This sweet salted Caramel Sauce is scrumptious, smooth, and easy to make at home! Make it in minutes with just a few ingredients for a rich caramel sauce recipe that’s amazing on desserts, coffee drinks, and ciders! Tips to make it perfectly every time!
A family favorite, we love this caramel sauce drizzled on desserts like bread pudding, cheesecake, apple crisp, and pumpkin pie. Dress up your morning coffee or use a spoonful in your overnight oatmeal or waffles. Use the tips in my recipe to make the easiest, most delicious caramel sauce anytime. It’s tasty, smooth, creamy, and perfect every single time!
Desserts, apple slices, popcorn, and tasty drinks taste a little more elevated with a drizzle or dunk of caramel sauce. Especially THIS caramel sauce. So good on everything – even a tablespoon – it’s smooth, sweet, a little salty, a lot scrumptious! And so easy – you can make this delicious homemade Salted Caramel Sauce at home in 10 minutes with four ingredients plus a little water.
This is by far the easiest Caramel Sauce I’ve ever made, the best I’ve ever tasted, and so much better than any you can buy at the store or coffee house. I’ve included tips I’ve learned over years of making this caramel sauce that will help you make it perfectly every time.
Table of Contents
Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.
- Sugar – Use granulated or raw cane sugar for this recipe.
- Butter – Use salted butter that you’ve cut into pieces.
- Heavy Cream – Adds a creamy, rich consistency to the finished caramel sauce.
- Coarse Sea Salt – Adds the signature saltiness to the salted caramel sauce. If you prefer it unsalted, omit since you are also using salted butter.
- Water – Used to help melt the sugar.
Tips for the Best Caramel Sauce
- Clean tools. To prevent crystallization in your caramel, make sure that your pot and spoon are extremely clean. Any debris can cause crystallization.
- Wood or silicone. Mix the sugar and water using only a wooden or silicone spoon.
- Swirl gently with a clean wooden or silicone spoon to prevent grainy caramel.
- Thermometer. Use an instant-read or candy thermometer.
- Optional ingredient. As an option, you may add 1 teaspoon of corn syrup with the sugar and water to prevent any crystallization if you wish.
How to Make Caramel Sauce
Combine sugar and water. In a 3-quart saucepan set over medium heat, add the sugar and water to the saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon or silicone spoon until well combined. (It is important to use either of these types of spoons at this stage). The water helps the sugar to melt, which is called caramelization.
Swirl gently. Once the sugar is melted, gently swirl the pan over the heat if needed.
Use a thermometer. I use an instant-read or candy thermometer when making my recipe. When the thermometer registers 350º F, and the mixture is light amber, the caramel sauce is ready for the next stage.
Add butter. Add all of your butter pieces to the saucepan and whisk until the butter is fully incorporated. Mix carefully as the caramel will bubble up, but continue to whisk to make sure all of the butter has melted.
Remove from heat, add cream. Then, remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly pour in the cream, whisking continuously.
Add salt. Whisk in the sea salt.
Cool and serve. Allow the caramel sauce to cool completely. After it has cooled, pour the caramel sauce into a container for serving. Serve caramel sauce as desired, and enjoy!
To refrigerate. After the caramel sauce has completely cooled, pour the sauce into a glass jar with a lid or another airtight glass container. Store in the refrigerator for up to one month.
The caramel sauce will become thicker after refrigerating, so you can heat it gently in the microwave or on the stovetop to serve. (I think it is also delicious when cold, but it will be thicker.)
More Uses for Caramel Sauce
Pour over vanilla ice cream.
Dip apples, pears, and other fruit.
Use on a dessert board.
Use for gifts! Pour it into sterilized jars and give it to family and friends throughout the holidays or anytime, with a note for favorite ways to use it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Use a wooden spoon to stir the sugar and water to combine. Once it has melted, DO NOT STIR again. SWIRL the pan very gently. Be sure not to let it go high up the sides of the pan, as grains can form. As the sugar and water are heated, if you continue to stir, you’ll cause grains to form in the caramel sauce, and it will not be smooth and creamy.
Properly stored, homemade caramel sauce lasts up to a month. See my Storage Tips for more information.
If you tried this Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below. Thanks for visiting!
Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe
- 1 cup (198 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (57 g) water
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) salted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup (114 g) heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) sea salt
- 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.
- Carefully add your butter and whisk until all the butter has melted.
- 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.
- Allow to cool about 5 minutes and then pour into an airtight container for storing in the refrigerator.
Storage TipsTo refrigerate. After the caramel sauce has completely cooled, pour the sauce into a glass jar with a lid or another airtight glass container. Store in the refrigerator for up to one month. The caramel sauce will become thicker after refrigerating, so you can heat it gently in the microwave or on the stovetop to serve. (I think it is also delicious when it’s cold, but it will be thicker.)
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2014. Updated to include step by step photographs.