Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe

Have you ever wondered why you seemingly can't find anything caramel-flavored these days without that caramel being salted? What's up with this recent food fad? Recipe developer Kit Hondrum, a huge salted caramel fan, explains that adding salt to caramel "deepens the rich flavors and especially brings out the flavor of the butter." She explains that this sauce of hers "tastes just like traditional caramel sauce, but saltier," adding that she would "rather have this than regular caramel sauce any day."

Hondrum describes this particular sauce recipe as being "quick and easy," telling us "You can even make it last minute when you have guests since it's super quick to throw together." Here's a secret, though (shh!!) — if you're not 100% sold on adding salt to your sweet, or you're trying to cut down on sodium, you can just leave the salt out and you'll still have a perfectly delicious, simple-to-prepare, unsalted caramel sauce.

Assemble the ingredients for salted caramel sauce

This recipe only requires 5 ingredients, so you won't even need to spend much time collecting the necessary items you'll need to make it. For the caramel, you'll be using butter (Hondrum uses the salted kind), brown sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. To add the "salted" part, you'll be using, guess what? Salt! Hondrum uses fine sea salt, but you can substitute the same amount of table salt if that's what you have on hand.

Cook the caramel

Mix all of the ingredients in a saucepan, then set the pan on a stove burner over medium-low heat. Grab a whisk (or a fork or spoon) and start whisking (or stirring). Continue to cook and stir, whisk, or otherwise agitate the mixture for about 5 minutes, at which point the sugar should have melted and the sauce thickened up a bit. It should also be looking more-or-less caramel-colored, too.

Hondrum says to keep an eye on the heat as you cook, noting "There should be bubbles coming up when it's cooking, but you don't want a full boil." Turn down the heat if the sauce gets too bubbly, since, as she warns, "If you allow the heat to go too high then you could end up with a grainy sauce."

Cool the sauce

Once your sauce is done, let it sit in the pan for 2 minutes, then pour it into a jar and let it continue to sit out on the counter until it reaches room temperature. If you're tempted to stick it straight in the fridge as a shortcut, Hondrum advises against this. "Cooling to room temperature before refrigerating is important to keep your caramel sauce smooth," she says, going on to explain that "It can get grainy if it changes temperature too quickly."

Use the caramel sauce in a variety of ways

Hondrum says the sauce should stay fresh in the fridge for about 2 weeks. If you're wondering how to use it up in that time, you can do more than just pour it on ice cream. You could use it to dip fruit in, to flavor milk, or to use on pancakes in place of syrup. Hondrum also suggests using it in cupcakes or on top of bread pudding or cheesecake.

Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe
5 from 39 ratings
Know what's better than store-bought caramel sauce? This homemade recipe for salted caramel sauce. It's quick, easy to prepare, and is perfect atop ice cream.
Prep Time
Cook Time
jar of caramel sauce
Total time: 12 minutes
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan.
  2. Cook the sauce over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves and it thickens slightly.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the sauce to cool for 2 minutes.
  4. Pour the sauce into a jar and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  5. Seal the jar and refrigerate the sauce.
Calories per Serving 73
Total Fat 3.4 g
Saturated Fat 2.1 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 10.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.0 g
Total Sugars 10.8 g
Sodium 39.8 mg
Protein 0.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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