Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Salted caramel is currently the coolest kid in class. It’s the quarterback of the football team. The head cheerleader. When salted caramel is at a party, everyone wants to be there. While foodie crazes like macarons and cake pops are certainly deserving, I think salted caramel has some serious staying power. There is nothing about the combination of sweet and salty that will ever go out of style. You may have noticed over the last year or so, that I have completely and totally embraced the salted caramel phenomenon: Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie BarsSalted Caramel Popcorn, Pretzel & Peanut BarsSalted Caramel BrowniesSweet and Salty BrowniesSalted Caramel Cashew BarkSea Salt Caramels with Vanilla BeanSalted Caramel Ice Cream. The best part? I’ve merely scratched the surface. The possibilities are truly endless, which is why I thought it was high-time I settled on a standard salted caramel sauce recipe. I have experimented with different types – dry (sugar only), wet (sugar and water), some with corn syrup, some with sour cream. Needless to say, I’ve run the gamut. My conclusion? I’ve found the simplest to be the best. In 15 minutes, and with only four ingredients, you can have smooth, creamy, salty caramel sauce. Below you will find tips for making the best caramel, and a step-by-step recipe with photos.

Caramel can be intimidating, but the more you make it, and the more you will get a feel for the look and the smell, and it will become second-nature. For those just starting out, here are a few tips:

  • Stir the sugar initially to help it to melt evenly, but stop once it has completely melted to keep it from seizing.
  • If you’re new to caramel-making, you may find a thermometer will help to guide you. The caramel should reach 350 degrees F on an instant-read or candy thermometer. If you aren’t able to obtain a thermometer, you can use visual cues for doneness. The caramel should be a deep amber color and should have just started to smoke. The line is very fine here. If you don’t cook it long enough it will be too sweet with little depth of flavor, but cook it too long and it will be burnt and unusable. Once you’ve done it a few times and see the color and can experience the smell when the thermometer hits 350, you will have a better idea of how to eyeball it when you don’t have a thermometer.
  • Be sure to use a saucepan that is larger than you think you might need. When you add the butter and the cream, the caramel will bubble up violently.

Now that you have a jar of the most amazing caramel sauce, what can you do with it? The short answer? Anything and everything!

Drizzle it over ice cream. Swirl it into brownies and cheesecakes. Use it as a dip for apple slices. Stir a spoonful into hot chocolate. Put it in pretty jars and give it as gifts. Whip it into buttercream frosting (we’re doing that tomorrow – stay tuned!) Bathe in it. Eat it by the spoonful. No one judges when it comes to salted caramel!

One year ago: Top 10 List: Favorite Cupcake Recipes
Two years ago: Polenta French Toast
Three years ago: Coconut Chocolate Chunk Blondies

Salted Caramel Sauce

Yield: 2 cups of sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon fleur de sel (or any other flaky sea salt)

Directions:

1. Add the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy saucepan, with a capacity of at least 2 or 3 quarts. Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt. You'll see that the sugar will begin to form clumps, but that's okay. Just keep whisking and as it continues to cook, they will melt back down.

Stop whisking once all of the sugar has melted, and swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks.

2. Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a deep amber color. It should look almost a reddish-brown, and have a slight toasted aroma. This is the point where caramel can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds, so keep a close eye. If you are using an instant-read thermometer, cook the sugar until it reaches 350 degrees F.

(The lighting doesn't depict the color perfectly in the photo above, but if you look to the left side, you will see there is some darker caramel underneath - this was the predominant color at this point.)

3. As soon as the caramel reaches 350 degrees, add the butter all at once. Be careful, as the caramel will bubble up when the butter is added. Whisk the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel. Again, be careful because the mixture will once again bubble up ferociously.

Whisk until all of the cream has been incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. Add the fleur de sel and whisk to incorporate.

5. Set the sauce aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then pour into your favorite glass jar and let cool to room temperature. You can refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks. You'll want to warm the sauce up before using.

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426 Responses to “Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce”

Comment Pages 1 2 3
  1. Clare on April 20, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Wow!!! The hardest part was waiting for it to cool enough so as not to burn my mouth while inhaling the caramel… Amazing as usual – Thank you!

    Reply

  2. Riley on April 24, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    I want to make the Salted Caramel Cupcakes for my grad party, but I always mess up caramel because my candy thermometer is horrible! What (affordable) kind of thermometer will work for this?

    Reply

  3. Margi on April 26, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I made this recipe to go with the cupcake recipe that uses it. Then I put the leftovers in the fridge, and started putting it in my coffee in order to use it up. I am now completely addicted to having this in my coffee. Thanks for an AMAZING recipe; it is a very sweet addition to my daily routine. :)

    Reply

    • Nat on May 20th, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      Such a good idea! I’m so doing that next time I make coffee…

      Reply

  4. Julie Sedgwick on April 29, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    So darn good. It was really easy to make too. I love this stuff! And the caramel frosting was easy too.

