Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce
This quick and easy homemade salted caramel sauce recipe requires only four ingredients, is foolproof, and comes out perfect every single time. It’s absolutely divine on ice cream sundaes, apple pie, cupcakes, cheesecake, it can be used in any recipe calling for caramel sauce (hello, salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars!), makes a wonderful hostess gift, and, most importantly, is delicious straight from the spoon (feel free to drop an extra spoonful in your coffee!).
The salted caramel possibilities are truly endless, especially when you have a no-fail, go-to homemade salted caramel sauce recipe.
I’ve found the simplest method to be the best when making a caramel sauce. In 15 minutes, and with only four ingredients, you can have a smooth, creamy, salty caramel sauce. Below you will find tips for making the best caramel, a step-by-step recipe, as well as a video to guide you through!
How to make salted caramel sauce
Caramel sauce can be intimidating, but the more you make it, the more you will get a feel for the look and the smell, and it will become second-nature. Here’s a quick rundown of the process:
Sugar goes straight into the saucepan (no water!) and is melted over medium heat, while you stir constantly. The sugar may clump at first but it will all eventually melt.
Continue cooking until the melted sugar is a gorgeous amber color, then add the butter and whisk until it is completely melted. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream, then stir in the salt. Your caramel sauce is done!
Thermometer vs no thermometer
It is not necessary to use a thermometer when making this caramel sauce; simply using visual cues will work perfectly! The sauce may seem thinner than you’d expect when you’re done whisking everything in, but it will thicken as it cools.
In the past, I have used a thermometer to check the temperature and had success cooking to around 350 degrees F, but others have found that it overcooked the caramel, so I now recommend just going by how the caramel looks. I do this exclusively now, as well!
When making salted caramel sauce, the type of salt you use is super important! I highly prefer flaky sea salt, like fleur de sel or Maldon.
You can substitute regular table salt, but you have to cut the amount down drastically. If you are using regular table salt, use only 1 teaspoon.
Allow the sauce to cool for a bit in the pot, then pour into a glass jar or other airtight container and cool completely, then store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. You can gently warm it up in the microwave or on the stove before using it again.
You can also freeze salted caramel sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then reheat as desired.
How to use the caramel sauce
This salted caramel sauce quite literally goes with 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 or coffee. Put it in pretty jars and give it as gifts. Whip it into buttercream frosting. Eat it by the spoonful.
Some ideas to get you started:
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars
- Easy Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
- Salted Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- Salted Caramel Apple Cake
- Snickers Cupcakes
If you make this recipe and love it, I would so appreciate it if you would take a moment to leave a rating below. Thank you so much! ❤️️
Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce
- 2 cups (397 g) granulated sugar
- 12 tablespoons (170 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon fleur de sel, or any other flaky sea salt
- Add the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a medium (3 to 4-quart) saucepan. Heat the sugar over medium 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.
- 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.
- As soon as the caramel reaches its sweet spot, 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. Remove the pan from heat.
- 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.
- 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. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.
- Salt - I highly recommend using flaky sea salt like fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt. If you need to substitute table salt, use only 1 to 1½ teaspoons, or the sauce will be much too salty!
- Saucepan - It is important to use a saucepan of at least 4-quart capacity. It will seem too big for the job, but when the butter and cream are added, the sauce bubbles up ferociously, and you need that space so it doesn't boil over.
- Storage - The caramel sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. This recipe is not suitable for canning or long-term storage.
- Freezing - The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using it.
- Reheating Instructions - To reheat the sauce, remove the lid from the jar and microwave for about 45 seconds, then stir. It should be smooth and pourable, but not piping hot.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]
I love love love it
How can i make this really thick so it doesnt drip off a cake at room temp
Question: Hershey’s stopped making their seasalt carmel baking chips. Is it possible to use this recipe to make baking chips?
Amazing! Super easy and delicious! Measure your salt carefully just like the recipe says. I use it for the salted caramel cheesecake recipe for thanksgiving holiday on this website and I make only 1/2 recipe since my parents don’t do sweets/dairy outside of holidays. Have brought leftovers to coworkers and family members always request to take home leftovers!
Amazing! Super easy and delicious! Measure your salt carefully just like the recipe says. I use it for the salted caramel cheesecake recipe for thanksgiving holiday on this website and I make only 1/2 recipe since my parents don’t do sweets/dairy outside of holidays. Have brought leftovers to coworkers and family members always request to take home leftovers!
So I have been making this recipe for YEARS! I was making it when there was use of a candy thermometer in the instructions! I have sometimes had problems with chunks and clumping and other times not. I think it also depends on the weather and for sure your ingredients. Make sure to use finely ground sugar. It comes out much better when I use domino brand (and I usually shop off brand), but for this – splurge, lol. Also if you don’t use a large enough pan for the sugar to spread out when you are heating it, that caused issues too. I use the size pan that I use when boiling corn on the cob. I find bigger IS better :). It tastes literally amazing and I have friends every year begging for me to gift them this or bring it to potlucks! I also have found when I use extra fine Himalayan pink sea salt it clumps less too. Have fun and enjoy! And thank you brown eyed baker for this AMAZING recipe!!
I just looked up this recipe for Thanksgiving and thought I was losing my mind – where is the candy thermometer temperature?! Thanks for the comment that is no longer part of the recipe and I am indeed looking at my steadfast recipe! :)
I have made this recipe a few times!! This caramel is delicious and easy to make!! Make sure you use a heavy bottomed pot though as I ruined a thin bottomed pot the first time. (It was a copper bottom but not thick)
D E L I C I O U S!!!
I would like to drizzle this over the apple cupcakes with cinnamon frosting from your site. My question is do you think the caramel would get hard after a couple hours?
This caramel doesn’t get hard unless you cook it for hard ball stage using a candy thermometer.It remains soft, but thickens in the fridge and as it cools to roomtemp.
Thanks Michelle. I love salted caramel anything and want to make this to top vanilla ice-cream. I only ever purchase salted butter so could I use it and just cut back on the salt? Hope to hear from you soon. Trhanks.
Perfect and easiest Salted Carmel Sauce by viewing color. Great to make a good batch for fridge storage. Thank You once again Michelle
Perfect sauce every time. It’s the crack of the sugar world. Just gotta be PATIENT it will get there. Make sure each step has melted / blended at each stage. Use the heat to get the butter incorporated so it’s not thickening. Then add the cream and whisk it in. It will blend nicely and level out after it finishes bubbling and you can use a bit of heat here as well. Strain if there are a few small pieces. Awesome sauce!
Made this today. I also had issues as several other people mentioned.
1). Sugar took FOREVER to melt but eventually did. Would a stainless steel pan be better for this?
2). Took the butter FOREVER to incorporate. (room temp)
3). When I added the whipping cream, tons of huge clumps occurred and I had to stir a long time and eventually poured it through a strainer.
The taste is FANTASTIC, but would love to know what I did wrong.
I have made caramel before but for some reason this time my sugar just DID NOT MELT. It clumped up and I just couldn’t get it to melt even though it was browning. I started at medium then turned to medium low. Ugh. Starting over.
I love salted caramel!
I made this for Thanksgiving. It was absolutely delicious!! It was not easy though. I ended up with lots of clumps after adding the cream. There were no clumps beforehand. Also, after adding the butter, it was so hard to incorporate it with the sugar. Took a very long time and lots and lots of effort and whisking. I strained the final product to get rid of the lumps and WOW, it was so good! I’m not sure what I did wrong.
haven’t tried yet I take one of ure recipes a week over my grandchildren’s home n make it they love doing it and it is easy for them and fun thank you
Hi! This looks great! Do you know if it can be used to make caramel apples or will it not harden enough?
SO GOOD. Made this sauce for the Snickers cake – delicious! Did not use a thermometer and used visual cues instead. Turned out perfect!
I made this recipe but instead of regular sugar I used stevia and it came out absolutely amazing!!
This is an easy perfect caramel sauce, I love it! I can’t wait to try it with apple pie :) thank you for sharing.
This is my go-to caramel recipe. I make it several times a year.
This is absolutely delicious. Everyone loved it. I shared some with my foodie friend and she loved it also. This was not too difficult to make and the salt made it super special. Heaven on vanilla ice cream. Thank you for the recipe! :)
emmmmm, it looks so delicious!!!!!
With this caramel sauce, I’m sure churros will taste even better!
Hi Michelle, your salted caramel is the best sauce ever! We make it regularly and give it as gifts as it’s SO delicious. I see some of the frustrated comments on here and I wanted to say that it’s not the recipe but likely the execution. Although we’ve made many batches of this, we’ve burnt one along the way so I just wanted to share my tips in case it might help others. The most important part of this recipe is patience. You can’t rush good caramel. We use a heavy bottom pot that conducts heat evenly, and for our stove we need to heat it at medium (4 or 5) . For us it takes between 5-10 mins for the sugar to melt. We always ensure the butter and cream are room temperature; we’ve even heated the whipping cream a bit on the stove or microwave to help that process along when we forgot to take it out ahead of time. It’s also important to ensure whatever salt you’re using is finely ground and that you stir really well with the pot back on the heat to help it melt and distribute fully. I can not say it’s food safe, but we’ve had the sauce in our fridge for a few months and it’s been absolutely fine. The conversion of the sugars and dairy during the cooking process helps to preserve it. Anyone can make this recipe as long as you follow it as written, have everything ready to go beside you, and take your time. It will be SO worth it. Thank you for sharing your creativity and expertise!
I have been wanting to make Caramel sauce for such a long time now! Today I finally took courage and hit the stove. My first time ever making caramel and it turned out absolutely fantastic! Your recipies just hit the point, thank you for all the helpful clues! Couldn’t wait for the sauce to cool completely.. had to make my own Caramel Macchiato… so sorry Starbucks :-D!
This is a delicious recipe. I used it for my homemade apple pie and gave some away. I will be keeping my jar for ice cream
Absolutely delicious and pretty easy to make. I use to this as my “go to” recipe when I want caramel. For some reason, I tend to get chunks in mine after completion, but I just make sure I don’t dump them into the storage container. It still tastes yummy and I have plenty.
Can you half the recipe?
This is my go-to caramel sauce recipe – it truly does come out perfect every time (as long as I keep a close eye on the melting sugar to avoid burning ). Thank you, Michelle, for sharing it and for your detailed, helpful instructions.
Absolutely Incredible!!!!! I’ve made this more times than I can count. Perfection!
Olá, sou do Brasil e adoro suas receitas essa eu fiz isso uma vez e foi incrível. Saiu perfeito. Tentei ontem à noite e queimei, tão triste. Quero saber se é importante que a manteiga e o creme estejam em temperatura ambiente?
As you said, so easy and SO DELICIOUS!
I can’t wait to make it. Can I pour it on a squeeze bottle (like a ketchup squeeze bottle), after it has cooled a bit?
Excellent recipe that I have made many times as hostess gifts and for myself of course.
You need to be prepped ahead of time with everything you need, be present and have patience when making this recipe and it will be perfect every time.
Delicious and easy! Perfect consistency and taste….was a real hit with my family. Will definitely make this again!
I’ve made three batches of this! It’s incredibly easy and so delicious. Great to have ready in refrigerator for a quick dessert. I have found that the minute all of the sugar is melted, it’s time to add the butter. Hope this helps.
Thank you, Michelle. I really love your recipes.
I have canned this sauce many times with good results. I make it, let it cool a little, pour it into the canning jars (pints or half pints work well), put the lid and ring on, and invert the jar so that the hot contents are in contact with the lid and ring. The jar seals itself. No hot water bath needed.
BTW, our family has nicknamed this sauce “crackamel” because it’s so addictive!
So yummy and easy to make! I used Maldon flaked sea salt and it was equally delicious! I filled one pint mason jar and had a small cup leftover! Definitely recommend this recipe if you ever need caramel!
Just finish make your carmel sauce, I use salted butter and it turned out great. Now do you happen to have a Hot Fudge Sauce recipe. Thanks for recipe
Hi Virginia, So glad you loved it! I do have hot fudge sauce recipes :). There are two – one is a traditional one, and the other is an easier/quicker version:
Made a batch of this a couple weeks ago so that I could have it for the Samoa Icebox Cake. Then what was left over I used of course for ice cream topping. I always worry that I’m going to cross that quick line from perfect to burnt. This is really the most delicious caramel sauce. I forgot to add the flour de sel, but regardless it was delicious. So creamy and smooth!
I love, love, LOVE salted caramel anything! Will be making this soon!
Your Sea Salt Caramel with Vanilla bean recipe has gone missing. Do you have an updated link to that?
This is my go to recipe for salted caramel!
Tip: to clean pot.pan after you are done
Put water In pot.
Back on stove. Heat it up.
Swirl the whisk you used while making this recipe around In the vessel after water is hot. Stuck on caramel will dissolve.
clean pot.pan as usual after this method!
Can you used this sauce for your salted caramel chocolate chip bars?
I did scan the replies but didn’t see my question. Can this be water-bath canned as well to preserve?
Hi Kenna, I do not recommend that as I can’t guarantee that it would be safe for long-term storage.
This is amazing. I added a bit of whiskey to the salted caramel and used it to glaze a date-walnut loaf cake. I would say that the salted caramel whiskey glaze was an even bigger hit than the cake itself (and it’s a pretty good cake!)
Just wanted to let you know – I’ve been using this recipe for years. I always come back to it when I’m making a batch :)
Mine came out semi clumpy because it started to burn but it tastes lovely! I was in a panic though because as I was whisking away I needed to look at another step and all of the ads made it impossible to see anything! Pop ups on a temp and time sensitive recipe spell disaster
Silly question- but how do you keep your whisk from getting all clogged with partially melted sugar?
