I can’t tell you how many times I reach into the refrigerator or pantry to grab a jar of caramel sauce only to find that I’ve used it all. Nothing ruins the moment more than knowing that the caramel sauce you’ve been looking forward to all night, won’t be part of your decadent dessert.
Having extra caramel topping around the house is a problem I like to have. But, for the days when I’m shocked to learn that I finished my last jar, this homemade caramel sauce recipe comes in handy.
If you’ve never made a homemade caramel sauce then you’re in for a treat! Anyone can make this extra rich and delicious recipe in no time at all — and with just a few simple ingredients. I love recipes that use just a few ingredients.
First of all, I keep half & half stocked in my refrigerator pretty regularly and if you’re like me, then go ahead and reach for the carton to use in this caramel sauce recipe. If you’re feeling fancy or are looking for a recipe to use up extra heavy whipping cream in, feel free to use heavy cream in this sauce.
Homemade caramel sauce is made with butter, sugar, and cream. That’s just 3 ingredients! Plus, if you crave salted caramel sauce, just add some salt to this recipe. I like to use fleur de lis salt but any salt will do!
The most important thing to remember when making caramel sauce is to have all the ingredients on the counter ready to go. I like to add a little water to the pan at the start of cooking to help the sugar from sticking to the pan. Of course, you don’t need to use water, but if it’s your first time making this caramel sauce recipe, have a little water by your side in case your sugar isn’t melting evenly.
This homemade caramel sauce recipe isn’t hard to make and once you have your hand at your first batch, you’ll always come back to making this homemade version and skip the store-bought variety. Plus, once you’re comfortable making caramel sauce, it’s even easier to make caramel candies.
I like to make one batch at a time, then store it in the refrigerator until I’m ready to use it as a topping on ice cream, apple crisp, caramel lattes, cupcakes, and even popcorn. This recipe is perfect as a homemade holiday food gift during the holiday season. I bought these tiny jars from TJMAXX and they are perfect to gift during Christmas!
Caramel Sauce Recipe
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup half and half or heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used fleur de lis salt) optional for salted caramel sauce
- Heat a large 2 or 3-quart heavy bottom stockpot set over medium-high heat. Caramel sauce will rise when butter and cream are added towards the end.Add water and sugar. The water will help the sugar to cook evenly. More water can be added if you are having trouble with sugar sticking to the bottom of the pan.Whisk mixture continuously. I used a silicone spatula and whisk to help me stir the mixture. Careful not to fling sugar as it will be hot. This step may take up to 5 minutes or longer. Keep whisking until sugar dissolves and turns to a golden brown color. Carefully remove any harden sugar chunks with a spoon that are not melting. Once sugar is completely melted, carefully add in butter. The mixture will rise in the saucepan, keep stirring until melted.Remove pan from heat and carefully pour in half and half or cream. Whisk to combine.Stir in salt, if using. I like to add salt to make this salted caramel sauce.Allow caramel sauce to cool; 10 minutes then pour into an 8-ounce mason jar with a lid. Sauce will thicken more. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
Nutritional information is only an estimate and it's accuracy is not guaranteed to be exact.
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