    Reply

  5. Christine on May 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    This is the most amazing sauce ever!

    Reply

  6. sharon lind on May 13, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Made this for the first time for Mother’s Day (2-013). It was very easy; although, heed the “it can burn quickly” advice. It was part of a gift basket for my mom and was a big hit all around. She felt extra special and thought I was a genius. Everyone loved it. We served it over pound cake and caramel ribbon ice cream (store bought this time). I’m not much of a dessert maker but will definitely be trying out a few of the other goodies around here! Thanks for such great recipes and perfect instructions.

    Reply

  7. BakerShay on May 17, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I have the worst luck with this recipe. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong!!! My sugar cooks to the dark, amber color but every time I have a TON of uncooked chunks of sugar in the pot that are rock hard and not melted. Yet the rest of the sauce is done, or overdone since I have tried to wait on the clumps to cook down. I have cooked the sugar anywhere from low heat for ages to high heat to everything in between. I have attempted this recipe 8 times now! What am I doing so wrong?! Why isn’t my sugar cooking evenly? I have tried whisking continually to whisking only until the sugar starts to melt. But this taste so damn good I keep trying it! I have used a candy thermometer and cup of water trick, so i know its at the right temp. Just Uneven. I just wish I knew what I was doing wrong! Help!

    Reply

    • Asya on May 23rd, 2013 at 2:18 am

      Hey BakerShay – I made this recipe today, and like you, I had the uncooked chunks of sugar too. Actually, I only had one that was the size of a tennis ball!. What I did was take the pan off the heat and stirred the lump of sugar in the melted sugar. When the melted sugar was starting to cool down, I put it back on the heat. Then I’d take it away from the heat again, and stir the lumpy sugar again. It seemed to work for me, and the sugar wasn’t overdone. ps// I actually think it’s using the whisk that’s causing the lumps, because the sugar gets caught in the wire cage of the whisk. I remember ages ago making caramel and just using a wooden spoon, and it was fine. I think I’ll do that next time and see how it goes.

      Reply

      • AlyB on September 26th, 2013 at 9:36 pm

        Taking it off burner for a while did the trick for me. Thanks for the idea!
        Also, using the whisk at the beginning then switching to a wooden spoon helped, I think.

        Reply

  8. Nat on May 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    This sauce is really fantastic. I used it for the salted caramel cupcakes recipe (which got rave reviews at a friend’s birthday) but I also drizzled some on to your New York Style Cheesecake (which I had a slice of left in the fridge) and it was ABSOLUTELY delicious. I think I might do an ice cream factory thing next time I have guests, and use this sauce along with your hot fudge sauce as toppings!

    Reply

  9. Andrea on May 22, 2013 at 1:52 am

    Hello! Will like to find out if 350 is farenheit or deg celcius? Many thanks!

    Reply

  10. Asya on May 23, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Hi Michelle, I’m new to your site. I’m new to baking, in fact. I just wanted to say thank you. Your blog is lovely, your recipes great and instructions easy to follow. (I only wish your measurements were in the metric system, but I’ll get used to it, I’m sure!). I made the salted caramel sauce today, and your recipe is perfect. I made the chocolate cup cakes to go with it as well (notice how it’s not the other way round?!), and so far, so good! I made your dark chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting last week too, and the cupcakes were delicious. (the peanut butter frosting was not so great, but that’s my fault, not the recipe’s! long story, no need to bore you with it!). So thank you, and keep up the good work!
    Asya – all the way from Singapore.

    Reply

  11. Traci on May 25, 2013 at 8:50 am

    First off, I LOVE this recipe. The problem is, it must not share the love with me. All is well until I add the cream, and then I have a seized mess. Can you please HELP me to figure out where I am going terrible wrong? Thank you so very much.

    Best regards,
    Traci

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 27th, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      Hi Traci, It definitely shouldn’t seize, but it will bubble up quite a bit. Try cooking to about 5 degrees less. Elevation can affect boiling and candy-making so sometimes adjustments are needed.

      Reply

      • Wendy on June 7th, 2013 at 1:15 pm

        I had a batch seize up on me once. The butter was too cold when I added it. Could this have been your problem?

        Reply

  12. SA on May 31, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Wow.

    I FINALLY got around to making this- I was nervous about the substitutions I’d need, then decided, what the heck, it’s worth a shot!
    I needed this to be completely dairy-free, so I used unsalted margarine in place of the butter and whipped topping instead of heavy cream (people have also suggested nondairy creamer or coconut cream, but I didn’t have any handy!)
    I watched my sugar caramelize beautifully- a few clumps, but I haven’t made caramel in YEARS, so that was to be expected. Added the margarine- smooth, gorgeous.

    Then I added the whipped topping. And I watched that labor of love seize up, separate, and die. It was rather tragic.
    Given how hot melted sugar is, I figured I’d let it cool down before dumping it- and I’m so glad I did!!! The caramel had separated into a layer of watery caramel with a coating of vanilla-y oil on top. In the ensuing few hours, somehow it all mellowed, and I was able to whisk it back together into a smooth, buttery salted caramel sauce!

    (Then I forgot to add the flour to the salted caramel brownies…after I’d poured the whole business into the pan…I mixed it in -including the middle layer of caramel- then reassembled it…we’ll see how that story ends when it comes out of the oven!)

