Easy Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This Salted Caramel recipe is about as simple as caramel sauce gets! It only uses 6 ingredients, and it’s perfect for topping ice cream, brownies or any other dessert!

Looking for unsalted caramel sauce? Try my traditional homemade caramel recipe!

Easy Salted Caramel Sauce collage - pouring into mason jar and bowl

Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

Caramel is among one of my very favorite things. Whether eating it as part of a cake or straight from a spoon, it’s hard to restrain myself. And there’s no doubt that homemade caramel sauce is better than anything you’d buy in a store. The flavor is just…more. So good!

Being such a fan of caramel sauce, I’ve shared a few versions with you in the past. I have a super duper easy caramel sauce, which is really more of a toffee sauce than a true caramel, and a homemade caramel sauce that is made with the dry method. Today I’m sharing a caramel sauce that is made with the wet method. I’d say this one is kind of the compromise between the previous two. Allow me to elaborate.

The Difference Between Wet and Dry Method Caramel

As far as making the caramel sauce goes, the difference between the wet and dry method is very simple. The wet method combines water and sugar in the first step, and the dry method uses just sugar. When using just sugar, you heat the sugar and allow it to melt before proceeding with adding the butter and cream. It can be a little bit of a trickier process, sometimes leading to caramel that tastes a little burnt (if the sugar cooks for too long) and can seize up when you add the butter and sugar (if the are too cool). I’ve been making this caramel sauce for years and love it, but it can trip people up a little bit.

The wet method is more straight forward and – as far as caramel sauce goes – easy. Unless you walk off and don’t pay attention to it, it shouldn’t burn. The added water prevents the likelihood of a burning it and getting a burnt taste, and allows you to add butter and cream that are cooler without it seizing up. So that’s what we’re using in this caramel sauce.

Other than the difference in method, there’s not a big difference in taste between the methods. Both produce a delicious caramel sauce with a nice, deep flavor that’s perfect for any and all things.

salted caramel sauce in a mason jarspooning Easy Salted Caramel Sauce into mason jar

How to Make Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

To get started, you’ll need a medium to large sized saucepan. Be sure there’s plenty of room, because things will bubble up quite a bit and you don’t want it to overflow.

Combine the sugar and water in your saucepan and cook over medium low heat until the sugar has dissolved, stirring as needed. Add the butter and let it melt, then bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.

At this point, stop stirring. Allow the mixture to boil and turn a golden copper color. It’ll take about 10-15 minutes, depending your stove. The deeper the color, the deeper the caramel flavor. You just don’t want to walk away and let it burn.

When the caramel sauce turns copper colored, remove it from the heat and immediately add the heavy whipping cream. Be careful – this is where the bubbling occurs! Whisk everything together well until comes together, then stir in the vanilla extract and some salt.

How much salt you add will largely depend on how salty you want your caramel sauce. You could add just a touch, if you don’t really want it salty. Assuming you do though, I’d add about half a teaspoon of salt and then add more to your preference.

The final caramel sauce is truly delicious! And as far as caramel making goes, it’s easy to make. Even better – there’s no candy thermometer required. Just keep an eye on things. While I love my trusty Classic Homemade Caramel Sauce, this version is certainly is simpler for those who are less comfortable with making caramel. As you get more comfortable, do try the other too. They are both delicious and I love having two different versions in my caramel-making arsenal.

caramel sauce in a bowlcaramel sauce in a mason jar

More Caramel Desserts to Love

Caramel Cheesecake Brownie Trifle
Salted Caramel Cheesecake
Easy Caramel Apple Cheesecake
Caramel Apple Pecan Layer Cake
Caramel Apple Blondie Cheesecake
Caramel Apple Cookie Cups
Salted Caramel Coconut Macaroons
Caramel Apple Trifles

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon
Easy Salted Caramel Sauce
Recipe

Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: about 1 1/4 cups 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Easy Salted Caramel Sauce is about as simple as caramel sauce gets! It only uses 6 ingredients, and it’s perfect for topping ice cream, brownies or any other dessert!


