Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe

This easy caramel sauce recipe is to die for! It’s a classic homemade caramel recipe that you’ll make over and over again. I know because I’m doing it right now. Caramel sauce on all the things!

Looking for more caramel recipes? Try this Brown Sugar Caramel Sauce, or my easy Salted Caramel Recipe!

Homemade Caramel Sauce! Perfect for fall and holiday desserts!

AN EASY HOMEMADE CARAMEL SAUCE RECIPE

You guys, it’s officially September. Can you believe it? Get ready for all things fall! I’m so excited for apples, pumpkin and all the awesome flavors of the holidays! Bring it.

And yet I CANNOT believe it’s already September! Where has the year gone?! I feel like the end of the year is fast approaching and I’m totally not ready. Baking-wise, I say let’s do this. Life-wise, however – slow down!

Homemade Caramel Sauce! Perfect for fall and holiday desserts!

Whatever. I’ll drown my disbelief in a jar of this caramel sauce. It’s so darn good it eases the pain of time flying by.

Last year I shared this Easy Caramel Sauce made with brown sugar with you and this year I’m taking it up a notch! This caramel sauce has a lovely rich flavor to it. It takes a little more care in making, but is totally worth it.

Homemade Caramel Sauce! Perfect for fall and holiday desserts!

How to Make Caramel

To start, you melt down the sugar. It’s a regular white sugar. It may seem intimidating, but it really shouldn’t be. Melt it over medium-high heat and just watch it, whisking it as it goes. It’ll start to clump together first, then you’ll notice it start to melt. That’s when it gets exciting! The whole melting process should take about 10 minutes, give or take.

The sugar should continue cooking until all the clumps are melted. Once they’re gone, stop whisking and allow the sugar to cook a little more. Keep a very close eye on it. The color will turn to a deeper amber color and you should notice a nutty aroma. It’ll happen quickly and as soon as it does, you want to remove it from the heat. If you let it go too long, it’ll burn. Pressure, I know. But once you notice it really start to turn darker, just take it off the heat.

Homemade Caramel Sauce! Perfect for fall and holiday desserts!

At that point, you want to add the butter and whisk it in to the sugar. It’ll bubble up, but keep whisking. The butter seems to resist coming together completely, but it will.

Next add the heavy cream and again whisk until combined. There’ll be more bubbles, but then you’re done!

You can let it cool for about 15 minutes, or until it’s however thick you want it, then use it. Or pour it into a jar and store it in the fridge for a couple weeks. It’s easy to reheat and pour over pretty much anything. The recipe below makes about 1 1/2 cups of caramel sauce. I recommend going ahead and making it just to have on hand. It’s in a few upcoming recipes, so why not just have it ready. 🙂

Also, check out my new video showing you what the process looks like!


Read transcript

You might also like:

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Blondie Trifle
Caramel Apple Pecan Layer Cake
Caramel Apple Blondie Cheesecake
Caramel Apple Cookie Cups
Caramel Apple Trifles
Caramel Apple Layer Cake
Caramel Apple Dip

Be sure to check out my new Easy Salted Caramel Sauce too!

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overhead image of Homemade Caramel Sauce in jar
Recipe

Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: About 1 1/2 Cups
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This easy caramel sauce recipe is to die for! It’s a classic homemade caramel recipe that you’ll make over and over again.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp salted butter, cubed, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature

Instructions

1. Pour sugar into an even layer in a large saucier pan.
2. Heat on medium-high heat, whisking the sugar until melted. The sugar will clump up first, but will eventually completely melt. This will take about 10 minutes.
3. Once the sugar has melted, stop whisking. You can allow to cook until the sugar has turned to a little darker amber color to get a deeper caramel flavor, if you like. You may notice a nutty aroma. The change in color will happen quickly, so don’t let it go too long or get too dark or it’ll burn. Remove caramel from the heat.
4. Add butter and whisk until combined. The mixture will bubble up, but keep whisking until all the butter has melted and combined.
5. Slowly pour the heavy cream into the caramel and whisk until incorporated. I find it can help to add just a bit at a time until the caramel starts to thin out, then you can add the rest.
6. Cool for about 10-15 minutes before using. Store leftovers in a jar with a lid. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

Keywords: homemade caramel recipe, how to make caramel sauce, easy caramel recipe, best caramel sauce

Enjoy!