Hi Patty, I find that if I keep whisking it eventually melts off (and I run under hot water to get anything left off).
This was my second attempt and it turned out PERFECTLY! I am an advanced baker but had never melted down sugar….it is a little tricky. I think I had my fire too hot the first time and things went way too fast. I have a commercial gas range and it gets hot! My suggestion is to keep trying and learn from your mistakes. I will be making again and again…..thank you brown eyed baker.com!
Is there any problem in using salted butter instead of unsalted butter, once we’re adding fleur de sel at the end of the process?
Not at all, I would just dial back on the fleur de sel a bit.
I made this once and it was amazing. Came out perfect. Tried last night and burnt it, sooo sad. Wondering if it’s import that the butter and cream be room temperature?
Hi, I’m not trying to sound snarky but in the updated notes it says both need to be. Actually, I make sure to bring all of my refrigerated items to room temperature unless the recipe states otherwise. Many pro bakers give that tip. Hope this helped you….
I’ve tried two times now to melt the sugar. I have hard, hard candy so I at least I didn’t waste my butter and cream. The third time, I wasted my butter. By the time all the sugar melts, it’s too hot. If I leave some of the sugar in clumps will it eventually melt?
Also, how do you clean a pan full of hard candy? I waited for it to cool down but not all of it came out. I have 3 pans coated with hard candy. And I’m out of butter!!!!
Hello, I’ve Made this recipe so many times and it’s perfect.
Do you have any tips to make this in a larger batch?
Just make sure you use a large enough pot, otherwise it scales very well!
Made this recipe a few times. I feel like you are leaving out crucial parts of your video. Like what to do when the sugar remains super clumpy. Every time I have tried to make this I also have noticed that 12 TbL of butter seems like way too much as well as a full cup of heavy cream… it makes the Carmel very watery and not thick. A more detailed video tutorial would be helpful.
Love this stuff. My family can’t get enough of it, especially in those Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes!
Do you know if you are able to can this sauce? I want to give as gifts but would like to can it first
Your caramel has a really nice rich color. It would go very well on a slice of cheesecake. 😋
Hi Michelle, can I use Maldon Sea Salt Flakes instead of the fleur de sel? I am not sure the difference but I have Maldon on hand :-)
Thank you for sharing – can’t wait to try this and I am glad that your recipe only has 4 ingredients and doesn’t include corn syrup ;-)
Hi Grace. I’ve made this recipe many times and I’ve never used the type of salt that the recipe calls for. Two reasons being 1. When I first came across this recipe I had everything to make it but the salt. 2. When I looked for the salt at the store I wasn’t about to buy a salt that I wouldn’t use often much less pay that price point for it. So I just used reg table salt (same brand you asked about) that I put into a mini blender so that way my salt would melt easier into the warm caramel. It works like a charm every time. Hope this helps you or anyone else who may not have/or want to buy that particular salt….
Perfect! Can you believe I couldn’t find caramel at the grocery store!? But then I checked your blog… and of course you have the perfect recipe posted:) Turned out perfectly!
Hello! I can find the salt that the recipe ask for, can i use regular salt? And what would be the amount? Thank you
Hi. How long would this last in jars? And would it have to be kept in the fridge at all times do you think?
Hi Chloe, About 1 month in the jars in the refrigerator.
Sugar did not melt…just got hot lol
I made this and it is AMAZEBALLS! My local store didn’t sell flaked sea salt, so I used finely ground sea salt. This was my first time making caramel and I didn’t use a thermometer. Your directions were incredibly easy to follow and user friendly. I nailed it, thanks to you!
Tried this tonight for the first time and man….I could drink this straight! Turned out really well but it was really hard on my wrists with all that whisking!
This was my first time making caramel, and thanks to your detailed instructions it came out perfectly! I used about a third of a tablespoon of fine ground sea salt. I used this caramel as a chocolate cake filling and then doused the top of the cake with it as well! SOOOO GOOOOOD!
How long does the whole prosess take to make??
Hi Joseph, About 20 minutes (prep/cook/total times can always be found at the top of the recipe).
So delicious. This was my first time making caramel and it went very well, thanks to your direction. I think I will use a different sauce pan next time– I think mine was a little too broad (it was 3 quart) and I wasn’t able to get all of the sugar into the caramel (some of it crystallized on the sides). I got a lot of the mentioned crumbliness and at one point thought I had crystallized but it turned out I hadn’t gotten close yet (it was still a white color, but was getting stuck in my whisk). I just kept going and once the sugar started to melt and I got the amber brown color, I knew I was headed in the right direction. The sauce tasted perfect in the salted caramel cupcakes from this site. I have a lot of sauce left, so I’ll be checking out additional recipes soon! Thanks for sharing!
Heaven in a spoon! Fantastic instructions, and so easy. But be sure to read through all steps (memorize! ) and have all ingredients measured and at hand. This is easy, but does require your close attention throughout.
I found the sugar heated to 350 faster than I expected, so by the time I measured it was already 360, slightly above actually. But, it was still absolutely perfect!
Final point: I used a white flaky sea salt, similar to fleur de sel. It worked great. But note that sometimes the flakey sea salts have quite large, airy flakes — up to almost 1 cm across. I suggest breaking those up (after measuring out your 1 Tbsp), because the large flakes won’t dissolve or break up in the caramel sauce, leaving you with salt flakes in the sauce that are likely larger than you would like. Again, it was still incredible!
Very easy to make, great result!
I made your caramel sauce for the first time and it is fantastic. Now my daughter will only eat the caramel sauce I make. We actually put a teaspoon of it in our coffee. DELICIOUS !! Guess that jar of Smuckers caramel sauce will be sitting in my fridge for a long, long time. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
Absolutely AHmazing!!!!! I’ve made this more times than I can count. Perfection!
Can I substitute coarse sea salt? I’m currently living in Spain and have no clue where to get fleur de sel flaky salt. I’d order online but I was hoping to make this for tomorrow.
Hi Cassie, You can, just cut the amount in half.
looks yummy I plan to make next time our grandchildren come for this usual Saturday night family get together
Thank you for sharing your lovely recipe
We offer impromptu cooking classes at our Senior Center, I’m planning on offering a recipe for chocolate “moon pies” using salted caramel for the filling, can this recipe be thickened for that use?
Hi Roger, Yes once it cools (and especially after it’s refrigerated), it thickens substantially.
Your recipe turns out perfect every time! I use it to make my (our?) signature buttercream frosting that my friends and family love. Thank you for sharing it! 😊
Not the easiest sauce to make but the best I have made. The trick is patience and a good quality pot that transmits heat up the sides to prevent freezing of the siggar on the edges. It takes some arm strength to stir the sugar for that length of time.
DELICIOUS! I don’t use a thermometer and it comes out perfect every time. I seriously eat this caramel by the spoonful.
Also, I cook mine in a cast iron pan. Doesn’t hurt the pan none.
First time making caramel. Your recipe and helpful tips made me feel like I could do it so . . . Thank you! It turned out great! Also the applesauce cake turned out perfect! Appreciate your time and willingness to share your wonderful recipes!
I love this caramel sauce. I use it on apples,pies ice cream. And on and on. Your video really helped me get that delicio Caramel flavor
a decent amount of sugar stuck to the sides even though i waited for it to completely melt before adding the butter. did i turn the heat off too early or not whisk it enough? I’m curious to know
Hi Jack, A tip for getting the sugar off the sides of the pot… wet a pastry brush and wipe the sides of the pot down. That should get everything off the sides while the sugar is still cooking.
Holy Goodness!!! So caramel is something I’ve tried making before and it came out horrible. Being thst it is my favorite sweet, almost better than sex, I don’t like being disappointed…this recipe and instructions are perfect! -So silky and delicous- YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMY💋😍💓
Followed this recipe to a T with a thermometer and all and the minute I added butter the sugar liquid seized. Very disappointed in this recipe, as I’ve tried you other recipes before without issue. Currently trying to figure out how to save my pot. Would not recommend this recipe! >:-(
Would it be okay to half this recipe if I only need a small amount?
Hi Carolyn, Yes you could definitely halve it! Enjoy!
I just made this and I although I followed it step by step, I think the sugar burned a little as the finished product was quite dark and not very sweet, I added more cream and some brown sugar along with some set honey to balance the flavours, its delicious but has that bitter caramel note, one that I love but that I didn’t expect from this recipe. there really is a fine line between the caramel being done and it burning and prob best to stop cooking a little before its ready. I would make it again but perhaps just a half recipe, I didn’t realise I would end up with almost 1 litre of sauce!
Will my salted caramel sause freeze solid if i put it in the fridge?
Hi Dimitra, It will not freeze in the refrigerator; it will thicken considerably, but it will not become a hard solid mass.
Hello! Thank you for the perfect recipe! It`s very interesting and easy.
Can I use coconut oil instead of butter?
Thanks for great recipes!
Hi Dee, I’ve never tried using coconut oil so I can’t say for sure how it would affect the sauce. If you do try it, I’d love to hear how it went!
I had trouble incorporating the butter and needed to reheat. Also the salt didn’t mix in well.
Didn’t see the video the first time… All clumped up, figured it had crystalized, so pitched it. Tried again with a deep fry pan. Still clumped up, but at least continued to melt. Was already pretty dark before it melted, so I was worried I burnt it. Sauce was good, but had to be strained, and left a lot of hard sugar on my pan, spoons, whisk… Took way longer than expected. Don’t think I want to do this again.
I made this successfully, your instructions are clear and concise and very easy.
I also double checked the butter content and using grams was easier for me.
I made a caramel sauce, which was inspired by yours. It turned out good. I have to admit, I don’t have the depth of colors, as yours, or the thickness. But the flavor is good. 2 questions, should I use a non-stick pot? 2, how long does sugar need to actually melt? I ended up adding a little water to get it to start dissolving. Also I made it on a flat top stove, but I have a gas at home. Any suggestions are welcome.
Hi Vandana, I’ve only ever used stainless pots to make my caramel, never a non-stick. I’ve never timed the sugar in terms of melting, just went by sight. I have a gas stove, so all of my recipes are made on that. I hope that helps!
I followed your instructions exactly and it turned out perfect! Tomorrow it will be drizzled over my homemade New York cheesecake! Thank you! Can’t wait!
I adore this sauce and have made it many times. In addition to being addictively delicious it is also a gorgeous color. This time I tried it with 8 tablespoons of butter instead of 12. I have to say it had no impact on the taste or consistency of this sauce. In fact it came together faster with the smaller amount of butter. Either way it’s fabulous.
This recipe is fantastic! Don’t overthink it or get intimidated. Keep a watchful eye on the sugar as it starts to darken. I can tell by the smell of it when it’s time to pull it off. Here’s a little trick a chef taught me years ago. Get your smallest pan ( like a butter warmer) put a tbs or 2 of sugar. Slowly heat it. Stay right on top if it as it starts to darken. Let it go a little to long the smell of burnt sugar is unmistakable. So you lost 2 tablespoons of sugar and yeah you have to soak your pan …I’ve never lost a batch!!
I haven’t made this recipe personally but I am in culinary school and i just have a small tip for anyone who wants to make this or any caramel recipe that calls for you pour cream into. If you heat your cream up, like nearly to a boil, and add it hot, it won’t bubble or react nearly as violently, and the same with the butter, make it room temp. its the shock of the cold butter or cream that makes it react that way. anyway, I hope that helps someone
Hi, Do you have any special suggestions for making the salted caramel sauce in high humidity? (Over 90% humidity)
P.S. I made it during the summer and it’s AMAZING!
Hi Patricia, So glad you enjoyed it! I do not have any special suggestions; if you use air conditioning, it should not make a difference!
I use this for candied sweet potatoes
I just tried this for a order…
It’s really good. Perfect amount of butter w/cream ratio..
I made it today, it was scary but it came out perfect .It is so delicious ,I am planning in topping a cheesecake with it …thank you so much for the recipe. I made half of the recipe ,it was enough for me. love it
Has anyone used this recipe to make popcorn balls?
why did it separate after adding the cream?
Hi Abigain, If your cream was not at room temperature, it would likely separate. Make sure you give it enough time to really get to room temperature.
Your recipe for carmel turned out superb!!!♥️😊🇺🇸
What does the sugar seizing mean? What does that look like so I can tell…
Can I use regular butter instead of unsalted? And then omit the sea salt?
First timer here… I tried a recipe that uses brown sugar. The sugar melted but then recrystalized when cooling and th butter separated. It didn’t turn out. I want to prevent this from happening with this recipe. Please advise
Hi Sandra, It would clump up. I’ve never tried a recipe using brown sugar, but this one has never failed me! Using regular salted butter and omitting the sea salt would not give you as much saltiness, so that’s totally up to you and your personal preferences.
This recipe is spot on perfect. Thanks!
I’ve made this several times and it always turns out amazing. The last time, I put some in a small jar, set an apple on top, wrapped the whole thing in cellophane and tied at the top with a note and some fake fall leaves. Was a great gift for the teachers at the school:)
Can your apple cake be frozen? Thanks!
Hi Nadine, I’ve never frozen it, so I couldn’t say for sure. If you do try, let us know how well it thaws!
I an not a beginner in the kitchen but never have attempted to make caramel . I will definitely try this recipe. The directions are very precise and clear. Thank you for that. If it turns out well, I may make it for co-workers for Christmas.
Great recipe. Made this with my son over the weekend. I was cooking this in Denver on an electric stove. The first batch we totally burned the sugar. I think I had the stove too hot and the temp just skyrocketed and then kept going. We were not expecting it to cook so quickly after the initial melting. I would suggest starting over medium heat, not medium-high. The second time we ditched the thermometer and just went based on looks and smell (basically tried to match the color of the sugar in the video when the sugar was added). We also found that the salt sank to the bottom so next time we’re going to stir it more and make sure we get all the salt out of the pot.
