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Salted Caramel Sauce

spoon exiting a jar full of salted caramel

Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce can elevate just about any dish. Plus it’s super easy to make, especially with my troubleshooting FAQs!

spoon exiting a jar full of salted caramel

Salted Caramel Sauce | Homemade!

Skip the store-bought caramel sauces and make it yourself! This Salted Caramel is 100% homemade and tastes so much better than what you can buy in the store. The best part is controlling the ratio of sweet to salty. Plus you can enjoy this sauce on a bunch of different desserts for up to a whole month (or longer if you freeze it). Worried about crystallization? I’ve got some helpful troubleshooting tips down below 🙂

Main Ingredients Needed

Six common ingredients come together to make this salted caramel sauce. It’s so good friends, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sugar – this is the base of any caramel sauce!
  • Water – dissolves the sugar so you get a smooth (not crystalized) sauce.
  • Sea Salt – very essential for this recipe. However, if you want to leave it out, you can.
  • Heavy Cream – for creaminess.
  • Butter – for silky smooth texture.
  • Vanilla – for flavor. You don’t *have* to add this but it really does make a difference.

How to Make Salted Caramel

For full details on how to make salted caramel sauce, see the recipe card down below!

1. Melt Sugar

In a small saucepan, heat sugar and water over medium heat to melt the sugar. Cook and swirl the pan until the sugar turns amber in color.

2. Add Sea Salt + Cream

Whisk in sea salt and heavy cream. The mixture will bubble up briefly, just keep whisking away until smooth.

3. Add Butter + Vanilla

Take off the heat then stir in butter and vanilla.

Storing Instructions

The best way to store salted caramel is in an airtight container in the fridge. This will last for about 3 weeks. Something else to note is that the caramel will thicken in the fridge. No big deal, to use, microwave the container in intervals until heated through.

Make-Ahead + Freezing

You can also make this recipe ahead of time by freezing it for up to 2 months! The same thing applies here, store salted caramel in an airtight container with a little bit of room at the top to account for expansion. Thaw in the fridge then heat up accordingly.

Salted Caramel Troubleshooting

Why does caramel crystallize?

Sugar, like salt, is actually crystalline in nature! The water helps the crystal structure break up (aka dissolve) so that you get a smooth caramel sauce. However, sometimes the water evaporates too quickly and leaves sugar granules to crystalize again on the side of the pan. When this happens, it starts a chain reaction for the rest of the sugar in the pan.

How do you prevent crystallization?

To prevent this from happening be sure to swirl your pan as you cook the sugar to its amber color. Swirl, don’t stir! This makes a huge difference because swirling grabs the sugar crystals on the sides of the pan and works them back into the mixture. If you feel like the water is evaporating too fast, add a teeny tiny bit of water into the pan and keep swirling.

Can you fix crystallized sugar?

Yes, you can! If you find that your sugar is crystallizing before it has a chance to turn amber in color, turn the heat back down and add a couple of tablespoons of water. Redissolve the sugar and start the process again.

spoon and jar of salted caramel on a stack of white plates

Salted Caramel Uses

  • to dip apples into
  • on top of ice cream
  • swirled in brownies
  • mixed in hot chocolate or coffee
  • on top of pancakes
  • on top of cake or cheesecake

The printable recipe card is down below, enjoy 🙂

spoon exiting a jar full of salted caramel

Salted Caramel Sauce

Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce can elevate just about any dish. Plus it's super easy to make, especially with my troubleshooting FAQs!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 213 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter salted or unsalted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • In a small saucepan, heat sugar and water over medium heat to melt the sugar. Cook and swirl until the sugar turns amber in color.
  • Whisk in sea salt and heavy cream. The mixture will bubble up briefly, just keep whisking away until smooth.
  • Take off the heat then stir in butter and vanilla.
  • Use hot or at room temperature. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 213kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 1gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 349mgPotassium: 20mgSugar: 25gVitamin A: 516IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg
Keyword salted caramel, salted caramel sauce
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