    Reply

  13. Wendy on June 7, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    I’ve made several batches of this amazing caramel and it’s always a hit! In response to specific requests, I made three attempts (at two different times in two different locations) to whip up a batch for a gathering of friends this weekend. Imagine my surprise when my sugar absolutely refused to turn color! Each time, it took on a faint yellow tint at around 350 degrees, but it never got any deeper than that, no matter how long I let it cook. On my last attempt, I suspected my thermometer was reading high, causing me to add the butter too soon, so I tried cooking it by eye. Again I got a faint yellow tint, but it never went to amber. As I let it cook, it began to develop a crust over the top and eventually crystallized almost completely, although it never burned.

    My current theory is that the remnants of the tropical storm working its way up the coast made it too humid for caramel making. What to do you think?

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 7th, 2013 at 11:54 pm

      Hi Wendy, That very well could be the problem. If you’ve had success before, I’m not sure what would cause there to be such a difference all of a sudden.

      Reply

  14. Kelly on June 21, 2013 at 1:40 am

    Hi there,

    I have made this several times. I will have to say the first time I made this was the best result. Still working on my consistency with the color so I don’t have that burnt taste or not enough rich taste. Any hints on how I might achieve this? I L❤VE YOUR BLOG!!! Thank you for doing this.
    Kelly

    Reply

  15. Jessica on June 22, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Hi there,
    Quick question. I just finished my first attempt ever at making caramel and I’m not sure if its burnt or not lol It got brown a lot faster than I expected, almost amber before the last few clumps melted, to the point where I really didn’t even get a chance to swirl it.It doesn’t really taste burnt except for a little bit of an after taste, almost toasted tasting.Is that how it’s supposed to be or did I take it a little too far? Thanks so much, love the site by the way! : )

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 22nd, 2013 at 11:21 pm

      Hi Jessica, Some people like it darker than others, so it’s a little bit personal preference. If you like the toasted flavor (I do), then do what you’re doing. If you feel like it’s a little too bitter, then try cooking it for a tad less time.

      Reply

      • Jessica on June 23rd, 2013 at 11:55 pm

        Thanks, I went ahead and tried it again and took it off a tiny bit sooner and it came out perfect! I’m sure you hear this all the time but I love the site, thanks for making it easy for us first timers! : )

        Reply

  16. Amanda on June 30, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Ah this recipe looks amazing, can’t wait to make a jar and put it on absolutely everything. Including just a spoon.

    Reply

  17. Shelly on July 3, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Very easy! I made some adjustments after slightly burning my first batch. FYI I made sure I had enough of my ingredients to make more than one batch. After reading all the comments about how easy it is to mess it up, I expected it would take a few tries. Make sure everything is room temp as called for – this is very important otherwise things clump and separate. I halved everything after burning my first batch. It was really tricky to melt all the sugar in the original recipe without part of it burning. Also LOW heat worked better than the medium/high. Lastly, I’m typically NOT a salt person, but I couldn’t taste any salt so I added more salt until it was where I wanted it. Very tasty!

    Reply

  18. Erica on July 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Could I use condensed milk in place of the cream?

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 5th, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Hi Erica, I have not tried that, so I can’t guarantee the outcome. If you give it a try, let me know how it turns out.

      Reply

  19. Melinda on July 10, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    I burnt my first batch pretty bad, and my second batch tastes okay but I feel like it’s slightly lacking in flavor. It’s yummy it just doesn’t taste caramelly enough if that makes any sense, I’m thinking I needed to cook it longer.
    I found my sugar didn’t want to melt the first batch reached to high of a temp before I got rid of all the sugar lumps. The second batch I cooked on a much lower flame but I had the same problem. Is there any reason why my sugars burning before it’s melting?

    Reply

  20. Anna Lornzo on July 10, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    I used a different recipe but followed your instructions and they were VERY helpful!!!! I thought a video would be better but your pictures and descriptions did the trick perfectly! Couldn’t that you enough!

    Reply

  21. Caity on July 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Made this sauce today to go along with the snicker’s cake. Didn’t have a candy thermometer, and completely messed up the first batch! It was really chunky and I had to throw it out (after I snacked on some of the pieces of course!!) Raising the temperature really helped, and it wasn’t too hard to guess at the temp according to the color, even for a first time carmel maker! Good luck everyone!

    Reply

  22. Shalena on August 15, 2013 at 10:54 am

    I just made this caramel sauce, I looks pretty thin, will it thicken as it cools?

    Reply

    • Julia on August 15th, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      It does! Put it in the fridge and it will really firm up and get to the point of a cream cheese consistence (maybe a little thicker). I have some in my fridge right now!

      Reply

  23. Julia on August 15, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Thank you for saving me! I made the frosting and used to to fill french macarons and they were just delicious. Everyone raved! You can see them here: http://bit.ly/13nSq6Z

    Reply

  24. Leah Harbar on August 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Hi. I just made this sauce and it worked amazing, first time and tastes way better than any purchased caramel sauce, unreal. Quick question though: my salt did not dissolve so well and all ended up at the bottom of the pot/jar. I used fleur de sel. Any suggestions of what I should have done differently??? Thanks so much. PS I love your website and am going to try your vanilla cupcakes with the salted caramel icing today. And congrats on your recent nuptials. :D

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 27th, 2013 at 9:15 pm

      Hi Leah, So glad you loved the sauce! I’m not sure what could have caused your salt to sink; I’ve never had that happen. Give it a good stir :)

      Reply

      • Moopiedixie on October 18th, 2013 at 5:55 pm

        I had a little of this problem too – but I think it was because my salt flakes were just too big – and I was too chicken to keep the caramel hot enough to dissolve the salt.

