dark chocolate. Both versions and sound wonderful, with or without caramel!
I followed this recipe to the letter and my caramel never set up good. I think 1/3 C of heavy cream was too much. It tasted good, but the caramel wasn’t as set as it should be.
These are wonderful. I followed your directions and read all the comments. The only thing I changed was to remove 1 tsp of cream thus making the caramel a bit thicker. I placed the cookie sheets in the fridge for an hour. When I removed them from the parchment paper I placed each one in a mini cupcake/candy liner. I then stored in a container in the fridge. I used the Kraft bits. It made 65 clusters. I made another batch and separated the chocolate into two bowls. I added a bit of red gel coloring to one dish and a bit of green to the other. While I did use the crushed cashews and sea salt on the top I also used some edible gold flakes. Very festive. The recipe used for the white cashew clusters was also very good with mixed nuts. Thank you Sally for sharing this recipe with us!
I made this recipe exact, even using the Kraft caramels. After sitting in the fridge to cool all night, the caramel still hasn’t hardened.
Delicious, although the caramel didn’t harden so they are really sticky. Other recipes similar use less cream… could this be a factor?
Question on these. I made them last weekend, they turned out wonderfully, with one exception…they stick to everything on the bottom, parchment paper, foil, plate, etc….I’m wondering if I should put a dollop of the white chocolate on the bottom, then the cashews, then spoon the caramel, and then white chocolate? Just to give it a smooth base so that I can stack them without being concerned they are going to stick together?
I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Yes, having a layer of white chocolate on the bottom would be a delicious solution if your caramel is sticking!
Do you use cashews that are oil-roasted and salted or dry roasted and salted? Thanks.
Either would be fine, but dry roasted would be best.
I’m wondering if a very light greasing of the parchment paper would help? Mine were still sticky and hard to get off the parchment paper. But delicious!!
Could I use the Sea Salt Vanilla Caramel recipe to make Salted Dark Chocolate Almond Turtles? I love all of it recipes from cookies to bars, brownies ,granola smoothies and salads, oh can’t forget the candies. Their all look delicious and as I read the recipes my month waters bad. Can’t wait to make them. Thanks for your wonderful recipes!
Yes, absolutely! Should work out just fine.
For some reason the caramel won’t set- still gooey
Sally, I made these last night and they were gobbled up at work. A nice Fri treat that all seemed to enjoy. Thanks for the easy recipe. The hardest thing was unwrapping all the carmels. I served them on little parchment squares since they were sticky to handle even after chilling. I had no complaints!!