This homemade caramel sauce is easy to make and only needs 4 ingredients and a few minutes of your time. Making caramel sauce is easier than you think and with this thick sauce, you’ll always have the perfect topping for ice cream, brownies, and more!
Salted caramel sauce is a big favorite of mine. The salty and sweet combine to make an incredible flavor that goes great with just about anything. If you’re not a fan of salted caramel you can simply omit the salt and you’ll have yourself a regular batch of caramel sauce.
Easy 4-Ingredient Caramel Sauce
When you see caramel sauce recipes online quite a few of them will request condensed milk, we won’t ask for that because this thick caramel sauce is made using brown sugar and heavy cream. This adds both a richness and a depth of flavor you’ll no doubt love! No candy thermometers, long wait times, or difficult steps. Just melt, stir, and wait. This recipe is practically foolproof so it’s not hard to see why we can’t stop raving about it!
Caramel Sauce Ingredients
-Butter: You will need ½ cup (one stick) of salted butter. You can use unsalted, but if you do you may wish to increase the added salt to accommodate the missing saltiness.
-Sugar: To make our caramel sweet you will need 1 cup of light brown sugar (other shades of brown sugar will work but the molasses flavor might be stronger).
-Cream: You will need ½ cup of heavy whipping cream to make this caramel thick and rich. Half and Half can be used instead.
-Vanilla: We just need a teaspoon of vanilla extract to help enhance the flavors in this recipe. This is optional and can be omitted if desired, or amount increased depending on taste preferences.
-Sea Salt: This is a completely optional ingredient that you do not need to use, but can if desired. With a pinch of sea salt or sea salt flakes, you can make your caramel salted and decadent.
How to make homemade caramel sauce
Melt your butter over medium heat in a heavy saucepan.
Stir in your brown sugar and bring the mixture to a low simmer. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is bubbly.
Gently whisk in the heavy cream, while adding it in slowly to prevent a bubbling mess. If you want your caramel thin, remove it from the heat now. Continue cooking for thicker. Let it simmer for a few minutes until the desired golden color has been reached.
Once the pan has been removed from the heat, stir in the vanilla and a pinch of salt if desired.
Transfer the caramel to a heat-proof container and allow it to cool to room temperature. Cover with a lid and keep stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!
Easy 4-Ingredient Caramel Sauce
- ½ cup salted butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch sea salt optional
- In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Stir in brown sugar and bring to a low simmer. Cook 1-2 minutes until mixture is bubbly.
- Gently whisk in heavy whipping cream, pouring slowly as mixture may bubble up. For a light and thin caramel sauce (great for drinks or pouring over ice cream/desserts), remove saucepan from heat. For a darker and/or thicker caramel, simmer for several more minutes until desired golden color is reached.
- Once removed from the heat, stir in vanilla extract and a pinch of salt, if desired.
- Transfer to a heat-proof container and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover with a lid and store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
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Can caramel sauce be reheated?
After your caramel sauce has cooled completely it may be too thick to pour and you may wish to have it reheated. In this case, simply microwave it for a few seconds (it doesn’t take long) and then stir. The sauce should be thin and good to go. If not using the entire container of caramel you may wish to remove a portion from your container and place it in a bowl for reheating.
Why caramel sauce is grainy
I have made this caramel sauce recipe hundreds of times and only once has it ever turned out to be grainy. Unfortunately, graininess can happen for a variety of reasons. If you have trouble with your mixture becoming grainy, reheat the caramel and add a bit of acid (lemon juice) or light corn syrup, which should react with the sugar crystals and smooth everything out
Will caramel sauce thicken as it cools?
Yes, your caramel sauce will continue to thicken as it cools so if it is thick when you remove it from the stove, it will be even thicker by the time it scones to room temperature or is chilled for a few hours.
More caramel filled recipes to enjoy
- CARAMEL NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE
- CARAMEL APPLE BREAD
- CARAMEL APPLE NACHOS
- CHOCOLATE CARAMEL PEANUT BUTTER POKE CAKE
- SALTED CARAMEL RICE KRISPIE TREATS
- CRUNCHY CARAMEL APPLE PIE
- SPICED CARAMEL APPLE CIDER
- CARAMEL BANANA CREAM LAYERED DESSERT
- CARAMEL APPLE POKE CAKE
- CARAMEL POPCORN CAKE
- BEST HOMEMADE CARAMELS RECIPE
- CARAMEL APPLE BARK
- CARAMEL SNICKERDOODLE COOKIES
- CHOCOLATE CARAMEL TURTLE PIE
- CHOCOLATE CARAMEL PEANUT BUTTER BARS
You’re going to love this easy homemade caramel sauce recipe. With just 4 ingredients and a few simple steps, you can have a batch ready in no time!