Can I please just eat it with a spoon?? Salted caramel is my favorite. Please don’t judge me!!-!
What can i substitute the heavy cream with? I don’t see anything labeled “heavy cream” at my nearby groceries. I only see cooking cream and whipping cream. I live in the Philippines.
Hi Anna, You can use whipping cream! Enjoy!
I live at approximately 4,500 ft above sea level. Would I need to alter the cooking temp of this sauce?
Hi Karen, Hmmm I’m honestly not sure, as I’ve never baked or made candy at high altitude. If you’ve made candy or other similar sauces, I would go with any adjustments you’ve needed previously.
made this! noticed that the temp went really fast from 260 to 325. actually got a bit dark for my first try.
definitely will do it again! Caramel Lattes coming up!
I made this caramel today without the salt. AMAZING. I will be drizzling it over my cheesecake I just made. .. thanks for the recipe it’s pretty darn tasty
I love your food photography! What lighting do you use?
Hi Denae, Thank you so much! I just use natural light – I set up my photos right next to a wall of windows I have in our breakfast nook area.
I have made this a few times. So worth the effort because it’s a great caramel sauce. However, I’m one of those who has to take it off the heat prior to the 350 degree reading. My pots retain the heat and caramel can go from great to burnt in seconds because of the heat retention.
Having said that, this sauce is spectacular. I have used it to swirl throughout my homemade vanilla ice cream when making it into Salted Caramel Chocolate Covered Pretzel ice cream. I have used it to fill my homemade Caramel Tassie Cups for wedding cookies. I have used it drizzle over pretzels before covering them in chocolate. It has so many delicious uses.
Thanks for the tip on removing it early because of heat retention! Definitely not all pots and burners are created equal. And I love all of the ways you’ve used this sauce!
I have an electric stove and have tried making caramel to no success. Ugh. It seems once I get to that temperature it gets too hot and I then end up with a solid mess. Any tips for making caramel with an electric stove?
Hi Nicole, I don’t use an electric stove, but I would try taking it off the burner to add the butter since burners retain heat once the heat is turned off, unlike a gas stove. Maybe that will help it to keep from continuing to cook and getting too hot.
OK, I just finished making a small test batch of this sauce (quartered the recipe because I’ve had fails with caramels before), and while I usually wait to review something til after myself and others have tried a few samples… I had to head to the laptop to write a review right away just so I would stop dipping my finger tip in and licking! Couldn’t be happier with the process and results… it is sooooo **insert expletive** good!!!
Can’t believe the depth of flavour with no burnt taste. I used my thermometer as a guide rather than a ‘ruler’. When it hit 330s I really got focused on the sugar and had butter in hand. I went by the sight and smell description Michelle provided from there. This was the final piece in my plan to make vanilla ice cream rippled with this sauce, BEB Chocolate Fudge Sauce and chunks of BEB Fudgy Pudgy Brownie mixed in. How can that not be amazing!
So that should be enough time now, the sauce should be cooled. I’ll just walk back over and put the lid on it. No finger dips…. maybe…
My gosh your ice cream sounds AMAZING! Thanks so much for stopping back to leave a review!
So perfect! The caramel sauce is rediculously good and worth trying! The cake amazing and a perfect bday cake for my Mom’s 87th Birthday!
Thanks for sharing!
Hello! This caramel sauce looks wonderful! I was wondering what brand of thermometer you use?
Hi Kayla, It’s a Thermapen – http://www.thermoworks.com/Thermapen-Mk4
This stuff is AHmazing!!! I have used your recipe many, many, times! Absolutely delicious and perfect balance of sweet and salty????
Truly fabulous recipe. I’ve made it a couple of times now and it never fails to impress. Indulgent but so worth it.
I just made this and it is wonderful. I am waiting for it to cool so I can jar it up. It has a balanced salty sweet nutty flavor that you just can’t get from store bought caramel sauce. I did have an issue with it clumping at the end so I had to simmer it after I added the cream. I think maybe the cream was too cold and the temperature change caused this issue, so watch out for this.
Now I am going to bake this sauce into your chocolate salted caramel cupcakes!
This cake was a crowd pleaser. I took it to work for a coworker’s birthday and so many people asked for the recipe! It came out beautifully too. Wish I had taken a photo, maybe next time. This is not a difficult cake to make but there are several steps and there were ingredients that I don’t regularly have in my pantry (fluff). I will definitely make it again and encourage others to try it. YUMMY! Thank you brown-eyed baker! (I took one shortcut – I didn’t make the salted caramel from scratch but no one even noticed.).
I am going to try this recipe today and am so excited!! One question though…can I substitute the cream with evaporated milk? If so, would it be the same amount?
Hi Trina, I’ve never tried to use evaporated milk, so I couldn’t say what the results would be like.
Fabulous recipe! I made this for my daughter’s 14th birthday for a sundae bar. Best ever!
The best recipe. Have used it a MILLION times!
I tried this yesterday evening and it certainly is delicious! However a lot of the sugar (not quite caramel sauce yet) stuck to the side of the pot and was impossible to get off and incorporate into the sauce. Your pot sides look so wonderfully clean! Do you use a certain type of pot? Or do you the put the lid on for a while? I hope you can help :)
Hi Judy, I just used a regular stainless steel pot. I do not use a lid. You could try brushing the sides with a wet pastry brush to dissolve the sugar while it’s cooking. I hope that helps!
I made this for Thanksgiving to top off a brownie with ice-cream dessert and it worked perfectly. This time I trippled the recipe and before all the sugar could melt, the sugar started browning along the edges. I stirred it and turned down the heat but it continued to darken. I paniced and decided to toss in the butter before it burned even though there was still some very, very small lumps of sugar not yet melted. After incorporating all the butter I took it off the heat and added the cream, whisking it in vigorously. There was still small lumps of sugar so I decided to throw it back on a medium heat and whisk some more. After a couple minutes it was smooth, all the sugar finally melted. If I had waited for all the sugar to melt initially, it would have burned. I used my heavy cast iron kettle and a medium- low heat. I’m wondering if adding a quarter cup of water to the sugar would prevent this pre- browning of the sugar? I love this recipe, it is so smooth and buttery, a perfect Carmel flavor!
This recipe is AMAZING!!! I have made it a bunch of times!!
I love this recipe and have made it several times! I glanced through the above comments quickly and did not see my question. I was wondering if it is possible to can this sauce for shelf storage? I feel like the answer will be no, but I don’t know a lot about canning and what is and isn’t safe.
As I look above, I think my question has been answered :)
I make Cinnamon Apple Ice Cream Topping and Fudge Ice Cream Topping. When I make them, I screw the lids on right away so the jars will seal. In step 5 it says to set the sauce aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then pour into jars. I am wondering if I screw the lids on right away, if these jars would seal also. Have you tried this and if so, do you know how long the shelf life would be? I prefer making things up ahead of time and having on hand when I make my gift baskets up. I like everything to be consistent so the people on the receiving end don’t have to be concerned about things spoiling. Thank You,
Hi Zoe, I can’t confidently recommend canning this recipe for long-term storage, as I’m just not sure how safe it would be. Sorry that I couldn’t be of more help!
I made Carmel for the first time ever with your recipe. I ignored all of the comments and “suggestions” below, and followed exactly as you wrote. I was making the snickers cake recipe for my sister’s birthday tomorrow, and everything turned out so amazingly perfect. The salted Carmel is to DIE for. I didn’t even measure the heat and just sniffed for that toasted smell, made sure it had a little smoke coming off it, and saw that reddish brown color and it ended up so beautifully. I’m so excited to have picked up my new hobby of baking, and I just wanted to thank you so much for your amazing your amazing recipe☺️
Just a few notes/tips:
I’ve taken to making this in a big nonstick wok; cleanup is a snap and the sugar doesn’t seem to burn as easily.
I don’t mind a bit of crunch in the sauce, so I use a wonderful and fairly coarse (not really flaky) briny Celtic sea salt from France. The flavor is fantastic. It’s very damp in the jar and light grey in color from the sea minerals.
Where I live, cane sugar is almost nonexistent. We have beet sugar everywhere, and I do believe this has much more trouble melting than cane sugar; I have yet to do a comparison test. For those having trouble with lumpiness or sugar not melting, check what your sugar is made from. If it’s beet sugar, you may want to try cane instead.
I’m always on a tight budget, so I use very inexpensive ingredients to make this, and it always turns out wonderfully. I use the cheapest store-brand real butter, shelf-stable (UHT) heavy cream, and the cheapest sugar. Even the thriftiest ingredients make great caramel sauce. My only splurge is good sea salt. Pink Himalayan salt is great as well.
This was awesome! My first successful caramel anything! It is so good and was really easy, way easier than other recipies I’ve tried. Thank you, I’m making this to go with the caramel apple cake!
THIS IS AMAZING! Easy to make and honestly – it’s hard to not eat it all!
If I add corn syrup to prevent the crystallization how to I prevent the separation of the corn syrup?
Also, if I heat it to a lower temperature will that allow it to be more liquid?
Hi Kimberley, I would not recommend corn syrup – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a homemade caramel sauce using it.
This caramel recipe was the first that ever came out for me. I did add 2 teaspoons of light corn syrup to the sugar help keep it from crystallizing (one of the many problems I’ve had in the past). In the future I’d cook this at medium because majority of the caramel was turning brown and the clumps were still completely uncooked, so I had to take it off the heat and whisk it aggressively to keep it from burning. I just barely managed to salvage it. I’m so glad i finally managed to make a caramel sauce. it tastes delicious. Thanks for posting.
Mm delicious, this turned out just right. Thanks for sharing.
I have been making this sauce for about a year and given it to family, friends, and neighbors. It has always turned out fantastic gaining praise. Today I made a triple batch for a Church fund raiser. I though it worked out the same. With anticipation of a great return for the Church I sat to cool and rest. Then I remember I did not put the salt in the pot. I suppose I will sell as “Carimal Sause”. Oh well it will not elavate blood pressure. Lol
This recipe is fantastic! Thank you for the pictures, they really helped my first time making this recipe. I am making salted Carmel cupcakes for my sons bday and wanted to make them extra special making my own salted Carmel sauce . I only made 1/2 the recipe and the measurements were perfect.
When I added the butter it did not incorporate with the sugar and ended up with an oily mess. What did I do wrong?
Hi Brian, The sugar should be well melted and have turned into a caramel sauce before you add the butter. Is your thermometer accurate? The only thing I can think of is that your mixture was either not hot enough or way too hot when you began to add the butter.
I made the sauce yesterday and I had the exact same problem as Brian. The butter didn’t mix and it stayed as an oily film on top of the sauce. The consistency of the sauce was not smooth either. Now I will admit, that I tried using 10% cream because I didn’t have heavy cream. Would that have been the reason how it turned out?
I had this same problem but was able to fix it. When I added the butter it refused to blend in, so I turned up the heat a bit and got it up to a good bubbly boil. The butter whisked in smoothly and beautifully then. I did the same while adding the cream. Gorgeous sauce. I had some amazing Celtic sea salt, which has a distinct flavor and really complements the sweet creaminess and slight bitterness wonderfully.
I agree with Michelle, in addition make sure the Butter is not cold. I have forgotten to take the butter out to get to room temperature I will put it in the microwave and warm it also warm the Cream.
Great recipe that I’ve made many times now and it works every time! I’ve noticed the change in texture that you can watch happen after you’ve incorporated the butter and start to add the cream. I’ve wanted to try to make soft caramel’s, and have successfully modified this recipe. The steps are exactly the same (350 degrees, sugar, color, butter, cream, salt), but you reduce the cream to just 1/3 cup. Let cool for the same 15 minutes or so on the stove and then pour into your caramel molds (available nearly anywhere). Let cool and sit for 24 hours, pop them out and wrap. (you can use wax paper, cut into squares, but you can actually order candy wrappers too if your going to make gifts…I am thinking you can likely reduce the butter a bit too and next batch will take out 4 Tbls. and see what happens.
I’ve never made my own caramel before, but my wife’s birthday is coming up and I’m going to try to make her a snickers cake.. While the wet method of caramel makes more sense to me than this dry method, I’m willing to give the dry method a try on my electric stovetop. However I can’t help but wonder if anybody has tried a baking method, as can be done for a roux. Maybe getting the sugar melted in the oven and finishing the sauce on the stovetop?
Since I have an electric oven/cooktop and baking a roux is so effortless and simple I can’t help but think (okay, you can read that as ‘hope and pray’) that I might be onto something… Does anybody have any thoughts/experience on/with doing a dry baked caramel sauce vs. a stovetop caramel sauce?
Just a question – when do you add the salt?
I think this step was overlooked in the recipe :/
It is in step #4.
I made this sauce today so that I could try your Salted Caramel Apple Cake. It turned out perfectly. Thank you for posting the tips, I have not made caramel sauce before and it was very helpful. Saved me from ruining a few batches at first. I did use a thermometer and let it heat to barely 350° just for your information. I see that topic was discussed.
I made this last yea to give away as Christmas gifts! Was sooo good!!!
Can I sub whole milk or half and half for heavy cream? I have been stuck in the house for days with sick kids and am going stir crazy but can’t get to the store because one is still sick.
I have not tried either, but I would definitely do the half and half if you try it. Let me know how it goes and I hope your kids feel better!!
This recipe is awesome! I added some hot red chili powder to the heavy cream and it came out delicious!!!
The print link for this recipe is broken–it wants to still print the pictures and all for 4 pages!