        Reply

  25. BakingFanatic on September 6, 2013 at 4:21 am

    I JUST made this & I can’t stay away. I don’t even care that I might burn my tongue. It’s THAT GOOD!!! Thank you!! I’ve been looking for a good salted caramel recipe and I’ve fallen in love!!

    Reply

  26. Mareeha on September 11, 2013 at 3:35 am

    Hi Michelle! I tried the caramel sauce … tbe color is dark amber but it tastes lil’ bitter :(

    Reply

  27. Kathleen on September 12, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Hi
    I have bottled caramel sauce and fleur del sel. Can I heat up the caramel sauce with the salt to make salted caramel?

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 13th, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Hi Kathleen, It will not taste even close to homemade caramel. Take the plunge! :)

      Reply

  28. AlyB on September 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    My six y.o. Son and I made this today and it was like eating heaven–or at least the very best caramels ever. I’ve had so many disappointing experiences with DIY caramel and felt so excited when this one turned out without any seizing. Thank you!!

    Reply

  29. Orla on September 30, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Hi!
    Would it work to use this caramel in the recipe for the Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars instead of melting down bought caramels? Would it work the same or is this a bad idea?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 3rd, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Hi Orla, Yes, you could definitely use this one. I think about 3/4 cup or 1 cup should be a good amount.

      Reply

  30. Andrea on October 6, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I made this for teacher’s gifts and it was amazing – thank you!

    Reply

  31. Michelle F. on October 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Made this today and it is wonderful!! I had some fresh apple cider that I heated in the same pan to melt away the sugar that had crystallized on the side and on my whisk…oh.my.goodness! Heaven in a cup. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to drink “plain” cider again! Thank you for the recipe. It’s a keeper! =]

    Reply

  32. Fallfriendly on October 16, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Just made this, on an electric stove (I rent, no choice) and all i can say is, how i have gone nearly a half a century and not known or ever made this before now. To say it tastes great doesn’t do it justice. Unbelievably good and thanks to those step by step instructions, easy peasy to make. The hardest thing about this recipe is not eating the whole jar right now, this very second with a spoon. Thank you so much for posting this.

    Reply

  33. Veronica on October 16, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I made this recipe 9times. Some failed and the last few were fabulous. Here are my tips from a very frustrated caramel sauce maker. If you bring it to 350 it will be burnt. Forget the thermometer. By the time you screw around with looking at temps, the sauce will burn. It turns burnt in a few seconds….. Literally. My tips…..the second the sugar is melted, add the butter and whisk like crazy. It is very hot and even hot to stir, so i used an oven mitt on my stirring hand. Do not be tempted to lower the heat. If it cools too quick, it clumps and you can’t incorporate the butter. My last tip is to half the recipe the first time you make it. Less waste that way for trial and error. I was determined to “get it perfect”. So I made a lot of half batches. Now I’ve got it and it’s a great recipe.

    Reply

  34. Terri on October 18, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    This recipe is delicious, and turned out amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

    Reply

  35. Moopiedixie on October 18, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    I made this and mixed it with toasted walnuts for an incredible cake filling. I’m still eating this on cream cheese & graham crackers – just delicious. QUESTION: do you think it would be ok to double this recipe, using a heavy dutch oven? (with a wide bottom) I’m concerned about stickage…controlling that much sugar. I’m considering making this as christmas gifts…
    thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 22nd, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      I think you could make a double batch without a problem! Enjoy! :)

      Reply

  36. Caroline on October 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Michelle!
    I love love love this recipe and have made it several times. I love to give it out as gifts. I was wondering, have you ever tried making a double batch?? I want to make a TON and wonder if it’s possible to do a double batch or is it more prone to burn??
    Thought I’d ask!
    Thank you!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 22nd, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Hi Caroline, I think you could make a double batch without a problem! Enjoy! :)

      Reply

  37. Caroline on October 20, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Ha ha!
    Just noticed that the comment before mine asked the same question. ;)

    Help us out, Michelle!

    Reply

  38. Linda Baziuk on October 20, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    I fell in love with “real” French salted caramel sauce in Paris.. and yours looked just like it. I just made a batch as a trial for Christmas gifts. It turned out perfectly and exactly like the stuff in France. A word of warning — it goes from perfection to seriously burnt disaster in a matter of seconds. You have to watch it and work fast. I dare you to ask me how I know this….
    Thanks for the “real deal”. I will make and enjoy this for years to come.

    Reply

  39. Erika on October 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Made this sauce over the weekend for your Salted Caramel Rice Krispies treats with dark chocolate (which were a HUGE hit). Was nervous about this sauce after reading some of the other comments, but my first batch was perfect! What other recipes can I incorporate this sauce into? . . . now that I have a whole jar of it, lol.

