Homemade Caramel Sauce-No Fail Recipe

Homemade salted caramel sauce

The EASY Homemade Caramel recipe using just a few ingredients that combine in one pot.

Add some whisking to thicken to desired consistency and you’re ready to drizzle, eat and indulge.

For an effortless caramel sauce, I sometimes use the Instant Pot to make Dulce de Leche, but usually, I just turn to this tried and true caramel sauce that’s so easy it makes store-bought caramel sauce pointless.

Depending on the recipe you may want to add some coarse sea salt for the salted caramel flavor that trends so often in fall recipes and winter holiday desserts.

It’s perfect drizzled over apple pie, or in our pear caramel pie, dipping caramel apples or apple slices, over vanilla ice cream, whipping into buttercream frosting, adding to your ice cream sundae buffet; We love it with Instant Pot Monkey Bread.

This easy caramel sauce has so many possibilities.

It might be not only an easy recipe but one of the best homemade sauces!

Homemade salted caramel sauce

It takes me back to the Ice Cream Parlor I use to take my kids to where they made the best caramel sauce from scratch.

It was a caramel sauce I dreamed about and made excuses for celebrations so I could sink my spoon into the caramel confection and get my fix. 

I find this recipe is simple, and I don’t use a candy thermometer.

I do suggest, the first few times you make this homemade caramel sauce recipe, you use a candy thermometer and bring the sauce to a softball stage for one minute.

Getting the caramel sauce to the softball stage will help it get thick and gooey.

The hardest part is the stirring.

Be prepared to whisk. whisk. whisk. 

You can also use a wooden spoon or spatula.

It is not a complicated process; It’s pretty much a no fail recipe.

The important thing is you must pay close attention to keep the sugar from scorching or it turning to caramel brittle.

Glass jar of homemade salted caramel sauce on wooden serving board with ingredients brown sugar above. Over old dark blue wooden background.

EASY Homemade Caramel Sauce Ingredients:

1 cup light brown sugar, packed (this will give it that beautiful amber color)

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tsp sea salt, optional, but worth it

1/2 cup half and half; or heavy cream

1 Tbsp real vanilla extract

EASY Homemade Caramel Sauce Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.

Simmer over low heat while whisking constantly until all the sugar dissolve and the sauce is no longer watery and is thickened (about 7 minutes).

This sauce will thicken as it cools so don’t whisk it too thick.

Pour salted caramel sauce into mason jars, glass jar

Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled with refrigeration.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Warm on the stovetop or in a microwave to make it drizzle. 

For a More Complex Flavored Caramel Sauce:

Add 3 Tablespoons molasses

This will be added with the brown sugar and butter.

Tips:

For a richer cream use heavy whipping cream.

You can also use evaporated milk.

You can use dark brown sugar for darker caramel color and slightly different flavors.

Fat is necessary for the caramel to have elasticity. Butter provides the best quality and taste and is the fat gourmet candy makers choose.

Less gourmet caramel is made with a combination of very little butter cut with other fats, changing the taste.

Did You Know?

The Candy King himself, Milton Hershey, did not start his empire making chocolate.

His first company was actually Lancaster Caramel Company.

Hershey discovered chocolate while seeking a coating for Lancaster Caramels.

Homemade salted caramel sauce

Homemade Caramel Sauce-No Fail Recipe

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Just 5 ingredients to the perfect easy caramel sauce to drizzle, eat and indulge. You'll never go back to store-bought caramel sauce again.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed (this will give it that beautiful amber color)
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, optional, but worth it
  • 1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon real vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.
  2. Simmer over low heat while whisking constantly until all the sugar dissolve and sauce is no longer watery and is thickened (about 7 minutes).
  3. This sauce will thicken as it cools so don't whisk it too thick.
  4. Pour salted caramel sauce into mason jars, glass jar
  5. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled with refrigeration.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  7. Warm on the stovetop or in a microwave to make it drizzle. 

Notes

For a More Complex Flavored Caramel Sauce:

Add 3 Tablespoons molasses

This will be added with the brown sugar and butter.

Tips:

For a richer cream use heavy whipping cream.

You can also use evaporated milk.

You can use dark brown sugar for darker caramel color and slightly different flavors.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 87Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 141mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 0g

Nutritional Information may not be accurate.

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