Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe Made with 4 Ingredients

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This easy homemade caramel sauce recipe is foolproof! It only uses four ingredients and takes 10 minutes to make WITHOUT a candy thermometer. It’s the perfect topping for many desserts, coffee drinks, or for dipping apples! 

Easy caramel sauce recipe made with four ingredients.

My delicious caramel sauce has a creamy, rich, buttery flavor. It can be used as a topping for desserts like pound cakechocolate cake, and apple crumble bars or as a dipping sauce for fruit. Add it to a fruit board with apple slices, pears, and other delicious fruit, and dip away! It also makes the perfect dip for a dessert platter

Creamy homemade caramel sauce in a glass jar.

What I love about this recipe is that it’s straightforward to make. With just four ingredients, you will get a creamy sauce perfect for dipping and desserts. It’s the best caramel sauce! Also, no candy thermometer is needed—many recipes call for a thermometer, but this is simple and makes a creamy caramel without it. 

It also makes the perfect topping for an ice cream, waffle bar, or drizzled all over our gooey monkey bread or apple crisp. It’s a great addition to fall desserts.

Brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, butter, and corn syrup on a table.

Ingredients  

Butter – Gives it a buttery, creamy flavor. Use pure butter for this recipe. You can use salted or unsalted butter. If you use unsalted, add a pinch of salt to the recipe while it’s heating.

Dark Brown Sugar – Creates a sweet flavor and a dark amber color, giving the caramel a sweet taste. 

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. You can try an alternative to this if you prefer.

Creamy and easy caramel sauce in a jar.

Recipe Tips

  • Make it ahead of time. Store it in an airtight glass container, such as a Mason Jar, 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.
  • Do not boil this recipe; only cook it on low heat, or it will start to curdle and become chunky.
  • Never leave the sauce unattended. It can quickly burn, so you should watch it closely as it cooks. 
  • Use salted butter for the salted caramel sauce, or add a little salt. Something like fleur de sel is lovely sprinkled over the top.
  • Use a wooden spoon or heatproof silicone spatula to stir.

How to Store

Caramel sauce keeps well for up to two weeks. It must be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. You can also freeze it for up to three months while maintaining its quality.

Once the caramel cools, add it to a glass container that you can seal with a lid. Weck or Ball jars are perfect for storing caramel sauce. 

Refrigerate

Then, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. However, it will become hard in the fridge, so you must reheat the sauce before serving. 

It can be reheated in a microwave-safe container or on the stovetop. Reheating it will change the texture a little, but it will still work well as a good dipping sauce.

Freezing 

You can also freeze homemade caramel sauce for up to 3 months. Place it in a freezer-safe container, properly sealed. Just note that the texture will become a little more liquid when reheated.

Homemade easy caramel sauce made with four ingredients.

Recipe Variations 

Salted Caramel Sauce – Add a pinch of salt to the recipe while it’s heating for a delicious salty-sweet twist on this classic caramel sauce.

Coffee Caramel Sauce – Add 1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder to the mixture for a warm coffee flavor. 

Chocolate Caramel Sauce – Stir 1/4 cup of chocolate chips into the sauce while it’s still warm and allow them to melt for a decadent sauce perfect for drizzling over ice cream or dipping fruit in.

​Do I need a Candy Thermometer?

I’m not kidding when I say this is an easy caramel sauce! No candy thermometer is needed to make this recipe.

How Do You Make Caramel Sauce Thicker? 

The caramel will thicken as it cools and in the refrigerator. It will not thicken if you let it cook or bring it to a boil, so I don’t recommend cooking longer as it will curdle. 

This is the easiest recipe that requires minimal ingredients, time, or labor, and the result is a fantastic treat you can drizzle over your other favorite desserts and snacks!

Caramel sauce, homemade, rich and creamy.

Now that you know how to make one of my favorite caramel sauces, let us know what you think.

Leave a comment and review if you make this caramel recipe. We’d love to know your thoughts!

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Easy caramel sauce recipe made with four ingredients.

Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe

An easy, four ingredient caramel sauce that you can make in 10 minutes!
4.51 from 146 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 1702kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 14 ounces
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup

Instructions

  • Melt the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan on low heat. Never bring this mixture to a boil, or it will curdle – always low heat. 
    butter and brown sugar in a saucepan
  • 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. Please pay close attention to the texture of the caramel as it simmers.
    butter melting with brown sugar
  • Lastly, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool a bit.
    how to make caramel sauce
  • Let it sit in the refrigerator to thicken. 

Video

Notes

  • Make it ahead of time. Store it in an airtight container and leave it in the refrigerator for one month. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. If you’re gifting it, it can stay out for one 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.
  • Always cook on low heat only; do not boil, or it will be ruined. 

Nutrition

Calories: 1702kcal | Carbohydrates: 281g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 63g | Saturated Fat: 40g | Cholesterol: 189mg | Sodium: 740mg | Potassium: 881mg | Sugar: 280g | Vitamin A: 1947IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 678mg | Iron: 1mg
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Homemade caramel sauce recipe that is easy to make without any tools.

54 thoughts on “Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe Made with 4 Ingredients”

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious! I used it as a caramel layer for a Frankenstein batch of homemade twix bars after my first recipe for the caramel layer turned out so hard it was inedible! I will definitely make this again!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious! For the 1/2 cup of corn syrup I used mostly molasses and some dark corn syrup. I also added some coconut oil, vanilla, and a bit of salt and it is absolutely divine. I will totally be making it again!

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    Yum! Anything with condensed milk is seriously so good. I’m going to use the caramel sauce to try to get my son to eat his fruit!

    Reply
  4. 4 stars
    So we made this during quarentine for a pumpkin cheesecake topping and with slight modifications it was delicious. I followed all instructions all the way to to cooking 5-7 minutes. We found that at 5 minutes over low to medium heat the sauce still just tasted like sweetened condensed milk so we put it back on a low flame and cooked an additional 8 minutes with constant stirring. We also added salt to taste. We love salty with sweet. We didn’t measure the salt but probably put at least a teaspoon of sea salt and half a teaspoon of kosher salt. Mmmm. Delicious!

    Reply
    • 5 stars
      This sauce is so easy! I’ve made it twice and will make it again. I agree with the reviewer who cooked it an additional 8 minutes and added some salt. I’ll try that next time. It’s very good, but I think extra cooking would add more depth to the flavor. Great recipe…thank you!

      Reply
    • 5 stars
      Almost did the same thing, but I added 4 tbsp of dark baking cocoa at the butter and brown sugar stage…. pretty much our go-to topping now.

      Reply
  5. So easy to make; I’ve been using it in my lattes and its 10x better than the fake tasting sauces from the store.

    Reply
  6. 5 stars
    This is so easy and absolutely delicious!
    We’re under COVID-19 stay-at-home order and I didn’t have the ingredients for the carmel glaze I wanted to use on a cake. I found this recipe and used it as a cake topping. It was a hit and there’s more in the fridge. I’ll definitely be making it again.

    Reply

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