The Easiest Caramel Sauce Recipe

Easiest Caramel Sauce Recipe – The absolute easiest salted caramel sauce recipe that I have ever tasted! Smooth, creamy and perfect every single time! 

Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe - The absolute best salted caramel sauce recipe that I have ever tasted! Smooth, creamy and perfect every single time! //

This is by far the easiest caramel sauce that I’ve ever made and the best I’ve ever tasted.

Over the years, I’ve learned a little bit of a trick to making it, but once you learn the trick, you are in caramel sauce heaven! 🙂 You’ll only need five ingredients and a little bit of time to make it!


Once you make it, you’ll find a million and one things to dip in it, pour it over, and mix it in. It is just a staple item, I think. It is delicious swirled in blondies and brownies, poured over ice cream, mixed in a mocha or hot cider, and to dip apples and pears into. I also love to pour it into sterilized jars and give to family and friends throughout the holidays with a little note for favorite ways to use it. I love when they then tell me about their favorite ways to enjoy it!

So, now for the tricks of the caramel sauce trade.

You’ll want to use a 3-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Add your granulated sugar and water to the saucepan and stir until well combined. The water will help your sugar to melt and will prevent the finished caramel sauce from becoming grainy. Once you combine the sugar and water, do not stir again. As the sugar and water are heated, if you stir them, you’ll cause grains to form in your caramel sauce and it will not be smooth and creamy. Resist the urge! Instead, you can gently swirl the pan over the heat if needed, but be sure not to let the caramel go high up onto the sides of the pan or this will make the caramel sauce grainy as well.

Remember, the whole goal is creamy, smooth caramel sauce.

I love to use an instant read or candy thermometer when making my caramel sauce. When the thermometer registers 350ºF and is a light amber color, the caramel sauce is ready for the next stage.

Now, add all of your butter pieces to the saucepan at once and whisk until the butter is fully incorporated. The caramel will bubble up, but continue to whisk to make sure all of the butter has melted. Then, remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly pour in the cream, whisking continuously. Whisk in the sea salt and set aside to cool before transferring to another container or serving. The caramel sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe - The absolute best salted caramel sauce recipe that I have ever tasted! Smooth, creamy and perfect every single time! //

Here’s my quick and easy Caramel Sauce recipe. You can add the optional sea salt to the mixture for a Salted Caramel Sauce that is absolutely sublime! I think you’ll love it!

Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe - The absolute best salted caramel sauce recipe that I have ever tasted! Smooth, creamy and perfect every single time! //
Yield: 1 1/4 cups

The Easiest Caramel Sauce Recipe

Total Time 10 minutes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe - The absolute best salted caramel sauce recipe that I have ever tasted! Smooth, creamy and perfect every single time!
4.73 from 18 votes
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  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt


  1. Add the sugar and water to a 3-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Stir until combined. Do Not Stir Again! Simply swirl the saucepan until the sugar has melted and turns a light amber color. If you use a candy or instant read thermometer, the mixture should register 350º at this point.

  2. Carefully add your butter and whisk until all the butter has melted.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly pour in the cream, whisking constantly until all of the cream has been incorporated. Whisk in the sea salt and set aside to cool.
  4. Allow to cool about 5 minutes and then pour into an airtight container for storing in the refrigerator.


To prevent crystallization in your caramel sauce, make sure that your pot and spoon (silicone or wood!) are extremely clean as any debris can cause crystallization. Also, you may add 1 teaspoon of corn syrup with the sugar and water to prevent any crystallization, if you choose.

All images and text © Robyn Stone for Add a Pinch

Robyn xo

The Easiest Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe - The absolute best salted caramel sauce recipe that I have ever tasted! Smooth, creamy and perfect every single time! //


From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2014.

115 comments on “The Easiest Caramel Sauce Recipe”

  1. I found it the same, Izzy, you need to cool it for about 30 mins.

  2. Just made this and substituted red velvet extract and it was sooooo good! Thanks so much for a quick recipe that tasted fantastic!

  3. Hi Robyn! Just wondering how long can this stay in an airtight container in the refrigerator for? Thanks!

  4. Could the butter be browned a bit for a nuttier taste before adding the other ingredients?

  5. When you use brown sugar you are making butterscotch?

  6. Is heavy cream double cream?

  7. Can this recipe be doubled or tripled?

    • Hi Glenna –
      I usually make one batch at a time. You stand the chance of it getting grainy if the caramel sauce goes too high up in the pan while cooking as it might in a double/triple batch.
      It’s an easy recipe to make, but I do advise following the steps closely for the most delicious caramel. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks so much! Happy Holidays! xo

  8. When do you add the corn syrup to prevent crystallization?

  9. I love caramel sauce and I don’t condsider myself skilful in the kitchen, but I decided to give this recipe a try. It turned out perfectly and is the best caramel sauce I have ever tasted.
    Thank you!

  10. I just made this. It seems very pale, not at all like the nice brown colour in the pictures. I swirled this for at least 10 minutes or more I got worried when it started to turn colour and maybe didn’t let it boil long enough!

