Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe

This Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe makes an easy and homemade dessert sauce in only 15 minutes! 

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A jar of homemade caramel sauce on the counter with a spoon dipping into it.

This caramel sauce is so simple, decadent and just plain delicious that you will want to drizzle it on every single thing you make all year long! It’s especially amazing in the summertime with a slice of fresh peach pie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I love my other caramel method from my real deal caramel cake recipe, that is my go to and I will never leave her side but it literally takes 1 to 2 hours to make. 

This easy caramel sauce only takes 15 minutes.  In fact, it is so easy that I didn’t even write a true recipe for it!

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Learn how to make this easy dessert sauce in just a couple easy steps!
  • So many ways to use it. Add homemade caramel to sauce to all your favorite desserts and more!
  • All you need are three-ingredients to make a batch.

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this easy recipe:

Ingredients to make caramel sauce on the counter.
  • Granulated sugar: Caramelized sugar is what gives the sauce its classic brown color.
  • Heavy cream: Makes the sauce perfectly creamy.
  • Vanilla extract: To give the sauce some warmth, natural sweetness, and more depth of flavor.

How to Make Caramel Sauce

Are you ready to make this caramel sauce recipe? Here is an overview of the steps involved.

  1. Coat the entire bottom of the pan with granulated sugar.
  2. Turn your heat to medium low and begin to watch the magic happen.
  3. The sugar will begin to dissolve as it melts down into a clear liquid.  I begin to swirl it around a bit just to make sure the remaining sugar also melts.
  4. Cook the sugar until it turns golden brown.
  1. Add in about a half cup to three-quarter cup of heavy cream (depending on how big your pan is and how much sugar you added).
  2. Quickly whisk together the cream and sugar since the sugar has the tendency to turn into a sticky gooey mess.
  3. Continue to quickly whisk and allow the caramel to thicken up and become a wonderful rich and smooth sauce.
  4. Turn off the heat and add a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to the sauce and allow to cool a bit.

 

How to Store

After the sauce has a chance to cool just a bit, transfer it to a jar or container with a tight fitting lid. Store it in the fridge for up to one week.

The sauce thickens as it sits and when refrigerated. Heat up the sauce in the microwave or on top of the stove to use it again. Also if you still have some left, you can add it to a Caramel Buttercream to make even more use of it.

How to Serve

There are so many different ways you can use it! Here are some of my favorites:

Expert Tips and FAQs

  • Be patient. While the recipe is easy it does take time to cook the sugar and for it to turn a golden brown color.
  • Use a heavy-bottomed pan for more even cooking and to prevent burning.
  • Main the temperature at low heat. This method of making caramel can easily burn so use caution and don’t think you can speed things up by increasing the temperature.
Does homemade caramel need to be refrigerated?

Yes it does. Since it contains dairy, it’s essential to keep it stored in the fridge.

Can I use brown sugar to make caramel sauce?

Yes, you can! It will result in a darker color with richer, more molasses-like flavor.

A spoon drizzling some caramel sauce over the top of ice cream.

More Dessert Recipes

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A jar of homemade caramel sauce with a spoonful held up over the jar.

Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe (How to Make Caramel Sauce)

Learn how to make an easy and homemade caramel sauce in only 15 minutes!
5 from 10 votes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1-2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ – ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Take a sauce pan and coat the entire bottom of it with granulated sugar.
  • Next, turn your heat to medium low. The sugar will begin to dissolve as it melts down into a clear liquid.
  • Then, swirl the liquid around a bit just to make sure the remaining sugar also melts.
  • Once the sugar has completely melted down and turned a golden color, add in about a 1/2 to 3/4 cup of heavy cream (depending on how big your pan is and how much sugar you added) and quickly whisk together.
  • Continue to quickly whisk and allow the caramel to thicken and become a wonderful rich and smooth sauce.
  • Once smooth and thick, turn off heat and add a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to the sauce and allow to cool.

Notes

Be patient. While the recipe is easy it does take time to cook the sugar and for it to turn a golden brown color.
Use a heavy-bottomed pan for more even cooking and to prevent burning.
Main the temperature at low heat. This method of making caramel can easily burn so use caution and don’t think you can speed things up by increasing the temperature.

Nutrition

Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Sugar: 50g
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @GrandbabyCakes or tag #grandbabycakes!

This post was originally published July 2014. It has been updated with new images and content.

Filed Under:  Condiments & Sauces, Dessert and Baking

Comments

  1. I usually use the wet method when I make caramel sauce, so I need to try this one. It looks delicious, and I’m all about a great caramel sauce! 🙂

  2. Nothing better than a drizzle of warm homemade sauce over ice-cream! This one looks bomb and I love how easy to make it is! 🙁

  3. Sounds delicious! Have you stored any? In the cabinet or refrigerator? How long would it be good for do you think!
    Thanks for posting this recipe!

    1. Hi Shelly, yes I have! I have jarred it and stored it in the fridge and it holds up for about 4-6 days. You can rewarm it if you want to as well.

  4. Homemade caramel sauce is infinitely better than store bought. Thanks for sharing this easy recipes and the pictures are really helpful. Making caramel sauce can be really intimidating when you only do it once in a blue moon.

    1. Yeah Christin, I totally understand. I haven’t made it this way in a while but when I did it, it was just like riding a bike and came right back to me!

  5. I can almost taste how delicious this caramel sauce is!!! and it’s so simple too! hooray!

    1. Oh yeah and it has this awesome smokiness to it too! So simple!

  6. Oh my goodness, this is lovely! Especially on your homemade ice cream. Who knew it was so easy to make at home? Can’t wait to surprise some family members with this recipe, Jocelyn!

  7. I adore homemade caramel sauce! It’s sooo much better than the storebought. Can’t wait to try this on vanilla ice cream. Um, yum. 🙂 Love this tutorial, Jocelyn!

    1. Hooray I totally agree Sarah! I am all about the homemade and this one is so quick to make that there are no excuses!

  8. What an amazing experience to learn at Le Cordon Bleu! Thanks for sharing this caramel sauce! I’d love to use your recipe next time. I want your peach pie + vanilla ice cream + caramel sauce!

    1. Oh yeah girl! Caramel sauce is the best and it was such a fun experience at Le Cordon Bleu!

5 from 10 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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