Homemade Caramel Sauce! Perfect for fall and holiday desserts!

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Recipe rating

163 Comments
  1. Art Perez

    it has been said, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. And I say, the way to a wife’s heart is through caramel! I whipped this up before the wife got home. I served it on Tillemooks vanilla bean ice cream and
    she was in heaven! absolutely loves it! thank you so mich for such a simple recipe!

  2. Hannah

    Thank you so much! This is the first caramel sauce recipe that has ever turned out for me. And it is delicious! Thank you for this wonderful recipe.
    P.S. I love your “I love Jesus and naps” shirt!

  3. Marilyn

    I finally got my pan cleaned! Soaking in the hot water worked for me. I was really nervous about it. It was so hard and up the side of the pan about an inch.

  4. Tammie Cowan

    Oh my Carmel!! 😱🤯🥰 This was my first attempt at Carmel and the video and instructions were so detailed and clear I aced it! It came out so good and it is the best caramel that I’ve ever tried in my life! 😋 Thank you so much for this recipe and the video was perfect explanation! yum yum yum my family is so happy!! 😊😊 Happy New Years Y’all, God Bless 2021!! 🙏🏻🙏🏼🙏🏽🙏🏾🙏🏿

  5. DICK MITCHELL

    I Made this recipe (easy caramel sauce) to use it with sticky buns. it was too thin, when I flipped the rolls over after baking the sauce ran all over. I think I should cook it a little longer–maybe 4 minutes or maybe add more cream. it tasted scrumptious. My wife is not able to do any more baking so this is my first experience at making caramel rolls.

  6. Ashley Lulo

    I made this and it worked wonderfully for me. My only issue is that my sauce has an ever so slightly burnt flavor. Did I maybe cook the sugar a tad too long? Could I add vanilla to help fix this??

  7. Brittni Cannata

    That is dulce de leche. Similar but not the same taste. And it takes about 3 hours to cook in the can. Caramel takes roughly 10-15 min

  8. Tiana

    I made the recipe, followed the suggestion to substitute with evaporated milk; the flavor and color is there but it seems a bit liquidity… 🙁 I’m not sure where I went wrong… and suggestions?

    1. Lindsay

      I’m guessing the evaporated milk suggestion was from another comment? I don’t remember recommending that. You are going to get a different result with a different type of milk. Cream has a high fat content and it’s going to give you a thicker result. My guess is that’s where the problem is. But it also thickens quite a bit as it cools so maybe give it a chance to cool a bit and see if you’re happy with it then.

  9. Michael van de Ven

    i made this and the directions were perfect. my only issue is that the end product tasted a bit “strong tasting” and lacked a little of the “caramel” flavour. consistency was perfect, Any suggestions as an “add in” after to get more of that carmely flavour?? thank you

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not sure what you mean by “strong tasting”. If it was strong in flavor, I would think it should have plenty of caramel flavor and not need more. The caramel flavor comes from how long you cook the sugar before adding the butter and cream. The deeper the amber color, the deeper the flavor. You just don’t want to over cook it or it’ll taste a little burnt. There’s a fine line. There isn’t anything you can add after the fact. You’d just want to cook the sugar a touch longer. It can take a few times of making it to really get to know exactly the right amount of cooking it to push it as much as you can without burning it.

  10. Tammie

    Absolutely DELICIOUS!!! Just keep stirring, stirring, stirring and you will win the prize! SO GOOD!!!

  11. Sydney

    This recipe is pretty easy and soooo good! We use it in coffee drinks, desserts, and just dip apple slices in it… thanks for the amazing recipe! <3

  12. Keisha

    I didn’t have any issues with this recipe and WOW!!! This recipe knocked me off my feet. It is INCREDIBLE and tastes like it came straight out of the Werthers Original Factory. Everybody is getting a jar of this for Christmas!

  13. Oce

    I have tried this recipe and its DELICIOUS!
    My only problem was that my whisk and sauce pan were clumped with hard, dried sugar so I put it in hot water and it worked pretty well.

