Salted Caramel Sauce

Salted Caramel – while the name evokes a gourmet treat (and it is) it always makes me want to snort just a little. Make caramel sauce and add a little salt. I know it’s fantastic, but people seem to just go nuts over the name! Anyway, salted or not, you just can’t beat a rich, luscious home-made caramel sauce.

Toffee Caramel Cheesecake, garnished with home-made Salted Cararmel and Milky Way Bars
Toffee Caramel Cheesecake, garnished with home-made Salted Cararmel and Milky Way Bars

If you’ve tasted home-made side by side with store-bought, I don’t think you’d ever buy caramel again unless you needed a quick “save.” Basic commercial caramel sauce is a pale shadow of the real thing, and while some of the higher end ones are better (and more expensive) you can usually count on a few unsavory ingredients.

You can avoid all that nonsense by whipping up your own – Salted Caramel Sauce takes under 10 minutes to cook, costs pennies to make and making your own gives you a few options you won’t find with a store-bought:

  • A few seconds difference in cooking time can give you a range of color from a sweet, golden sauce to a deep, dark one with rich toasty notes, so it’s easy to make it just as you like.
  • It’s also very easy to control the consistency; by adding more or less cream you can have a caramel sauce that drizzles beautifully or one that flows a bit slower. In the cheesecake photo, above, I used 1/2 cup cream.

While all caramel is pretty easy – really, it’s a small kitchen miracle – this recipe has two things going for it that makes it particularly fool-proof:

  • One is that rather than being a “dry”caramel, a touch of water is added to the sugar, which helps it melt evenly. It’s easier to judge how dark your caramel will be when there aren’t darker and lighter spots of sugar throughout the bottom of the pan. I generally pull the caramel off the heat and add the butter just before I think it is my “just right.”
  • The other is the touch of corn syrup – while caramel doesn’t need corn syrup, the addition helps prevent recrystallization of the sugar, both while it’s cooking and while it’s being stored. Bonus! If you object to corn syrup, feel free to leave it out…

So if you’ve never made Caramel Sauce, if you’ve made it and had issues, or if you’re just looking for a new recipe, give this one a shot – you’ll look like a genius! I promise! Save it and pin it, so you’ll have it on hand. Just don’t be tempted to lick the spoon – until it’s cooled way down! 🙂

Cafe Latte's Turtle Cake - this has my salted caramel sauce
Cafe Latte’s Turtle Cake – this has my salted caramel sauce

Salted Caramel - Foolproof

  • Servings: abt 1 1/2 cups
  • Time: 10 - 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter, in several pieces
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt if you wish the salt to dissolve or granulated sea salt if you wish it to stay in visible crystals (optional if not making “salted” caramel)

In a heavy, deep, medium-sized saucepan, add sugar, water and corn syrup. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Adjust temperature to keep at a moderate boil.

There should be no need to stir, but before it comes to a boil it may be very gently stirred as it heats or the pan may be very gently shaken to swirl the sugar if needed while the sugar is melting, .

Use a pastry brush dipped in a bit of water to wash down any crystals visible above the level of the sugar.

The caramel will expand and as it cooks, then you’ll see the bubbles becoming smaller and the sugar darkening. Watch closely and have the butter and cold cream on hand. When sugar mixture reaches the desired color, immediately stir in butter as you remove the pan from the heat, then quickly add the cream. Be prepared for the mixture to boil up rapidly. Add flaky salt at this stage if you wish it to be completely dissolved.

Stir with a whisk until the caramel reaches a smooth consistency. If you note any lumps that aren’t dissolving or any sugar sticking to the pan, replace pan on the still warm burner while continuing to stir. Any small streaks will even out as the caramel cools.

If you wish to see small bits of salt in the caramel, add granulated sea salt just before serving.

From the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com 

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I’ll be sharing this recipe on a couple of link parties! What’s a link party, you say? A Virtual Party where bloggers share a small photo of their best posts of the week and a link you can click on – it’s a great way to see a bunch of blogs if you’re a viewer and to be seen if you’re a blogger!

This week, I’ll share to Fiesta Friday 99, put on by Angie of the Novice Gardener and co-hosted by Caroline @ Caroline’s Cooking and Linda @ La Petite Paniere.

I’ll also be sharing to Thowback Thursday #18, co-hosted by Moi!! Yes, that’s me, yours truly! And Alli, Quinn & Meaghan – you’ll see all their links on Throwback Thursday!

So stop by and see what all the fun is about!! Visit, mingl, comment and share! It’s a party, after all!

Here’s the link to Caramel Toffee Cheesecake!

25 thoughts on “Salted Caramel Sauce”

  1. I just made a big batch this weekend. Love it. And yes, you really could give it as gifts. I just do sugar, butter, cream, and it’s a dream. So simple!

    1. I did that one year, jarred up in cute jars my hot fudge, caramel and another sauce, can’t remember which one and gave as gifts with ice-cream dishes. It was a hit!

      We went through it all and I made it twice – am still hoping to get a photo of it being drizzled over ice-cream!! 🙂 Guess I’ll have to make some more!!

      Merry Christmas – and what’s your fave Christmas movie this season??

    1. Thanks, and I try to spend my calories on the good stuff, so this is worth it! *G* I should make a point system, haha, with what is worth eating….Chocolate 5 points, caramel 4 points…

  2. I love (salted) caramel. A jar of this sauce kept in the fridge at all times is a great way to dress up a bowl of plain ice cream, crepe, plain piece of cake or cupcake. Or even dip fruit into.

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