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

117 Comments
  1. Gavin Willoughby

    Hi, looking to make this receive this weekend, but what is the guidelines for storage?
    Would you recommend the fridge or just in the jar on the side? 
    How long do you think it would keep for… as I don’t want a sugar coma from eating it all in one go 🙂

    Thanks 

  2. Yisroel Tenenbaum

    Thanks Lindsay, this looks awesome!
    Does anybody think that margarine will work as a substitute for the butter? (I need a non-dairy version.)

  3. Angela

    Oh my goodness.. this caramel sauce is amazing. My better half’s daughter’s birthday is today (17) and she wanted a salted caramel cheesecake with a brownie bottom from a recipe I had found. I used the salted caramel recipe for this and the caramel is amazing… wishing I had made a double batch for some extra (and for myself lol). I will remember next time to not use a small whisk when stirring in the heavy cream… less chance of burning fingers if a bigger whisk is used. 🙂

  4. Preya

    How long will this last for in the fridge? I made a large batch but don’t need to use the rest of it for another month! Should I freeze it or can it be left in the fridge for that long?

  5. Lani

    hi! i love this caramel recipe! my only problem is that when i refrigerate it, it becomes grainy the next day…i don’t know what i am doing wrong… right after cooking it is so smooth but after a day there’s that grainy texture again….

      1. Caroline

        yip I did Lindsay, but I reboiled it the next day and it became thicker, so I think it was just not on the boil long enough at first…I was too impatient. Thanks for your response

      2. James

        Wow! This is an amazing recipe. I doubled it. It took about 30 mins to get to the right color. Can’t wait to make this one over and over again. I love that I can follow your directions and the recipes come out EVERY time!!

  6. Robin

    My caramel came out really grainy. This is the second time that’s happened. Why does this happen? Other than the taste is amazing.

    1. Lindsay

      Hmm, it really shouldn’t be grainy. It sounds like the sugar might not have melted fully before you moved on to the next step. I’d be sure to check that next time and maybe lower your stove temperature a little bit. Sort of like ovens, I think stoves can run at different temperatures too. It’s best to melt the sugar over a lower heat, rather than heat it too quickly and not allow enough time for the sugar to melt. I hope that helps!

    2. David

      If your caramel is grainy, it normally means the sugar has crystallized. Adding a small amount of corn syrup or cream of tartar at the start can help prevent this. Also, brushing some water down the sides of the pan to dissolve any sugar at the edge, or putting a lid on the pot early on to create condensation on the sides of the pot can also help.

  7. Missy

    I tripled the recipe so I could use it in a brownie trifle and have leftovers for the fridge.  It took about 55 minutes to reach the color needed.  I was expecting a looonnngggg cook time since I had so much more water to evaporate.  I also threw in about 3 Tbsp of corn syrup to help with the graininess some cooks experienced.  Patience and my new LG stove ensured a good even cook without burning.  To be safe I placed my pan down in the sink when it came time to whisk in the heavy cream.   Protect your hand with a mitt—-the steam that billows up is HOT.  Did not triple the salt, just added to taste.  Great recipe.

  8. Adrienne

    This was my first attempt at making caramel for the turtle cheesecake. I didn’t even know I liked caramel, but this is delicious!! I am already wondering what else I can make that I could put this on!

  9. Danielle

    If making a large batch (for christmas gifts) do you have any suggestions? Is it ok to attempt a large batch or does the caramel have a tendency to burn in large quantities? I am hoping to make approx 30 jars, 3 oz each, so around 12 cups of caramel. Thank You!

    1. Lindsay

      I’ve honestly never made a large batch so it’s hard for me to say. I would think it might be OK but I would keep an eye on it while it’s cooking to make sure that it cooks somewhat evenly.

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