Homemade Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe

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There are just some recipes that are a must have in your kitchen arsenal of goodies.  Recipes like a good chocolate chip cookie, a hearty soup, a good muffin…and a quick and easy caramel sauce.

Homemade Caramel Sauce 4

Caramel sauce?
Yes, you read me right.  I know, I used to be afraid of making it too.  Turns out that it really couldn’t be easier AND you don’t even need a fancy candy thermometer to pull it off.  Once you’ve tasted this buttery, creamy sauce you will want to make it again and again.

There are so many great uses for it too….a yummy lunch box treat for dipping apples, poured atop a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a celebratory dessert, or drizzled over a slice of peach or apple pie.

The key to making your caramel sauce successfully is to be patient.  Give the boiling sugar time to convert to a dark amber.  This is the point that the sugar has caramelized and gives your sauce it’s color.  Add the cream too soon and it will be watery and light.  Too late and you’ll have burned sugar.  This conversion happens in a matter of minutes, so make sure to not step away from the stove for more than a few seconds when the sugar is bubbling away.

1.0 from 1 reviews
Caramel Sauce
Cuisine: Snacks
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Place the sugar into a medium sauce pan.
  2. Pour in the water and stir to gently combine with the sugar.
  3. Bring the sugar to a boil, over medium heat.
  4. After about 10 minutes (give or take a couple) the boiling sugar will turn a dark, amber color.
  5. Pour in cream. It will bubble like crazy, but keep whisking. You may even feel a lump of caramel form in the middle of the pot. Keep whisking! It will melt and combine with the liquid.
  6. Take off the heat and add vanilla extract.
  7. Pour into a jar/container and allow to cool. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
  8. Once cooled to room temperature, store in refrigerator.

*adapted only slightly from Baked Bree



  1. Shannon says

    Help! I was following all directions. At the 12 minute mark it still wasn’t darkened. I went to whisk it and every ounce of moisture evaporated and turned ti solid sugar block! Ive made caramal before but this has never happened!

    • says

      Yikes! I’m sorry this didn’t work for you, Shannon. I haven’t had that particular thing happen with caramel sauce, but have a couple ideas. Sometimes, it does take longer for it to darken, just because of stove top temperatures, the type of saucepan used that conducts the heat etc. So hang in there and let it darken. The times I haven’t waited long enough is when it hasn’t worked. Whisking it, may have caused the sugar to crystalize at that point in the cooking process…resulting in the sugar block. Just let it boil away until it darkens, add the cream and whisk. You may get a soft, solid center, but as you continue to whisk it will dissolve.

  2. Sally says

    I made this to the directions and it ended up with a burnt taste :( Should I have started whisking even before I saw the sugar start to melt? I really want to make this work!

    • says

      Sally, it probably means that the sugar was allowed to boil too long (and started to burn) before the cream was added. Try turning down your heat a bit and stirring (slowly) a little more often. The change from perfect to burned sugar can happen very quickly, so don’t walk away from it (I’ve learned this the hard way).

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