Salted Caramel Sauce

By Maria Lichty

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Quick Summary

You only need 4 ingredients to make this easy homemade salted caramel sauce recipe. It is the BEST and good on just about everything. Make in 10 minutes and take your desserts from wow… to WHOA!

salted caramel sauce on spoon dripping into jar.

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I love caramel everything and this Salted Caramel Sauce is DREAMY! It is easy to make at home. You only need 4 ingredients.

It is great with ice cream, drizzled over cheesecake or a galette, swirled into brownies, served with apples, or eaten with a spoon right out of the jar.

I also love using my homemade caramel sauce to make pumpkin pie, apple crumb bars, or Biscoff caramel cookie bars.

I love having a jar in the fridge at all times and it also makes a fantastic homemade gift!

Ingredients

  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter– at room temperature and cut into pieces
  • Heavy cream– at room temperature
  • Flaky Sea Salt

How to Make Salted Caramel Sauce

If you haven’t made caramel sauce before, don’t be scared. It really is easy, you just have to pay close attention to the caramel. With a little tender love and care, you can create the most amazing homemade caramel sauce.

  • First, make sure you have all of the ingredients ready. Once you start the caramel sauce you have to pay close attention so you don’t burn it.
making salted caramel sauce with granulated sugar in pan on stovetop with whisk.
  • To begin, heat the sugar over medium high-heat in the bottom of a heavy 2-3 quart saucepan. When the sugar starts to melt, start whisking the sugar. The sugar will clump up, but keep whisking. It will continue to melt. When the sugar is melted, stop whisking. You can swirl the pan to move the sugar around.
whisking salted caramel sauce in pan on stove.
  • Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches a deep amber color. Make sure you watch the pan very closely. This is where it is easy to burn the caramel.
adding butter pieces to boiling salted caramel sauce in pan.
  • As soon as the sugar reaches the dark amber color, carefully add the butter. Stir until butter is melted. 
  • Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream. Whisk until cream is incorporated and caramel is smooth. Whisk in the flaky sea salt.
  • Let the caramel sauce cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Pour the caramel into a large jar and cool to room temperature.
salted caramel sauce in jar with a spoon.

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure you have all of your ingredients ready to go before you start making the caramel sauce.
  • You don’t have to use a candy thermometer with this recipe, but you do have to watch the caramel sauce VERY closely! You don’t want to burn it and it can start turning dark in color quickly. The caramel sauce should be a dark amber color.
  • Add the butter and stir until it melts into the sauce.
  • Carefully pour in the heavy cream. The caramel sauce will be hot and you don’t want it to splash.
  • Use flaky sea salt and not regular salt. The salt crystals are fine, delicate, and have a high concentration of minerals, making them the perfect finishing salt. They dissolve instantly when sprinkled into the caramel, adding the perfect touch of salt without interfering with the smooth caramel texture. And if for some reason you don’t like salt in your caramel, you can omit it and make regular caramel sauce.

How to Store

When the caramel sauce is cool, place the lid on the jar and store in the refrigerator for up to one month. The sauce will be very thick when it is cold, right out of the fridge. Heat it up for 15 to 30 seconds in the microwave and give it a good stir.

caramel sauce being drizzled over vanilla ice cream with a spoon.

Using Salted Caramel Topping

This recipe makes about two cups of Salted Caramel Sauce and can be used for SO many things!

  • It is great drizzled over ice cream, brownies, bars, cake, pie, cheesecake, a skillet cookie, and more. I think I would eat anything that had this salted caramel sauce drizzled all over it. We also use it to make frosting.
  • For a sweet afternoon snack, I like to dip my apple, peach or pear slices into a little bit of creamy caramel. SO good!
  • I also love to give the sauce as a nice homemade gift. Tie the jar with a little ribbon, add a card, and you have the perfect gift for anyone!

