How to Make Homemade Caramel

Fudge, Bark, and Candy
October 9, 2019
Fudge, Bark, and Candy
October 9, 2019

How to Make Homemade Caramel

We’re breaking down exactly how to make homemade caramel. Rich and delicious, this easy caramel sauce is perfect for all

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How to Make Homemade Caramel

We’re breaking down exactly how to make homemade caramel. Rich and delicious, this easy caramel sauce is perfect for all sorts of recipes! Use it as a filling in a salted caramel cake, drizzle it over ice cream, or just eat the best caramel sauce by the spoonful! We took out any guess work out of this caramel recipe with step by step photos so you’ll know exactly how to make caramel with nothing left to second guess!

easy homemade caramel in a glass jar with a drip

How to Make Homemade Caramel

Happy hump day! This week is flying by for us, so let’s take a moment to stop and smell the roses…or stop and eat the salted caramel 🙂 Today we’re sharing our foolproof recipe for the best homemade caramel you’ll ever have. Made with just three easy ingredients and no special equipment or thermometers, we’re here to show you that homemade caramel sauce is actually super approachable.

spoonful of easy homemade caramel on parchment paper

Our tips for the best homemade caramel:

  1. Use high quality butter: You’re only as good as your ingredients and with caramel your butter quality can really make or break your sauce. This is one time when it’s a good idea to splurge on that box that’s a few dollars more expensive.
  2. Never leave your caramel sauce unattended: To make caramel sauce you essentially toast white sugar until it’s melted, before adding in butter, cream, and salt. Your sugar can go from toasty to burnt pretty quickly though, so make sure you keep a close eye on it!
  3. Don’t forget the salt! Caramel is simply too sweet without it. A healthy amount of salt really deepens the flavor profile and will keep your caramel from tasting overly sweet.

salted caramel dripping into jar off of spoon

This step by step guide will break it allllll down for you so that you, too, can eat delicious salted caramel by the spoonful unashamedly in your home. YOU. ARE. WELCOME.

Let’s get to it, babes.

easy homemade caramel in a glass jar

Step One: Place the sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat

Move the sauce pan around every few minutes to keep the sugar heating evenly, but do NOT stir constantly

homemade caramel stage one sugar begins to clump

homemade caramel sugar started to clump together

Step Two: Keep an eye on the sugar, stirring it every few minutes until it melts.

homemade caramel process shot sugar half melted

Sugar is melted with a few clumps remaining

The sugar will clump first and eventually start to melt. This can take up to 15 minutes. Be patient! You’ll know your caramel is done when it’s fully liquid and no clumps of sugar remain.

This is what your caramel should look like by the end of this step:

sugar is completley smooth and no clumps remain

Step Three: Remove from heat. Add butter to the melted sugar and stir to combine.

butter being stirred into easy homemade caramel sauce  whisking butter into caramel sauce

The mixture will begin to bubble violently.

Now, I know the normal human reaction to this would be alarm, but this is exactly what the homemade caramel should be doing! The butter is much colder in comparison to the hot sugar, so they’re just trying to get to know each other. Sparks are flying.

butter being stirred into easy homemade caramel sauce

After a few minutes of stirring the two will start to combine. Just keep whisking until they are completely homogenous

This is what the caramel should look like by the end of this step:

butter and sugar are combined

Step Four: Pour in the cream and salt, and stir until completely combined.

cream poured into saucepan with caramel

cream full incorporated into salted caramel

This is what the caramel will look like at the end!

salted caramel dripping off spoon in to a jar

What recipes to use homemade caramel sauce in?

I could go on for literally forever. Caramel pretty much goes with everything in my opinion, but here are a few of our favs:

Or…just by the spoonful. We won’t judge 🙂

homemade caramel falling off of spoon into jar

How to store this easy caramel sauce:

You can store this caramel sauce in an air tight container (we love mason jars!) in the fridge for 1 month or freeze for up to 3 months!

Now that you know exactly how to make homemade caramel, no more excuses, guys. It is  soooo much better than any kind you could buy at the store. Happy caramel eating 🙂

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How to Make Homemade Caramel

4.8 from 40 reviews

We’re breaking down exactly how to make homemade caramel. Rich and delicious, this easy caramel sauce is perfect for all sorts of recipes! We took out any guess work with step by step photos so you’ll know exactly how to make caramel like a pro!

We’re breaking down exactly how to make homemade caramel. Rich and delicious, this easy caramel sauce is perfect for all sorts of recipes! We took out any guess work with step by step photos so you’ll know exactly how to make caramel like a pro!

  • Author: Sarah | Broma Bakery
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/4 cups caramel 1x
  • Category: sauce
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: american
  • Author: Sarah | Broma Bakery
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/4 cups caramel 1x
  • Category: sauce
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: american
Scale:
  • Author: Sarah | Broma Bakery
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/4 cups caramel 1x
  • Category: sauce
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: american

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, heat the sugar on medium low heat until its completely melted, swirling the pan gently every 20 seconds or so. The sugar will start to form clumps before melting slowly. Be patient and keep an eye on it to make sure it does not burn.
  2. Once melted, remove from heat immediately and stir in the butter. The mixture will violently bubble. You’re doing it right.
  3. Next, pour in the heavy cream and sea salt. Stir until everything is combined.
  4. Pour into small bowl or cup and allow to cool completely before using.*
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Keywords: easy homemade caramel sauce, easy caramel recipe, how to make homemade caramel, caramel recipe

Notes

  • Make sure you use a high quality butter! Caramel is made from so few ingredients that the butter and cream’s quality really shines through!
  • For thicker caramel, only add 1/3 cup of cream!
  • Feel free to add any additions you like at the the end. We love to add a teaspoon of vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger…the options are endless!
  • Caramel can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for 1 month or in the freezer for 3 months!

We're breaking down exactly how to make homemade caramel thats creamy, dreamy, and delicious drizzled over pretty much anything :)

— STILL HUNGRY? —

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  1. Sorry to be a downer. I had trouble getting the steps to work and the caramel is too salty for us. The butter never incorporated–even after 5 minutes of whisking it was only getting worse. I still added the cream, thinking that might help. The cold cream just turned the melted sugar to a hard glass lump in a sea of cream & butter. As a last ditch effort I put it back onto the heat and it did finally come together. I was afraid re-heating would cause it to burn but it didn’t. WAAAAAAYYYYYYY too salty. I can’t really even taste the caramel to know if it’s buttery/creamy/delicious or not. Maybe because I used salted butter? (The recipe doesn’t specify.) Even the thicker version (1/3c cream) was too thin to stick to apples.

    • Hi there! I’m so sorry to hear you caramel did not turn out! I’ve adjusted the recipe to specify unsalted butter but am SO sorry for that confusion! This is definitely a caramel sauce or drizzle and would not be quite stiff enough to make a classic caramel apple unfortunately. I love this recipe for caramel apples. Again, we’re so sorry about your caramel 🙁

  2. Hi, I really want to do this. But I do best if I watch a video. Is there a video that shows how to make this caramel sauce?

    Thank you! And this is also a very easy recipe.

  3. For anyone wondering, half and half worked worked well enough. I used a bit less than the 1/2 cup called for and I let it boil for a minute and a half to two minutes instead of 1. I would’ve responded to the comment asking, but I totally lost it.