    Reply

  40. Kate on October 26, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Hello! I love this recipe! Its so good I want to make this for Christmas gifts, do you know how long it would last in a mason jar?
    Many thanks,
    Kate

    Reply

    • Kate on October 26th, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      Apologies just seen your comment saying two weeks.

      Reply

  41. Courtney on October 28, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Can I use this for the chocolate chip cookie bars you posted?
    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 29th, 2013 at 10:23 am

      Yes! I would recommend using about 3/4 cup.

      Reply

  42. Suzanne Melton on October 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Just made this this weekend, to drizzle over an apple strudel. Delicious! Take care to not stir the sugar too much; it seizes up really quickly and then you’ve got a mess!

    Reply

  43. Misty on October 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    OMG !!!! Simply delicious. Thanks so much. Can’t wait to taste the krispie treats.

    Reply

  44. Jennifer on November 2, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    I would love to make this as a gift, but I noticed the directions say to refrigerate it. How long could this be kept in a jar at room temperature before it would need to be refrigerated? I have relatives that I would like to send this to for Christmas. Thank you!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 3rd, 2013 at 11:48 am

      Hi Jennifer, This should not be left out for more than a couple of hours without being refrigerated. It’s not formulated to be canned for long-term storage.

      Reply

  45. Veronica on November 10, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I’m coming along very late, but I just thought I’d add a tip for those nervous first-time caramel makers. First, don’t use a thermometer. Use your eyes and your nose. The thermometer will just distract you at the critical moment, when the caramel is just ready, and it will burn. Second: use sugar cubes. They make caramel child’s play. Weigh out the required quantity and put them in a dry pan over moderate heat. As they start to warm, bash them with a wooden spoon or spatula to break them up. They will start to dissolve into syrup, and gradually the syrup will start golden. You don’t have to worry about crystallising, just keep bashing and stirring. The last lumps melting will coincide with the caramel being almost dark enough. As soon as it’s ready (by look/smell), remove from heat and add the room-temperature butter.

    For what’s it’s worth, here’s my metric conversion for a half batch:
    85 g butter
    225 g sugar cubes
    110 ml cream
    1/2 tbs fleur de sel

    Hope this helps!

    Reply

  46. Sumaiyyah on November 11, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Hi Michelle. I just made this (halved the recipe) and I think it turned out okay. The sugar took such a short time melting and turning into the deep amber colour that I think it’s supposed to so I’m not sure if I got it right. When I added the butter it seemed sort of separated from the caramel but the cream helped blend the two back together. It tastes okay but the thing is I’ve never tasted salted caramel so I don’t know what to compare it to. I like it though, so far, so thanks for the recipe. I always love how detailed you are when describing the steps in your recipes :)

    Reply

  47. Hannah on November 16, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Well. I just ruined my sauce with a Tablespoon of salt. Seriously? Also, I found you don’t need to cook as long as indicated.

    Reply

  48. shannon on November 17, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    can you process can jars of sauce to keep longer than the 2 weeks in the fridge???

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 17th, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      Hi Shannon, I do not know if that would be safe or not. Unfortunately, I would not recommend it.

      Reply

  49. Betti @ Stuttgart on November 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Oh my goodness, Michelle, I just made this a few days ago. Every single recipe I try of yours is a smash hit (and I am not exaggerating). I am not an experienced baker or cook, yet your recipes are literally no-fail, and my guests ask me for the recipe every single time.

    I don’t have a candy thermomenter and hesitated on making the salted caramel sauce for a while. You wrote such encouraging words to another poster (and gave such an excellent, detailed tutorial) that I finally went for it. It turned out perfectly!

    I have been following you for about a year and a half and I just want to say thanks for all the effort you put in to make our cooking experiences so awesome! Your blog is a treasure.

    Reply

  50. Lee on November 19, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Hi! I realize that this is an older recipe, but hoping you still check in!
    I am thinking I’ll make this to use as a cheesecake topping. Do you think I should pour it on while warm, then refrigerate and bring to room temperature before serving? Will the caramel be too thick & sticky?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 20th, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      Hi Lee, The sauce will thicken as it cools; I would probably let it cool a little bit until it’s the consistency of ganache, then top the cheesecake and chill.

      Reply

  51. Curious novice on November 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    You mentioned that the salted caramel sauce stays fresh for two weeks in the refrigerator, so does that mean I need to make it within a day or twoof giving it so they will have time to enjoy it? I was hoping to make it as gifts this season, but don’t necessarily have time right before Christmas or that is go south if it isn’t used right away. Could you please clarify its “shelf” life for me? Thank you for your help.

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 24th, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      Since the caramel sauce has fresh cream and is not preserved for long-term storage, it will only last as long as fresh cream would in the refrigerator once opened, which is typically a couple of weeks.

      Reply

  52. Brad on November 25, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Well, this didn’t work. I’ve got a brown soup with clumped “caramel” stuck to the pot.

    Reply

  53. Brad on November 25, 2013 at 1:03 am

    To clarify, the butter melted but never incorporated to the melted sugar.

    Reply

  54. Angela on November 25, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Just made this sauce, and I find it way too salty. I used a flaky sea salt, as described, but I think it could’ve used half as much. I can’t use this as it is.

