Who doesn’t absolutely LOVE a good caramel sauce?! Have you ever tried making your own at home? This 6 ingredient recipe for easy homemade caramel sauce is the best ever! This easy caramel sauce recipe is quick to make! 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.
My Caramel Sauce Video Tutorial!
Make sure to watch my YouTube caramel sauce video tutorial for step-by-step instructions and see how I make this easy, homemade caramel sauce! Want new recipe updates? Make sure to subscribe to my website email list and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!
Ingredients for Caramel Sauce
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious sauce:
- White granulate sugar: use only white granulated sugar for this recipe. It will caramelize slowly and won’t burn as quickly as brown sugar.
- Butter: you can use salted or unsalted butter for this recipe. I recommend using unsalted so you can control the amount of salt better.
- Heavy Cream: I recommend having the cream at room temperature so it combines with the caramelized sugar better.
- Salt: use fine sea salt, which will dissolve better into the sauce.
- Vanilla Extract: if you have vanilla bean paste, that will work great, too!
Supplies & Tools for the Recipe
Need some supplies to make this recipe at home? Shop my Amazon Affiliate links for the items in my kitchen. Using these links won’t cost you extra and I’ll earn a small commission.
How To Make Homemade 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 easy homemade 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!
- Once the sugar has caramelized, remove it from heat and add the heavy cream and butter. Whisk in the butter and cream, then return it to the stovetop until the butter is completely melted.
- Add the vanilla, 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.
Use it for 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!
Recipes with Caramel Sauce
Here are some more delicious ways you can use this homemade sauce!
Enjoyed my recipe for caramel sauce? Check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!
- 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!
- 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!
Share it on Pinterest!
Easy Homemade 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 caramel sauce from the 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.
- This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups of caramel sauce
- If your sugar and water mixture is crystallizing instead of becoming golden brown, increase the temperature on your stove top. This means the water is evaporating before the sugar has a chance to caramelize. Cooking at a higher temperature will solve this problem.