Salted Caramel Sauce

You only need four 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 Topping in Glass with Whisk

Caramel Sauce: an Insta-Sensation

A few weeks ago we made Salted Caramel Sauce and I shared a photo of it on Instagram. The photo went wild and we got several requests for the recipe. The recipe is on our site, but combined with other recipes –Salted Caramel Apple Crumb Bars and Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting.

I guess the recipe was sort of in hiding. I decided it was time to give our homemade Salted Caramel Sauce it’s own post. Today, I am going to teach you how to make Salted Caramel Sauce! It is SO easy! You only need 4 ingredients!

Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe on The BEST salted caramel sauce! It's easy to make too!

Drizzling Homemade Caramel Topping

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 Salted Caramel Sauce. Here’s a couple tips:

  • There are only four ingredients needed: sugar, butter, heavy cream, and salt. Simple as can be and with those four ingredients, you know it’s going to be good!
  • 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.
  • Add the sea salt. We use fleur de sel, “flower of salt,” because 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, but it’s pretty amazing:)
  • 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.
  • You can make the salted caramel sauce in advance. We always like to have a jar in the refrigerator.

Gooey Caramel Sauce on Marble Counter

Using Salted Caramel Topping

  • This recipe makes about two cups of Salted Caramel Sauce. It will keep in the fridge for about a month…ours never lasts that long:) So what do we do with it? I am always tempted to drink it straight from the jar, it’s that good, but I usually stop myself. Notice I said usually:)
  • This Salted Caramel Sauce is great drizzled over ice cream, cookies, brownies, bars, cake, pie, cheesecake, etc. I think I would eat anything that had this salted caramel sauce drizzled all over it. We also use it to make frostings and glazes.
  • For an afternoon snack, I like to dip my apple slices into a bowl of Salted Caramel Sauce. An apple a day keeps the doctor away-the doctor never said I couldn’t add caramel:)

Salted Caramel Sauce in Glass Jar

More Recipes with Salted Caramel

Everyone needs this Salted Caramel Sauce recipe. It can be used for so many things. It’s a keeper for sure! If you like this homemade caramel topping, you might also like:

Watch How to Make Salted Caramel Sauce

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!
4.89 from 17 votes


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt flakes


  • 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.


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

Have you tried this recipe?

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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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  1. 4 stars
    Thank you.  I made this and it’s really good but so salty.  Is one tablespoon correct?   Thanks for another awesome recipe.  

    1. 4 stars
      I didn’t have fleur de sel, I used Himalayan salt- used barely a half tablespoon and it was super salty. I think if I make it next time, I’ll use maybe an 1/8 tablespoon.

  2. I just made it and it’s awful this time, it must be burnt! So frustrating because sometimes I make it and it’s delicious. I don’t know what I am doing wrong. 

    1. I just had the same issue with mine – it was my first time making caramel but I’ve watched a lot of people in real life and on tv do it. It reached a colour that looked amber/the colour most people take it to, but not “deep amber” so I second guessed myself and let it go that extra couple seconds to get to a deep amber but that colour is too dark for proper caramel and it’s ended up juuuuuuuust burnt by about a second. Going to try to salvage it since it’s so close, but next time I’ll trust my instincts and go for just an amber colour instead (which for me was about 10 or so seconds after the last couple clumps of sugar melted).

  3. Hi, I have made caramel sauce many times. Most of the time it tastes great @ first, but then after a day or so in the fridge it becomes grainy. I  made a caramel sauce recipe from a recent episode of Cooks Illustrated. It was easy and  (drum roll) did not get grainy!  They explain in the article why caramel sauce gets grainy, or crystallized (something to do with the sugar molecules: I won’t bore you with the details). BUT, by adding some corn syrup to the sugar and water in the recipe, the crystals are prevented from forming. The CI recipe does not have any butter in it. I was skeptical about this, but the sauce is rich and wonderful, and I do not miss the butter. This will be my go-to recipe from now on. 

  4. I followed the recipe and was wondering why my caramel looked much darker than yours (taste is great, consistency is the same) when I realized I only added 8 tbsp of butter, oops!! Will this prevent it from staying smooth and cause it to harden or will it be ok? Should I attempt warming the caramel back up and adding in the butter I missed?

  5. 5 stars
    This is only the second time I have made caramel and it tastes good! I used a Le Creuset small saucepan for this and found that the heat got a bit out of hand midway through the whisking. There was a liquid component of sugar that was browning while there were still some clumps of sugar present. I turned down the heat and that seemed to help. I used this caramel for your salted caramel rice krispies treats and still have a Mason jar full of caramel in the fridge. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    I rarely rate recipes, but this one is a keeper. I was looking for a caramel sauce to go with the Banana brown butter tart from Herbsaint restaurant in New Orleans. This is perfect and great on a lot of other things!