    Reply

  55. Dena on November 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Love this!!!

    Reply

  56. Kerri on November 27, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Oh.my.goodness. This came out perfect on my first try! I made this today, to be used on Sunday (I was worried that I’d ruin it and have to go buy some), but I’m not sure it’ll last that long. It is so, so good. Here are my tips for those having some issues:
    1. Really make sure everything is at room temperature.
    2. I actually melted the sugar over medium-low heat on my electric stove- it didn’t take too long, and I think it would have burned on medium high. I also stopped stirring before all the sugar was melted- I still had little clumps, but they dissolved as it cooked.
    3. Don’t blame the recipe if your caramel is too salty- that’s clearly a taste preference. My butter had salt, so I only added about a teaspoon and thought it was perfect!

    Thanks so much for this recipe- the step-by-step pictures helped me know what to expect! :)

    Reply

  57. BrandanWH on November 30, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    This recipe was the best! The pictures were perfect aids and the warnings about splattering, etc, were very helpful. This sauce is beyond addictive. I’ve taken to eating it directly out of the refrigerator and I am now coming up with excuses to bake with it. Think I am going to have some very happy family members in the near future! Anyone try it on popcorn yet? ;o.

    Reply

  58. Denise on December 8, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Made this YUMMY sauce today! Excellent! Was a nervous wreck making it but your pictures and descriptions helped me overcome my fear of making homeade caramel sauce..it was easy and so very yummy! Did not add as much salt as called for as we are not big on salt. Will make this again..very soon! On to the Hot Fudge recipe! Thanks so much for sharing! Blessings!

    Reply

  59. Lisa on December 10, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Hi! This recipe looks great! I’m canning a vanilla apple butter for co worker gifts and wanted to take it a step further by added caramel. Do you think this caramel sauce recipe can be added to apple butter?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 11th, 2013 at 11:25 am

      Hi Lisa, I am not sure how it would go, but I also can’t guarantee that this recipe is safe for long-term storage. It is best made and refrigerated, and consumed within 2 weeks.

      Reply

      • Lisa on December 12th, 2013 at 10:46 am

        Ahh I hadn’t thought about that it’s definitely a good point. I will however be making this sometime in the near future as it look too yummy to pass up. Thanks!

        Reply

  60. Mrs. Miller on December 13, 2013 at 2:07 am

    I made caramel for the very first time today with this amazing recipe! It came out better than I expected. I did substitute salt for a splash of dark rum and it came out AMAZING! I cant wait to use it on my apple cobbler tomorrow.

    Thank you!

    Reply

  61. mary on December 13, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    can there be a sub for heavy cream?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 14th, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      Hi Mary, Unfortunately, I do not know if there is a substitute that will guarantee the same results.

      Reply

  62. Mo on December 15, 2013 at 1:09 am

    I just used organic sugar in this recipe, after making loads of batches with plain old C&H. The organic sugar I have is the house brand from Whole Foods. The residual molasses in the sugar gives the caramel sauce a stronger flavor. It is better, in my opinion. I think the organic sugar needs to be cooked at a little slower temp as it seems to burn easier.

    Reply

  63. Tina teeter on December 15, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    I made about a gallon of it for Christmas gifts, in one batch. Hardest thing I’ve ever done in the kitchen, but it turned out amazing! I didn’t have flaky sea salt, so I used coarse and needed to use more. It didn’t dissolve as nicely, so I just strained it quick. Wonderful recipe, thanks! The small batched worked great in your apple pie recipe at Thanksgiving as well!!!

    Reply

  64. Carol DiP on December 17, 2013 at 5:18 am

    Is there a substitute for corn syrup? Its almost impossible to get in Australia.

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 17th, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      Hi Carol, You could use Lyle’s Golden Syrup, if you have access to that!

      Reply

  65. Amanda on December 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    I just made this sauce and it’s delicious! My first attempt at caramel sauce, and I did it without the thermometer. Just go on your gut. Once the color and aroma are right, add in the butter and whisk away. Your directions were perfect! I also added in a little kick of a couple of tablespoons of dark rum after I added the cream. Holy mother this stuff is delicious!

    Reply

  66. Ronnah Metz on December 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    I made this and it was way too salty. I think it should be a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon.

    Reply

  67. Becca on December 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I can’t seem to figure out what I’m doing wrong with this one. I do exactly what you say but once I add the butter my sauce completely solidifies. Maybe the butter isn’t completely at room temperature. I’ve made this once before and it turned out perfect, I can’t seem to figure out what I’m doing wrong.

    Reply

  68. beka on December 24, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    i’ve never made caramel before but i’m going to try it tonight! just to make sure, when you say “heavy cream”, do you mean heavy whipping cream or half and half? THANKS!

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 25th, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      Hi Beka, Yes, you would want either straight-up heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, not half and half.

      Reply

      • Beka on December 26th, 2013 at 12:10 pm

        Thank you Michelle!!!