Hi Janell – The link is not broken, it is meant to print everything that appears in the recipe box, and for this recipe, I’ve included step-by-step photos. Unfortunately, there is not a way to elect for the photos to be removed. I apologize for the inconvenience!
I made this caramel sauce this morning and it turned out perfectly! Thanks for the clear and easy to follow instructions. I was also skeptical about the 350 temperature, but it was exactly right for the deep gorgeous color of this caramel. Using this sauce with a Banana Rum Upside Down Cake that I’m developing for my blog. Always look forward to receiving your posts in my mail :)
What would happen if I did not add the salt? could I use table salt, if so how much? thanks
Hi Diane, If you don’t add the salt, then you just have regular caramel sauce (still delicious!). Definitely do NOT add table salt, it is completely different than flaked sea salt.
Holy cow! Great directions. Making this to go into the salted caramel cream cheese frosting for a birthday cake and I really wonder if I want to share it now. *applause*
Hello! I’ve been wanting to try this!! Omg, going to thw mart today and hit the stove. Thanks babe for the recipe! :D
Hi. Can I freeze this sauce and also your hot fudge sauce?
Hi Raheel, Yes, you could safely freeze both.
Thanks! They are both amazing.
I tried this recipe but the sugar never completely melted and stayed clumpy. I’ve tried the water method before and that seems to work
So, this is the 2nd time that I’ve tried this recipe and it’s basically liquidy, sugary, butter. I followed the direction exactly. I’ve made caramel before and I don’t remember it being like this. Will it thicken if I let it sit?
Yes, the caramel does thicken as it sits.
I do a lot of one ingredient caramel (just sugar) sauce to coat the pans where I bake condensed milk custard pudding, using the ‘dry’ method… very easy when you get used to it and after you burnt a batch of it. However, lately I had second thoughts and became interested is a less sugary and fat version for dressing what is already a very sweet treat (you know, Portuguese desserts take lots of sugar, yolks, almonds, olive oil or butter) … so, after some web research, I have tried this same caramel sauce using whole milk instead of cream & butter. It works perfectly (just avoid brown sugar, that seizes the caramel and makes a grainy sauce); also have the milk ready hot and use a really tall pan because the foam will rise and keep stirring all the time using a oven glove (it produces hot vapor) and than cook it for melting back into the milk the candy chunks you got and until you reach the desired consistency. My next step will be to use milk with a drizzle of lime/orange juice and cinnamon infused. This will produce home-made ‘buttermilk’ caramel sauce, ideal for those custard/eggy puddings.
I was just wondering if the caramel can be canned to save for longer periods and for gifts?
Hi Breann, This recipe isn’t specifically formulated for long-term storage, so to be on the safe side, I would say no.
It’s 1 tablespoon of salt a typo??
No, that’s correct.
I made this today and it smelled great and looked great and didn’t burn. BUT it tasted bitter. Why???
I love caramel thanks for the recipe without corn syrup!
Hi! I am making this cake for my mom’s birthday tomorrow :) Just pulled one round out of the oven. My question is about the carmel sauce. I have fine grain pure sea salt. Can I use that as a substatution for the flakey salt which i don’t have? If so how much would you recommend? Thank yoo so much, Gina
Hi Gina, I know this is a little late, but you will want to use far less fine grain sea salt than the flaky sea salt called for.
I know this is an old-news recipe, but I just recently discovered it. I’ve made it three times now and it’s turned out wonderfully each time, despite not using a thermometer – I just keep an eye on it and keep stirring! I do however use salted butter – that’s the only type I buy – and found that 1 TSB of salt was too salty. In my second batch, I cut it down to 1 TSP and it was lovely. Thanks for a great recipe!
I love salted caramel! I’m curious how well this recipe would taste over my homemade frappuccino. I was thinking of making chewy salted caramels, too. I found this recipe here (http://bit.ly/1Bcaramelrecipe) that I thought I would try.
I’ve got a couple ideas for this recipe I want to run by you. First – could I use it as a ripple in ice cream,like I use your fudge sauce from S’mores ice cream?
Second – would it keep at room temperature if I topped coconut macaroons with it? I love making Joanne Chang’s coconut macaroons and often dip tops in chocolate, could I do same with caramel sauce? I usually keep them in sealed container on my counter for the few days they last.
I’ve never made a caramel sauce before, which is odd considering how much a frickin love caramel! Thanks for your guidance
Hi Jackie, I think that could work (the ripple), although it might be a bit stiff after sitting in the freezer. I wouldn’t store it at room temperature long-term because of the cream in the sauce (I would eat them within a day).
I consider myself an accomplished cook but I ruined a pot, a sweater, and received blistering burns on my hands and face making this. What a nightmare.
Caramel can be dangerous to deal with…but here are some tips:
1 – When adding something to hot (350 F) caramel, warm it in the first place (like ‘tempering’)… you don’t need to boil the cream (I use milk, it has less calories), but you should have it quite warm (use a microwave oven).
2- Use a oven mint glove on the hand that you use to whisk the caramel.
3 – remove the caramel from the fire and whisk a bit before adding water/cream/milk, etc. It should not be fuming at least.
I LOVE this recipe! The only thing I added was 1/2 tsp vanilla extract the second time I made it – it really helps bring all the flavors together in my opinion, but even without, this is the BEST salted carmel sauce recipe I have come across.
One other cool thing I did with this was omit 1/8th cup cream to turn it into a thicker and denser carmel-style dessert. I spread it on top of a basic shortbread recipe once it had cooled a bit, chilled for 2 hours, then added 2 cups melted semi-sweet morsels on top and re-chilled another hour. Talk about INSANE cookie recipe. The family asks for these every time I visit because of how insanely good they are- highly recommend!
please help! I have attempted this recipe 6 times today and every single time the sugar turns amber colored before it melts. It refuses to melt. And it doesn’t take 1-2 minutes it takes 10-12. I follow the tips to a T. And I have tried different pans and lowering the temperature. Why does caramel hate me? :( I’m using a gas range and watching it like a hawk but it just never seems to melt down like it should. I would appreciate your help!
Nikki! I’ve ONLY made this on a gas range, and it has never failed. Here are a few personal tips that hopefully HEB can confirm as well:
1. You have to be DEDICATED at stirring while it is in the lump/turning amber – zone.
2. If you have a fire dial for heat, I generally use a setting between 5 and 6 and no greater.
3. I’ve only ever used a teflon-coated Cuisinart saucepan and have yet to have problems- I would recommend if you’re using a non-coated pan to invest and try that- may be of great help.
4. Carmel doesn’t hate you! You just have to really be extremely dedicated to watching it and checking that the temperature hits 350* with a candy thermometer are your TWO BEST FRIENDS to the process. :)
Don’t give up- keep on trying and let me know how it turns out!
This might help:
1 – Before starting, evenly spread the sugar on the bottom of the pan so that you get it with the same thickness all over the pan… don’t be afraid to use a wide pan. ‘Destroy’ any big sugar clumps before proceeding.
2 – Use a heavy bottom pan, because…
3 – … this will allow the sugar to cook more time without reaching burning point. When I see that I get areas in the pan where the sugar is becoming brown and others where is still clumpy white, I remove the pan from the fire and just keep stirring until I get a more homogenous mix..than back to the stove and resume.
I tried it last night (twice) only to have it turn into a hot mess. I think “medium high” for my stove is way, way too high. The first time the sugar was burnt before it was fully melted. My thermometer broke during this mess (yeah!) so I attempted to use a slow-moving digital meat thermometer for my second attempt (worse idea). By the time the top temp registered, it was already burnt.
I’m going to attempt it again tonight, mainly because I have yet to waste any cream or butter in it. I think this is going to be a great recipe, but I first need to figure out how to do it with my stove!
Amazing! Without a doubt the best sauce of any flavor ever! I used a candy thermometer but it only read 300 degrees and the caramel was perfect!
Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will he making this again, and again!!!
Best caramel sauce recipe ever!!! I used Irish butter, and the rich buttery taste is so clean and crisp! I was a little nervous because mine did not develop like the pictures, but it is beautiful and perfect! Cant wait to put it on your Salted Caramel Apple Cake!!!!
I made your sauce last night, absolutely devine! Served it over pumpkin spice bread pudding.
Not sure how, but I managed to get 4 cups when I made this recipe (following it exactly). It was enough to fill 2 pint size mason jars. Making more today as gifts for some friends at church :) great recipe.
Oh, and I’ve found that if I use fresh mason jar lids with seals, it can actual seal and be preserved. I’ve had a sealed jar in my kitchen for almost 2 weeks so far and it hasn’t altered in appearance in any way yet. I plan to crack it open next week to check it’s quality.
What do you suggest for reheating the sauce? Can I just place the jar in the microwave?
Hi Aiza, Yes, you could do that. Or if you don’t need the whole jar, you can spoon some into a bowl and microwave that.
Actually, I cook mine up to 370–less sweet and more complex flavors (per David Lebovitz)
PHENOMENAL flavor and outstandingly simple with the detailed tutorial you posted. I’ve ben making it since you first posted this awhile back, and it slipped my mind to post just how ridiculous this sauce is! Just made it so that it’s ready for inclusion in the Milky Way brownie ice cream cake I’m making as our Christmas piece de resistance dessert. Thanks for all you do year round, not just this recipe!
I was wondering if I wanted to infuse the caramel with flavour (like bourbon) should I add the bourbon in during the beginning? Or at the end? I’ve read many recipes online and they all vary. How much should I add in with your current recipe to give it some flavour without overpowering?
Hi Crystal, I would add it at the end so it doesn’t burn off in the cooking process. The amount really depends on your personal taste preferences!
All I need is this salted caramel and a spoon and I’ll be good to go! ;)
I always go by the color of the melted sugar (deep amber) to make salted caramel sauce. It can be frustrating using thermometers at altitude since you usually need to go a little lower than what temp the recipe calls for. It’s so yummy! Love your blog!
Just a few questions so i’m sure of myself when I try this recipe.
1. Is an instant read thermometer different than the candy thermometer you clip to the side of your pot? If they are different, can the clip kind be used or are they less accurate in your opinion?
2. When the sugar reaches 350 do you turn off the heat then put all the butter in at once,
3. Do you have any thoughts on one of the earlier comments posted where they suggested adding the room temperature cream first to sort of temper the sugar and then adding the butter after the sauce cools slightly so as not to burn the butter?
I’d like to give this a try to include (along with your cinnamon sugar pecans and some homemade hot cocoa mix!) in some homemade gift baskets for Christmas. If my carmel doesn’t work out, do you have another dessert sauce suggestion from your site for a dessert sauce novice?
Hi Christine, Here are answers to your questions:
1) Yes, they are different, but you can also use a candy thermometer that is clipped to the side of the pot.
2) No, keep the heat on when you add the butter.
3) I’ve never had a problem with the butter burning, but you could certainly try it.
This looks fabulous! I’m curious – what brand of thermometer do you use (the pink one in the picture), and do you like it?
Hi TJ, That’s a Thermapen from ThermoWorks, and I LOVE it! I use it for everything!
This stuff is pure evil. I made it for the Snickers cake, and there was plenty leftover. Enough for my husband and I to have two bowls of ice cream topped with it, and then more for me to eat straight out of the jar with a spoon. It’s amazing!
I think I am cursed. I have yet to master caramel making but I am an expert on eating it!
Question…from the pictures, it looks like the sugar is put in the saucepan dry. From there, about how long does it take for the sugar to melt? Once it melts, about how long does it take to get to 350?
Hi Janell, I don’t have times listed because it can really vary quite a bit depending on how hot your flame (gas) or burner (electric) is on your stove. It can really vary a lot and it’s more important to use a thermometer or visual clues as opposed to times for something like this.
Love this sauce! Any tips for how best to put it in jars and give to friends as holiday treats? You said it keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks, so i’m assuming that after filling and cooling my jars I should store them in the fridge until I give them away? Any experience putting these through a water bath or pressure canner for long-term use?
Hi Morgan, Yes, I recommend storing them in the fridge until you give them away. I have not tried long-term storage and cannot guarantee that this particular recipe would be safe for long-term storage.
Right or wrong, I’ve had this stored in the ‘fridge for up to 8 months, and pulled it out, microwaved it for ice cream with no problems or degredation in flavor or quality….no ill effects aside from too much ice cream!
I can’t find flaky sea salt would I be able to use regular sea salt ?
Hi Katlyn, You would want to use just the tiniest amount, it will be much saltier than the flaky sea salt.
Does the type of pot make a difference? My caramel hardens as soon as I add the butter. Why is that?
Hi Shayla, Any heavy-bottomed pot should do. Make sure your butter is not cool at all; if the butter or cream has the least bit of a chill to it, it will cause the caramel to seize.
Delicious! I used organic cane sugar and this turned out beautifully! Good instructions. Now for the caramel apple pie . . .
I just made this and it turned out pretty well, however, I was left with rock hard caramel in the edges of my pan. Is that normal, or is there a way to avoid that?
I forgot to add cream! Now I have a jar of solid caramel and can’t get it out. Is there any way to save it?
Can you gently re-warm and then add the cream? If not, maybe just cut it up into candy?
I take it back. caramel has cooled. its amazing
just made this as my end of summer indulgence. it’s divine!
love the contrast of salty and sweet. (though I think next time I’ll cut out a bit of the sugar cuz it was a drop too sweet for me)
Love the recipe! If I was to make this for wedding favors, would it be ok in jars at room temperature on the day of the wedding whilst sitting on the tables? On the label I would put instructions to refrigerate and heat before using. Also if I use sterilised jars, would it keep for longer than 2 weeks? Thanks
Hi Steph, I think that would be okay. I don’t think sterilizing the jars would make a difference.
