I am absolutely thrilled to have finally found a recipe for making smooth and creamy, buttery sweet Homemade Caramel Sauce. This is the only caramel sauce recipe you will ever need.
Homemade Caramel Sauce
When I’ve made caramel sauce at home in the past, it has turned hard and crystallized after a bit of time in the refrigerator. Not so with this caramel sauce recipe.
This sauce is quite thin when it finishes cooking on the stove and thickens as it cools. Straight from the refrigerator, it is still soft and scoop-able.
The sauce warms easily and is pourable when it is room temperature. I served the caramel warm, drizzled over fresh peaches and vanilla ice cream. It was heavenly!
As far as homemade desserts go, it’s hard to imagine anything better than cold ice cream topped with warm sauce. If you’ve been looking for the perfect easy homemade caramel sauce recipe, your search is over.
How to Make Caramel Sauce
If you’ve been intimidated by the idea of making your own caramel sauce, rest assured it’s actually a fairly easy process. It starts by heating a mixture of sugar and water on the stove top until the sugar fully dissolves then cooking it until it turns a light amber color.
When you add the butter the sauce will begin to bubble. At this stage it’s important to stick with lightly stirring the sauce rather than scraping any uncooked sugar crystals back into the pan. Any remaining uncooked sugar in the sauce will cause it to crystalize at room temperature.
After all the butter is melted and combined into the pan, remove the sauce from heat and add vanilla extract, heavy cream and a pinch of salt. Stir everything together until its smooth, velvety and well combined. This sauce stores well in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
It’s amazing served warm but is also perfectly tasty at room temperature.
If you tire of this version of caramel sauce kick it up and make Bourbon Caramel Sauce.
Caramel Sauce Recipe
This caramel sauce is perfection just about every which way you can serve it. I love it on Homemade Ice Cream (or store bought ice cream for that matter), drizzled over fresh fruit or drizzled over Cinnamon Baked Apples.
You could even be extra decadent and pour this homemade caramel sauce on top of Pumpkin Spice Waffles, Light Fluffy Pancakes or Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal for a fun breakfast your kids will go nuts over. Can you imagine how delicious Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal would be covered in a spoonful of this perfect caramel sauce?
Ice Cream Toppings
Looking for more great homemade ice cream toppings? You should also give my Simple Homemade Chocolate Sauce a try. I love chocolate and caramel together and like to keep a jar of each of these in the fridge anytime we have ice cream around.
Little jars of homemade caramel sauce are perfect for packing into Homemade Ice Cream Sundae Kits you can give as gifts.
For a special treat or birthday party, consider putting out an ice cream sundae bar with your homemade ice cream toppings, chopped nuts, cherries, and fruit. I’ve got my eye on this Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream Topping from Brown-Eyed Baker to add to our next sundae bar.
Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream is incredible alone or paired with this caramel sauce on top of desserts. When it comes to toppings for waffles and pancakes, my Grandma’s Waffle Sauce has zero competition.
Check out all of the homemade ice cream recipes on this site for pairing with this delicious caramel sauce!
Kitchen Tip: I use this saucepan to make this recipe.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of kosher salt
- In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and the water. Stir to combine and then cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves; about 4-5 minutes. There is no need to stir, simply swirl the pan over the burner occasionally as the sugar dissolves.
- Raise the heat to medium high and cook the sauce, swirling the pan occasionally, until it is amber colored; about 7-8 minutes. Add the butter, be prepared for it to bubble and sputter, lightly stir or swirl to melt, do not scrape the sides of the pan or splash sauce up the sides of the pan. (This will cause crystallization, if you scrape the uncooked sugars back into the sauce.)
- Once the butter is melted, remove from the heat and add the vanilla, heavy cream and salt. It will bubble again, but will calm quickly. Stir to combine (again, not scraping sides of the pan) and then let cool before transferring to a jar and refrigerating for storage. Enjoy!