        Reply

  69. leonilyn - Fun Arts and Crafts on January 4, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Thanks for this great recipe and tutorial. I have made mine with great success and used it as topping on my pancakes for my son’s 6th birthday. :)

    Reply

  70. Wee on January 6, 2014 at 1:01 am

    hi, i made the caramel sauce. but mine harden quickly. what should i do? when i put on my ice cream it harden right away like caramel candy. is there anything i do wrong?

    Reply

  71. Alison@cookingwithfriends on January 16, 2014 at 6:32 am

    My friend gave me a taste of this phenomenal caramel and we’ve scheduled a date to make dark chocolate filled salted caramels together for Valentine’s Day. Thank you for sharing the recipe! Fantastic

    Reply

  72. Katherine on January 19, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Made this for your salted Carmel apple pie, which is about to go in the oven, and it is AMAZING!! I used salted butter, evaporated milk and 1/2 the salt it calls for and it is great. I can only imagine how good it would be with the right ingredient (which I will be getting as soon as I go to the store). I have never made caramel using the dry method and it was really easy. Thanks for a great and super easy recipe.

    Reply

  73. Cari on January 20, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    I just made caramel for the first time using this recipe. It came out perfect. Thanks for the clear, we’ll-written instructions. I’m still in shock it worked out first time around. I bought extra ingredients because I was sure I would mess it up. Thanks again for the pictures and clear instructions. Now time to go make your salted caramel cupcake recipe! :)

    Reply

  74. lisa scaramuzzo on February 2, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Make this recipe all the time, love it! I was hoping to make a batch today but have no whipping cream but I do have shelf stable whipping cream from trader joes.….what do you think should I try it? It has the same ingredients but the shelf stable says for best results to refrigerate before use (I assume they mean whipping it) and since this recipe works better when the cream isn’t hot I’m thinking this could be a winning combo but I need the sauce for flan and I dont want to have toi dump a batch and go to the store and make more.

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 2nd, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Hi Lisa, I haven’t ever seen this product so I can’t say for sure and give you a guarantee, but it sounds like it would work. Please let me know if you try it and how it went!

      Reply

  75. Leni on February 5, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    My very first attempt at salted caramel and I give myself a B. The perfect illustrations and directions are an A. I think I may have over cooked the sugar as it has a slight toasted taste. Not burned but scorched. The color is absolutely a magnificent amber color. I’m hoping the taste will mellow out once it has time to sit in the fridge. Thoughts?

    Reply

    • Kerry on March 2nd, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Leni,
      Mine turned out the same way. I think my candy thermometer is a bit off. Mine tastes toasty and almost has a coffee-like aftertaste. It’s mellowed out ever so slightly in the fridge, but I mostly just have been eating it with apples or chocolate and it’s worked out juuust fine. It also hasn’t stopped me from eating it with a spoon.

      Reply

  76. Amanda on February 8, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Hi! This caramel sauce looks amazing! I’m planning to make it for the Snickers Cake for Valentine’s Day. I was wondering if you know what the substitution would be for fine sea salt? Would I be able to use that (since I have it on hand) or do I have to buy something different? Thanks for your help!

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 9th, 2014 at 11:18 am

      Hi Amanda, I would highly recommend the flaky sea salt, as it’s quite different. If you use fine sea salt, just use a pinch.

      Reply

  77. Debbie Saleh on February 20, 2014 at 12:18 am

    I made this caramel last week and filled chocolate cupcakes, for a birthday at work.Mind you its the first time I EVER made caramel and filled a cupcake – OMG this was the best caramel I or anyone who had my cupcakes had ever tasted! It was magical the way the sugar started to brown, I was so excited! I still have a little left, good excuse to eat some apples! Thanks so much!!!

    Reply

  78. Kerry on February 27, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    I clearly need a new thermometer! Mine told me it was at 300-325 degrees when I put the butter and cream in. It tastes good, but a little…overdone.

    Do you know if using salted butter affects the outcome in any way?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 28th, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Hi Kerry, Salted butter will just make the sauce saltier. If you want to use it, I would cut back on the salt you add in at the end.

      Reply

      • Kerry on March 2nd, 2014 at 1:48 pm

        Thanks so much! I cut back on the salt, so that worked out well. I do need a new candy thermometer–the caramel never got to 350 before I added the butter and cream (as I said above), and it tastes a little…toasty. I kind of like it though because there’s almost a hint of coffee flavor from the not-quite-burned caramel.

        Reply

  79. Deb on March 2, 2014 at 8:40 am

    How do you think this would go with a flavoured sugar? I’m thinking half vanilla bean sugar half normal sugar

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 2nd, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      Hi Deb, I think that would be good!

      Reply

  80. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking on March 6, 2014 at 9:30 am

    I featured this salted caramel on my blog today! It’s so beyond amazing! There are no words!

    Reply

  81. Sarah on March 7, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Hi!
    This looks super yummy. I’m thinking as giving it as a gift. I was just wondering how long it lasts? Can it be reheated? I would love to know as soon as possible?
    Once again your blog is awesome:)

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 8th, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      Hi Sarah, It will last about two weeks, and yes, you can definitely reheat it.

      Reply

  82. Cynthia Peel on March 13, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I’ve made this once before using your recipe and LOVED it! I decided to make it again today and erroneously added granulated sea salt and not flaky sea salt. BIG mistake. It still is edible, but it is too salty now. I’m sure I will still be able to find uses for this carmel sauce, but it didn’t turn out how I hoped this time. I wanted to post a warning for others. Be careful! Flaked salt measures less by volume than granulated salt.

