Easy Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe

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You’ll only need 6 ingredients to make this easy salted caramel sauce. It’s so simple and delicious and it makes for the perfect topping for just about any dessert. From ice cream to brownies to cheesecake, you won’t be able to resist.

Easy Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe

Just hearing the words “salted caramel sauce” makes my mouth water. The rich, sweet flavor of classic caramel with just the right amount of cream marries beautifully with a perfect pop of salt, creating an unforgettable dessert topping. The addicting flavor and the silky smooth, velvety texture of this caramel sauce make it good enough to eat out of the jar, but I suppose you could go a more conventional route and drizzle it over ice cream or a gooey brownie. However you choose to enjoy it, you won’t be sorry. Plus, it’s super easy to make!

This is the perfect recipe for those of you looking to dip your toes into the world of caramel. Other versions, like my Classic Homemade Caramel Sauce, are a little trickier to get right. This recipe, on the other hand, is super user-friendly and will yield fabulous results every time.

Pouring Salted Caramel Sauce into a white serving dish

Why You’ll Love This Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

I have been perfecting this salted caramel sauce recipe for years and, I’ll tell you what, it really is something to write home about. Here’s why I love it so much and why I think you will too.

  • Surprisingly easy. Making your own sauce might sound complicated but it’s really not. In just a few simple steps (and only 6 ingredients) you’ll have yourself a restaurant-quality salted caramel sauce. You don’t even need a candy thermometer for this one!
  • Adjustable. You can make this dessert topping as salty (or unsalty) as you want. Start with 1/2 a teaspoon, give it a taste, and add more if you’d like. Not that into the “salted” part of salted caramel sauce? Add just a pinch of salt to elevate the flavor without overwhelming your taste buds.
  • It goes on everything. Ok maybe not chicken, but you can drizzle this caramel sauce over pretty much any dessert you can think of. Check out the section below titled “Ways To Use Salted Caramel Sauce” for inspiration.
Ingredients for salted caramel sauce.

What You’ll Need

Here’s a list of ingredients needed to make the best salted caramel sauce ever. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card below for precise measurements.

  • Granulated sugar – The sugar actually melts and turns into caramel as it cooks. This is where your flavor is coming from.
  • Water – This helps the sugar not burn as it sits and boils. The addition of the water is why it’s called “wet-method” caramel sauce.
  • Unsalted butter – You really want to be able to control your salt content here, so go for unsalted butter.
  • Heavy whipping cream – This is giving the caramel sauce it’s pourable factor. The high fat content in heavy cream also gives it a creamy texture. Don’t swap this out for milk or something else or it’ll thin out your sauce.
  • Vanilla extract – For nice flavor.
  • Salt – Use as little or as much as you like to achieve your desired saltiness.

How To Make Salted Caramel Sauce

It really is easier than you think. Just follow these simple (and few) steps and you’ll be drizzling homemade caramel sauce over every dessert in sight in no time.

  • Dissolve the sugar. Whisk together the granulated sugar and water and cook over medium-low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Add the butter. Add the butter and let it melt.
Dissolving sugar in water to make caramel sauce.
  • Cook. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and boil until the mixture turns a deep golden copper color.
Boiling sugar dissolved in water with butter until it turns to a copper color to make caramel sauce.
  • Make it creamy. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the heavy whipping cream, whisking as you go.
  • Add some flavor. Whisk in the vanilla extract and half a teaspoon of salt (or more if you’re feeling spunky).
  • Cool. Allow the caramel sauce to cool. Note that it will thicken as it cools.
Adding heavy cream to caramel sauce and whisking in salt and vanilla extract.

Tips for Success

Striving for the perfect salted caramel sauce? Good. Here are some tips and tricks that will set you on the right track.

  • Hands off. Once you bring the caramel sauce to a boil, it’s time to stop whisking. Whisking the sauce is a one-way ticket to crystallization, which you don’t want here. So, leave it be until it’s reached that deep golden copper color you are looking for.
  • Keep an eye on it. While you shouldn’t whisk or stir while the caramel sauce is cooking, you do want to keep an eye on it. It’s possible that some parts of the sauce will brown more quickly than others. If needed, you can occasionally tip the pan from side to side to help things cook evenly.
  • Stay safe. When you add the heavy cream, the caramel will bubble up quite a bit. So keep any exposed skin (and/or eyes) out of the way.
Dripping Salted Caramel Sauce off a spoon into a clear glass jar

Ways To Use Salted Caramel Sauce

Gosh. I feel like homemade caramel sauce could go on anything. I’ve picked some of my favorites to set you in the right direction, though. Don’t be afraid to explore my blog for other options. It’s full of dessert recipes that would love the company of this sweet, velvety treat.

How Long Will Homemade Caramel Sauce Last?

Once the caramel sauce has cooled completely, seal it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge. It will stay good for up to two weeks.

Salted Caramel Sauce in a clear glass jar with a spoon

More Sauce Recipes To Try

Adding a sauce to a dessert really takes it to the next level of deliciousness. It’s that perfect little flare that no one even knew they were missing. I encourage you to experiment with some of these other fabulous dessert sauces once you get this salted caramel one down.

Watch How It’s Made

Read Transcript

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Pouring Salted Caramel Sauce into a white serving dish
Recipe

Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

  • Author: Lindsay Conchar
  • 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. Plus, it’s perfect for topping ice cream, brownies, or pretty much 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 sauce 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: salted caramel sauce, salted caramel sauce recipe, homemade caramel sauce

Categories

Adapted from Baker by Nature.

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164 Comments
  1. Cindy

    Hello, I just made this & for some reason it is not golden brown or very thick. not sure why or what I did wrong. I gave it 20 mins boiling on step 2 but still not brown hmmm…

    1. Lindsay

      Did you possibly double the recipe or something? That can make it take longer to turn brown. I really just sounds like it hasn’t cooked long enough yet. As for not being thick, it’ll be very thin while still hot, but thickened as it cools.

  2. Susanne

    I love the detailed instructions/tips; I’ve tried making salted caramel sauce before, and it came out grainy because (as I learned from this recipe) of crystallized sugar. Now I know why – thanks for the heads-up on not stirring the sugar/water/butter mixture while it is boiling.

  3. Susie

    I’ve tried making caramel before and without success (too impatient I think 😉!) I had bought some syrup at the store to drizzle over some mini cheesecakes but it tasted a little too artificial so I thought I’d give it one more try. Easy, breezy. Turned out dark, thick, and delicious!!! I did halve the recipe as it was only for a drizzle and let it boil (without touching it regardless of the temptation!) for 11 minutes. A full recipe might have to boil a bit longer. Thanks for making me look like a baker!!! ❤️

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