I make rum caramel but I love the idea of the salted caramel it looks great can’t wait to try and taste it to see if it goes well with my bread pudding… John-hi@pastrychef
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!
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.
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.
This looks brilliant but I can’t make the saltedcaramel sauce. The sugar seized and the butter didn’t mix in!
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.
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.
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!
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!!
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!
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!!
Hi Juliana, So glad you enjoyed it! I reheat it in the microwave, but you could also do it stovetop over low heat.
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!!
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!
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.
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.
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!
Hi Juli, Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee that canning this recipe in any manner will be safe.
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!
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.
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:)
Hi Sarah, It will last about two weeks, and yes, you can definitely reheat it.
I featured this salted caramel on my blog today! It’s so beyond amazing! There are no words!
How do you think this would go with a flavoured sugar? I’m thinking half vanilla bean sugar half normal sugar
Hi Deb, I think that would be good!
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?
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.
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.
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!!!
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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! :)
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.
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
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?
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. :)
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!
Hi Beka, Yes, you would want either straight-up heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, not half and half.
Thank you Michelle!!!
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.
I made this and it was way too salty. I think it should be a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon.
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!
Is there a substitute for corn syrup? Its almost impossible to get in Australia.
Hi Carol, You could use Lyle’s Golden Syrup, if you have access to that!
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!!!
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.
can there be a sub for heavy cream?
Hi Mary, Unfortunately, I do not know if there is a substitute that will guarantee the same results.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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!
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.
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! :)
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.
To clarify, the butter melted but never incorporated to the melted sugar.
Well, this didn’t work. I’ve got a brown soup with clumped “caramel” stuck to the pot.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
can you process can jars of sauce to keep longer than the 2 weeks in the fridge???
Hi Shannon, I do not know if that would be safe or not. Unfortunately, I would not recommend it.
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.
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 :)
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!
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!
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.
OMG !!!! Simply delicious. Thanks so much. Can’t wait to taste the krispie treats.
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!
Can I use this for the chocolate chip cookie bars you posted?
Yes! I would recommend using about 3/4 cup.
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?
Apologies just seen your comment saying two weeks.
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.
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.
Just noticed that the comment before mine asked the same question. ;)
Help us out, 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!
Hi Caroline, I think you could make a double batch without a problem! Enjoy! :)
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…
I think you could make a double batch without a problem! Enjoy! :)
This recipe is delicious, and turned out amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing!!
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.
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.
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! =]
I made this for teacher’s gifts and it was amazing – thank you!
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?
Hi Orla, Yes, you could definitely use this one. I think about 3/4 cup or 1 cup should be a good amount.
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!!
I have bottled caramel sauce and fleur del sel. Can I heat up the caramel sauce with the salt to make salted caramel?
Hi Kathleen, It will not taste even close to homemade caramel. Take the plunge! :)
Hi Michelle! I tried the caramel sauce … tbe color is dark amber but it tastes lil’ bitter :(
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!!
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
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 :)
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.
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
I just made this caramel sauce, I looks pretty thin, will it thicken as it cools?
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!
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!
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!
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?
Could I use condensed milk in place of the cream?
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.
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!
Ah this recipe looks amazing, can’t wait to make a jar and put it on absolutely everything. Including just a spoon.
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! : )
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.
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! : )
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.
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?
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.
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!)
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.
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.
I had a batch seize up on me once. The butter was too cold when I added it. Could this have been your problem?
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.
Hello! Will like to find out if 350 is farenheit or deg celcius? Many thanks!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
This is the most amazing sauce ever!
So darn good. It was really easy to make too. I love this stuff! And the caramel frosting was easy too.
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. :)
Such a good idea! I’m so doing that next time I make coffee…
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?
Hi Riley, I use this Taylor candy thermometer (less than $10!): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004XSC9/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00004XSC9&linkCode=as2&tag=broeyebak-20
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!
I can’t tell if I burnt it or there’s too much salt. Had to use a fine sea salt. Any advice before I waste the rest of my butter? I also made my own heavy cream with full milk and unsalted butter.
Hi Sylvie, I’m not sure you’re question. I really have no way of knowing if you burnt it or used too much salt. However, if it didn’t turn out correctly, you may want to try traditional heavy cream and see if it works any better. I can never guarantee results when there are ingredient substitutions made or the recipe hasn’t been followed exactly.
Been dying to make salted caramel cupcakes for so long so I found this recipe and it looked so good so i made it today and twice because the first time it left a bad after taste like it was burnt at the bottom the second time it left the same bad taste and it even turned the color you said. Don’t know why so I just used a recipe in my Georgetown cupcakes cookbook that took less time and came out tasting amazing.
Just wondering, in the pictures what is the brand of the thermometer you use?
Hi Kait, It is a Thermapen: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002GIZZWM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002GIZZWM&linkCode=as2&tag=broeyebak-20
When making caramel sauce I found that it is much easier to go by color. If I let the sugar get to 350 I would have a lot of burnt sugar!
I love your salted caramel brownies! I made this and it turned out so delicious! Looking forward to try out more of your recipes.
awesome post! i love salted caramel because it’s so versatile!
I saw this recipe about 2 weeks ago and have been dying to try it. I have never made caramel before, but am adventurous with my desert making so what the heck right? Well, the first attempt was a bust, I looked away for about a second and it boiled and created a hideous stench. LOL. The second attempt went better, but I still burnt it; just barely though. I think I know how to do it this time, so here it goes again. I will probably have to stop at this attempt, it’s getting expensive.
Third time’s the charm. This sauce is beautiful!!! I gave my honey a spoonful when he got home and he took the jar from me…SCORE!!! We spent last night thinking of ways to use this lovely sauce. Thank you!!!
I made this yesterday using raw (turbinado) sugar, since that’s what we have switched to. It turned out way too dark and hadn’t even melted all the way before it looked over done. I was using an electric stove since that’s all I have. I have always loved cooking on electric and it’s all I’ve ever known. Anyway, when I added the cream it turned into a huge lump and would not incorporate with the rest. I put it back on the burner on low-med heat and it finally did melt together enough to salvage most of it. It’s really dark and strong tasting, not burned, but over done for our taste. When I added the salt (I used Maldon Crystal Sea Salt Flakes) it seemed to mix in fine, then later I noticed that most of it was clumped up in the bottom of the glass jar. I am an experienced cook/baker and love your recipes. This one just didn’t turn out great like they usually do. I am going to use the caramel to make the chocolate chip cookie bars so maybe they will be sweet enough to counter the strong caramel taste. Do you think part of the problem was the raw sugar? Thanks. :)
Hi Annette, It could very well have been due to using the raw sugar; I have never used that for caramel sauce.
Well, Michelle, I used the dark caramel sauce in your Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar recipe and OH MY WORD! They are fabulous! Redemption… :)
Like I said, it wasn’t really burned, just dark, and probably because of the raw sugar. I am SO glad I put it back on the burner and waited for it to melt back together instead of throwing it out. It tastes amazing in the cookie bars! Thanks again!!
Hi, I tried this for the first time this weekend and, while it tastes fantastic, its almost solid. It HAS to be eaten with a spoon…no way is that being drizzled on anything!!! Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to thin it down so that it’s more of a sauce and less of a solid? Or what could have caused this in the first place?
Hi Tracey, Once it cools and is refrigerated, yes, the sauce thickens to the point of needing to eat it with a spoon. For drizzling, simply re-warm it gently on the stove or in the microwave.
Phew!!! Thanks for the reply. I was worried I’d messed it up somehow :)
I just made some and it came out delicious! Finally a opportunity to use the Fleur de Sel de Guérande I got for christmas :)
I substituted the cream for some semi skimmed milk (because I hade no cream and it was late in the evening and I wanted to have this stuff NOW.) and it is probably a bit more runny than the version with cream, but still gorgeous sauce.
I should add – just made another batch and noticed a couple things I do.
I use a 6 quart Farberware pot. I frequently double the recipe in this pan, but also use it for single batches. The sugar cooks easier when I make a single batch. (Less caking and lumps.)
I stir 1 teaspoon of salt into the cream while the sugar is melting. It seemed to settle when I added it to the caramel. I also use salted butter.
I thought the salted caramel brownies were fabulous with this sauce. I drizzled a little bit over the brownies after they were baked and cooled in addition to the caramel in the recipe.
I have made numerous batches of this since Thanksgiving. It is wonderful! I used at least 15 jars for gifts, a alot over ice cream, used some in thumbprint cookies, dipped apples, and ate spoonfuls when I walked thru the kitchen. I am making some tonight for Easter, just incase….
Thank-you! I have meant to make my own caramel sauce for years, but never got around to it.
I made this last night and it came out absolutely beautifully! I am writing a post on it for tomorrow, and used it ti make caramel frosting for a German chocolate cake :)
I made this sauce last night, with my husband standing over me holding the butter. (0: It was very delicious! And I managed to only eyeball. The instructions were very helpful. I want to make this cupcake for a baby shower, and don’t want to drizzle this over the cupcake for decor purposes. Can I inject this into a cupcake without it getting soggy? And does it harden for a garnishment?
Hi Pam, You might want to let it set up for a bit before piping it. If you let it sit at room temperature, or even refrigerate for a short time, it will get much thicker, which will make it easier to pipe and keep the cupcakes from getting soggy. It doesn’t ever get rock-hard.
I think your caramel tastes totally burnt.
I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but you must be crazy taking the caramel to 350 F. That’s temperature when sugar starts to burn. 295 F (hard crack stage) will give you a pretty brittle or hard candy. Caramel shouldn’t go beyond hard ball stage, certainly not more then 270 F.
Am I being ignorant and your technique is just fine? I really want to know and would appretiatie you getting back to me.
Not sure what to tell you. I’ve made multiple batches and it’s always turned out perfect and there are a lot of comments above from people who have made it with great success.
i just made a batch of this and it is to die for!! i am a baker by trade and have never in my 8 years been able to make a good caramel until tonight. thanks so much and the pics helped out a lot. i poured it in between and on top of a caramel apple cake and it’s amazing
Hi. Your shared recipe of salted caramel sounds fantastic. I want to use it for a fundraising gift pack. Is there any way you can preserve this sauce to last a few months? Pasteurize or vacuum pack or whatever? like the store bought bottles.
Hi Dely, Unfortunately, I am not well-versed in food science, but I do know that a key to preserving foods is having some type of acidic component to them. I have no idea if you could make this sauce and process it and have it be fine for a period of months. You might want to check with your local department of agriculture, or just search for a recipe that has been specifically formulated for processing and long-term storage.
I just made my 3rd jar of this in 6 weeks! I’ve almost stopped going to Starbucks, because I put this in my coffee everyday! I’ve also tried it on ice cream, popcorn and apples! It is SO delicious!
I had never made caramel before, but this pregnancy (my baby is 5 weeks old) I craved salted caramel like crazy!
Thank you for the easy instructions and pictures!
This looks so amazingly good.
New to this site—and my daughter and I are really enjoying baking together.
Again I want to thank you for the impending weight gain…LOL.
I recently lost about 100 pounds–am seeing some of that coming back on with these fantastic recipes. (seriously–moderation in all things and it will be just fine)
I just made this last weekend for a big family get together. Dark chocolate cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting and drizzled with this caramel sauce. To die for! And your instructions made it so easy – thank you!
you list fleur de sel (flaky sea salt) as the final ingredient. is it possible to get away with using regular sea salt instead?
Hi Kathy, I would really stick with a flaky sea salt here; it dissolves better and will ensure that the sauce doesn’t have a gritty texture.
You just inspired me to create salted coconut caramel. First time making caramel. It is delicious. I just replaced the cream with coconut cream. Yum! Now the only problem is to keep it safe from hubby and the kid..hahaha…
that looks so so amazing…so the only difference between the salty caramel and the regular caramel is the addition of salt? I am only asking as in baking, I am a complete novice and I wanted to make sure. You have a lovely website and I am still grappling with all the posts and the delicious pics!
Yep, salted caramel includes salt, while regular caramel sauce does not.
Just made it, and was perfect! Loved the recipe, thanks!
THIS recipe is THE best! My favorite on the site! Had great success with other recipes on the site that call for caramel, using this sauce. I agree with the comments about 350 being too high on a regular candy thermometer. Go with the color and texture as your guide for when it’s done. Don’t wait for it to thicken up a lot–then it will burn. Time in the fridge does the thickening. Love it!
OMG this recipe is great. I just tried it and it turned out perfect. The taste is devine. I thought I didn’t like caramel, I made this for my kids and was really surprised at the results. I am not buying caramel again. Thanks.
Wow – at last! A delicious recipe and method THAT DIDN’T CRYSTALIZE!! Thank you.
Found your salted caramel sauce recipe last weekend. With the combo of your simple yet wonderful step by step recipe (text & pictures) & some beginners luck, my first attempt was delicious! I added some of the sauce to my apple pie recipe & it was oh sooo good a combination! The rest of the sauce is in a jar in my fridge calling my name, but I am holding off until next weekend to bake the next batch of salted caramel apple pie.
Thank you Brown-Eyed-Betty!
Great recipe.. tasty and works well.. ladies .. its an easy one
This caramel sauce is incredible… I used it to make a caramel cheesecake and it was to die for. Thanks :)
Whatever is the equivalent to a black thumb in the kitchen, I have! I went into this trembling and sure I would fail, but am happy to report it turned out perfectly! I feel so accomplished and can’t wait to give these as teacher gifts beautifully packaged with a dipping spoon and apples. Thank you for the detailed instructions and photos for without them, it would have been another defeat in the kitchen for me. Cheers!
