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

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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

Adapted from Baker by Nature.

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Recipe rating

107 Comments
  1. Annine Daling

    First time ever I was successful with a caramel sauce, it always ended up in a sugar ball. Super impressed with this recipe!

  2. Kae

    Hi! I’d love to try this recipe. I have a question though, am I supposed to lessen the salt I’ll put if I use salted butter?

  3. Carrie

    Not sure what happened but I taste a slight scorched taste? Should I turn the heat up and cook it faster or turn it down and cook it slower?

    1. Lindsay

      You may have just over cooked it, but you could also turn it lower and cook it slower. You don’t want to turn the heat up and cook it quicker.

  4. George

    I made this recipe to use as a dipping sauce for churros, and it was delicious. I was expecting it to be rather hard to make but to my surprise, it was rather easy. defiantly would recommend it and will definitely make it again.

  5. Katie

    Followed the recipe as instructed, using a 2.5qt sauce pot. It took around the 23 minute mark after the boil to get good caramel color though. It’s very delicious and I plan to use it for the caramel apple cupcake recipe.

  6. Pearl

    I just made this but substituted the heavy whipping goat yogurt and it’s delicious. The goat yogurt gives it a tangy taste and overall depth of flavor.
    Just used it to in my Fall Apple cake.

  7. Lindsay

    Took longer to cook than expected, but excellent! I did half vanilla half imitation rum extract, awesome!

  8. Ash

    This is my usual go to recipe always! It’s fabulous! But today,it seems to have become a little darker than usual. Tastes sweet not bitter. But looks more brown. Anything to fix?

  9. Paula

    This is the only caramel sauce recipe that I use. My question, and I think I see the answer on your post but I will ask anyway. 🙂 This recipe can be doubled or tripled, looking at your post and just clicking on how many times to make the recipe. Just making sure, and that the results will be the same (because this caramel is great)! Thank you.

    1. Lindsay

      I don’t think I’ve tried doubling it before but I think it would be fine. It just may take longer to turn amber colored.

    2. Debbie

      I was coming here looking for the same answer. I’ve made this sauce so many times and it’s my favorite by far!! But I wanted to double it myself so I can make all of my jars at one time. This sauce is just so amazing and one day I’m going to get the courage to do the dry method. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl 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