Home Recipes Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

side view of glass jar with caramel sauce dripping from the sides


We all need a little salted caramel in our lives! And this homemade salted caramel sauce is so easy, you can have it any time the cravings hit. Ready in 15 minutes, this gooey sweet sauce uses only 5 common ingredients – and it is perfect for topping brownies, mug cakes, cupcakes, ice cream – or any of your favourite desserts.


For the perfect pairing to a decadent chocolate cake or to enhance your favourite desserts, look no further than this irresistible sweet sauce with crunchy little bursts of salt. It is smooth, golden and creamy- perfect for gifting at Christmas time in pretty jars, pairing with just about anything sweet, or eating straight from the jar with a big spoon!


If you have never made your own salted caramel sauce or are feeling a little apprehensive about trying, this recipe is as easy as it comes! And the best thing is, you only need five very simple ingredients (including salt and water) and no fancy equipment.


The homemade version tastes so much better than anything you can buy in the store. Once you try it, you’ll never go back! Follow my tips and step by step instructions below for the best caramel, every time.

a close up of caramel being poured into a glass jar


Why you’ll love this recipe

Quick and easy – no thermometers or complicated equipment is needed.

Pantry friendly – no fancy ingredients here! Just common, familiar pantry ingredients including sugar, salt, cream, butter and water.

Easy to follow instructions – learn how to make caramel from scratch, even if you’ve never made it before!

top view of glass jar containing caramel sauce with salt on top


What you’ll need

Ingredient notes

** This post contains tips and instructions to achieve the best possible results. For full ingredient quantities and methods, see the detailed recipe card below.

Butter – chilled salted or un-salted butter can be used here, but the salt quantities may need to be adjusted if you use salted butter.

Salt – I recommend using salt flakes here, for little bursts of salt throughout the sweet caramel. If you use regular, table salt, use less and adjust to taste. Allow the caramel to cool slightly before stirring through the salt.

Thickened cream – heavy cream may also be called whipping cream or thickened cream. Light cream or double cream can also be used. Due to the heat of the caramel, it is best to allow the cream to reach room temperature before adding it to the caramel, to prevent spitting. To reach room temperature, simply pour the cream into a jug or cup and place it on the bench while you prepare the other ingredients.


Step by step instructions


I have mentioned that you don’t need to use a thermometer or any special equipment here (visual cues will work perfectly), but it is important to follow the recipe carefully and keep a close watch on the caramel during the entire process, to avoid overcooking and making the caramel bitter. Keep the temperature to medium-high so that the caramel doesn’t cook too quickly.


Step 1. This step requires a large, high walled saucepan. Melt the sugar with a little water over medium heat, until dissolved. Don’t stir the sugar, allow it to melt without stirring!

Step 2. Add the butter and bring the mixture to a simmer. The mixture will be foamy in appearance and bubble as it cooks. Don’t stir the sugar, or lumps will form. If needed, swirl the pan to move the mixture to prevent burning.

top view of sugar and water in saucepan with whisk

Keep a close watch. Continue cooking until the mixture turns a medium amber colour. This may take around 10 minutes, but you need to keep a close eye to make sure the sugar doesn’t burn.

top view of caramel bubbling in saucepan

Add the cream. As soon as the sugar has browned to the right colour (medium brown), immediately remove from the heat and add the cream, stirring to combine. The cream will cause the mixture to bubble up, so a high saucepan is recommended.

With the cream, add a little at a time to prevent bubbling over. Once smooth, allow to rest for a few minutes before adding the salt and pouring into sterilised jars.

The sauce may seem thin once finished, but it will continue to thicken as it cools.

side view of a spoon, drizzling caramel over a glass jar


Handy tips

  1. Adding the ingredients to caramel is time sensitive, so measure all of your ingredients before starting and have them ready to go.
  2. Use a good quality saucepan with high sides, as the caramel will bubble up the sides whilst browning and when the cream is added. When you add the cream, add it in parts, as the mixture will also bubble up the sides.
  3. Add the sugar and water to the pan, but then leave the caramel to simmer without stirring (even if you are tempted to stir, don’t! You will end up with a lumpy, crystalized sauce). You can tilt or swirl the pan from side to side instead of stirring. This prevents burning and sugar lumps forming.
  4. You want a medium brown, amber colour in your sugar before you remove it from the heat. Too light and the caramel flavour won’t be as intense. Too dark and it will be bitter! See the image above for the ideal amber colour. Keep a careful watch during cooking so that the sugar doesn’t burn. Depending on the size of your saucepan, the caramel can take 5-10 minutes to turn amber. Keep an eye on it at this point, as it can turn from a nice brown colour to burnt in no time. The more you make caramel sauce, the easier it will become to watch the colour and master the timing.
  5. Find some good quality salt flakes and add them once the fixture has cooled slightly, so that you get a nice salty burst mixed with the sweetness of the caramel.
homemade-salted-caramel-sauce
top view of a jar of caramel with salt flakes over the top


FAQs

How do you store salted caramel sauce? It can be made ahead and stored in clean, sterilised jars in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. It will thicken and become solid when cold, but you can heat in the microwave to loosen it up.


