Taste: Deeply sweet and I love adding sea salt for salted caramel. Homemade caramel sauce is no joke 1,000 times better than the store-bought variety. Texture: Lusciously thick and rich. Ease: Much easier than you probably think. If you’ve never made it before I’ve included everything you need to see and know to make a successful batch of caramel! Appearance: Who wouldn’t want to receive a jar of this liquid gold?! Pros: Fun and satisfying way to make a homemade goodie. Cons: Caramel can be a little tricky to clean. If you get any stubborn sugar or caramel stuck to your pot simply pour some water into it and bring it to a boil. It’ll dissolve anything! Would I make this again? I’ve made this recipe countless times.
When I was in culinary school we spent days on caramel, candies, and other sugar work. It’s all very detail-oriented and the smallest change in temperature can make a huge difference.
Don’t start making candy if you have to use the restroom, because you cannot walk away from the stove even for a few minutes! I learned that the hard way.
I included it as a sort of bonus recipe for readers who really wanted to amp up their ice cream sandwiches. Caramel isn’t just good with ice cream, it’s good on EVERYTHING. And knowing how to make caramel sauce is a trick that’ll always come in handy.
Seriously, this stuff is liquid gold and you’re going to want to drizzle it all over cheesecake, brownies, cinnamon rolls, apple slices, swirl it into your favorite baked good batters, or even a spoonful inside your morning coffee. You’ll probably just want to eat it straight up with a spoon. What’s your favorite way to indulge in caramel?
Crystallized caramel sauce can usually be rescued! Just melt the chunks of hardened caramel back into the sauce over a very low heat, then strain with a fine mesh strainer before using.
Below is a quick video showing you just how easy it is to make your own salted caramel.
If you make and enjoy this caramel sauce, be sure to snap a picture and share it on Instagram, tagging #handletheheat, so we can all see your creations!
This post was originally published in February 2014 and updated with new photos.
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel or flaky sea salt (optional)
In a medium dry saucepan, cook the sugar over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar melts and begins to turn a deep golden color, about 5 to 6 minutes. Turn off the heat and whisk in the butter until melted. Whisking constantly, gradually add the cream. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.
The caramel may seize. If clumps of sugar form, continue heating on low heat until they melt back into a smooth sauce. Remove from heat and pour through a fine strainer into a heatproof container. Stir in the salt if using. Let cool until warm and thick. Use or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Let come to room temperature or warm in the microwave before using.
Tessa is a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. She loves to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. She's on a mission to make the world a more unapologetically DELICIOUS place. Tessa lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
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