Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

There’s been a little devil on my shoulder lately. It’s name? Salted caramel.

My cravings lately have ranged from super sweet to sickly salty, and back again. So, why not satisfy both urges at once with a couple drips of decadent caramel on my favorite ice cream? Because it’s bad, you say? Well, I say it’s the holidays and this little devil tells me okay, so bottoms up!

I’d drink this stuff if I could.

Leave out the salt if you wish, it’s not integral to making the recipe work. But I’d say it enhances the sweetness of the salted caramel even more. This ooey gooey caramel is heavenly on top of any dessert you can dream of. It’s also fine to use in any recipe that calls for it!

It’s also kinda fun to fancy up a jar of it, give as a gift, and watch your friends and family swoon. Inexpensive, from the heart, and full of butter and sugar… just how I like it!

Packaged pretty with your lucky recipient’s favorite snacks, this salted caramel would be a perfect gift for the sweet-lovin’ ladies and dudes in your life! Under 10 minutes and just 5 pantry staples is all it takes. Regardless of whether you’re gifting it, store it in jars and it will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks.

I also tossed in a little vanilla bean paste, but if you don’t have any, vanilla extract will do. This really amps up the fragrance of this sticky sweet, melt-in-your-mouth sauce. Another fun tip – Add a splash of bourbon in place of, or in addition to, the water. I suggest 2 Tbsp. bourbon, 2 Tbsp. water. In a word: Incredible.

Serve this salted sauce over ice cream, with sliced apples, over cheesecake, or use in your favorite salted caramel desserts. However you enjoy it, I know you’ll find it as spoon-lickin’ delicious as we did!

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Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

Yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups sauce / enough to fill 2 (8 oz.) jars


1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, optional


In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. If necessary, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan.

Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, 5-6 minutes, watching closely. Remove from heat and carefully whisk in heavy cream (the mixture will bubble). Stir in butter and salt, and vanilla bean paste if desired.

Transfer the caramel to 2 (8 oz.) jars or 1 large jar, and let cool uncovered.

This will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Reheat before serving.



This caramel makes a wonderful gift for the holidays or special occasions!

You can also add a splash of bourbon in place of, or in addition to, the water. I suggest 2 Tbsp. bourbon, 2 Tbsp. water.

Serve this sauce over ice cream, with sliced apples, over cheesecake, or use in your favorite salted caramel desserts.

Adapted from Cooking Channel


38 Responses to “Easy Salted Caramel Sauce”

  1. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — December 20, 2013 @ 12:14 am

    I love salted caramel sauce, this would make a perfect stocking stuffer!

  2. #
    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — December 20, 2013 @ 12:43 am

    Salted caramel sauce is so addicting, no? I could eat an entire jar of it by the spoon. It truly is so easy to make and also makes the perfect holiday gift from the kitchen. Love the photos! Thanks for sharing, girl! xo

  3. #
    Anne ~ Uni Homemaker — December 20, 2013 @ 12:54 am

    These will make terrific homemade gifts! I love how you decorated it Georgia, it’s beautiful and festive! Have a great weekend!

  4. #
    ThisBakerGirlBlogs — December 20, 2013 @ 2:28 am

    I’m so addicted to salted caramel. Will probably end up drowning everything in this. YUM! :)

  5. #
    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — December 20, 2013 @ 3:19 am

    I’ve been buying the salted caramel sauce from Trader Joe’s but now I want to make my own – especially after you mentioned adding bourbon! :)

  6. #
    Ramona — December 20, 2013 @ 5:27 am

    Mmmm… I would just eat it with a spoon right out of that jar! What a lovely topping to loads of desserts. :) Have a lovely holiday!! :)

  7. #
    Tieghan — December 20, 2013 @ 8:28 am

    Mmm! Salted caramel is so great this time of year!!

  8. #
    Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures — December 20, 2013 @ 9:04 am

    Great gift idea!

  9. #
    Alexe @ Keys to the Cucina — December 20, 2013 @ 9:08 am

    Wow Georgia this looks fabulous. I’ve had some terrible homemade caramel incidents but this looks like even I could do it. I love your packaging too, so cute and festive!

  10. #
    DessertForTwo — December 20, 2013 @ 9:54 am

    Oh, I WILL be adding bourbon. You better believe it!! :)

  11. #
    Audra | The Baker Chick — December 20, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    Oh i sure do love salted caramel and this sauce is so lovely. It sure would make a nice gift!