Scale

Ingredients

1 cup (207g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120ml) water
1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 tsp salt


Instructions

1. In a medium to large saucier pan, combine the granulated sugar and water. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the butter and let it melt
2. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Stop whisking and don’t whisk at all during this part to help avoid crystallization. Allow to boil until the mixture turns a deep golden copper color, about 10-15 minutes, maybe longer depending on your stove. Keep an eye on it, but do not stir. If needed, you can occasionally tip the pan from side to side to help things cook evenly.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add in the heavy whipping cream in a slow, steady stream. The caramel will bubbly up quite a bit, so be careful with this step. Whisk quickly and well as you add the cream, whisking until well combined.
4. Add the vanilla extract and half a teaspoon of salt and whisk to combine. Add additional salt to your desired saltiness.
5. Allow the caramel sauce to cool. It will be fairly thin, but will thicken as it cools. Store it in the fridge for up to two weeks.


Keywords: easy caramel sauce, salted caramel sauce, homemade caramel sauce, how to make caramel sauce, caramel recipe for popcorn, caramel recipe for cake, salted caramel recipe

Adapted from Baker by Nature.

Share a Comment

Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you and seeing what you made!

69 Comments
    1. Cassia Martin

      Great recipe!! I once made a Carmel sauce that just didn’t taste good but this stuff was a winner!!

    2. Yvonne

      Hello.  My caramel sauce using the dry method turned out beautifully (and I am not a baker).  I was a little concerned it was not getting thick but I just turned up the heat a smidge while stirring  for another minutes and took it off the heat.  It did thicken.  I could have eaten the whole thing.  Thank you.  Looking forward to trying other recipes on your site.   Love the name of your site.  Appreciated how you explained what to look for when making this sauce.  

  1. Sumayya

    Hello
    I was wondering can you this caramel sauce to put on top of cheesecake or will it be too thin?
    Thank you
    Sumayya

      1. Alina

        My sauce is not turning copper colored, should I leave it on the burner to cook longer? Or was it because maybe the heat wasnt high enough?

  2. PAULA

    Just made this recipe, after trying the “dry” version (someone else’s dry recipe). My first attempt, with the dry, made caramel concrete!!! Wow!!!!
    Second attempt: your recipe including the water. For me, this was easier, even tho it may have taken a bit longer. Great instructions, easy to follow, and the result was actually pourable caramel!!! I put it into a mason jar to cool. Yay!! Never give up, right??!!

  3. Maria

    Made it.. I usually try the dry method and I am never happy with the results.. this method I will use forever .. it came out perfect! No more store bought caramel for me..
    Thank you so much for this recipe.

      1. Preeya

        I made this recipe exactly and firstly the colour was very light (amber instead of copper) and it was very runny. The taste was perfect though! Any tips on how to thicken it up please?

    1. Idris Bordoy

      I never try to do caramel, but looking for recipes, I found this page. And im glad to do. I try this recipe, and came out perfect. Thanks

  4. Ellie

    Hi! This recipe looks amazing and super simple! Would it change the recipe if I used half & half instead of cream?? Thanks so much!

    1. Lindsay

      Half-and-half is going to have less fat. The caramel sauce may be a little thinner, but should otherwise be fine.

  5. Yael

    Thank you for posting this method of caramel making! I was using your other recipe (dry method) and while it came out great, it did have a burnt aftertaste. I will try this method. Would love to see how you do this in a video!

  6. Sarah

    Your sauce looks sublime Lindsay! I’ve never used the wet method, but I’ve used the dry method before in a number of recipes. I adore homemade caramel, whether you pour it over ice cream, layer it in a cake, or eat it right out of the jar! Thanks for another great recipe 🙂

  7. Erin

    Mmmmmm! I lovvvve making homemade caramel sauce! The recipe I typically use uses the dry method, but I’ve made a recipe using the wet method once before as well. Your sauce looks lovely, Lindsay! 🙂

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12