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Homemade Caramel Sauce

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A simple homemade caramel sauce for dipping apples, topping ice cream, waffles, pie or your face. This recipe will yield 1¼ cups or 10 (2 tablespoon) servings.
Course Desserts & Sweet Treats
Cuisine universal
Keyword caramel sauce, caramel sauce from scratch, salted caramel
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 180
Author Laurie McNamara


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons butter at room temperature (I use salted European)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt add more if a salted caramel is desired


  • Set your ingredients out at least 45 minutes prior to starting the caramel.
  • In a clean, heavy bottom saucepan slowly add the sugar to the middle of the pan. Pour in the water. DO NOT STIR. Allow the water to absorb the sugar before turning the heat on to medium-high.
  • It's pretty hands free from here on out until the sugar has caramelized. First, bring the sugar/water mixture to a bubble. STILL DO NOT STIR. Just watch closely as it will turn from clear, to a champagne and then to several stages of amber. Once the sugar has caramelized and is a deep golden amber in color, remove off of the heat. Whisk while pouring in the heavy cream.
  • Then carefully drop in the butter and whisk until combined. Whisk in the vanilla and salt and allow the caramel to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before pouring the caramel sauce into a heat-safe container.
  • Allow the caramel to cool on the counter for 1 hour or until at room temperature, where it will thicken up quite a bit.
  • Secure a tight fitting lid and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 16mg | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 402IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg