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Caramel Drizzle Recipe

This past week I wanted to recreate a salted caramel drip cake I made a few years ago. This meant I needed to make a batch of my caramel drizzle recipe!!

I use this caramel drizzle recipe to make my caramel frosting and caramel drips on my cakes! It’s super versatile and can be used in so many different ways.

salted caramel drip cake photo

I actually struggled naming this post because it’s so versatile! This recipe can be used for everything from adding caramel drips to cakes to filling macarons.

I decided to stick with caramel drizzle to let you get creative with how you use it.

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

Making Caramel Drizzle 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 it doesn’t have to be complicated!

image of snickers trifles made in individual glasses to make them easy to serve and eat

My caramel drizzle recipe can be made without a candy thermometer and uses just four ingredients. Did I mention a batch comes together in about 5 minutes?? It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Simple, 4-Ingredient Recipe

One of the best parts of this recipe is that it’s made with such simple ingredients. To make this caramel you need granulated sugar, butter, heavy cream and a bit of salt.

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

Its incredible flavor comes from the deliciously caramelized sugar and the richness of the butter and cream. 

image of a caramel cupcake decorate with a caramel drizzle

Pro Tip: Add the Sugar Gradually!!

The only part about this caramel drizzle recipe 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 sugar liquify more quickly and reduces the risk of big clumps forming. It makes a world of a difference.

I didn’t know to do that when I first started making caramel and I 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 and is less smooth.

Caramel Drizzle Substitutions

While this caramel drizzle recipe doesn’t use a ton of ingredients, you might not have them all on hand. Or if you have food allergies or restrictions, I’ve got you covered.

Below are some swaps and substitutions that you can make:

  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand, you can use it in place of the unsalted butter. Just be sure to omit the salt that this recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place!
  • Heavy Cream – To make vegan caramel sauce use coconut milk in place of the heavy cream in this recipe.
  • Salt – I love adding in a bit of salt to balance the sweetness of this caramel and enhance its flavor but you can omit it if needed.

Enjoying This Caramel Drizzle

This caramel drizzle is the perfect thickness for drizzling over ice cream, adding caramel drips to a cake, or even filling cakes and cupcakes!

I use this caramel recipe to make the salted caramel frosting in my caramel macarons and it’s one of my favorite flavors.

image of a salted caramel macaron decorated with a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of flakey sea salt

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this caramel drizzle recipe, let me know what you think of it by leaving a rating and comment below.

And don’t forget to tag me on social media @chelsweets and use #chelsweets! 🙂

image of a salted caramel macaron that's been bitten into to show how full the macaron shell is

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Yield: 1.5 cups

Caramel Drizzle Recipe

salted caramel drip cake photo

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

Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature (85g)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature (60ml)
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt (2g)


  1. Place a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Pour in 1 cup sugar gradually, adding 1/4 cup at a time. Wait until the sugar is mostly dissolved, then add in the next bit of sugar. As the sugar melts it will slowly deepen in color.
  3. Stir occasionally until the sugar is fully dissolved and has become a deep amber color, then turn off the heat.
  4. Slowly mix in 6 Tbsp of butter (2 Tbsp at a time) then stir in 1/4 cup of heavy cream and 1/4 tsp salt. The mixture will be thin but will thicken as it cools.
  5. Pour into a separate container, then place in the fridge to cool and/or store. When you're ready to use it, heat the caramel in the microwave in short 15-second intervals until it's a more workable consistency.


Yield: This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups of caramel. This recipe can be halved or doubled if needed.

I like to pour my caramel in a squirt bottle (to drizzle over cakes) but you can also store it in an airtight container like a mason jar or Tupperware container.

This caramel sauce keeps for up to a month in the fridge.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 1587Total Fat 91gSaturated Fat 57gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 29gCholesterol 250mgSodium 609mgCarbohydrates 202gFiber 0gSugar 201gProtein 2g


Friday 28th of June 2024

Hi. Your recipe online says 1/4 cup of cream and your YT video says 1/2 a cup. Which amount would I use for a drip cake please? Thank you!


Saturday 29th of June 2024

Hi Megan,

Great question! My recipe card is always the most up to date :) That YT video is pretty old, and I've tweaked the recipe a bit since then. Hope that helps, happy baking!


Tuesday 4th of June 2024

Hi I am about to make this but I wanted to use it in a days time would it be okay to make it tonight and drizzle on my cale tommorow?


Tuesday 4th of June 2024

For sure!! That timeline would be just fine, it stays good at room temperature for up to 2 days. Hope that helps, happy baking!


Friday 3rd of May 2024

Mine clumped as well, but also wouldnt mix with the butter. I turned the heat up to high and got most of it to remelt. I was expecting it to be a soft caramel like to dip apples. I wasn't expecting it to harden like those werther candies.


Sunday 5th of May 2024

Hi Ashley,

Sugar reaches different stages depending on the temperature it's heated to. Unfortunately, if you turned the heat up to high, it would've reached the hard ball stage, which does end up resulting in caramel that is like hard candy. If the sugar clumped but the butter wouldn't mix in, it sounds like the temperature might've been too high to start with. When the sugar is overcooked, it's hard for it to incorporate the butter. I'd recommend trying to cook it slightly longer at a slightly lower temperature and see if that helps! The other thing that has a big impact is the type of pan you're using. A thick, heavy bottomed pan works best! Hope that helps for the future, happy baking!


Monday 26th of February 2024

Made this over the weekend, and it was a smashing success! Everyone loved the density of the cake and the "not sick-enly sweet" frosting!


Tuesday 5th of March 2024

Hi Allison,

So happy to hear that!! Thank you for sharing :)


Sunday 17th of December 2023

Will thus recipe harden for a drizzle on chocolate pretzels?


Friday 22nd of December 2023

Hi Tish,

It does not set super firmly at room temperature, so it's probably not the best to drizzle on chocolate pretzels! My thick caramel recipe sets more firmly though, here's the link:

it makes a LOT of caramel though, you can cut the recipe in half if you want. Hope that helps, happy baking!

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