Learn how to make homemade caramel sauce with only three simple ingredients! It’s is better than anything that you can buy at the store. Make a batch of this easy caramel sauce in only 15 minutes to drizzle over ice cream, cheesecake and more!
Don’t be intimated by caramel sauce. We tried a few different recipes in the past and none of them worked. After some recipe testing, time, patience and research, we created this easy caramel sauce recipe that we make often with great success.
We love this homemade caramel sauce recipe for many reasons. It is easy, uses only a few simple ingredients and produces great results. We love to make a batch of this caramel recipe to have on hand. If you’re baking, drizzle it over pie, cake and more.
Use this recipe for the best results!
What People Are Saying About This Recipe
- “I followed your tips closely and this came out perfectly. Rich caramel with just enough of a hint of that perfect bitter sweet caramelized sugar taste. The kids wanted to eat it with a spoon! I drizzled it over ice cream for dessert and then oatmeal for breakfast. SO GOOD. THANK YOU.” – Claire
- “This was so easy to make and delicious.” – Gidget
- “My mouth is watering just thinking about this. I love this on just about anything!! But especially apples and ice cream.” – Katie
Ingredients You Need
Only 3 basic ingredients are need to make this homemade caramel topping or dip.
- Granulated Sugar – Do not use brown sugar in this recipe.
- Butter – Unsalted butter is best, but you can use salted butter or a slightly salty flavor.
- Heavy Cream
Steps to Make Caramel Sauce
- Heat sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. (See Photo A) The sugar will start to clump. (Photo B) Keep stirring as it will melt into a thick brown, amber colored liquid as you stir. (Photo C) Be careful not to burn.
- Add the butter once sugar is melted. Be careful because the caramel will bubble with the butter is added. Stir in the butter until melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. (Photo D)
- VERY slowly, pour the heavy cream into the caramel while stirring. Be careful because the mixture will rapidly bubble and possibly splatter when the heavy cream is added. (Photo E) Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils. (Photo F) Remove from the heat and allow the caramel to cool.
The sauce will thicken as it cools.
- Follow the directions closely. That may seem obvious but if it says to heat in a medium saucepan, make sure you don’t choose a pan too small. And never heat higher than medium heat or the mixture will burn.
- Don’t stop stirring. If you stop stirring and step away, the butter and sugar mixture will solidify and thicken. Make sure to also keep stirring while you pour in the heavy cream.
- When in doubt, lower the temperature slightly. If you think the temperature is too high, it probably is. The caramel will start to turn an amber color very quickly. If the temperature is too hot, it will burn within seconds.
- Do not cook this recipe in a slow cooker.
To make Salted Caramel Sauce, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Fleur de Sel or Maldon Sea Salt Flakes.
How Long Does Homemade Caramel Sauce Last?
Homemade caramel sauce will last in a sealed container in the refrigerator for at last 2 weeks.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream.
- Swirl into a mug brownie.
- Drizzle over classic apple crisp or caramel apple cake.
- Use as a caramel dip for homemade churros.
- Use as a dip for apples to make caramel apple dip.
- Serve with brownies.
- Swirl into our favorite vanilla mug cake.
- Drizzle over apple pie.
Make caramel sauce at home with a few easy steps. Use this recipe, following the instructions carefully and you will create a sweet sauce that you can drizzle over your favorite desserts. Once you make one batch, you will never go back to store-bought sauce again!
How do you enjoy this caramel sauce? Leave us a comment and review below!
Homemade Caramel Sauce
For the caramel sauce:
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- To make the caramel sauce, heat sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. The sugar will start to clump and then melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn. Once sugar is melted add the butter. Be careful because the caramel will bubble when the butter is added. Stir the butter into the caramel until melted, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Very slowly, pour heavy cream into caramel while stirring. Be careful because the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when heavy cream is added. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a jar or glass container for storage.
- Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.