    Reply

  83. Kristen on March 16, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    So….I just made this and NO-M-G! This was amazing! Simple and I love that you provided step by step instructions and pictures and you really explained what to avoid because I tried another caramel recipe once and it did seize because it kept saying whisk and whisk. This was perfect and it is in my mason jar now cooling. I want to get it think enough to decorate cupcakes later today. This is now my go to caramel recipe! You’re amazing!

    Reply

  84. Juli Duck on March 24, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Hello. I am wanting to make several jars of your caramel sauce but am wondering if I am able to can them using the hot water bath method? I’m not a canner but was going to elicit the help of my mother! She suggested I double check to see if it is ok to subject the jar of caramel sauce to the heat of the canning method? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 24th, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      Hi Juli, Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee that canning this recipe in any manner will be safe.

      Reply

  85. Yvonne on April 6, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe Michelle! Do you think the sauce could be used as a filling? Thinking of making a salted caramel tart but wasn’t sure how it would firm up. I don’t want a caramel recipe that would be too tough on the teeth either, so your sauce looks like the best option! Would love to hear your input.

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 8th, 2014 at 10:24 am

      Hi Yvonne, I think it would! Once refrigerated, it firms up to a soft texture. You can still spoon it out, doesn’t get hard, though.

      Reply

  86. Titania11 on April 8, 2014 at 1:58 am

    It turned out perfectly the first time I tried! (and I didn’t even use a thermometer)
    Be careful…it really does bubble up high when you add the butter and I almost burned my hand.
    I’ll absolutely make this again!

    Reply

  87. Linda S on April 12, 2014 at 7:10 am

    This may look difficult to make, but it’s super easy! Dont over think it, and no thermometer necessary!! Just keep the sugar moving, scraping the bottom of a deep pot w/a XL fork. I find the color is the best indicator for when to add the butter, then cream. Look for brown sugar/ amber color. Made 3x in 2 weeks. Now making double batches to give as gifts. Also made the caramel buttercream frosting….YUMYUM!!

    Reply

  88. Juliana on April 12, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    I made the salted caramel sauce and it was TO DIE FOR!!

    I did have one question- what is the best way to reheat it? In the microwave or again on the stove top?

    Thanks so much!!

    From, Juliana

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 16th, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      Hi Juliana, So glad you enjoyed it! I reheat it in the microwave, but you could also do it stovetop over low heat.

      Reply

  89. Jen on April 15, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Tried this tonight (wanted to make SC blondies this weekend) and failed pretty epically. I tried to eyeball it. I either stopped whisking too soon, didn’t get it up to 350, or both. I will definitely invest in a candy thermometer to take out some if the guesswork in the future. I had rock hard clumps of sugar in the pan that wouldn’t incorporate with the butter and cream– but the clumps tasted good!

    Reply

  90. Shaena on April 20, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    This came out fantastic, even without the candy thermometer!! I’ll be using this to make your lovely apple pie for Easter dinner tonight. I ended up using finely ground Himalayan pink salt and it was just the right hint of saltiness :) Thanks for the great recipe!!

    Reply

  91. Gabriella R on May 16, 2014 at 4:50 am

    Just made this – it’s scrumptious!
    I added a vanilla bean from my homemade vanilla extract (6-7 beans in a litre bottle of vodka, let sit 3 months, and you have a litre of natural vanilla extract at a fraction of the cost) after adding the cream. In addition to steeping it then, I put it in the jar with the sauce. Now, as well as the salty flavor, the sauce is flecked with small black vanilla spots, and tastes heavenly!

    Reply

  92. Cindy on May 30, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I made this sauce and it was fantastic except that I was surprised by just how salty it tasted. Don’t get me wrong, I still ate it! I am wondering if I used the wrong kind of salt. It was fine sea salt. Would a kosher salt be better? I could not find fleur de sel at my grocery store.

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 3rd, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      Hi Cindy, A fine sea salt would definitely be too much. You really wanted a flaked salt here, like fleur de del or maldon. I would not recommend kosher salt; it will be crunchy.

      Reply

  93. Rachel Gray on June 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    This looks brilliant but I can’t make the saltedcaramel sauce. The sugar seized and the butter didn’t mix in!

    Reply

  94. sandy on June 18, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Hi, your caramel is delicious! However when i made it, I followed every direction yet my caramel wasn’t as smooth and pourable like yours. I was hoping to be able to serve as a pourable sauce for an ice cream party kinda like chocolate syrup. Mine was thick. Delicious but thick. Not sure what went wrong. Maybe time for a new thermometer.

    Reply

  95. Denise on July 4, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Hi! I made this a few months ago and it was fabulous…just made 2 batches and both have lumps of stuff….congealed butter..not sure….I did use Organic butter this time and cream from the local dairy…could it be the cream??? Please help…we loved it last time!

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 6th, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Hi Denise, If you’ve made this multiple times without an issue, I would venture to guess that any one of the ingredient changes you made could have caused different results.

      Reply

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