  7. I have made this a few times & love it!  BUT twice the sugar has hardened into lumps when I add the butter.  What am I doing wrong?

  8. I’ve tried this recipe twice, followed all the instructions just so, and both times the caramel sauce was ruined.
     The butter and sugar would not combine.  I feel like a step has been left out,  or I’m  missing something.

    1. I just made this. Simply direction and the video was useful. Like T-mc and Theresa, I had a moment of fear when I added the butter. I kept whisking and it eventually came together. I had only a little bit of fat along the edge of the pan when I decided to go ahead with the addition of the cream. It’s cooling in a jar on the counter right now but I believe it will work great for a cake I’m making.

  9. Hi. Intend to make this soon but I live in India and i don’t think I will get the salt brand required for the salted caramel here so what do you suggest i could use.


  10. 5 stars
    OH MY!!!! 
    This is heavenly! I used this in a salted caramel chocolate cake recipe. Soooooo good. 
    Thank you for the recipe. 

  11. 5 stars
    This is truly heavenly. It felt kind of insecure as I was letting the sugar melt. But it was so worth it. 
    It was for a Chocolate Salted Caramel cake. I used the leftover on some amazing salty popcorn. 
    Thank you for this recipe. 

  12. 5 stars
    Perfection. This is my go to recipe for salted caramel that I use in macarons, ganache and buttercream. Can’t thank you enough!

  13. Love your recipies! I tried three so far and “perfection ” love them, so thank you. Just made the one bowl brownies for our study group tonight and I want to serve with tillamook vanilla bean icecream and your salted caramel sauce. I was wondering what type of heavy cream you use? I made the Butternut Squash, Sausage and Kale with Gnocchi last night and we loved it! The smell in the house while it was cooking was delishsiouly wonderful! Cannot wait to make all of your recipies (already ordered the cookbook) and taste all of the wonderful flavors.

  14. 5 stars
    Amazing!! It turned out perfectly, and I could eat it with a spoon. Unfortunately, I have to save some to make for my mom’s birthday cake! Thank you for the best salted caramel recipe!

  15. I tried this recipe 2 times. Each time the sugar melted, turned the amber color, but hardened when I added the butter. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Is your butter at room temperature? If it’s too cold that could be causing the issue by cooling/shocking the mixture 🙂

  16. Did I do something wrong or is it really supposed to be 1 tablespoon of salt? I followed the recipe and even used fluer de sel and mine came out SO SO salty it was inedible. Anyone else have this problem? I’m thinking it might have been a typo, and should only be 1 teaspoon salt. I was so disappointed because the caramel part of the recipe would have been perfection, it was the overpowering saltiness that made it gross. I might have to try it again with only 1 teaspoon.

  17. Mine turned out great but got very hard to swirl into the ice cream. Can I warm it up a bit to drizzle into the ice cream?

  18. 5 stars
    This sounds so good & I appreciate your giving nutritional info – my one problem is though you do give the amount of servings your recipes make – in this particular case (& others – dips, etc.) it would be helpful to know exactly how much constitues a serving – 2 Tb., 3 Tb. ? I would sure appreciate it!

  19. I Love this recipe and am thinking of making a big batch to give away as gifts for the holidays….do you know if this can be jarred for long term storage?

  20. If I make this recipe and decide to drizzle it on hot chocolate bombs, would it be okay to leave it out because the hot chocolate bombs would not be refrigerated?

  21. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe!!
    However, do NOT substitute normal sea salt in the same quantity as the recipe’s recommended fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt flakes. Way too salty with 1 Tbs of normal sea salt. Just adjust to taste or use the called-for ingredients. Enjoy!

  22. I made this recipe for the first time last month and it was amazing!! I burned it the first time, but that was my fault. The warning was in the recipe!!

  23. Tried this – fantastic. Tried this a second time – epic fail. Tried a third time fantastic again. The variable – my sugar! I’m not usually an ingredient snob, but the higher-end sugar won this time.

  24. I made this caramel sauce and I thought I wrecked it because the butter didn’t incorporate well and same with the heavy cream. I heated everything after and it totally saved it! I’m planning to use the sauce for drizzle on a cake. If I reheat the sauce to get it back to a thinner consistency, will it reharden on the cake like it does in the fridge?

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