Homemade salted caramel sauce — seriously addicting and so easy to make! Yields less than a cup so it’s perfect for when you don’t need a whole jar. Fill a dozen cupcakes, drizzle on top of ice cream or just satisfy your salted caramel craving in a snap.
I was never a big fan of caramel. I just found it too sweet for my taste. And having memories of caramel candy getting stuck to my teeth for hours (I had braces!) certainly didn’t help.
But a recent trip to San Francisco to visit my best friends changed all that. I was introduced (read: coerced, as best friends tend to do to each other) to salted caramel and that changed everything.
First – salted caramel ice cream
One of the things on our to-do list was to go to this famous ice cream shop so I can try their best-selling salted caramel ice cream. I wasn’t a big fan but hey, try everything once, right?
So off we went to go get ice cream I didn’t really want in the middle of a cold, breezy San Francisco night.
The result? The salted caramel ice cream was out-of-this-world fantastic. It wasn’t the caramel I knew (and disliked) at all. I was sold. Thank God for best friends, eh?
Next – homemade salted caramel sauce
So back home I started putting salted caramel on everything:
- Salted caramel cupcakes
- Baked apple turon with salted caramel sauce
- Salted caramel cream cheese brownies
- Salted caramel apple cheesecake with pecan crisp topping
To name a few.
And I realized that everything was so good because it started with good salted caramel sauce. It was the key to everything.
The happy news is salted caramel is quick and easy to make at home!
How to make quick and easy salted caramel sauce
This recipe is a put-everything-in-a-pot kind of recipe. It does involve hot (hot — worth repeating) sugar so be extra careful. (For the detailed recipe, scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find a printable recipe card.)
You start simply by whisking all ingredients together (except the vanilla) in a heavy-bottom saucepan on medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
Bring the mixture down to a simmer and whisk until it thickens. Once thick enough, whisk in the vanilla then remove from the heat.
Very carefully pour the caramel into a heatproof container. Allow to cool slightly before using (remember: hot sugar!).
All this is done in less than 15 minutes. And it is so good!
Ingredients for homemade salted caramel syrup
And the ingredients are pantry stapes too:
- Butter (salted or unsalted, I found it makes no significant difference in taste).
- Brown sugar
- Heavy cream
- Kosher salt
- Vanilla extract
Small-batch homemade salted caramel sauce
Another thing I like about this recipe is it doesn’t yield a whole bucket of sauce.
It’s just about a third of a cup so it works great if you only need a small amount to fill your cupcakes with, or to drizzle on top of your ice cream, or just simply to satisfy your salted caramel cravings.
Caramel sauce hardens over time and I can imagine the difficulty of dealing with a jar full of hard, sticky salted caramel sauce when all you need is a teaspoon.
So whether you’re a lifelong salted caramel fan, a recent convert like me or not into caramel at all — try this recipe. It is remarkably easy to make and seriously addicting (you’ve been warned!).
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 2 tbsp butter salted or unsalted
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Whisk together all your ingredients (except the vanilla) in a heavy-bottom saucepan on medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
- Bring down to a simmer and whisk until it thickens (it takes me about 13 minutes - but make sure not to thicken it too much; it will continue to harden as it cools).
- Once thick enough, whisk in the 1/4 teaspoon vanilla then remove from the heat.
- Very carefully pour the caramel into a heatproof container. Allow to cool slightly before using (remember: hot sugar!).
Did you make homemade salted caramel sauce? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.