Learning how to make your own homemade salted caramel sauce is a serious game changer! With just 5 simple ingredients, you can make your own caramel sauce at home.
Salted caramel is such a popular flavor, and for good reason! I've been making my homemade salted caramel for years and years. It might look intimidating but I promise, it is so easy to whip up in your kitchen.
While you can use store-bought caramel, it'll only take a few minutes to make a homemade caramel sauce and you can definitely taste the difference.
Why you'll love this recipe!
- You only need 5 simple pantry ingredients to make this easy salted caramel sauce.
- This recipe uses the dry caramel method which I find easier to make compared to a wet caramel, so this is a great beginner-friendly recipe if it's your first time making caramel.
- It's such a versatile recipe! You can use it to fill cookies, or cupcakes, mix with frosting, or add to ice cream, there are so many options.
- You don't need a candy thermometer to make this easy caramel sauce.
- Sugar: I'm using granulated sugar. Don't swap it out for light brown sugar as that will make butterscotch sauce!
- Unsalted Butter: I'm using unsalted butter here, you could use salted butter but you would want to decrease the amount of salt added to the caramel.
- Heavy Cream: if you're in the UK you can use double cream.
- Salt: you can use table salt, kosher salt or flaky salt. You'll need to change the amount of salt depending on what type of salt you add!
- Vanilla Extract: I love adding a dash of vanilla for an extra flavor boost.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: In a small or medium-sized saucepan, add ¼ cup of the white sugars and heat on medium-low. Let the sugar dissolve completely before adding the next ¼ cup. Use a rubber spatula to scrape any sugar crystals off the sides of the pan, you want all of the sugar dissolves!
Step 2: Add the sugar a quarter cup at a time, letting the sugar dissolve. You can use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stir.
Step 3: Once you've added the sugar, let it turn a dark amber color. As soon as it's that color you can take it off the heat.
Step 4: Add the cubed butter, a piece at a time, but be careful as the caramel will sputter! Stir to combine.
Step 5: Pour in the heavy cream, salt and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
Step 6: Pour the salted caramel into a large mason jar or airtight container and let cool completely before using.
Expert Tips & Tricks
- Be careful when adding the butter and the heavy cream. The caramel will sputter a bit.
- If you need a thicker caramel sauce for a recipe, you'll want to refrigerate this until set.
- Prep everything before you get started, that will make the whole process so much easier.
- Keep an eye on the caramel the whole time, if you feel like it's bubbling too much you can lower the heat.
- This isn't a recipe to make with kids as you need to be careful!
Frequently Asked Questions
When you first make it and the caramel is still hot, it will be thin. Once it cools and sets, it'll get much thicker so don't worry.
Unfortunately, I haven't tested this recipe with dairy-free substitutes!
If you want just regular caramel sauce you can leave out the salt.
Let the caramel cool in the jar completely before placing it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I recommend warming the caramel up in the microwave if you need it to be thinner.
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Homemade Salted Caramel
- 1 cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed, room temperature
- ½ cups heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Take a small saucepan and place it on your stove over medium-low heat. Add the sugar ¼ cup at a time, letting the sugar dissolve completely until you add the next ¼ cup.1 cups granulated sugar
- Stir occasionally until the sugar has completely dissolved and turns a dark amber colour. Turn the heat off.
- Add the butter in a piece at a time, be careful as it may sputter! Stir with a heatproof spatula as you add the butter.3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Stir in the cream, salt, and vanilla. Let cool until it is very thick. If you're not using it straight away, pour into a container and let cool completely before placing in the fridge. When you're ready to use, heat up for 15-20 seconds in the microwave until it is pourable.½ cups heavy cream, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon kosher salt