Homemade Caramel Sauce is EASY to make! Takes only 10 minutes, and all you need is sugar, butter, and cream. Spoon it over ice cream, swirl it into brownies, or add it to your morning coffee!
Making your own caramel sauce from scratch is a lot easier than you might think! And it takes practically no time at all.
I learned how to make caramel sauce this way years ago from my friend Suzanne and now make it any time a recipe calls for caramel sauce. There’s really no reason to buy it when you can so easily make it with just three simple ingredients — sugar, butter, and cream.
How to make easy homemade caramel sauce
To make caramel sauce, first you start by heating white granulated sugar. (Make sure you are using real sugar, not a sugar substitute.) As the sugar heats, it will melt and start to “caramelize” (hence the name “caramel”), changing color and creating caramel flavors.
Once the sugar has all dissolved and turned brown, we add butter. The heat of the caramel will melt the butter and create even more wonderful flavors.
Finally, after the butter has melted, we add heavy whipping cream. This will allow the mixture to be loose enough to be used as a sauce.
Use a thick-bottomed, sturdy pan
Making caramel requires that you cook the sugar evenly, which is much easier to do with a thick-bottomed, sturdy pan that can distribute the heat.
If you find that your sugar is burning and not melting, the culprit is most likely the pan heating unevenly. In this case you can either lower the heat and cook the sugar more slowly, or you can start over and add some water to the sugar in the beginning.
Use a pan with high sides as well. When you add cream to the caramel mixture the hot caramel will bubble up. You want to make sure you have a pan that will not overflow when this happens.
To use water or not to use water
If you are having problems with sugar burning before it is all melted, you might try adding a half cup of water to the sugar in the beginning of the process. This will help the sugar dissolve and heat more evenly. It will also take quite a bit longer to caramelize the sugar, which is why I usually don’t use water.
My one note of caution is to be extra careful while you are cooking the sugar, as with any candy making process. Once the sugar has melted it has a much higher temperature than boiling water. It helps to wear oven mitts and long sleeves to prevent burns if the caramel splatters.
Try Caramel Sauce on These Recipes!
- French Vanilla Ice Cream
- Apple Pie
- Classic Cheesecake
- Coffee Bourbon Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- Chocolate Brownies — drizzle it over the top before baking!
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