Caramel Sauce

filed under: Candy · Dessert · Food + Drink on October 9, 2021

Caramel Sauce is a versatile and flavorful condiment that can be added to many recipes and desserts for added sweetness. I used this caramel to make my Salted Caramel Brownie Hi-Hats and it worked beautifully! If you love caramel, be sure to try my Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars.

Caramel Sauce

Caramel Sauce is great to have on hand. It can be drizzled over a bowl of ice cream or Banana Split Nachos. It can also be used in a variety of recipes like Dwight’s Caramel Apple Pie and Caramel Apple Cheesecake, and just to name a couple! Plus, once you make a batch of caramel sauce, it can be used hot or cold and stored in the refrigerator for up to a month!

Pouring Caramel Into Jar

Caramel Sauce Ingredients

With just three ingredients, you can get this caramel sauce made and stored to use whenever you are craving ooey-gooey sweetness.

Sugar: Use granulated sugar in this caramel sauce. I tried using half granulated and half brown sugar, but the brown sugar seized up while cooking. So, using all granulated sugar was the solution.

Butter: I used salted butter in this recipe, but you could also use unsalted. It is important that the butter is room temperature or warmer, but not melted. Temperature is important in making caramel.

Heavy Cream: Make sure the heavy cream, also known as heavy whipping cream, is at room temperature before adding it to the sauce. You can pop it into the microwave for 30-40 seconds, just be sure to stir it well after heating. Milk is not a good substitute in this recipe. 

How to Make Caramel

Tools for Homemade Caramel

I like a heavy bottom, high-sided saucepan for caramel sauce. (affiliate link)

A sturdy whisk made with metal. 

Being prepared! Make sure you have all ingredients measured and ready to be added before starting the caramel. 

How to Make Caramel Sauce

To make the caramel sauce, first, in a medium saucepan (a pan with high sides works best)  over medium heat, add the sugar. Stir constantly, being careful not to burn it. The sugar will take on an amber color. This can take up to 10 minutes. Do not be alarmed by clumping or grainy-looking sugar, it will continue to melt and become smooth. 

Once the sugar has melted completely, add the butter to melt, whisking constantly. The mixture will bubble up at this point. If you notice the butter separating, remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk to combine again.

After the mixture is fully combined, slowly drizzle the room temperature heavy cream. Stir to combine and let it simmer for an additional minute. Remove the caramel from the heat and let it cool. This makes about 1 cup and will thicken as it cools.  

Spoon Inside Homemade Caramel Recipe

How is it Stored?

I prefer to store caramel in a glass jar, but most air-tight containers should work. Should you plan on reheating it in the container, I do recommend glass. You can store it in the refrigerator, where it will harden slightly because of the temperature. In the refrigerator, it should last a few weeks. 

Can You Freeze Homemade Caramel Sauce?

You can! However, you may want to freeze it in smaller portions as it will need to come to room temperature before it can be used again. I like small air-tight plastic jars, but any sealing container will work. Just try to fill it up to the top (without spilling) so there is as little air as possible. 

Looking for More Recipes with Caramel Sauce?

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake Pie {No Bake}

Texas Turtle Sheet Cake

Turtle Cheesecake Bars

Apple Pie Dessert Nachos

5 from 1 vote
Caramel Sauce
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins

Caramel Sauce is a versatile and flavorful condiment that can be added to many recipes and desserts for added sweetness.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Caramel Sauce
Servings: 8
Calories: 222 kcal
Author: Amanda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup heavy cream, room temperature
  1. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add the granulated sugar. Stir constantly, being careful not to burn. Sugar will take on an amber color. (this can take 10-15 minutes)

  2. Once the sugar melts completely, add butter and melt, whisking constantly until combined. The sugar mixture will bubble up in this step, which is exactly what you want. If butter separates, remove from heat and continue whisking until combined again.

  3. Once fully combined, cook for 1 more minute and then slowly drizzle in room temperature heavy cream. Stir to combine and then let simmer for 1 more minute.

  4. Remove from heat and allow thicken as it cools. Can be used warm or cold.

Recipe inspired by Simply Recipes

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  • Marlys says:

    Thank you Amanda for your delicious recipes! I have tried many of them and I have not been disappointed! They are all wonderful! I’m always looking for something new to cook so thank you for sharing with us!

  • Pat Ritchie says:

    I am looking to make caramel apples for treats this year. Will this caramel set well to coat apples?
    I want to thank you for all of your wonderful recipes, my family always ask if I am going to make your recipes. That is a real compliment coming from my tribe…

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Thank you! This will be a bit too thin for coating caramel apples. I would use this:
      1 cup butter
      2 cups packed brown sugar
      1 cup light corn syrup
      1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
      2 teaspoons vanilla extract
      Stir butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk together in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and reduce heat to medium. Cook until a candy thermometer reads 248°F, 25 to 30 minutes; stir constantly to prevent burning. Remove caramel from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

  • Sherry says:

    I just made this.. Its so good..

  • Vivian Bailey says:

    Your recipes are easy to follow and always look so delious keep up the good work in sharing always looking for something different to share with my friends and family

  • Patricia Cole says:

    Going to try this and wondered if the recipe can be doubled. Want to give as gifts in little jars.

  • Kathy Wilkinson says:

    Does the finished product have to be refrigerated?

  • Ginny says:

    Looks good. I have a question. Why is it so important to have the butter at room temperature. It will be melted into caramel after all. Thanks!!

  • Kathy wilkinson says:

    Never mind my question. I think I would actually read the entire post if it wasn’t so full of pop ups. But I know you make more money the more people are enticed to click.

  • SJ says:

    Hey! What’s the best way to store this and for how long is it good for ? Any of the other ones I’ve made have said to refrigerate. Thanks! It was super easy to make!!

  • SJ says:

    Oo never mind I apparently didn’t read all the way or something didn’t load properly! Whoops!

  • Ann Massdy says:

    I love your recipes

  • Kathy Renee says:

    Can this be canned for later use.

  • Lorry says:

    Thank you for your great recipes!!

  • Desiree Carriere says:

    Would this be a good recipe for canning? I want to give a jar of Caramel sauce as gifts , so would you Rex come down this for canning? Thank you

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I don’t recommend canning this as it has dairy.

  • Shirley Delauder says:

    Would I be able to can the caramel sauce& seal the jars by using a hot water bath solution?

  • Sharon says:

    Can you put in jar and give as gifts and how long is shelf life?

  • Susan Rabideau says:

    Looks good

  • Roxanne says:

    How much sea salt would I add if I want salted caramel?