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easy homemade salted caramel sauce

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!