  14. cathy the caramel lover

    Hey Lindsay, I am LOVING this caramel sauce, it was absolutely perfect!!! From all the recipes I have tried this one was absolutely Devine! Hope you enjoy my short poem about it (IM OBSESSED)!!!!

    my love for you feels unreal,
    from the sweet taste you leave on my tongue
    to the smooth look of you in the jar
    your caramel flavor leaves me in a daze
    I will always need you
    my sweet sweet caramel

    anyway thank so so much for this a-m-a-z-i-n-g recipe 🙂 

  15. Holly

    Easy and very delicious recipe! I too found that it got quite clumpy but I just kept whisking it, and once I added the cream I put it back on to the heat, whisked whisked whisked and it got there in the end. Beautiful smooth caramel sauce. I’ve made it to decorate a birthday cake tomorrow but will it last that long…. I mean I might eat it, dangerously delicious 🙂

  16. Anna

    I have seen different recipes for caramel but these instructions are by far the best! I have actually sent someone this recipe because she burnt her caramel following other instructions. This is my second time making this recipe and its awesome. 

  17. Ava

    I had never even tried making caramel before in my life, because I’ve heard it’s really tricky. So you can imagine I was very anxious making it, but how excited I was that it turned out sooo good! I’m also one for having as few ingredients as possible in any recipe, that’s why I picked this one. And so glad!!

    1. Lindsay

      The difference would be in the amount of fat, which would change up the texture of the caramel a bit. It might not be quite a soft.

  18. Ashton

    Me and my friend tried it twice, did not work out either times. Second time it got the color and that’s it. Looked promising but ended up tasting like burnt sugar. Took us over an hour to get that and where not happy with the results. 

  19. Lex Salinas

    First of all thank you for this recipe!! The taste is amazing! I’ve been letting it sit for about an hour or so, but it’s still really thin? Did I do something wrong or could I refrigerate it to make it a bit thicker?

    1. Lindsay

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I don’t think you did anything wrong, it just takes a while for it to cool enough to thicken up. You can definitely put it in the fridge.

  20. Minnta

    Love this! Thank you very much. This worked out exactly how you said it would. You were not joking about the 10 minutes of whisking. I cheated a little and melted the butter in the microwave😬 I use this to make my morning coffee. Times like this it is important! 
    Note for those of you that had problems, make sure your flame is under your pan! Size of burner to pan ratio can change this very fast.
    Once again thank you 💕

  21. Kerry

    Can I use caster sugar or should It be granulated? Gonna try this recipe for cupcake filling and cheesecake topping.

  22. Mon

    Hi I’m thinking of doing the caramel sauce as favours for my wedding. Do you think it’d be fine to have it out of the fridge but stipulate to use within 2 weeks? 

  23. Angelina

    This tastes pretty darn good! My first attempt seized because the sugar would not mix with the butter, I didn’t have a chance to let the butter get to room temperature so I melted it in the microwave, bad idea? The second attempt went a little better, I partially melted the butter this time and it started to seize so I started mixing like crazy after adding the butter and added the cream. I had to stir really fast and it worked but I have a few hard sugar clumps. Do you think it’s because I didn’t use room temperature butter? I also marked up the cream for 10 seconds in the microwave to take away the chill. 

    1. Lindsay

      Having the butter a little bit melted should be fine. Maybe try the cream in a slow stream while whisking very quickly. You don’t want to overwhelm the caramel as you add liquid. But when adding the butter, you do need to whisk very quickly and it can take a little bit for everything to incorporate.

  24. Christopher Hall

    Just made this, as I’ve been having the weirdest cravings for caramel. I stirred the sugar almost constantly, heated my butter, and it worked perfectly. The cream was probably a bit too cool, but I kept stirring it over low heat and it came together. Tasting it out of the pan as I poured it into a storage jar, it seemed to lack something, maybe a pinch of salt. But it pure perfection on popcorn (I think the salt on the popcorn helps.) My partner, who is not as big a popcorn fan as I am, can’t stop eating it. Wow.

    Next time I do it, I may try some vanilla, a dash of cinnamon . . . and some peanuts when it goes over popcorn again. Would also be incredible with some bourbon.

  25. Ally

    My cream was not quite room temp and it seized. I reheated and whisked until it smoothed out, will that be ok or should I start over?

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