Easy Caramel Sauce

This past week I wanted to recreate a salted caramel drip cake I made a few years ago. This meant I needed to make some caramel sauce, and of course, salted caramel frosting!!

I use this caramel sauce recipe to make caramel frosting, and to make the caramel drip! It’s super versatile, and can be used in so many different ways.Β 

salted caramel drip cake photo

In fact, it’s so versatile I actually struggled naming this post! I usually use this recipe for adding caramel drips to cakes, but the options are really limitless.

I decided to stick with caramel sauce, to let all of you to get creative using it.

Homemade caramel sauce tastes infinitely better than store-bought caramel, and keeps in the fridge for several weeks.

Making Caramel Sauce From Scratch

I know that making caramel sauce from scratch can seem intimidating if you’ve never tried it before. When I was a kid, I remember seeing caramel made in giant copper kettles at candy stores.

I was convinced it was some complicated process, that must require all kinds of special equipment. But the truth of the matter is, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

image of cake with double drip, made with chocolate ganache drips and caramel drips

My caramel is made without a thermometer, with just four ingredients. A batch can be made in about 5 minutes. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Simple Ingredients

All you need is sugar, butter, heavy cream, and a bit of salt. I love that this recipe is made with such simple ingredients.Β 

If you’ve ever looked at the label of “caramel sauce” at the store, you know how many random ingredients it’s made with.

While store-bought caramel needs additives and artificial flavorings to be shelf stable and taste good, this caramel doesn’t!

It’s amazing flavor comes from the deliciously caramelized sugar, and the richness of the butter and cream.Β 

snickers cupcakes, made with chocolate cupcakes, peanut butter frosting, and a caramel and chocolate drizzle!

Tip: Add The Sugar Gradually

The only part of making homemade caramel sauce that can be a little scary is melting down the sugar.

My biggest tip when doing this is to add the sugar in gradually. I add about a quarter of a cup at a time.

This helps the granulated sugar liquify more quickly, and minimizes clumping. It makes a world of a difference.

I didn’t know to do that when I first started making caramel, and used to just dump it all in at once.

The caramel will still turn out if you add all the sugar at once, but it takes a lot longer to melt down.

Caramel Sauce: The Perfect Addition To Any Dessert

This caramel sauce is the perfect thickness for drizzling over ice cream, adding caramel drips to a cake, or even adding to buttercream!

I use this caramel to make my salted caramel frosting, and it’s one of my favorite flavors

caramel buttercream photo

Share Your Creations With Me!

Nothing makes me happier than when I get emails or DMs with photos of your baking. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your triumphs, or questions <3

If you try this caramel recipe, please let me know what you think of it. You can also tag me on social media @chelsweets, and use #chelsweets.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups of caramel

Caramel Recipe

Caramel Recipe

This caramel recipe can be used to flavor frosting, add caramel drips to a cake, or even over ice cream! It's the perfect additional to any dessert.

Cook Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature (85 grams)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature (115 grams)
  • 1/4 tsp table salt (2 grams)

Instructions

  1. Turn stove onto medium heat, and place a pot over element.
  2. Pour in sugar gradually, adding 1/4 cup at a time. Wait until the sugar is mostly liquified, then add in the next bit of sugar.
  3. As the sugar melts, it will gradually deepen in color.
  4. Stir occasionally until the sugar is fully dissolved, and is an amber color.
  5. Turn off the heat.
  6. Mix in butter slowly (2 Tbsp at a time), then stir in cream and salt.
  7. The mixture will be very thin, but will thicken as it cools.
  8. Pour into a separate container, then place in fridge to cool for 20 minutes.

Notes

I like to pour my caramel in a squirt bottle (for drizzling over cakes), but a mason jar or Tupperware container would work great too.

This caramel will keep for several weeks in the fridge. I usually store it in a plastic bottle (and pop it into the microwave to reheat it), but ay air tight container would work great!

