Quick and easy homemade caramel sauce is the perfect fall treat for topping your ice cream, dipping your apples in, drizzling over apple pie and so much more. It only takes 15 minutes from start to finish and is way better than store bought!
Caramel sauce is one of those things that seems really complicated, but it’s actually really easy to make yourself! If you want to give your desserts a serious upgrade you have to try it. I can promise once you see how easy it is to make, you’ll skip buying it at the store!
5 Reasons to Make Your Own
- You only need five simple ingredients!
- It’s ready in about 15 minutes!
- When you make it, yourself you know exactly what’s in it – no weird mystery ingredients!
- You can use it as a dip or you can drizzle it over all the cakes, pies, ice cream, desserts, cupcakes, coffee drinks… pretty much anything that goes with caramel!
- It keeps well for up to two weeks.
I think the only thing that makes this caramel sauce better is combining it with my hot fudge sauce! It’s basically a dessert dream team.
All You Need is Five Ingredients
No surprises with the ingredients! It’s a really simple combination of brown sugar, cream, and butter with some vanilla and just a touch of salt.
The nice thing about this recipe is that you don’t need a candy thermometer to make it. It’s an easy caramel sauce that doesn’t have any complicated steps or special equipment required. You just need a few things you probably already have!
How to Make It
- Combine everything but the vanilla in a sauce pan, stir, and bring it to a boil. Cook the sauce for about five minutes or so. Once it’s thickened take it off the heat.
- Stir in the vanilla and then let the sauce cool off. Pour the cooled sauce into an airtight container.
- At this point you can serve it or keep it the fridge for later.
Storage and Reheating Tips
What’s great about homemade caramel sauce is that it keeps for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Just keep it in the airtight container.
To reheat, warm it in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir it, and then warm it for 10 more seconds or until it’s warmed through.
Caramel Sauce FAQs!
Crystallized sugar causes the grainy texture. This can happen if the sugar sticks to the side of the pan while the sauce is cooking and instead of melting it crystallizes and falls back into the caramel creating a grainy texture.
The easiest way to avoid this happening is to fully combine the ingredients before turning on the heat. The cream will dissolve the sugar making it less likely that it will stick to the sides of the pan. You can also brush the sides of the pan with water which can help prevent the problem too.
Yes, you can use the same amount in place of the heavy cream.
You can, but be sure it’s completely cooled and store it in a container that allows some space for the sauce to expand when it freezes. A plastic freezer-safe container is best.
You can increase the amount of salt in the recipe to your taste. Or, you can make it as is but sprinkle flaky sea salt over the top of the sauce when you serve it.
Yes, if your sauce is thin just cook it longer. It will reduce and thicken the longer it cooks. If it’s too thick, you can thin it with a little more cream.
Different Ways to Use It!
The ideas are endless – there are so many ways to use it…
- Pies and Cakes: Serve it with Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Angel Food Cake, and Chocolate Bundt Cake!
- Dessert Bars: Drizzle it over Banana Bars, Turtle Brownies, and Pumpkin Bars!
- Drinks: It will take your drinks to the next level! Top a Hot Buttered Rum, White Chocolate Latte, or Pumpkin Hot Chocolate with a little drizzle!
- Ice Cream: It’s amazing on my Cookie Dough Ice Cream or add it to your Sundae Bar for parties!
- Serve it as Dip: Warm it up and serve it with sliced apples, bananas, strawberries for dipping. Or dip your favorite cookies like my Gingerdoodles or Apple Peanut Butter Cookies.
Did you try this recipe? If you love the recipe be sure to give it five stars!!
Tag me with your photos at @julieseatsandtreats or #julieseatsandtreats so I can see your yummy treat!
- 2 c. light brown sugar packed
- 1 c. heavy whipping cream
- ½ c. unsalted butter
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, salt and heavy whipping cream. Bring to boil and cook stirring constantly for 5-7 minutes or until thickened.
- Remove saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
- Let cool slightly. Add to jar or container with lid.
- Serve immediately or store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks in airtight sealed container.
- To reheat, cook for 30 seconds in a microwave safe bowl. Stir and heat for an additional 10 seconds or longer if necessary.