Gourmet Made Deliciously Simple

Homemade Caramel Sauce, + 4 Flavors

Homemade caramel sauce requires only 5 ingredients and 15 minutes of your uninterrupted attention. Let me show you the fastest method to make this delicious sweet sauce. Plus, 4 incredible flavors to jazz it up!

Homemade caramel sauce requires only 5 ingredients and 15 minutes of your uninterrupted attention. Let me show you the fastest method to make this delicious sweet sauce. Plus, 4 incredible flavors to jazz it up!

Caramel sauce is one of the most popular sweet sauces out there. And for a good reason!

  • Incredibly indulgent
  • Compliments practically anything and everything
  • Sweet yet complex
  • It’s simply a liquid gold! 

And if you’re used to buying it from the store, I think you’ll be surprised just how much better homemade caramel sauce is! Seriously though, it’s incredibly easy to make, requires only 5 ingredients and 15 minutes of your uninterrupted attention. That’s it!!!

Let me show you the fastest and almost foolproof method to make delicious caramel sauce from scratch. (I don’t want to claim that it’s 100% foolproof, because it’d be a false advertisement and there’s always room for an error, especially if you get distracted!)

And if you keep reading, you’ll also find 4 incredible flavors that will turn your amazing caramel sauce into OMG-is-it-really-homemade kind of sauce! Keep on scrolling…

Oh and these delicious sauces make an awesome edible gift!! These simple, yet practical jars are from Amazon and if you’d like to print the labels, I made this cute template for you to use. More information down below.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CARAMEL SAUCE

First, let’s talk about different methods.

There are many different ways to make caramel sauce from scratch. But in general, you’ll find 2 types of methods to make caramel: wet and dry. Wet method uses water to melt the sugar, and dry method means you melt the sugar alone slowly over low heat.

Most recipes I’ve come across online uses wet method, which is a little safer method because this way it’s easier to prevent the sugar from burning. However, it also makes the process longer, as water needs to evaporate first and only then sugar will caramelize. 

Dry method is quicker and easier, in my opinion. And instead of melting all the sugar at once, we’ll be melting sugar a little at a time. While it may seem like a tedious work, it’s actually faster and easier method and lets you control the color of the caramel. Plus, with dry method you don’t need to worry about sugar crystalizing, brushing the sides of the pan with wet pastry brush, etc. 

Ok, without further ado, let’s cook this caramel sauce. Shall we?

Step 1. Melt sugar

Heat a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Then sprinkle ¼ cup of sugar evenly on the bottom of the pan. Slowly melt the sugar over medium heat. This first stage may seem like taking long time, as you stare at the sugar. But be patient, soon enough you’ll see sugar will start melting around the edges. At this point you may swirl the pan to move the sugar around and encourage it to melt. When sugar is mostly melted, add another ¼ cup of the sugar and continue to melt it over medium heat. You’ll notice the color will start changing to light amber color. NOTE: If you feel like it’s getting too dark, yet sugar isn’t melted fully, take it off the heat and stir the sugar with a heat-resistant silicone spatula, or wooden spoon to slow down the cooking. Reduce the heat to medium low, if needed, and continue with the remaining sugar, ¼ cup at a time. NOTE: The sugar will start melting faster as more sugar is melted. Keep swirling the pan to encourage the sugar to move and melt faster, or you can also use a spatula or wooden spoon. See the step by step photos below for visual demonstration.

Step 2. Add cream

When the sugar is melted and it has dark amber color, remove the pan from the stove and slowly pour in hot cream, while whisking it slowly to combat the rising bubbles. Make sure to heat the cream before adding it into the melted sugar, or your caramel will seize up on you. If that happens, return the mixture to a low heat and cook it until the sugar crystals are fully dissolved. NOTE: When you add cream to the caramel, the mixture will bubble up furiously. That’s why it’s important to add cream slowly and use a large enough pan.

Step 3. Add flavorings

And lastly, add butter and coarse sea salt (I love Maldon sea salt flakes or fluer de sel). Whisk the mixture until butter is fully melted. You can also add vanilla extract, bourbon, or even cider vinegar.

Transfer the sauce into a jar and cool completely.