This recipe looks awsome! Could one use black Hawaiian salt? or Himalayan Pink salt? Also Could it be canned with a pressure cooker?
Hi Cathie, You can experiment with different types of salt, but know that the flaky sea salts, such as fleur de sel and maldon, will dissolve more readily into the sauce, so you won’t be left with a gritty or crunchy texture. Keep that in mind if you opt for coarser salts. I would not recommend canning this, as I can’t guarantee that the acidity levels would be safe for canning and consuming at a later date, especially since there is cream in the recipe.
Hi, I’ve tried this a few times and I can’t even get close to a smooth cream: it ends up being very liquid, heavy butter smelling and with a really light color, not the wonderful ambered color it should be.
Which can be the mistake?
I live in Italy and we use grams instead of cups/tps, I used the conversion tables and it was 300gr sugar 100gr butter and 230-240ml of cream.
Thank you in advance :)
Hi Armando, Unfortunately those conversions are incorrect. See below:
2 cups granulated sugar = 7 ounces = 198 grams
12 tablespoons butter = 6 ounces = 170 grams
Your cream amount is correct (8 ounces is about 237 ml)
I think making the measurement corrections will make all the difference! Good luck!
Mine came out waterly… how?
Hi Venus, Did you make any changes or substitutions to the recipe at all?
Well, this may not be my typical allergy-free treat, but wow – it’s soooo good! I just made it, and LOVE it! I’ve never made caramel by melting the sugar first (the dry method?). It’s so much easier than boiling everything together, which often ends up resulting in burned butter or cream. I’m going to try to come up with an allergy-free version of this!
Amazing. My daughter has made this many times. Delicious. So I tried it today and it is definitely better done on a gas range, although my 1st attempt isn’t too bad.
I love your blog! I’m making this sauce for the umpteenth time to drizzle over cheesecake. I was always intimidated by making caramel but using your recipe it turned out perfectly the very first time!
I made this last night for New Year’s Eve. After searching the internet for an easy-to-follow recipe, found yours. Not only was the end result specTACular (!) but the recipe gave tips like the sugar balling up and how quickly it could go from reddish brown to UH-OH. Your site is lovely, beautifully designed, and well written. You’ve gained a fan! Thank you so much for helping me celebrate the new year! PS I used Maldon salt flakes…what do you think of adding less than a pinch more of the salt flakes – like maybe to the top when you serve, to get that salty bite?
Hi Katie, I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the sauce! I don’t see anything wrong with adding another bit of flakes to the top of the sauce.
Just made this sauce tonight and it couldn’t have been simpler or more delicious. This is my first time on your site and now I’ll be a loyal fan! Thank you!
I just made this caramel sauce so that I could use it for your Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie recipe I’m making tonight, and it came out so great! I only used half a tablespoon of salt in fear of it coming out too salty, and it came out delicious. Thanks so much for all of your recipes; they’re wonderful.
I burned it the first time around, but it turned out real nice the second time :) I used organic sugar so it was a little tricky to go by the color since its naturally a little darker than white sugar but i think I got lucky and nailed it.
Thanks for the recipe :)
Thank you Thank you!!
I have made this twice now and it turned out perfect each time.
made your recipe for ” salted caramel” last night, my first attempt ever and its PERFECT! thanks, such an easly reipe!!! going to add it to creme patissier for profiteroles!
I have just made thre batches of this beautiful salted Caramel and it is so so ood! Have bottled it as gifts for ll of the boys on Christmas Day!
This is seriously awesome and very easy, even for novices. I just finished eating my homemade apple crisp with this, and deemed the recipe of worthy of sharing :)
I am never buying store bought caramel sauce again! I just made this for the salted caramel apple cheesecake dip recipe and this caramel sauce is unbelievably good (the dip is awesome too I think it’ll go over well at my work party). I didn’t have a thermometer but I was able to eyeball it based on your tips and pictures, thanks for the recipe!
My daughter and I tried this recipe and it came out with a perfect color and flavor! We are going to make caramel and give jars as gifts to our friends. I will put it in my permanent recipe box. Thank you for sharing it.
This recipe is amazing. I love it! I have made a few different ones, and this is by far the most delicious and best explained. The pictures and instructions are extremely helpful. And I had never used my candy thermometer until this time, and it turned out perfect. Thank you!
I am an accomplished cook, and I gotta tell you, this recipe is a BEAR! I have made caramel sauce many times in the past, and it took me 3 times to get this one right (and may I say, it is by far the best caramel sauce I have ever tasted)! My problem was that the sugar browned quicker than it melted…I tried saucepan and skillet on low heat. I altered the recipe a bit, and I think it will be easier for those who posted that they are intimidated by caramel: I added enough water just to dissolve the sugar (about 1/4c) and added 1 Tbsp light corn syrup (helps prevent the dreaded “crystallization” ). Let it boil until it reaches 350 (you may need to *carefully* whisk a bit to even out the browning), then proceed with the recipe as posted (my palate is very salt-sensitive, so I only used 1 1/2t). I found there is no difference in the taste whatsoever…the butter is what makes this wonderful! Also, remember that when it comes to hot sugar, non-stick pans and silicone utensils are your best friend! LOVE your site!
Thanks for your sharing so many delicious treats!
I made this sauce yesterday and it was nothing short of beautiful. Come this morning and it was thiiiiiick! Really thick. I had to warm it up in the oven to drizzled over a cupcake. Is this normal?
Hi Uzo, Yes, once it’s finished and you refrigerate it, the sauce will become very thick. To re-use, just microwave until it’s a pourable consistency again and drizzle over anything you’d like! The same is true for homemade hot fudge sauce.
So I looked all over for a caramel recipe that didn’t contain corn syrup or honey. I never found one and decided to try boiling your recipe to a firm ball stage. These have to be the smoothest caramels I have ever had! Thanks for the inspiration!
Hi, thanks for a fabulous recipe. I have made a few batches now but each time the salt does not dissolve completely. I have a ‘flakey sea salt’ and in the first batch I made I added the amount stated in the recipe but the majority clumped together and sunk to the bottom. A horrid taste when you ate it by accident! For the following batches I have reduced the salt amount to between half and a quarter of the amount and ground it up, but it still clumps rather than totally dissolving. Any suggestions?
Hi Liz, That’s really weird that the salt is clumping. The only thing I can think of is – do you live in a particularly warm area? Sometimes salt and sugar can clump up if exposed to too much warm/humid air.
Thank you for replying so quickly!
Ah, if it’s humidity, it could be that the salt is damp, or as I am transferring it from the mortar it absorbs the moisture evaporating from the caramel. I live in the UK and it hasn’t been particularly dry here for a while either, so the air could be damp!
I think as long as the last jar is always reserved for me no-one will ever know! ;-)
Simple is awesome. Agreed.
A few queries though. This is the first time I’m making it. I used the dry method. By the time the sugar melted, the color was perfect. I added the butter and kept whisking it in. This was when the pot was still being subjected to heat. I continued stirring till the butter had all melted. Then I took it off the flame, and added the cream. Thankfully nothing spilled out, but the consistency of the sauce isn’t smooth. It’s kind of grainy.. Did I do it right? Is there a reason for this?
Hi Rushil, If it’s grainy, it sounds like the sugar didn’t melt the entire way. Either that, or there were some pieces of sugar stuck to the side of the pan that got incorporated while you were whisking.
Hi, I’ m not too sure what you mean by 12tablespoons butter -can you give a weight please? Thanks Jane
Hi Jane, 12 tablespoons of butter = 6 ounces. You can find some common conversions on this page, for future reference: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/conversions/
This recipe IS the “real deal”…impressive tutorial, photography and the taste-factor is AWESOME…Question…do you favor a large flake (as in Maldon Salt?) or a finer Fleur de Sel (as one finds easily here in France?)…Also…Could one possibly coat APPLES with this caramel for Autumn or Halloween treats?…Does it “set up” well for this usage?….So appreciative of your sharing this exquisite recipe…really well-done!
Hi Donna, Thank you for the kind feedback, I’m so happy to hear you enjoy the sauce! I use fleur de sel in mine. I have not tried coating apples with this sauce; it does set up pretty stiff in the refrigerator, so you might dry dipping the apples in a slightly cooled sauce, and then refrigerating to allow them to set. Let me know how it goes if you try it!
Thanks so much for the rapid reply!…I’ll give it a whirl!..First..I
want to make batches and put it in pretty jars for holiday
gifting!!!…This is truly the best caramel out
there..color…aroma….texture…It’s all there..Your readers need
look no further!
I just made this on my electric stove. It was the easiest thing ever. Thank you for the wonderful instructions!!!
Any chance this could be canned in Mason jars to give as gifts? Maybe with the cream it just has to be a make it and eat it sauce?
Hi Laurie, You couldn’t can this to be preserved at too temperature long-term. You could still put the sauce in mason jars and give away, with instructions to refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
As a diabetic OH but this looks great, but unreasonable. So I’m experimenting with Blue Agave Syrup. It boils at a lower temp. I’ll let you know how that goes.
hello, if i wanted to make this a little thicker would i just add less butter? im planning on putting it in stuff rather than on top and i would like it to stay inside instead of slowly oozing out.
Hi Robyn, No, make it as directed, but don’t use it immediately after making it. Let it cool (you can even refrigerate it to speed up the process) and it will thicken. If you want it pourable again, just warm it up.
never made caramel before, so was a little nervous going into it. fortunately, my first attempt came out great! fyi, i kept the heat pretty low, which seemed to help in keeping it from burning. try it on vanilla icecream with grapenuts!
How funny! My dad always used to sprinkle Grape-Nuts on his vanilla ice cream! He’d also drizzle maple syrup on top ;-)
Funny you mention that, back in the day Baskin & Robins used to make a maple walnut sundae that was soooo good. Unfortunately it went away and I’ve been trying to duplicate them ever since. I think the grapenut thing works because of the ‘crunch’ appeal. Anywho, I like it. Great cite, Michelle, thanks!
p.s. bummer about the hockey lockout…i was really looking forward to the Winter Classic!!!
This is fabulous!!! The first batch I made burned, you really have to watch it. The ONLY way that you can cook this with a thermometer is if it is instant read, 350 on a regular candy thermometer is burnt beyond saving. After several batches, I found that a wooden spoon is better than a whisk and that it takes just seconds from the time that the sugar hits liquid until the sugar is done. Makes great gifts!
Hi, I want to try this out SO bad and I’m just going to order a candy thermometere. I love your hot pink thermometer!
Can you tell me which one you use? Do you recommend getting it and should I get extra probes ( I read somewhere that some thermometeres need probes replaced). Thanks,
Hi AK, I use a Thermapen, I use it for everything and highly recommend it. It’s not cheap, but worth every penny! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002GIZZWM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002GIZZWM&linkCode=as2&tag=broeyebak-20
OMG this is a sign from the heavens up above. I spent the entire morning researching candy thermos yesterday and narrowed it down to a Thermapen and yey that’s the one you recommend too! Only yours is a nice hot pink and they only have what looks like a baby pink. I think I’m going for a zebra print instead of baby pink. Hurray! I wonder how long it will be before I get my hands on it! SO EXCITED!
Success on 2nd try! It doesn’t taste like caramel from Brittany, but this is definitely gorgeous!
Thank you BEB! ^_^
I tasted the sauce… and its very strong… did I burn the sugar? Or was the cream too thick? I’m trying this recipe again tonight.
I’m not familiar with the type of cream you mentioned above, so yes, the cream may have been too thick. If it tastes burnt, then it was probably cooked too long. If it doesn’t taste burnt, though, then it’s probably something else, perhaps the cream.
I just made the caramel recipe, only a couple of questions though.
I wasn’t sure about what kind of cream I needed so I used 1 cup of solid cream. The butter was also a lot… The caramel is done but looks darker, like a shade of darker caramel with darker red. Will the cream and color affect the flavor?
Hi there, As stated in the recipe, you should use heavy cream for the sauce. I’m not sure what solid cream is, but heavy cream is a thick liquid. Depending on how long you cook the sauce, it could go from a toffee color to a dark amber in a matter of seconds. The cream will slightly lighten the color of the sauce.
I’m going to use this to drizzle all over my chevre cheesecake! Looks AWESOME.
I just found your recipe and the comments make it seem amazing! I have one question. I’m planning on making filled chocolates for Christmas and wanted to make a salted caramel filled one. Do you think your sauce will work for this? If cooled but still room temp would it be thin enough to fill a chocolate mold? Thanks!
I have never thought to make carmel from scratch for my recipes . I know that
your photography has motivated me to give this recipe a try and I may buy a new camera! My DSL has to be 30 yrs old. And I have not used it in 20 yrs.
I will be making this for Christmas presents. Once made can it be stored at room temp until I give it as gifts? I be making it like 2-3 weeks ahead. Thanks
Hi Jennifer, It needs to be stored in the refrigerator due to the cream in the recipe. You could keep in the fridge, and then take out the day you plan to give it, with instructions to keep it refrigerated once they get it home.
Made this for the caramel apple cheesecake pie, and oh my goodness!!!! I tasted it, and before I knew what was happening I was eating it by the spoonful from the pan! I should mention that I’m 8 months pregnant… and this sauce will not last long!
How much coarse sea salt if I can’t find the flaked? Thank you for an amazing looking recipe.
Definitely less, but how much less would really depend on taste. I would add a teaspoon, then taste it to see what you think. Then add more if you’d like it a little saltier.
I love your blog!
I find myself coming back to it time after time. Your techniques are flawless.
