We’re breaking down exactly how to make an easy homemade caramel sauce recipe. This caramel dessert is the best and easiest recipe you’ll find.
It’s foolproof and only uses 4 ingredients. It always turns out creamy, amazing, and perfect for desserts. It’s one of our most popular recipes for a good reason.
Caramels are so versatile, right? From candies to dipping sauces, you can even pour it all over bananas, an ice cream sundae cake, or brownies for an extra gooey kick.
History Of Caramel
We also love the rich history behind caramel. It’s part of our history with food. Early findings date caramel back to at least the 1650s when American settlers made hard caramel candies in a kettle.
Our updated version has added extras like fat and milk, making the modern caramel we know and love today.
If you have an event, birthday party, or dinner coming up or just want to play around in the kitchen, try making your caramel sauce.
What We Love About Homemade Caramel Sauce
What we love about this recipe is that it’s incredibly easy to make and pretty much foolproof. Using these 4 ingredients, you will get a creamy sauce that’s perfect for dipping and desserts. This recipe is super simple and works every time! It also tastes amazing!
No Candy Thermometer Needed!
Another great thing about this recipe is that you don’t need a candy thermometer to make it. A lot of recipes call for a thermometer, but this recipe is so simple and makes a creamy caramel without it.
You only need 4 simple ingredients to make this easy caramel sauce! There is no heavy cream in this recipe, which makes it even easier.
Butter – Gives it a buttery, creamy flavor. Use pure butter for this recipe. You can use salted or unsalted.
Brown sugar – Creates a sweet flavor and a dark amber color. It gives the caramel a sweet flavor.
Sweetened condensed milk – The base of the sauce. It has a thick texture and is used in pies and desserts.
Corn syrup – Helps give it a smooth texture and thickens it.
How to Make Creamy Caramel Sauce
This recipe is as easy as it gets. Here are the steps you’ll take to make a homemade caramel sauce. It’s perfect for anyone making caramel for the first time!
- Melt the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan on medium-low heat
- Then, add in the sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup.
- While the sauce thickens, use a whisk to mix until it thickens and the sugar melts gently. Scrape the sides of the pot too. Pay close attention to the texture of the caramel as it’s simmering.
- Lastly, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool a bit.
Tips for Making The Best Caramel Sauce Recipe
Make it ahead of time. Store it in an airtight glass container and leave it in the refrigerator for 3 weeks. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. If you’re gifting it, it can stay out for 1 day.
Never leave the sauce unattended. It can quickly burn, so you want to watch it closely as it’s cooking.
For the salted caramel sauce, use salted butter or add a little bit of salt over the top. Something like fleur de sel is wonderful sprinkled over the top.
Use a wooden spoon or heat-proof silicone spatula to stir.
How to Store Caramel Sauce
Once the caramel cools, you’ll add it to a glass container that you can seal with a lid. For example, Weck Jars are perfect for storing caramel sauce. Once it’s cooled, any airtight container will work. However, you’ll need to transfer it to a heatproof container to reheat it.
Then, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. However, it will become hard in the refrigerator, so you must reheat the sauce before serving. It can be reheated in the microwave in a microwave-safe container or on the stovetop. It will change the texture a little but will still work as a good dipping sauce.
You can also freeze homemade caramel sauce for up to 3 months. Place it in a freezer-safe container, properly sealed. Just note that when reheated, the texture will become a little more liquid.
Frequently Asked Questions
Admittedly, there is not much difference between sauce and topping. The biggest difference between the two is in the thickness.
Caramel sauce is thicker and usually richer, whereas a topping is thinner and sweeter.
It keeps nicely for up to two weeks. It must be in an air-tight container and stored in the fridge. You can also freeze caramel sauce for up to three months while maintaining its quality.
To use after it’s been in the refrigerator, simply warm the sauce up.
To make that classic, thick caramel sauce, what needs to happen?
First, keep in mind that caramel will thicken as it cools. If it’s still not as thick as you’d like, simmer it on medium heat for 5-10 minutes. This should thicken it without changing the flavor or color.
This recipe will also thicken as it sits. You won’t have any problem getting a perfect caramel sauce with the easy 4 ingredients we share below.
There’s a common misconception that caramel sauce and dulce de leche are the same, and understandably so. They are often used interchangeably because of how similar they are.
The main difference between the two is in their ingredients. Dulce de leche means “sweet milk,” and the making of it requires heating condensed milk. The sugar in the milk browns, giving it that caramel color.
Caramel, on the other hand, typically uses ingredients like butter, brown sugar, evaporated milk, salt, and sometimes vanilla extract. Recipes vary, however.
Uses for Caramel Sauce
One fun way to use your homemade caramel sauce is for dipping. Add it to a board with apple slices, pears, and other delicious fruit, and dip away! We even added a bowl of flaky sea salt to sprinkle on the caramel for salted caramel.
You might want to try this bourbon caramel apple recipe, as well.
Drizzle it over vanilla ice cream, ice cream sundaes, or coffee drinks.
It works wonders paired with any of these recipes too:
As you can see, making caramel sauce is as easy!
It requires minimal ingredients, time, or labor, and the end result is a fantastic treat you can drizzle over your other favorite desserts and snacks!
Let us know your thoughts!
Now that you know how to make one of our personal favorite recipes, let us know what you think!
Leave a comment and review if you make this caramel recipe. We’d love to know your thoughts!
Easy Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 14 ounces
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- Over medium-low heat, melt the butter and brown sugar and a medium saucepan.
- Add the sweetened condensed and corn syrup.
- While the sauce thickens over the next 5-7 minutes, continue to gently whisk the mixture until it thickens and the sugar melts.
- Take it off the heat, allow it to cool a bit. It will thicken as it cools too.
- Make it ahead of time. Store it in an airtight container and leave it in the refrigerator for 1 month. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. If you’re gifting it, it can stay out for 1 day.
- Never leave the sauce unattended. It can quickly burn, so you want to watch it closely as it’s cooking.
- For salted caramel sauce use salted butter.