  12. #
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — December 20, 2013 @ 11:20 am

    Can’t say no to salted caramel! Perfect for so many desserts!

  13. #
    Layla @ Brunch Time Baker — December 20, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

    I love making salted caramel! It stores very well and is a wonderful topping for anything! Your caramel looks delicious!

  14. #
    Karen (Back Road Journal) — December 20, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

    A devil may be sitting on my shoulder as well because this sauce is talking to me.

  15. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — December 20, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

    This looks heavenly! I want to just grab a spoon and dig in!

  16. #
    Sara — December 20, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

    I just made this! It took longer for my sugar/water to turn amber (7-8min)..but the result!!!!! So so good! I can’t believe I paid $8 for a small mason jar of this exact sauce over the summer at the farmer’s market!!! They got me after the free taste test ;) Such an easy recipe thank you !

    • Georgia — December 20th, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

      Hi Sara – I’m so glad you enjoyed this salted caramel sauce! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know. Did you use any bourbon in the recipe?

  17. #
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs — December 20, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

    The sweet/salty combo is the best thing ever! And caramel + ice-cream are my favorite! I want this. In my mouth. Right now. Enjoy your weekend Georgia! ;-)

  18. #
    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — December 20, 2013 @ 6:09 pm

    Wow…this looks amazing, I’d pour this over a war apple pie and dig in!

  19. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — December 20, 2013 @ 10:48 pm

    Salted caramel is a good devil :)

  20. #
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef — December 21, 2013 @ 5:55 am

    I love this stuff and yours looks very good indeed. I make it worse because after I drizzle this over the top of ice cream I add just a teaspoon of hot fudge too. :)

  21. #
    Joanne — December 21, 2013 @ 8:53 am

    If this is what being bad is all about…then I can give up being good.

  22. #
    Erin | The Emerging Foodie — December 21, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    This looks absolutely scrumptious! And your photography is so light and airy and stunning! :)

  23. #
    Monet — December 21, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

    Salted caramel is the best. I always have the hardest time not burning it though! I’m going to have to try your recipe. Hugs and love, sweet mama!

  24. #
    Stephanie @ Velez Delights — December 21, 2013 @ 8:16 pm

    Happy Holidays / Merry Christmas! One word for this post: YUMMMMMMM!!! Looks great! Sounds like it can be my go-to when I get some sweet cravings :)

  25. #
    Liz — December 21, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

    I love, love caramel! And adding the bourbon would be a fantastic touch! This may be next year’s holiday gift for my book club! Merry, merry Christmas, my friend!!! xo

  26. #
    Kathi @ laughingspatula.com — December 22, 2013 @ 10:26 am

    This looks like a perfect easy gift for my xxxooo’s! Maybe with a green apple on the side for dipping perhaps???…ahhhh!

  27. #
    val — December 22, 2013 @ 11:19 am

    There is nothing better on this earth than salted caramel. Looks amazing.

  28. #
    Anna@CrunchyCreamySweet — December 22, 2013 @ 11:45 am

    Yes!! Love salted caramel! It must be fabulous with bourbon!

  29. #
    Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon — December 22, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

    After lemon, caramel is my favorite. I am putting this on my to-do list.

  30. #
    John@Kitchen Riffs — December 22, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

    Wow. This looks wonderful. Bourbon? I’m in! Thanks for this.

  31. #
    Bill — December 22, 2013 @ 6:39 pm

    I can think of quite a few uses for this sauce and it would be dangerous in my house because of my lack of any self-control! This sauce looks amazing, Georgia! Awesome post! Thanks for sharing.

  32. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — December 23, 2013 @ 2:00 am

    I love that vanilla bean touch in this! Definitely need to stock up on that pasta ASAP!

  33. #
    Dina — December 24, 2013 @ 9:16 am

    this sounds amazing!

  34. #
    honeywhatscooking — December 27, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

    oh good heavens, that looks so amazing!!!! I love how you packaged them.. so cute, I should make stuff and hand them out next year.

  35. #
    Lynna — December 31, 2013 @ 2:21 am

    Omg, I need this in my life!! Caramel is my heart`s weakness!!

  36. #
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — January 1, 2014 @ 3:24 pm

    ahhhhhhh SOOO goood!!! I’d drink it too!

  37. #
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — January 10, 2014 @ 4:23 am

    I think I love you. Another blogger sent me Trader Joe’s salted caramel sauce in the mail for Christmas and it was my first time trying it. It’s SO good! I’ll have to try this once that one is gone. :)

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