I have always been scared to make caramel. It is so intimidating! Being a Culinary Arts student, focusing on baking, I have to get over my fear of caramel if I want to succeed. I have been searching for quite some time for a fairly easy way to learn to make caramel and I have to say, this is the only one that I have tried that worked! It is absolutely amazing and it tastes fantastic!!! Having the pictures was a big help and I will definitely be visiting your blog every chance I get! Thank you so much for sharing such an awesome recipe!
Are you sure you are supposed to heat the caramel to 350, most recipes say 250….?
Hi Laura, No, 350 is what I used for this recipe. However, some thermometers can vary due to not being calibrated. I would also pay close attention to visual cues as well.
I burned the first batch- no way do you go to 350 with a traditional candy therm. I’ve never used an instant read but I make a tone of candy and 350 was way too hot for this sauce
Great recipe, I shared it on my page “crepespace”
Hope you don’t mind.
I tried it; on one hand, my jaws dropped when I saw the amount of butter required. On the other hand, your instructions were very easy to follow and those photos helped a lot, too! I ended up drizzling this on home made popcorn, divide them into mini cupcake pans (under the guise of portion control, haha) and brought them to a picnic and to a get together. Needless to say, they were a hit! So, thank you thank you thank you!
No one has asked, but can this be done with margarine? (I’m assuming it cannot – only asking because I live on a mission base in a third world country and margarine is $3.50 for a pound while butter is $5.00 a pound and making the ice cream alone costs a fortune, but if it has to be butter, I’ll buy it because it looks delicious! :) ) Also, no salt like that available here – can I use anything else?
Hi Amy, The butter adds such a smooth flavor that I would not substitute margarine here.
Never made caramel before in my life, and this turned out perfectly! Thank you, and I think the best way to serve this is on a spoon. =)
I missed the part about how to store this the best way when finished. It sounds mouth-watering. Will it harden up around apples? It sounds so good and when they talked to eating it by spoonfull I could imagine a long iced-teaspoon dipping into the carmel and then licking the spoon where the carmel coated it. It would sure taste good in hot chocolate or on icecream of any kind. I hope it will last a long time as thereis just my husband and me and a few friends who are older. I can imagine it in chocolate and carmel and fudgey brownie with icecream. Yum!
You’ll want to store this in the refrigerator, and then warm it up before using it again. I haven’t tried it with apples, but give it a shot! You’ll want to let it thicken up before dipping them.
Hi, love your blog and have tried some of the recipes but find they can be a little hit and miss for those of us who do not deal in “cups”, could you give the quantities in grams or oz as conversions for cups vary from country to country whereas the other measurements above are international and constant.
Hi Katie, Thank you for the feedback. I try to include ounces whenever possible, but in the event that I don’t, please see the Conversions page (https://www.browneyedbaker.com/conversions/) for resources where you can back into the metric measurements as needed. In particular, the King Arthur Flour master weight chart should be a good starting point.
In first step, shouldnt the sugar be heated with a bit of water?
Hi Tanya, Actually, no. There are two different methods for making caramel – “wet” (added water) and “dry” (no water). This is the dry method.
Had a trip to Melbourne where I had an amazing dessert,Peanut butter parfait with chocolate icecream on top, with salted caramel over the top sprinkled with crushed salted peanuts.Used your recipe for the parfait and it was perfect.It is now my family and friends favourite dessert.
Well, I tried to double this… maybe that was my mistake…. now I have 4 cups of beautiful caramel colored sugar blobs swimming in 3 sticks of butter. Wah!!!!!!!! I really wanted this to work
I’ve never made homemade caramel before other than store bought caramels with cream. I’m thinking about using this for making caramel apples. I’m wondering about how the caramel sets up. Does it set hard enough to use for apples? When it’s soft enough to coat the apples, will it run off before it sets up? Thanks for any info!
Hi Linnea, Yes, you could definitely use this for caramel apples. It will set up stiff, but not rock hard. I would recommend putting the apples into the fridge after you dip them so that they set up before any running (although it’s virtually impossible to avoid at least a little pooling).
Michelle, it is no wonder your recipe is the first in google search for salted caramel sauce. This was the quickest caramel sauce I have ever made and it was so tasty. I never realized that the dry sugar method worked so well. Was always worried that it would seize. Could not believe how fast I was able to get the sugar to caramelize. I too like some others found that before most of the sugar had melted, that some of the sugar had turned brownish. I persevered and all was ok. The reason may have been that I had not stirred at the beginning. From experience, one of the most important things when making caramel sauce is that you use a heavy pan since this distributes the heat for even results. One writer also asked whether to heat the cream. However, the cool cream helps to arrest the cooking of the sauce giving you more control in case you did not stop heating in time. Thanks Michelle.
I just wanted to say that I now want to bathe in this Salted Caramel Sauce…my whole house smells amazing! Thanks so much for posting this recipe.
I made this last week and it was wonderful!! I would love to make jars of this for family members and friends for Christmas, but I am wondering about refrigeration. Do you know if this caramel has to be refrigerated or will it be OK left out for a day or two? Maybe others have asked about this already, but there are so many comments to search through, so I just thought I’d ask. Thanks!
I got to this blog and recipe via a link on http://www.ice-cream-recipes.com, and I’m so glad I was curious to see this recipe! It’s PERFECTION on a spoon!! Thank You so much for taking the time to share this Salted Caramel Sauce recipe!
I made a custard-based vanilla (vanilla ice cream recipe #1) from the above-mentioned website, and I swirled a thick fudge through it, along with some oven-roasted cashews and candied bacon! I then let it freeze overnight (it was the longest night of my life!!!), re-warmed the salted caramel sauce and drizzled it (that’s a lie; there was nothing so dainty as a drizzle with this recipe!)
The next time I make it, I’m going to coat the bacon with fudge; just looking for the perfect chocolate fudge recipe to complement the bacon…my husband suggested we swirl the caramel into the ice cream as well, but the caramel sauce is the crowning glory of this ice cream treat! I know that bacon in ice cream sounds odd, but it isn’t at all. The salty, smokiness peeks through all of the sweetness surrounding it, and the texture is really delightful!
Once again, Thank You for this and all you do! I’m a fan!!
I just made this and it was so EASY and tasty!! I did buy a candy thermometer making it goof proof!! Thanks, I am going to make some and put in little jars for christmas gifts.
I made this the other day and it is gorgeous!!! Can’t wait to put in in and on EVERYTHING! I linked back to you on my blog post. Love your blog. It was one of the first ones I followed.
I just made this recipe! I cut it in half and substituted the cream for evaporated milk. It turned out PERFECT! I will continue to make this recipe. Next time I’ll use the cream as directed but just didn’t have it today. SO if you’re out of cream you can use evaporated milk in a pinch!
I just made half a batch of this to top fudgy brownies – it tastes so decadent! I’ve never made caramel before and a this recipe was excellent + easy to get right.
I made this tonight and used it for the Salted Caramel Cream cheese buttercream that you used over chocolate cupcakes. I, however, used it on an apple spice cupcake which I made using my own homemade applesauce. SOOO GOOD!!!
I used a coarse sea salt and it was almost too salty when eating the caramel plain but not as noticeable when in the buttercream or drizzled atop the cupcakes.
Thank you again for another wonderful recipe right when I needed it!!
quick question how heavy a cream do you use? and where do you get it? :)
Hi Richard, Here in the U.S. it is just sold as quite literally “heavy cream”, which is the heaviest available. Otherwise, you have whole milk and half-and-half (which is essentially a mix of whole milk and heavy cream).
I have a question regarding this sauce. I’m looking for a salted caramel sauce that I can add to buttercream to make salted caramel buttercream, as well as drizzle between layers of cake. My question is if the sauce is drizzled between cake layers (i.e. cake, salted caramel buttercream, layer of salted caramel, repeat) and the cake is then refrigerated and brought to room temperature, would the caramel be so hard that it would be difficult to eat (i.e. biting into crunchy/hard caramel)?
Hi Taylor, I used this sauce in the chocolate salted caramel cupcakes I made and it worked perfectly. If you spread the sauce on its own and then refrigerate, it won’t become rock hard. Stored in the refrigerator, it gets very thick, but not hard, if that makes sense. You should be fine!
OMGosh! I think I have died nad gone to heaven!! Delish! Today the sauce and tomorrow the cupcakes! YUM!
Wow, OMG, Dangerous, Unbelievable, Oh Soooooooooo Good and Awesome too!!! Thanks for sharing. As is my bad habit I lightly tweaked. 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of real maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of vanilla flavoring and 16 tablespoons of butter (hey look there isn’t anything healthy here to start with). Cannot wait to try this hot on some Paul Prudhomme bread pudding with a couple scoops of Coldstone sweet cream vanilla ice cream! Ought to go straight to food hell for thinking some combination so unhealthy! Wow this is one of the best recipes since Paul Prudhomme’s LA Kitchen Shrimp Enchiladas. Just dangerous good and not that hard to make. TY TY TY
This recipe looks amazing!! Can’t wait to try this out! I’ve been dying to try to make a caramel italian buttercream. Would I be able to incorporate a bit of this caramel sauce into a batch of homemade italian buttercream?
Hi Jacky, I have not used this in Italian buttercream, but I did use it in a traditional (American) buttercream for these cupcakes: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/2012/05/23/salted-caramel-cupcakes-recipe/
Alton brown also used a tblsp of corn syrup to avoid crystallization
OMG best thing ever. Did lots of research and stood in front of the stove for awhile before attempting. First time burned a little, 2nd time burned all the sugar, third time Heaven! Watched Alton Brown he recommends no thermometer and adding cream as soon as you see a bit of smoke coming out of the pan. This was much easier than using thermometer which is why I burned it first 2 times.
Made dark choc cupcakes, filled with this caramel, topped with a slightly different version of caramel buttercream. Friends at the office actually got weak in the knees and had to sit down!
I’ve just made this and have to say it was so easy and absolutely delicious! I’ve used it in an apple pie which turned out fantastic, and this recipe made plenty so looking for other things to do with the leftovers before I make myself sick just eating it out of the pan!
I had a question. If I was gifting this to someone, how long is it good for? Does it need to be refrigerated?
Hi Donna, This sauce is good for a few weeks, and yes, it does need to be refrigerated.
This looks great! I am looking for a salted caramel sauce with dark chocolate. Do you have any ideas about adding dark chocolate to this recipe?
Hi Stephanie, I haven’t played around with any chocolate adaptations to this recipe yet. If you do, definitely share your results!
Hi!!! I tried doing it the first time and didn’t pay attention, so I forgot to get heavy cream. DOH!!!! So, I substituted heavy cream. I used Nestle media crema instead and tasted wonderful! I also used kosher salt and added just a little extra. I loved the sweet taste at first and finishes salty!!!
I was wondering…. have you tried this caramel sauce over popcorn? Is so how didn’t turn out and how did you work it? If you haven’t tried it, do you think it could work? Any tips on how to work with it?
This salted caramel is FREAKING AMAZING! LOL! I’ve made it several time since my first try. This recipe alone could win you the presidential election.
Hi Monica, Are you talking about just drizzling, or using it as a coating, etc? Either way I haven’t putt his on popcorn, but you I do have homemade cracker jack (https://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/10/27/homemade-cracker-jack/) and salted caramel popcorn bars (https://www.browneyedbaker.com/2011/10/19/salted-caramel-popcorn-pretzel-peanut-bars/).
Thanks so much for this post – I have been making salted caramel buttercream for my macarons – and I’ve been having a hit or miss experience – I do everything the same each time – but sometimes the cream separates and sometimes it incorporates. But I do add the milk before the butter, as in your case.
My question is: If we let this set in the fridge, would we be able to whip it into a buttercream consistency, instead of a syrup?
Thanks soooooo much!
Hi Sukaina, Once in the fridge, the sauce gets very thick, but I don’t think you could whip it into a frosting (although you could add it to vanilla frosting to make a salted caramel buttercream, as I did here – https://www.browneyedbaker.com/2012/05/23/salted-caramel-cupcakes-recipe/).
Any tips for getting crystallized sugar off the edges of the sauce pan? lol I didn’t burn it but some of the sugar just became big clumps and never melted
Hi Jennifer, I usually run the pot under hot water right away to see what I can rinse off, and then I’ll put a little dish liquid in there, fill it with hot, soapy water and let it soak for an hour or two. After that it usually comes right off.
Question for you: I’m making oatmeal bars that call for a caramel middle. The recipe has us using the store-bought caramels melted with half and half. I wanted to use homemade caramel so I followed a recipe similar to this (I will try this recipe next time; the other had corn syrup I’d rather not use) but the resulting bars (they were baked with an oatmeal crumble on top) seem to have caramel melted all the way through them, rather than a layer of gooey-ness in the middle as they were supposed to. I poured the caramel into the middle while it was still very warm. Any suggestions? Thank you!
Hi Trish, From what I have experienced, recipes for a caramel “sauce” made of melted caramel candies and cream tend to end up much thicker than your typical homemade caramel sauce. This could be the difference in your consistency.
I made this recipe this week. I’ve just started baking and I’m always hearing people go on about salted caramel. Now I know why. I just used the visual cues (burnt the first batch second guessing myself) but the second batch was perfect. I made the chocolate cupcakes with them and they are to die for! Thank you thank you!
I stumbled across this recipe on pinterest.
I made this last night, twice! The first time I made it, I used the thermometer, paying attention to visual cues and also smelling. ;) I burnt it. Completely. Tried again a little while later WITHOUT the thermometer, just using the visual cues as I KNEW where I had messed up, and it came out awesome! This is one of those recipes where things move along quickly once they GET moving. You need to have all your ingredients out, measured and ready.
My husband, who is NOT a sweets eater, could not get enough of this! I’m making chocolate cupcakes for my friend’s daughter and using this as a filling. So. Delicious. You will NEVER buy caramel sauce again!
