Salted Caramel Sauce

I love caramel, and anything even remotely close. It’s one of my go-to ice cream toppings, and when I was a kid those little Kraft caramel candies are in my top 5 of my all-time favourite things to find in my pillowcase of candy. I’ve always bought it, because quite frankly, anything that requires a candy thermometer scares the pants off me. But lately I’ve been seeing pins for salted caramel sauce popping up on Pinterest, so I figured if they can do it, so can I.

So I did. And so help me, sweet baby jesus, I will never, ever buy a stabilizer-filled, preservative-laden caramel sauce in the grocery store again. EVER. Like, never ever. You would have to hold a gun to my head to get me to buy it. This is absolutely divine. It’s sweet and oh-so-faintly salty, caramel perfection made in my own kitchen. Why did it take me so long to try this? It’s beyond easy and came together in under 15 minutes. Local friends, pardon the spoiler, but this will certainly be added to my gifts this year.

Salted Caramel Sauce

1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt (or fleur de sel, grey salt, sea salt or kosher salt)

In a 2-quart saucepan (not smaller!), pour in water. Add sugar gently to the middle of the pan – it will probably mound and begin to melt into the water, but DO NOT STIR. Cover pot and place over high heat until it comes to a boil. Once the sugar water is boiling, stick a candy thermometer in it and continue to boil over high heat until it reaches 300 degrees and is a lovely pale amber colour. At 300 degrees, crank the heat down to medium and boil until it reaches 350 degrees on the candy thermometer, and is a deep, rich amber hue. Remove from heat.

In the meantime, pour cream into a small saucepan and warm over medium heat. If the cream simmers before the sugar is ready, simply cover and remove from the heat.

Add a little of the warm cream to the hot sugar, about a quarter of it. Be careful, this will bubble up a lot. Add the rest of the cream slowly, and when the bubbling subsides, whisk gently to incorporate. Add butter and salt and whisk until the butter is melted and everything is combined.

Pour into a jar, and enjoy! Makes about 2 cups.

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22 thoughts on “Salted Caramel Sauce

  1. Kelly

    Love your picture! Yep, if I want something on ice cream, I want it to be caramel. I wonder if you can hot water bath can it? Will have to look into that.

  2. Amy

    Hey Samantha, thank you so much for commenting on my blog! That is the first time I have ever had a comment from someone I borrowed a link from! Just curious how you found me? Glad it wasn´t just me that thought the caramel sauce was better on something then straight out of the pan. I tasted it and thought perhaps I needed more cream- I didn´t have any more though so I used some light milk!! Hahahaha….I added that and a couple teaspoons of vanilla extract. On the Caramel Apple Cheesecake bars it was super! It´s hard to find caramel sauce like I am use too from the states, here in Norway so I usually end up making everything from scratch!! Thanks to your recipe I had a good caramel sauce for my bars- THANKS :-))) All the best from Norway :-))))

    1. Samantha Post author

      Thanks for popping by, Amy! I use statcounter to track my stats, so I sometimes have a peek at the “recent came-from” activity out of curiosity to see how people are finding me, and I saw your site on there a few times from your readers clicking through 🙂 Vanilla extract sounds like a lovely addition, I am thinking of attempting the recipe again with a vanilla bean, or maybe a little rum. My next goal is to figure out a chocolate sauce!

      1. Lynn Kincaid

        I highly recommend Rum. I do this and folks fight over the jar. It’s killer! Usually a couple of tablespoons will do the trick.

  3. Sara

    This is amazing and so so so easy. I used it to top a pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving. Since I made it I have been busy trying to find as many things as possible for this to go with. I’ve also been gobbling it up with a spoon – YUM!

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  5. Elizabeth Schroeder

    I just made this to top my friends Bday cheesecake, with a little addition of pumpkin pie spice. So easy, so delicious!! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Bettina S

    Hi Samantha,

    I’m thinking about making this for a take home gift at our holiday party this year. Have you ever made more than one batch at a time? I didn’t want to dump 4 cups of sugar into a pot only to find out that it doesn’t work as well. Thanks, I can’t wait to try it

    1. Samantha Post author

      Bettina, I have not, but I imagine if your pot is big enough it shouldn’t be a problem – it really bubbles up when you add the cream.

  7. MammaMaeve

    Oh nicely done! This is so much quicker and way less fuss than carmelizing sugar dry like we do for spun caramel work on pastry and such. I also made your recipe and added some very nice dark chocolate, Frangelica, some toasted hazel nuts and reduced the butter a bit. … the additions are great but the BASE sauce is what makes the product! Thank You! It’s not often I add a new recipe to the ‘big book’ I’ve been compiling for over 45 years , this one is now ‘in’. And I am pinning it!

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  9. Crystal

    Thanks for making the directions easy to follow – this was my first time making caramel! It’s sooo good…I’m licking it out of the pan. I made this for my hubby for V-day. We are having brownie sundays – we are just a couple of big kids. 🙂 Don’t let the candy thermometer scare you away, it’s super easy.

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  11. Aubrey

    I just made this! I added some vanilla to mine. I can’t wait until it cools so I can try it without burning my tongue! Thanks!

  12. gmadiane

    I am on my 5th try to find the right recipe for caramel. I think it is tricky based on your stove and whatever else affects candy type recipes. My second try today ( the first one cooked too fast and was over done) I tried your recipe and it turned out pretty good. It is a bit thin, so I am waiting until it cools and hopefully will thicken up. Tastes yummy so far.

  13. Anna Nozkowski

    Hi Samantha, I just added this recipe to my Christmas goodie basket list. Looks delish, can’t wait to try it! Do you know how long the sauce is good for?



  14. Sue Nicholson

    Bought something similar (expensively) at a food fair and ate most of it with a spoon straight from the jar. Thanks for the recipe – I’m desperate to make my own and interested to see that the ingredients aren’t pricey at all.


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