TIPS TO MAKE A SUCCESSFUL CARAMEL SAUCE:

  1. Use pure cane sugar for making caramel, because beet sugar burns easily.
  2. Use a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heavy-bottomed pan distributed heat evenly, which is important to melt the sugar evenly. And make sure to use a large pan, because the caramel will bubble up when you add cream, and you don’t want it to overflow! I’m using 2.5 quart saucepan for this recipe. Anything smaller and I’d be in trouble!
  3. Prepare all the ingredients before you start. Once you start melting the sugar, you won’t have time to run around to cut that butter or measure the salt.
  4. Don’t be afraid to use a heat-resistant silicone spatula, or a wooden spoon to stir the sugar. But it’s better not to stir too much in the beginning, because you’ll just end up with sugar on the spatula. Instead swirl the pan. As you get more liquid sugar, then spatula will come in handy.
  5. Heat the cream before adding it to melted sugar and add it off heat. Hot liquid minimizes splattering and prevents the caramel from seizing up.
  6. If the caramel seized up, don’t worry. Simply return the mixture to a low heat and cook it until the sugar crystals are fully dissolved.

HOW TO STORE HOMEMADE CARAMEL SAUCE

Store the caramel sauce in an airtight container, or a canning jar with a lid in the fridge for up to 1 month. You can also freeze it in an freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. 

To thaw, transfer the frozen caramel sauce into the fridge and thaw overnight.

To reheat the sauce, microwave it or reheat on stovetop.

Never worry about crystalized sugars, wet pastry brushes, burnt sugar, corn syrup, etc! This easy and quick method of making caramel sauce is truly a winner! 

HOW TO MAKE A FLAVORED CARAMEL SAUCE

And now that you’ve mastered the art of caramel sauce, let’s jazz it up with additional flavors!!!

How about chocolate caramel sauce?

Or strawberry caramel sauce?

Apple caramel sauce, anyone? Divine, divine, divine!!! Let’s try them all!

Quick and easy method to make caramel sauce and 4 surprising ways to add more flavor! #caramelsauce #homemadecaramelsauce

To make a chocolate caramel sauce:

  1. Make caramel sauce per recipe and stir in chopped chocolate. Mix until chocolate is fully melted. You can use any kind of chocolate. Dark chocolate adds super rich and deep flavors – perfect for serious chocolate lovers! If you’re not a fan of dark chocolate, then use milk chocolate instead.

Rich and decadent, this chocolate caramel sauce is unbelievably easy to make. #chocolatecaramelsauce #chocolatesauce #caramelsauce

To make a strawberry caramel sauce:

  1. First, make a strawberry sauce by cooking chopped fresh or frozen strawberries with a little bit of water and lemon juice. Puree until smooth, if desired. Keep it hot, while you make the caramel sauce.
  2. Then make caramel sauce per recipe until step 6. Once the sugar is fully melted and reached dark amber color, stir in the prepared strawberry puree. Then add butter and salt.
  3. Now, if desired, add hot cream for creamy strawberry caramel sauce. It’s delicious even without the cream. Step by step photos are included after the recipe card.

To make an apple caramel sauce:

  1. This is similar process as strawberry caramel sauce.
  2. Make caramel sauce per recipe through step 6. Stir in hot unsweetened applesauce, lemon juice and Calvados/apple brandy, optional, into the melted sugar. Mix well.
  3. Stir in hot cream, butter and salt.
  4. Calvados is an apple brandy and it enhances apple flavor beautifully. But if you don’t have it, don’t worry about it, you can simply omit it.

Quick and easy method to make caramel sauce and 4 surprising ways to add more flavor! #caramelsauce #homemadecaramelsauce

A GREAT EDIBLE GIFT IDEA

These jarred caramel sauces make an absolutely best edible gifts! Besides just salted caramel sauce, surprise your friends and family with intriguing flavors!

  • Apple caramel sauce for an apple pie fanatic.
  • Chocolate caramel sauce for a chocoholic.
  • And strawberry caramel sauce for a fruit-lover!

And to make your edible gifts extra special, I made these cute labels for you. Simply print it on these matte white labels

Click to download the PDF: Caramel Sauce Labels

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Homemade Caramel Sauce

Homemade caramel sauce requires only 5 ingredients and 15 minutes of your uninterrupted attention. Let me show you the fastest method to make this delicious sweet sauce. Plus, 4 incredible flavors to jazz up your caramel sauce!

Yield: About 1 cup

Prep Time:5 minutes

Cook Time:15 minutes

Total Time:20 minutes

Ingredients:

For Salted Caramel Sauce:
  • 1 cup (200gr) pure cane sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream, heated
  • 4 tablespoons (55gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt (I like Maldon sea salt flakes)

For Chocolate Caramel Sauce:

  • 4oz (115gr) semi-dark or milk chocolate, chopped

For Strawberry Caramel Sauce:

  • 12oz (350gr) strawberries, fresh or frozen, chopped
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

For Apple Caramel Sauce:

Directions:

  1. Heat a large heavy-bottomed pan, at least 2.5 quarts, over medium heat.
  2. Then sprinkle ¼ cup of sugar evenly on the bottom of the pan. Slowly melt the sugar over medium heat. (This first stage may seem like taking long time, as you stare at the sugar. But be patient.)
  3. As sugar starts to melt around the edges, you may swirl the pan gently to move the sugar around and encourage it to melt.
  4. When sugar is mostly melted, add another ¼ cup of the sugar and continue to melt it over medium heat. You’ll notice the color will start changing to light amber color. NOTE: If you feel like it’s getting too dark, yet sugar isn’t melted fully, take it off the heat and stir the sugar with a heat-resistant silicone spatula, or wooden spoon to slow down the cooking.
  5. If needed, reduce the heat to medium low.
  6. Continue with the remaining sugar, ¼ cup at a time, and cook until all the sugar is melted and it’s dark amber color. NOTE: The sugar will start melting faster as more sugar is melted. Keep swirling the pan to encourage the sugar to move and melt faster, or you can also use a spatula or wooden spoon. See the step by step photos above for visual demonstration.
  7. Remove the pan from the stove and slowly pour in hot cream, while whisking it slowly to combat the rising bubbles. Be careful, as the mixture will bubble up furiously. That’s why it’s important to add cream slowly and use a large enough pan. TIP: Make sure to heat the cream before adding it into the melted sugar, or your caramel will seize up on you. If that happens, return the mixture to a low heat and cook it until the sugar crystals are fully dissolved.
  8. Add butter and coarse sea salt. Whisk the mixture until butter is fully melted.
  9. Transfer the sauce into a jar and cool completely.

To make a chocolate caramel sauce:

  1. Make caramel sauce per recipe and stir in chopped chocolate. Mix until chocolate is fully melted. You can use any kind of chocolate. Dark chocolate adds super rich and deep flavors – perfect for serious chocolate lovers! If you’re not a fan of dark chocolate, then use milk chocolate instead.

To make a strawberry caramel sauce:

  1. First, make a strawberry sauce by cooking chopped fresh or frozen strawberries with a little bit of water and lemon juice. Puree until smooth, if desired. Keep it hot, while you make the caramel sauce.
  2. Make caramel sauce per recipe until step 6. Once the sugar is fully melted and reached dark amber color, stir in the prepared strawberry puree.
  3. Then add butter and salt.
  4. If desired, add hot cream for creamy strawberry caramel sauce. It’s delicious even without the cream. Step by step photos are included after the recipe card.

To make an apple caramel sauce:

  1. Make caramel sauce per recipe through step 6. Stir in hot unsweetened applesauce, lemon juice and Calvados/apple brandy, optional, into the melted sugar. Mix well.
  2. Stir in hot cream, butter and salt.

Calvados is an apple brandy and it enhances apple flavor beautifully. But if you don’t have it, don’t worry about it, you can simply omit it in apple caramel sauce.

All images and text ©Shinee D. for Sweet & Savory

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Surprise your taste buds with this amazing homemade strawberry caramel sauce. Step by step photo tutorial. #caramelsauce #strawberrycaramelsauce

Quick and easy method to make caramel sauce and 4 surprising ways to add more flavor! #caramelsauce #homemadecaramelsauce

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