  11. How much corn syrup should I add to water and sugar?

  12. Best caramel sauce we’ve ever made!

  13. I tasted too much of heavy cream for me and the consistency is not right, maybe i did something wrong!

  14. How long does it keep for in the fridge

  15. Made this to go with a banana bread cheesecake for my husband’s coworker. It truly was simple. This was the first time I’ve ever made caramel and it came out perfect. Being the first time I was concerned I did something wrong when it was taking a while for the water and sugar to turn that amber color. As instructed though I resisted the urge and let it be. Eventually it did and everything came together perfectly. Will definitely use this again! So YUMMY!!

  16. Great recipe and very easy to follow. However, I think it had way too much salt. I used 3/4 teaspoon corse natural sea salt and the sauce turned to be very salty. Any solution to fix it now after it has already cooked?

  17. Important – use the 3 quart saucepan. I used a 1 1/2 quart saucepan the first time I tried the recipe and burned the sugar. It came out divine the second time using the right sized saucepan.

    • Hi Candy,
      Thanks for sharing that tip. I’m so happy you enjoy this! Thanks! xo

    • Wow – you are right – thanks very much for posting this – my pot was too small and although I didn’t burn it without stirring it solidified like rock – thankfully I saved it by adding water and stirring – but could not get it over 200 degrees – turned out smooth and very tasty but I think it will stay somewhat runny – will definitely try again with the correct size pot

      • Hi Janet,
        I’m glad you are giving it another try in the correct size pan and really hope you enjoy it!
        The recipe should work best in a 3 quart saucepan like in the recipe. I am glad you enjoyed the taste! Thanks so much! xo

  18. Was doing well until I added the butter – I whisked it in until melted & blended but when I added the cream, lumps formed. I continued to whisk and just ended up straining the lumps. Perhaps my cream wasn’t quite warm enough – will make again as the flavour is nice and practice makes perfect!

    • Hi Nancy,
      I’m sorry that happened when you made it. It’s never done that when I’ve made it, so I can’t be sure what caused it. It is important that the butter is completely melted and blended into the sauce and that the cream is at room temperature before adding it to the hot mixture. I hope this helps.
      I’m happy that you enjoy the flavor and glad you are giving it another try. Thanks so much! xo

  19. How long can this be refrigerated?

  20. Thanx so much but me i did it but without salt i only added sugar for the souffle puddings

  21. Will this stay over time without getting hard, and if so, where do you keep it and for how long?

    • Hi Rue,
      I store my caramel sauce in the refrigerator and then rewarm it before serving if I need it warmed. It should keep for up to a week well in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

  22. Wish I could show a pic of this… turned out amazing! There is no corn syrop in the country I live in so I used agave syrop (have used it in previous recipes and found it to be a good substitue) and it worked like a charm! Wonderful recipe, looks beautiful and tastes so good! My milk was cold so I poured very carefully, and it easily incorporated. Used a candy thermometer and your temperature was spot on. Thank you so much!!! 🙂

  23. Hi just wanting to know how long this keeps? thanks!

    • Hi Jana, I store my caramel sauce in the refrigerator and then rewarm it before serving if I need it warmed. It should keep for up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator. xo

  24. Just made this and for the heck of it substituted creme fraiche for the heavy cream. Omg, it’s incredible! The only difference I would make next time is to lessen the salt. Just a bit too salty.

  25. I made this twice differently. Both times I wound sneaking into the fridge with spoon. The first time I made it with Trader Joe’s creme fraiche and omg! The second time I used heavy cream and 3/4 teaspoon sea salt. I’m going down to half a teaspoon next time to try. It truly needs a night in the fridge to become creamy and thicken up but I also loved it golden and more thin the night before. We love putting it over ice cold cantaloupe with a bit of vanilla bean ice cream. Thank you so much for this insanely good treat!

  26. I made this sauce yesterday and it tastes really good! The texture is perfect: not grainy at all, thick when cold, and thin when warm. But I think that using salted butter AND 1 tsp sea salt is way too salty. I put 3/4 tsp salt, and it’s at the limit of being too salty for my taste. And for the color, it didn’t turn at all like on the picture. Mine has a dull, glossy, pale brown color. I followed the recipe pretty exactly, so I’m not sure what happened there. Still delicious!

    • I’m not sure why the color didn’t turn out like my photo, but I am glad you found it delicious, Beatrice! You can lessen the salt to your taste if you wish. Thanks so much!

  27. Have not yet made this BUT are you really sure about 350 F. This seems way to high. Other recipes use 250 F. Please advise…Doug…

    • 300 F is hard crack, and that’s still not hot enough. It’s hard to measure the temperature because it is rapidly changing. I think you are better off going by looks, even if you get it wrong the first couple of times.

  28. Note that this sauce uses slightly burned sugar for the flavor. Don’t compare it to those that use brown sugar; they are not making the same thing.

  29. Excelent recipe!! I made it for the first time like a year ago and then I’ve been making others because I couldn’t find it again. I thought I had pinned it but no. I just finished making 2 batches and everything went perfectly. Used the candy thermomehter and 350° is just it. But…. unconciously tossed the thermometer into the pot to wash everything, under the faucett when I finished and bye bye thermometer!! Anyway, thanks a lot for sharing this recipe.

  30. How long would you be able to preserve this in mason Jars? (Not pressurized) Also would you need it at room temperature or frozen? Thank you!!

  31. My mouth is watering looking at these pictures. This looks so much better than store-bought caramel. With the holidays coming up I will definitely be making this. Thank you for sharing.

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