Easy Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe

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
  • 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!


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.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: - Full recipe
  • Calories: 1604
  • Sugar: 203.9 g
  • Sodium: 1208.4 mg
  • Fat: 89 g
  • Carbohydrates: 204.1 g
  • Protein: 3.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 256.5 mg

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

Filed Under:

Adapted from Baker by Nature.

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

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!

Recipe rating

146 Comments
  1. Jeannette Ponciano

    so I made this before it was amazing! I tried to make it today and omg it went wrong? I use double cream instead of whipping cream? is this why it didnt work? am left with sugar syrup with butter and double cream? can I save it? or throw away?

    1. Lindsay

      It sounds like there wasn’t much color to your sauce, which means that the sugar-water mixture didn’t cook for long enough. I’m not sure if cooking it more at this point would help it. I don’t think so.

  2. Nicole

    My go to recipe for caramel! I can’t believe how easy and simple it is and how amazingly delicious it turns out! Goes good on so many things, apple crisp, cheesecake, ice cream or for dipping apple. My family is obsessed!

  3. jackie

    I made this as a topping for a cheesecake, it didnt turn brown and I let it cook for over 20 min, it also seems to have crystals in it, once you have cooked it and it didnt turn brown, can you try to cook it again with the whipping cream in it to see if it would resemble a caramel color. Thank you,

    1. Lindsay

      Did you happen to double it or anything? It may take longer to brown if you did, but otherwise I’m not sure why that would happen unless there was something off about an ingredient.

  4. Shona

    I tried this recipe for the first time. I’ve never made caramel before so this is the first time doing it and it turned out amazingly well! It was like a liquid form of those caramel hard candies. It tasted divine! And with a bit of patience turned out really well! Thanks for this recipe will be adding this to my black book of deliciousness!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29