Salted Caramel Sauce
Salted Caramel Sauce – Perfect to serve over desserts and fruit, or jar for edible gifts. This caramel sauce is so easy, you’ll make it again and again!
Pre-Made Vs. From Scratch
There are some things worth buying pre-made, and some things worth making from scratch. Salted Caramel Sauce is the latter.
Not only is it fast and easy to whip up, you have the ability to customize it to your liking…
You can make a lighter caramel sauce, or dark caramel sauce like mine. You can make salted caramel sauce really salty, or just a little salty. You can even adjust the thickness by adding more or less cream and butter.
Homemade Caramel Sauce
This is how I like my salted caramel sauce:
- Thin enough to pour when warm
- Darker and richer than store-bought caramel toppings
- With a good bit of salt
When it cools, it firms into a creamy dreamy spread you could slather on brioche bread or pound cake. Yet when it’s warm, drizzle it over fresh fall apples, ice cream, pancakes, or anything else that would benefit from a kiss of caramel.
Best yet, you can produce jars and jars of Salted Caramel Sauce as edible gifts this season, on a very small budget. If you love delivering goodies to your friends and neighbors, imagine what jars of homemade salted caramel sauce with a ribbon on top might do.
I gave a few jars of this sauce to friends last week and you would have thought I had given them a brand-new car!
So throw away your copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People and invest in sugar and cream.
You are guaranteed to be the most popular person on the block.
Caramel Sauce Recipe Ingredients:
- Granulated Sugar
- Heavy Cream
- Vanilla Extract
How to Make Caramel Sauce
- In a heavier medium pot, fill with water and place on the stove over medium heat. Once it is on the heat, add in the sugar. Make sure to watch it carefully as the sugar starts to dissolve and become darker.
- When the sugar is at the darkness that you prefer, usually I go for a nice golden brown, remove it from the stove and heat, pour in the heavy cream while whisking it together. (The darker the caramel, the more flavorful it becomes – but be careful that it doesn’t get too dark, or it will taste burnt.)
- Once you have whisked in all the cream, add in the butter, salt and vanilla. Stir it all together until it becomes smooth.
- Serve! It is best warm. You can refrigerate it until you are ready to use it!
Get The Full (Printable) Recipe Below For How To Make Salted Caramel Sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why is my caramel sauce not turning brown?
If your sugar syrup is not browning, it either means you added too much water, or you need to turn up the heat. If there is too much liquid in the sugar, it will not caramelize until the water has evaporated. As for the heat, all stoves are slightly different. You may find medium heat to be a little too low to caramelize the sugar. Just be careful not to turn the heat up too high, because sugar burns fast once it’s boiling.
How long will this salted caramel sauce keep?
This sauce can keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Make sure to cool the caramel sauce before putting in an airtight container. When you are ready to serve it, you can warm the sauce up slightly in the microwave or on the stovetop. If you want to make it a little thinner, you can add in a tablespoon or two of water to thin it out a little bit.
Is there a difference between caramel sauce and caramel syrup?
Yes, there is a big difference. Caramel sauce is thicker and it has a richer flavor, whereas caramel syrup is much thinner and has a more sweet taste.
Other Salted Caramel Recipes:
- Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting Recipe
- Salted Caramel Eggnog Brownies Recipe
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Recipe
- Bourbon Salted Caramel Candy Recipe
- Bourbon Derby Pie with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream Recipe
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart (Gluten Free) Recipe
- Salted Caramel Cashew Blondies Recipe
- Salted Caramel Apple Cider Recipe
- Caramel Shortbread Recipe
- Caramel Apple Soft Pretzel Recipe
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pour the water in a medium heavy-bottom sauce pot. Place over medium heat and add the sugar. Watch closely while the sugar dissolves and darken, 5-10 minutes.
- The moment the sugar darkens to your desired color (somewhere between golden-brown and medium brown) remove from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream. *Darker caramels are really flavorful, but don't let the sugar get too dark, or you'll have to start over.
- Once the cream is incorporated, stir in the butter, salt and vanilla until smooth. Serve warm, or jar and refrigerate until ready to use.
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Where did I go wrong? I followed the directions. The sugar was about medium color,I removed it from the heat and started whisking in the cream. I immediately had a ball of sugar in there. Dynamite would not have dissolved that. I started over just bringing the sugar barely to light brown and the same thing as soon as I added the cream……
Oh no! Is it possible you let the cream sit a little before you started to whisk it? It needs to be whisked in immediately.
The same thing happent to me, so what I did put it back on the stove and kept stirring until the ball was dissolved. And that worked out real good. The kids love it.
Love this recipe, I m a caramel lover, really yummy and easy to make !
the best sauce! It’s so smooth and tasty! Love how easy it is to make!
Yum! Great idea. This is perfect on so many desserts
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I made this twice this weekend and it was very thin. Really good, but thin and light in color. While the sugar is dissolving in the pan in the water, should I just be leaving it or stirring? Also it gets difficult to see color as it lightly boils and makes an almost “foam” on top. Do I just need to wait longer and that will go away? Thank you! It was still amazing!!!!
Are you whisking it before you add the cream? The reason I ask is mine NEVER foams prior to adding the cream. I’m wondering if you are whisking or stirring vigorously and that is creating the foam.
I usually add the water and sugar, swirl once or twice, and let it darken to a medium-dark brown. Then when I add the butter and cream, I whisk while it boils up to incorporate. That lightens the color a tad, but it still stays a medium brown.
Thickness all depends on the amount of cream and butter you add. If you want your sauce really thick, add a little less next time. Good Luck! :)
I made this … but my first attempt the sugar did not brown so I left it on the stove longer and the sugar formed a hard mass… I started over and left it on the stove only 10min… it is light yellow in colour but tastes great. It is still warm so I am hoping it will thicken up. How can I get the sugar to brown ?
Hi Lisa, Did you add the water to the pan with the sugar? That usually makes the biggest difference for me. I have tried caramelizing sugar without a little water and it always goes down hill.
It seems runny at the end though, not nice and thick like in your picture – more like water. Do you cook it more after you add the cream?
Hi There! Has it had time to cool down a little? It will be runny right as it comes off the stove, but should thicken as it cools.
I think this would be great poured over a warm white or chocolate cake or popcorn.
This looks amazing! After refrigerating, does the it warm up well again? How would you recommend reheating it?
I am loving everything about this! So delicious!
Can’t wait to try this! What percentage is “heavy cream”? I can only find 10% and whipping cream. Thanks!
Hi Paulina, “Heavy Cream” generally means 36% milk fat or higher. You could use whipping cream, but add just a little less.
I just made this and my kitchen smells wonderful!! And it was quite easy to make as well. One question: When I poured in the cream, the sugar crystallized into threads. So I put it back on the warm stove and stirred until it dissolved again. But did I do something wrong?
Hi Rachel! The only thing I can think of is that you need to pour in the cream immediately after you turn the heat off, and whisk a little more vigorously. It sounds like the caramelized sugar cooled a little before you added the cream. Is that possible?
An even easier way. Take a can of sweetened condensed milk (concentrated milk and sugar are the only ingredients). Place it unopened into a crock pot. Cover it with water and cook on low for 8 hours. Make sure it stays covered with water.
That’s it, you have caramel sauce.
I keep seeing this ‘recipe’ for sticking the can in the crockpot, however note that neither Nestle (Carnation) or Bordon recommend cooking the sauce in the can.
Hi Marie, I boil cans of sweetened condensed milk for dulce de leche, but there is some risk involved. You HAVE to make sure the cans stay completely submerged in water the entire 3-4 hours of simmering, or they could explode. (Can you even imagine?!) I only do it when I’m going to be in the kitchen for an extended period of time and make sure to add hot water to the pot as needed, and keep at least an inch of water over the tops of the cans.
Hi Leigh, I make Dulce de Leche the same way as you, but this salted caramel sauce recipe is not nearly as thick, and it has a fresher taste.
How long can this be stored for? Does it have to be refrigerated or is it shelf stable? This sounds delicious!
Hi Michelle, you can keep it in the fridge for a long long time, but I wouldn’t try canning it. Hope that helps! :)
Can this be made without dairy? Butter is ok, but cant do cream
Hi Darina, You could try it with thick canned) coconut milk. I’ve heard of this method, however I’ve never tried it myself so I can’t vouch for the taste of texture.
How long will it keep one refrigerated?
Hi Halie, I’ve left it in the fridge for a couple months at a time without any issues. :)
Sounds very interesting and so easy to make.
Caramel dipped apples is the best thing about fall! I need to make this now!
I am so so glad salted caramel has become so popular—actually giving chocolate a run for its money. I love it.
Love this :) This on apples equals heaven! :)
I tried to make a salted caramel sauce this past Friday but my patience led me to a light yellow color of sugar. No caramel I need to try again.
oooh I’ll have to give this is a shot! It looks so simple! Do you add in the butter when the pot is off the heat too?
Hi Amy! Yes, take it off the heat and add the remaining ingredients. :)
This needs to be poured over everything in sight!
caramel sauce is the best thing EVER!
Homemade caramel sauce is so worth the small amount of effort. Love this. What a great fall gift!
I love anything with caramel!! Can’t wait to try this sauce!
Looooove caramel sauce! So good!
I would love to receive a jar of this homemade deliciousness!
This looks so easy and good! The perfect sauce for fall!
Love homemade caramel sauces!! They’re the best :)
Oh Sommer, I’m loving this! I have to make this, my daughter (and I) love salted caramel, and this would be such a great hostess or holiday gift to a foodie!