How To Make The Best Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

This easy, DIY homemade salted caramel sauce is so good you’ll never go back to store bought again!  Great for drizzling on cupcakes, over ice cream, or dipping apples in…you’ll be looking for any excuse to use this liquid gold!

Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce-great for ice cream, apples, cakes and more!

Okay, so I know the whole caramelization process seems intimidating but I promise you making caramel sauce is VERY EASY!  Once you make your first pot of salted caramel sauce you’ll be like OMG why have I never done this before?!?
It does require your undivided attention for the whole 20-30 minutes it takes to make, so make sure you have no distractions because the sugar can go from zero to burnt realllll quick.  Trust me, you do NOT want the smell of burnt caramel filling up your kitchen.

You’re probably asking yourself why would you want to go through the trouble of making caramel sauce yourself when you can easily buy it at the market…am I right?  Well let’s just say it’s like having jarred marinara sauce and then suddenly tasting grandma’s homemade sauce…total taste bud changer!!!  I remember making it in pastry school for the first time…it was like OMG I NEED MORE!!!  Maybe I’m overreacting but humor me people!

“I’m hot…sticky, sweet…from my head to my feet…POUR SOME SUGAR ON MEEEEE”…

(for some weird reason that song pops in my head whenever I’m making homemade caramel sauce).

Now that that’s out of my system…

How to Make the Best Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce:

First combine your sugar and water in a medium sized sauce pan.  Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and it starts to bubble.  STOP mixing once this happens.

Step 1: Dissolving the sugar to make homemade salted caramel sauce

Let the sugar come to a boil.  It should look like this:
Sugar begins to boil for homemade salted caramel sauce

Keeping a close eye on your pan, continue to cook the sugar, swirling around if you notice some spots getting brown.  Once you see your whole pan reach a golden caramel color, remove from heat.

The sugar turns a golden amber color when it's ready caramelizing for caramel sauce

SLOWLY pour in your heavy cream, while whisking.
(Don’t get nervous as the sugar will bubble up when you add in the cream)Add heavy cream to your sugar to make homemade caramel sauce

Lastly, add in your butter, vanilla and sea salt and there you have it: Homemade Salted Caramel SauceEasy, Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe

Store caramel sauce in small glass jars or bigger mason jar.
Caramel will keep up to 1 month in the refrigerator.

Use this homemade salted caramel sauce for :

Topping on Ice Cream
Caramel Dipped Apples
Caramel Sauce for Coffee
Drizzling on cheesecake
Drizzling on popcorn

And the list goes on and on!!!
Maybe even add some whiskey in there for Bourbon Caramel Sauce or melt in some chocolate chips for a Chocolate Caramel Sauce ((Drooling)).  See notes below.Easy Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe-store in jar and use for ice cream, cookies, popcorn, etc!

Looking for some recipes to use this caramel sauce on?
Try my brown butter pecan cupcake recipe!

easy homemade salted caramel sauce
Print Pin
0 from 0 votes

Homemade Caramel Sauce

Easy, homemade caramel sauce is so good you’ll never go back to store bought again. Drizzle on cupcakes, over ice cream, on shortbread cookies, or just eat a spoonful…you’ll be looking for any excuse to use this liquid gold!
Course Dessert
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 1 cups


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream room temp
  • 2 tbs butter unsalted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • Combine sugar and water in medium sized saucepan over medium heat.
  • Start whisking until sugar has dissolved and mixture starts to bubble then STOP whisking.  It will be cloudy at first, and then turn to clear bubbles.
  • Continue cooking, (swirling around pan if some spots start browning) for about 7-10 minutes until sugar turns a light golden color.
  • Remove from heat and SLOWLY whisk in heavy cream, stirring until fully added.  The caramel will bubble up as you whisk in the cream so don't panic!
  • Add in butter, vanilla and salt.  Stir until smooth.
  • Pour into glass jars or a covered container and let come to room temperature.  The caramel will seem runny but it will thicken as it cools.
  • Use once warm to touch, or store in glass jars or covered container in refrigerator. 
  • See notes below for a cleaning tip to get the caramel off your pan!


*Real butter MUST be used, you can't substitute with margarine.
*If storing caramel in refrigerator, just microwave for 20 seconds or so before using.
*For Bourbon Caramel Sauce--->Add in 1 TBS Bourbon Whiskey when adding in the heavy cream
*For Chocolate Caramel Sauce: Add 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips after you add the butter and salt.  Stir until melted.
*If caramel sauce seizes up after adding in the cream and butter, return to heat on low and whisk until crystals dissolve.
*Caramel will keep for up to a month in refrigerator. 
*To clean: fill pot with water and bring to a boil.  Caramel will softened and wipe right off the pan!
Tried this recipe?Mention @winealittlecookalot or tag #winealittlecookalot!

Sign up below and never miss a recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.