More Salted Caramel Recipes

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Salted Caramel Sauce

The BEST salted caramel sauce! It's easy to make and is great drizzled over ice cream, cake, cookies, cupcakes, cheesecake…and anything else you can think of!
4.71 from 58 votes

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • First, make sure you have all of the ingredients ready. Once you start the caramel sauce you have to pay close attention so you don’t burn it. To begin, heat the sugar over medium high-heat in the bottom of a heavy 2-3 quart saucepan. When the sugar starts to melt, start whisking the sugar. The sugar will clump up, but keep whisking. It will continue to melt. When the sugar is melted, stop whisking. You can swirl the pan to move the sugar around.
  • Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches a deep amber color. Make sure you watch the pan very closely. This is where it is easy to burn the caramel.
  • As soon as the sugar reaches the dark amber color, carefully add the butter. Stir until butter is melted. 
  • Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream. Whisk until cream is incorporated and caramel is smooth. Whisk in the fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt flakes.
  • Let the caramel sauce cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Pour the caramel into a large jar and cool to room temperature. Put the salted caramel sauce in the refrigerator. Store the salted caramel sauce in the refrigerator for about a month.

Notes

Make sure you use fleur de sel or Maldon flaky sea salt! Don’t use regular salt. Add salt to taste. Start with 1 teaspoon and add more. It is salted caramel sauce and should be a little salty. I usually add about 1 tablespoon or Maldon sea salt flakes but I like a salty kick. Start small and add more if you want! 

Nutrition

Calories: 223kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 7mg, Potassium: 13mg, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 480IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 12mg
Keywords salted caramel sauce

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Maria

I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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4.71 from 58 votes (32 ratings without comment)

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  1. This is delicious but once I put it in the fridge it was no longer “sauce”. I assume I can warm it in the microwave and it will soften back up but did I do something wrong?

  2. For one like myself where mom over salted everything she cooked. I learned to hate that taste. So for me caramel is perfect as is. But now it is hard to get any caramel without salt. It is a shame.

  3. Why the heck would I use fancy salt for this? They taste the same as table salt, and the only thing different about them (the texture) is getting dissolved away! I used about half the amount of salt called for, since I used table salt, which is saltier than flaky salt, and it was perfect.

  4. Hi I’m Abigail I love salted carmal tis is amazing but is there water i did not see it in in the 4 ingretins

    1. 5 stars
      No water in this recipe. Just the 4 ingredients she listed. It does not need water. Just make sure you follow her cooking instructions. 🙂

  5. I wasn’t sure about trying to make this.. and I actually thought I had burnt and ruined it, but I didn’t. And it was the absolute MOST DELICIOUS topping for the brownies I made! You MUST make this if you’ve stumbled across the recipe!!

  6. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe several times. It is delicious and easy to follow. It is also a pretty good arm workout with the constant stirring, but completely worth it!

  7. This looks great! My question, would this be similar to ghirardelli sea salt caramel sauce? I use it in my coffee and am trying to start making my own. Thank you!

  8. Once I added the butter, the sauce hardened, and would not mix with the butter or melt back down. Tips on avoiding this?

    1. I made it today and mine did the same thing. I got a good amount of caramel sauce out of the recipe but I still had a big clump that would not meltsbd I ended up throwing the clump away. The sauce is yummy though.

  9. 5 stars
    Made it tonight. So delicious. Made a deconstructed strawberry rhubarb crisp…ice cream, stewed fruit, granola, caramel sauce. Our guests could make whatever combo they desired. The salted caramel was the favorite!!!

  10. 5 stars
    Amazing caramel sauce!! Maria, I have a question for you. Can I bake with this caramel? I want to swirl it into some brownie batter before baking, but want to make sure it won’t burn if it’s “cooked again”. Thanks 🙂

  11. 3 stars
    I tried this with half a can of coconut cream to try to dodge the lactose. It is very runny. I am wondering if I reheat it to the soft-ball stage will it thicken up?

  12. Can you tell me how much this recipe makes (cup wise)? I want to use this for your pumpkin pie, but that needs 1/2 cup. Will this be that amount or more?

  13. 5 stars
    My sugar took forever to melt (12 mins, stirring constantly over medium heat), but it finally all came together! Great recipe, very happy with the sauce. Thank you!

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