Easy, 6 ingredient recipe for the best caramel sauce recipe ever! Who doesn’t absolutely LOVE a good caramel sauce?! Have you ever tried making your own at home? Making your own caramel sauce is super easy! And once you try it, you’ll never go back to the bottled variety. It’s perfect for drizzling over everything – coffee drinks, cakes and desserts.
This recipe is part of my ‘Back to Cake Basics’ series, where I share simple cake, frosting and filling recipes. Make sure to check out the entire collection!
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How To Make Caramel Sauce
Ahh, I could eat my screen right now! That little drizzle of caramel sauce going down the side of the jar looks so good! I used to make home made caramel sauce all the time when I was just a kid experimenting in the kitchen – it’s that easy! Here are a few tips to make perfect caramel:
- DO NOT STIR! Just one simple rule that can make or break your recipe! If you ever get a grainy, sandy type of caramel sauce, that means the sugar didn’t melt equally as it was cooking. Once you mix together the sugar and water, don’t stir the mixture; just let it cook away. Also, try to use a saucepan that isn’t too big or too small for the mixture.
- Cook over medium heat, allowing the sugar to melt uniformly.
- Cook until the sugar caramelizes into a rich, brown color. The darker the color, the more intense the flavor. But be careful not to burn the caramel – no one likes burnt caramel!
- Add the vanilla and butter last, ensuring that the vanilla flavor doesn’t get cooked out of the sauce.
- Keep the ready sauce covered with plastic wrap so a film doesn’t form on top.
Salted Caramel Frosting
I love to use my homemade caramel sauce for my ‘Salted Caramel Buttercream’ in place of dulce de leche. I make the sauce the night before, then refrigerate it overnight. It thickens up nicely and can be used as a spread or for the frosting recipe!
Enjoyed my recipe for caramel sauce? Check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!
- Easy Lemon Curd – perfect for filling any dessert and so easy to make!
- Vanilla Pastry Cream – a classic recipe that’s great for filling tarts and pastries!
- Orange Cranberry Sauce – not just for Thanksgiving! This sauce is great for cakes as a filling!
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Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe (video)
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 to 2 tsp vanilla extract
- In a medium-sized sauce pan, combine the sugar and water but do not stir. Cook the sugar over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sugar caramelizes into a rich, amber color. Do not stir the syrup while cooking, as this will cause crystals to form on the sides of the pan! The timing can also vary, depending on saucepan and stove top.
- Once the syrup caramelizes, add the butter and whisk until melted. Add the heavy cream next and mix again; the sauce will foam up - take care that it doesn't run over.
- Remove the sauce from heat and add the salt and vanilla extract. Allow the sauce to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then pour into a glass mason jar for keeping. Keep the sauce at room temperature for up to 1 week, or refrigerate for a thicker caramel.