Thank you for sharing!!!
I was just wondering if you knew of a vegan alternative to the cream used and if vegan margarine would work?
Hi Jessica, Unfortunately I am not aware of any vegan substitutes, and am not sure if vegan margarine would work. If you try it, come back and let us know how it worked!
I stood in from of my stove afraid and planning on ruining this concoction. However, your instructions were so wonderfully explicit and perfect. I’m a good cook but caramel sauce has been something I have never attempted because…. It’s a thin line between love and scorching.
It turned out beautifully. Dark amber and lovely. Seriously, your instructions were amazing. Thank you! I can’t wait to take this to my ice cream party potluck tonight.
I may be dense (probably), but does this recipe fail to say what to do with the salt?!?
O ya…duh…flaky sea salt aka “fleur de sel”.
“Add the fleur de sel and whisk to incorporate.”
Absolutely AMAZING. Sinful. I like.
Michelle I posted for everyone to make this!! Thank you again!!!
Awesome recipe, my first attempt and I loved it!! Thank you for tips and this recipe.
This recipe looks amazing. I just pulled a homemade apple pie outta the oven and I’m gonna attempt ur salted caramel sauce to serve with it!
I made this a couple of weeks ago hoping it would taste like the salted caramel sauce from my favorite restaurant. It tastes even better!! The only modification I did was using turbinado sugar instead of white granulated. Love this stuff!! Absolutely delucious on granny smith apples. ;) Thank you Michelle for an awesome recipe!
Thank you, it’s delish! I made this & created a caramel sundae cupcake to go with it! Linked your recipe on my blog! I think everyone should try this! Sugars!!
I’m absolutely kicking myself right now. I just attempted this sauce and it looks just like yours but it tastes burned. :( I think I went beyond 350, I think I’ll try again this afternoon.
This is a great recipe! After one false start, I think the problem many people face is whisking too long, which will definitely cause the caramel to seize. In my case, there was still be visible lumps of sugar as the caramel starts to turn medium brown. The first time I kept on whisking, trying to whisk all those out, and the caramel seized up and then the bottom burnt. The second time I stopped whisking once a good portion of the sugar was melted, and let the rest of the sugar melt naturally. I guess this is why many people consider the wet method easier — you can make sure the sugar is equally distributed and heats at the same time….. but I think your instructions are a little bit off about continuing to whisk until all the sugar is melted…..
This is my first time making caramel sauce and this recipe made it so easy! I got a perfect batch of yumminess with one try. Thanks a lot for making it easier on us first time chefs.
Just made the sauce…THANK YOU so much!!! Your detailed step-by-step instructions saved me! I messed up the first go around (I didn’t pay attention and used cold butter). I waited a few hours and started over again once butter and cream were at room temp. Works like a champ! Delicious! :)
P.S.: I ended up using just regular granulated sugar.
I must agree that you have the best food blog! :)
I have a question. Tomorrow I will be making this sauce and the cupcakes you made and posted about on your other blog post. To make the sauce, do you think organic granulated sugar would work as well as regular g.s.? Thanks! :)
I have a challenge for you…Sweet and Salty Caramel Swirl Ice Cream. Blue Bunny makes this flavor and it is my all time grocery store favorite. I think you can do better!! It is basically a vanilla ice cream with caramel swirls and chocolate covered pretzel pieces. Totally yummy. The thing that makes it really great is that the caramel stays soft. I was just looking at your Tin Roof Sundae article and I thought this would be right up your alley. Have you made this caramel sauce without the salt? Don’t know if it would be too salty with the chocolate covered pretzels.
Love your blog.
Oh, that sounds amazing! I will definitely add it to my list of summer flavors :)
Hi Michell’s I was wondering wat kind of thermometer u used? Is it a candy one, or does it even matter?? Thx
Hi Vanessa, I have used a traditional candy thermometer, and I have used an instant-read digital as well. The candy is easiest in that you can just clip it on the side of the pot and don’t have to worry about holding your hand over the bubbling sugar, but I do find the instant-reads to be more accurate.
I don’t have any flaky sea salt, but I do have a flaky kosher salt. Would that be an acceptable substitution?
Hi Beckie, As long as it’s flaky, it should work. I’ve only ever seen traditional kosher salt, which is very coarse and crunchy.
I went and checked the label just to be sure of what I had :) Its Kosher style Flake Salt from Penzey’s.
I used flaky margarita salt…closest substitute I could find at my local store . Turned out awesome. :)
I made this last night and was a little cranky about it…I felt like things moved way too fast and I had no idea when I should move on to the next step (even with your helpful guidelines)…then I burned my finger blisteringly bad from the splatter after adding the butter…then the sauce seemed WAY too thin and when I sampled it it tasted funny. I put it in the fridge and poured myself a glass of wine in defeat.
Cut to this morning…and I found I had thick, delicious, perfect caramel! The cooling process really worked wonders! :) I’m making these cupcakes for my moms group tomorrow. They went NUTS over your Irish cupcakes, so I hope they’ll like these ones, too!
I made the caramel sauce and served it over vanilla frozen yogurt on Sunday. All of my party guests were amazed. It tasted so good! It thought this was funny… My neighbor asked how to make it and when I told her she said “When do you add the caramel?” I told her the cooked sugar is the caramel. I guess everyone is used to caramel coming out of a jar! Thanks for a great recipe. Now I’ve gotta figure out what to do with the leftovers!!!
Oh my… I could eat it just with spoon. I have my recipe but I am curious how this one tastes so I will try it.
This looks fab, I love your blog! The way you explain things is very to the point but pleasant to read too : D I have seen so many recipes for this “salted caramel” craze and have always wanted to try it. Think yours might be the winner! *bookmarked!*
Just made this sauce now, and it came out wonderful! I was nervous to make it…I’ve burnt my fair share of caramels in the past, but this was so easy! Now, to make goodies to drizzle it on!! I used fine sea salt, and only half a tbsp, and it still worked out really well. Thanks for all the great recipes!
It came out way to super sweet. So I am guessing I didn’t cook it long enough. I’m am going to try again in a couple of hours after I clean everything up.
Do you have an tips when it comes to cleaning burned caramel from the bottom of a pan? Hehe
Haha! Burnt or not, I always end up with it stuck to the bottom of the pan! I just drizzle dish soap over the bottom, fill the pot with super hot water, and let it soak for a couple of hours. It’s usually super easy to clean and comes right off after that.
I always just fill the pot up with water and place it back on the stove and boil it. It only takes a minute or two and all the excess caramel is dissolved.
Made this just now, on my way to buy some vanilla ice cream >D
When I went shopping for the ingredients I couldn’t find fleur de sel sea salt or and sea salt flakes. Can I use regular sea salt? Should it be coarse or fine? I have never made caramel before. I hope my caramel comes out like yours!
Ohhh when I went through and read all the comments I see that I should use fine sea salt. I decided to half the recipe for the first time because I have an electric stove. I read that some people had problems. I hope it works!
I was going to recommend fine :) Let me know how it comes out for you! I curse electric stoves ;-)
Hi Michelle-I generally love your recipes but this one defeated me twice this afternoon. The first batch burnt almost immediately so I tried again and turned the temp way down. It took forever to melt the sugar and when I added the butter and cream I had a mess. I was able to put it back on the burner and get the sugar to melt down. I now have a decent tasting caramel but not sure that it can be used in the salted caramel icing. I can still use it on ice cream but I think I’m going to have to keep searching for another recipe. I do have an electric stove which may be a big part of the problem. I’m an experienced cook and baker and even following the instructions exactly, I was not able to get it to turn out :-(
Hi Genola, I use a gas stove regularly, and tend to encounter all sorts of issues when I have to cook on an electric. I think they all should be put into retirement ;-) What I would do is turn the heat down and start closer to medium or even edge toward medium-low. It sounds like the burner is just too hot, so starting at a lower setting should help.
You started the salted caramel trend! I am seeing it everywhere now, and I can’t get enough!
Great recipe… I love salted caramel sauce (especially on ice cream in the summer!). Love your step by step photos, too!
Your step by step instructions were fantastic! Even without a candy thermometer, I was able to pull off a beautiful looking caramel. The only thing I found though was that with 1 tbsp of fine sea salt, it was waaay too salty :-( Any tips on how to salvage the remaining amount? Should I make a new caramel without salt and mix the two or is there something I can just add to this to tone down the saltiness?
Hi Surabhi, I’m sorry you felt it was too salty. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything you can do once it’s finished, but yes, you can make a new batch, omit the salt, and then mix the two.
I agree ! I made first batch for book club holiday gifts and had to redistribute with results from second batch with waaaay less salt. Overall.. 7 very happy bookies who r now eating this straight from jar.
I just made this and it is goooood! But I am afraid it is a bit too salty. Maybe it was the salt I used? I don’t have the fluer de sel, I used a different sea salt. Making a second batch and mixing the two may be just about perfect. You can never have too much caramel sauce, right?
Fleur de sel and maldon salts are very flaky and therefore dissolve into sauces. Other types of sea salt can be gritty and taste much saltier. If you used a different salt, then that could have definitely altered the final product.
Yum! My mind is spinning with all the things I could put that caramel on…a spoon for starters. I’ve only made cooked sugar mixes for toffee. One thing I learned is that a good pan helps–like you said “heavy bottom.” it makes a difference in the even heat distribution.
what is the difference between caramel and dulce de leche? I’ve made DDL many times and it tastes pretty caramel-y…ish. Are they at all interchangeable?
Hi Gretchen, Caramel is essentially cooked sugar, while dulce de leche is cooked sweetened condensed milk. They don’t taste exactly the same, but you could probably use one for the other in a pinch.
Looks delicious! Congratulations on the Top 9!
What miraculous luck to come across this post (and your blog) at random just as I was thinking about adding an element to a soon-to-be dessert with both a sweet and salty spark! Plus I have been in search of a perfect and simple approach to caramel, and this seems to fit the bill. I look forward to trying it out… Thanks so much for sharing!
and I look forward to reading through your blog more. :)
I’ve made salted caramel frosting before with homemade salted caramel, similar to yours above, but mine always ALWAYS gets chunks of caramel in it — like strings of solidified caramel — I pick them out and use the rest of it, and it’s fine — but I cannot seem to master the art of caramel making. Maybe I need a thermometer?
Wow, great job! My favorite drink, well was until they pulled it, was the Salted Caramel Mocha at Starbucks….now that it is gone I guess I’ll just have to make my own! Love your blog, keep up the great work :)
Which salt is better for this recipe , coarse or grounded sea salt ?
I would argue neither, as ideally you’d really want to use a flaky sea salt such as fleur de sel or maldon. If you can’t find either, use a fine sea salt.
Oh this looks fantastic! Love, love this!!!!! congrats on top 9!
Great tutorial. Looks so yummy! Must try.
I’m bookmarking it for a future recipe. Congratulations on making the foodbuzz Top 9!
Please pass the caramel! Yum!
Hi! Love your blog!
This looks and sounds absolutely delicious, and I would love to try it. However, I am very new to baking and I don’t know if I could handle this. What do you think?
Should I just give it a try or keep working with simpler recipes?
Also, are there any tips you have for new bakers trying to become experts? Any recipes that are good starters?
Thanks you so much!!
Hi Jessica, Absolutely give it a try! If you just keep making simpler recipes, you won’t get experiment with anything else ;-) The worst that will happen is the sugar will burn. If you’re nervous, halve the recipe so if it doesn’t turn out the worst case scenario is you lose 1 cup of sugar. Not so bad! As for tips – just keep trying new recipes. The more time you spend in the kitchen, the more confidence you’ll have, and the more you’ll start to understand how the ingredients are working together. If you’re trying a new or more challenging recipe, do some Googling, see if there are variations, any common problems that people run into, etc. The biggest thing is just trial and error. Happy Baking! :)
So I’ve made salted caramel sauce several times, but this was my first attempt at the dry method. Oddly, even though I was trying to wisk the sugar as it melted, all the sudden I had very amber colored melted sugar at the bottom while half of it hadn’t melted! Needless to say, by the time I got it all melted (within like a minute or 2?) it was already the right color, but of course it seized up pretty bad when I added the butter and the cream. I salvaged a decent amount of it and I know it’s still going to taste amazing, but I lost a pretty big quantity of sugar to the bottom and sides of my pan :( Not sure why this happened so quickly. When I’ve used the wet method it’s taken 10-20 minutes to get amber-colored. I’m going to blame my old electric stove. Maybe I should keep the heat much lower next time?
Hi Ann, The dry method takes a lot less time than the water and sugar method. That being said, I constantly have trouble cooking on electric stoves. They take longer to get to temperature and then maintain, making it very difficult to truly control temperature if you need to bump it down. Next time I would try lower heat and see if that helps.
Looks delicious! I’m thinking a mocha base with this frosting would be divine (kinda like a Salted Caramel Mocha from St@rbucks). I’m partial to vanilla beans so I may try it on a vanilla bean base as well. :)
Oops, posted this on the wrong post! Should have been on your Salted Caramel Cupcake post. ;)
I just made this, and even though It’s overdone it’s amazing! Thanks for the great recipe! A warning to fellow readers though: don’t get your stove too hot or else it will get to 350F before you’re done whisking.
Salted Caramel is amazing stuff. I adore it. You are making me seriously hungry and I just finished dinner.
I totally want to stick my apple in that beautiful jar and drench it in your homemade salted caramel sauce….my mouth is watering…. oh yea…. :)
This is fabulous. When I first saw the photo I thought it was a straw. I was thinking “finally someone who likes caramel as much as me”. Lol. Great recipe.
I just made this and it turned out fabulou