The One-Ingredient Method To Make Caramel In The Microwave

Whether it's drizzled over an ice cream sundae, incorporated into a dessert, or enjoyed on its own as a chewy candy treat, the ooey-gooey goodness of caramel serves to upgrade just about any indulgence your sweet tooth is after. You can always grab a jar from your local grocery shelf, of course, but kitchen do-it-yourselfers may prefer the homemade variety instead. After all, you can't beat that warm, sweet, and semi-nutty lava poured fresh from the pot.

And while the recipe for caramel is relatively simple (it's essentially just melted sugar combined with dairy fat), the traditional method tends to be more complicated than one would expect. You need to keep a close eye on the concoction, stir it enough but not too much, and be sure that nothing overheats. Unfortunately, it can be all too easy to end up with a charred and sticky mess that burns your saucepan in the process.

The good news, however, is that there is a secret shortcut for making foolproof caramel without the risk of a dessert disaster. And all it requires is some sweetened condensed milk and a microwave.

Sweetened condensed milk makes super simple caramel

To whip up homemade caramel without any headaches, turn to your microwave. The appliance has many uses beyond just reheating your leftovers, and it can even be used to make the sweet treat caramel from scratch.

The one ingredient you'll need for this super easy hack is sweetened condensed milk. The process of making caramel typically requires mixing melted sugar with dairy fats like cream and butter, this rich alternative serves as the perfect all-in-one. Just consider it starting a few steps ahead.

So, how do we actually turn condensed milk into caramel? Simply pour a can of the stuff into a bowl, cover it with a lid, and pop it into the microwave to cook in two-minute intervals. After each time segment is up, take it out and stir, then repeat. Keep this process going until the condensed milk has darkened in color and thickened to the consistency of caramel. Once you're happy with the result, keep the bowl out and enjoy. It's practically microwaveable magic.