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Salted caramel sauce in a jar is being spooned with a teaspoon.
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Easy salted caramel sauce

Easy to make homemade salted caramel sauce.
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 1/4 cups
Calories 1618kcal
Author Aleksandra


  • 1 cup (200g) white sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60g) water
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120g) heavy cream at room temperature or warm
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • Measure out all the ingredients and have them ready before you start.
  • Add sugar and water to a medium saucepan, stir to combine.
  • Caramelize the sugar: Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium. When the sugar mixture starts to change its color from white to light yellow, reduce the heat to medium-low. Now you need to keep an eye on sugar and don't let it burn. Cook the sugar mixture until it's medium or deep amber in color. Don't stir the sugar mixture, don't swirl the pot, the mixture should bubble all the time while cooking (don't let it cool). Don't try to taste the caramel, it's extremely hot! When the sugar changes its color, it's ready - the sugar is caramelized. This process will take about 6-8 minutes (if you have a less powerful burner or you've cooked it over lower heat than I did, it can take longer, about 10-12 minutes).
  • Add the butter to the pot. Be careful, the caramel sauce will bubble furiously. Whisk in the butter until combined.
  • Next, whisk in the cream and vanilla. Add the cream in a slow, thin stream, whisking constantly.
  • Let the sauce cook for about a minute, then add salt, whisk in, and take the pot off the heat.
  • The caramel sauce will be runny at this point, but it will thicken considerably while cooling.
  • Leave the sauce to cool - it will need at least 40 minutes to cool to the room temperature and thicken.
  • Enjoy!


  • For a milder / toffee-like flavor, cook the caramel to a light amber / honey color, for a deeper flavor cook it to deep amber color.
  • Chocolate caramel sauce - simply make a batch of salted caramel, then warm up with chopped chocolate until chocolate is dissolved. I'm adding 1 ounce (30g) chocolate per 1/4 cup (60ml) of salted caramel. These are 3 cubes of chocolate (large cubes, like Lindt chocolate) and I'm using 1/3 milk chocolate and 2/3 dark chocolate.
  • Other flavors: you can add some liquors to your caramel sauce, like bourbon, rum, kahlua, apple whiskey, or calvados. Add 1-2 Tbsp with water and sugar.
  • I do not recommend swapping white sugar for brown sugar. It's difficult to see the change of color and it can easily burn because of molasses.
  • If your caramel sauce turned out grainy (there are small cristals of sugar that have not beed dissolved), add 1-2 Tbsp of water, then cook for 1-2 minutes until it's smooth.
  • This sauce is intensely (but pleasantly) salty, if you want it just slightly salty, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. If you want to make just caramel sauce and not salted caramel sauce, add a big pinch of salt instead of 1 ts.
  • While adding butter and cream the caramel will bubble furiously and it can overflow the pot, use at least a 1.5 qt (1.5 l) saucepan. Use white/silver pot that has a thick bottom.
  • Adjust the thickness: if it's too thick add a little bit of cream and if it's too runny you can cook it a little bit longer (but remember it will thicken significantly while cooling!).
  • If you want to check the temperature with an instant-read or candy thermometer, it should be between 320-350°F (160-177°C). Don't heat it over 350°F (177°C). It's helpful but really not necessary with this easy recipe. I actually prefer to make this recipe without measuring the temperature, poking around with a thermometer trying to check the temperature can encourage the formation of sugar crystals and can make your caramel grainy. It's best to check it just 1 or 2 times when it's nicely amber in color. Judging the color by eye is easier as the color changes so fast it's better not to be too preoccupied with checking the thermometer.
  • Storage: Keeps well in the fridge for about 1 month. It will be very thick so you need to reheat it on the stovetop or in a microwave to make it pourable.
  • Calories: whole recipe. This is only an estimate!


Calories: 1618kcal