An easy caramel sauce recipe that makes a deliciously thick sauce.
This homemade caramel sauce can be a recipe for either salted caramel sauce or regular caramel.
An easy caramel sauce recipe is a staple for desserts. Having a jar of homemade caramel sauce in the fridge at all times is a lifesaver when it comes to making delicious sweet treats. It can be used in so many ways.
This recipe shows how to make a basic caramel sauce. If you prefer a salty caramel recipe, it’s as simple as adding extra salt at the end.
This caramel is made using a dry caramel method. This means sugar is melted slowly, without the addition of water until it becomes amber brown.
Wet caramel is when sugar is melted alongside a little bit of water.
A dry caramel method is faster than wet caramel. It can also be stirred with a wooden spoon or whisk, which you can't do with a wet caramel method. Stirring a wet caramel causes sugar crystals to form on the side of the pot which can make a gritty caramel sauce.
Dry caramel is easy and fast BUT it does need close attention because it can burn very quickly.
Homemade Caramel Sauce Ingredients
There are only 4 ingredients in this quick caramel sauce recipe - Sugar, Butter, Cream, and Salt. Even if you’re not making a salted caramel sauce, a little salt is needed regardless to give depth of flavor.
Sugar - A granulated white sugar is needed. This is cooked very slowly over medium heat until it melts and turns amber brown.
Butter + Cream - The butter and cream give the caramel sauce flavor and a silky smooth texture.
Salt - A pinch to add a depth of flavor, or add more to make a salted caramel sauce.
Step by step instructions
The first step is to set out the ingredients needed. Making this dry caramel sauce is an easy process but getting the timing right is essential. It involves melting and caramelizing sugar, which can very quickly go from perfection to burnt.
Measure and set aside the butter cubes and the pouring cream.
In a deep saucepan over medium heat, melt the sugar, stirring gently while it melts. It will first clump together, then gradually melt into a brown amber liquid. Ensure all the sugar has melted and there are no crystals remaining before going to the next step.
Once completely melted, add in the cubes of butter, two cubes at a time. Start whisking straightway while you do this and don't stop until all the butter has melted. It will form a thick caramel but initially, the mixture may look like it has split.
Once the butter has completely melted into the sugar, pour in the cream and keep whisking. Take extra care here as the cream will make the caramel bubble and rise. Whisk it and let it keep cooking until it turns into a runny and deep brown caramel sauce. It will look split initially as the cream hits the hot caramel, but just keep whisking. Afterward, take it off the heat and stir in the salt.
Leave the sauce to cool for 5 minutes, then pour it into a clean jar. It will thicken up as it cools down.
Store the caramel sauce in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to a month. It will thicken up considerably once called but it can be gently rewarmed when needed to make it liquid again.
Caramel sauce can be frozen too, for up to three months.
How to use Caramel
There are so many ways to use homemade caramel sauce.
- Drizzle warm caramel over over ice cream sundaes or swirl it into yogurt
- Add it to apple pie to make a delicious caramel apple pie
- Pour warm caramel sauce over fruit crumbles or use it in a pear or apple upside down cake.
- Swirl it into a cheesecake or drizzle it over freshly baked brownies
- Fill donuts or cupcakes with a burst of caramel sauce.
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- 200g (1 cup) granulated white sugar
- 85g butter, room temperature, cut into cubes
- 125ml (½ cup) pouring cream, room temperature
- ¼ - 1 tsp salt
- Measure and set aside the butter cubes and the pouring cream.
- In a deep saucepan over medium heat, melt the sugar, stirring gently while it melts. It will first clump together, then gradually melt into an amber brown liquid. Ensure all the sugar has dissolved but don't let it burn or become too brown or the caramel will be bitter.
- Once it has all melted, add in the cubes of butter, two cubes at a time. Start whisking straightway while you do this and don't stop until all the butter has melted. It will form a thick caramel.
- Once the butter has completely melted into the sugar, pour in the cream and keep whisking. Take extra care here as the cream will make the caramel bubble and rise. It may also split the caramel as the cream hits the hot sugar. Keep on whisking and cooking it until it forms a smooth and runny deep brown caramel sauce. Afterwards it off the heat and stir in the salt. If making regular caramel sauce, add ¼ tsp salt. For salted caramel sauce, add 1 teaspoon.
- Leave the sauce to cool for 5 minutes, then pour it into a clean jar. It will thicken up as it cools down.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 181Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 116mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0gSugar: 20gProtein: 0g