Can it be frozen? Yes! Simply allow it to cool completely, place it in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to three months. To thaw, leave it out at room temperature and then heat in the microwave or on the stovetop when ready to serve.


What can I eat with salted caramel? It tastes amazing on just about anything! Try it on a dessert platter as a dip with crisp apples or popcorn. Or with the sweet sauce thickly slathered between cake layers, like this chocolate and salted caramel layer cake. Spread it cold over tarts, brownies or cookies. Drizzle it over your favourite ice cream, mud in a mug cake or apple pie. Add it to pancakes with banana. It’s also pretty amazing eaten straight from the jar!

close up of chocolate layered cake on a plate with a fork


If you try this sweet sauce recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to leave a comment or review below, or send me a message. For more food inspiration, tips and to share your own recipes and creations, head over to my Facebook Recipe Group. 

side view of glass jar with caramel sauce dripping from the sides

Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

We all need a little salted caramel in our lives! And this homemade salted caramel sauce is so easy, you can have it any time the cravings hit. Ready in 15 minutes, this gooey sweet sauce uses only 5 common ingredients – and it is perfect for topping brownies, mug cakes, cupcakes, ice cream – or any of your favourite desserts.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian
Keyword: homemade salted caramel sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 16
Calories: 249kcal
Author: Andrea Geddes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup butter approx. 225 grams, chopped (salted or unsalted)
  • 1 cup cream room temperature is best
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt flakes

Instructions

  • Combine the sugar and water into a saucepan with high sides.
  • Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves (around 5-10 minutes). This will vary as every stovetop is different). Do not stir.
  • Add the butter and bring the mixture to a low simmer. It will look foamy and bubbly as it cooks.
  • Continue cooking, occasionally swirling the pan to avoid burning (do not stir), until the mixture turns to a golden, amber colour (see the images in the post if you are not sure). This may take around ten minutes, but keep an eye on it as it starts to turn.
  • As soon as the sugar has browned to the right colour (medium brown/amber), immediately remove from the heat and add the cream, stirring to combine. The cream will cause the mixture to bubble rapidly, so just add a little cream at a time.
  • Stir until smooth. Add the salt flakes and store in a clean, sterilised airtight jar in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

Notes

  1. Adding the ingredients to caramel is time sensitive, so measure all of your ingredients before starting and have them ready to go.
  2. Use a good quality saucepan with high sides, as the caramel will bubble up the sides whilst browning and when the cream is added. When you add the cream, add it in parts, as the mixture will also bubble up the sides.
  3. Add the sugar and water to the pan, but then leave the caramel to simmer without stirring (even if you are tempted to stir, don’t! You will end up with a lumpy, crystalized sauce). You can tilt or swirl the pan from side to side instead of stirring. This prevents burning and sugar lumps forming.
  4. You want a medium brown, amber colour in your sugar before you remove it from the heat. Too light and the caramel flavour won’t be as intense. Too dark and it will be bitter! See the image above for the ideal amber colour. Keep a careful watch during cooking so that the sugar doesn’t burn. Depending on the size of your saucepan, the caramel can take 5-10 minutes to turn amber. Keep an eye on it at this point, as it can turn from a nice brown colour to burnt in no time. The more you make caramel sauce, the easier it will become to watch the colour and master the timing.
  5. Find some good quality salt flakes and add them once the fixture has cooled slightly, so that you get a nice salty burst mixed with the sweetness of the caramel.
  6. Butter – chilled salted or un-salted butter can be used here, but the salt quantities may need to be adjusted if you use salted butter.
  7. Salt – I recommend using salt flakes here, for little bursts of salt throughout the sweet caramel. If you use regular, table salt, use less and adjust to taste. Allow the caramel to cool slightly before stirring through the salt.
  8. Thickened cream – heavy cream may also be called whipping cream or thickened cream. Light cream or double cream can also be used. Due to the heat of the caramel, it is best to allow the cream to reach room temperature before adding it to the caramel, to prevent spitting. To reach room temperature, simply pour the cream into a jug or cup and place it on the bench while you prepare the other ingredients.
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Nutrition

Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 325mg | Potassium: 15mg | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 570IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

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