Nutrition Information

Yield

20

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 89 Total Fat 6g Saturated Fat 4g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 2g Cholesterol 16mg Sodium 31mg Carbohydrates 10g Fiber 0g Sugar 10g Protein 0g

37 thoughts on “Easy Caramel Sauce

  1. This is great! I’m definitely going to try it! I love the idea of not having to worry about cooking it until an exact temperature! My family will love the caramel!

  2. Hi there! So I tried making the caramel using this recipe, but mine became solid really quickly. It just stuck to the bottom of the pan as soon as the heat turned off and none of the butter or cream combined with the melted sugar. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can fix this problem and make my caramel actually liquid? Thanks

    1. Strange! My only guess would be that your heat was maybe too low?! As long as the mixture is heated, the sugar should stay in a liquid form. You have to add in the butter and cream immediately after you turn off the heat. I have a full tutorial here, where you can see exactly what I do. Hopefully that helps!

  3. I tried making this recipe last night twice and both times it just clumped together in the middle. I followed your recipe to the T, I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong..!! πŸ™

  4. If I make it ahead of time and keep in the fridge, do I need to reheat it or just bring to room temp before I use on a drizzle cake?

    1. yup! I pop it in the microwave and heat it in 15 second intervals until it reaches the right viscosity again πŸ™‚

  5. Hi Chelsweets. So I’ve made caramel that I’m going to drizzle over a cake in two days. How do I get it back to drizzling consistency one eits been in my fridge?

  6. I noticed in the video you used 3 Tablespoons butter but in the printed recipe it’s listed as 6 Tablespoons. Is the 3 T correct?

    Thanks

  7. I made this the other day, delicious by the way!!! But when i drizzled it on the cake it was too runny (each drip ended up running to the cake board, it still looked okay but not as effective). I even put both the cake and the caramel in the frige over night and tried again and i had the same issue….any sughestions?

    1. it sounds like your caramel is too warm! I’d recommend letting it cool more, and stopping your drips higher up the cake, if you expect them to run down further! Also, I really do swear by doing a test drip! It ensures your cake is chilled enough, and that your caramel isn’t too warm <3

    1. It’s a bit too thin to be the sole filling of a cake! I usually drizzle it over a layer of buttercream in cakes, or mix it into my frosting <3

  8. This just happened to me too. I turned my stove back on to heat the mixture and it combined just fine… hopefully the heat does not mess with the chemistry of the caramel.

  9. I made this sauce for the first time the other day and it came out perfect! I will never buy store bought caramel sauce again!

  10. Im in love and i dont care who knows it! It just makes me so happy lol The first time I did made this, I ended up scrapping it because it solidified before I could get the cream in. I immediately washed my pan and tried again at a slightly higher temperature. It. Was. Amazing!!! I wanted to put it in a squirt bottle and drink it! I got mad at my hubby for not being as in love with it as I was! The only caramel recipe I will ever use

    1. I absolutely love hearing this Audri!! So many people give up if something doesn’t go right the first time, and I’m so happy you gave it another try!! Homemade caramel is truly the best, and I feel the same way about this recipe πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing!!! <3

  11. Brilliant! So tasty. Mine clumped up and I returned it to a very low heat and whisked for a good 5 mins. I didn’t think it was going to work but it did and is great. Thank you

  12. I absolutely love this recipe. Got it right first time round. Made it days before I was supposed to make the cake (just in case). Thank you so much for sharing. Will definitely be using it for a long time to come. Is it possible to colour it by the way? Just out of curiosity

    1. Yay! So happy to hear that Busisiwe!!! I’ve never tried adding a color, but I think it might be difficult because the caramel has a brown hue! You could try adding gel food coloring if you want to experiment, but i’m not sure how it would turn out!! If you want to make colorful drips on a cake, i recommend trying my white chocolate ganache drip recipe, which can easily be colored πŸ™‚ Here is my recipe: https://chelsweets.com/2016/08/28/colored-drips-recipe-white-chocolate-ganache/

Let me know what you think!