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 incorporating into salted 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

easy homemade caramel in a glass jar with a drip
  • Author: Sarah Fennel| 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

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.*

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!
  • 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!

Keywords: easy homemade caramel sauce, easy caramel recipe, how to make homemade caramel, caramel recipe

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

19 comments

Jennyquack
Reply

Do you think this would work for caramel apples, or is it too runny? My daughter wants to make them, and this has ingredients I can get behind.

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hey Jenny! You can add half the cream to make this a thicker caramel that will set better!

Lauren Mophett
Reply

I just tried to make this and had an issue. After adding the butter, it never incorporated into the molten sugar, After some time mixing, the sugar mixture seized up in the pool of butter. The chunks seemed a but like pralines. I didn’t have enough of everything to start over, so I went ahead and added the cream, returned it all to the stove on medium heat and got most of the ingredients to incorporate, but the texture was just okay. Advice would be appreciated 🙂

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hey Lauren! Oh no! We’ve never had that happen so I’m not positive. Was your butter cold, or room temperature? You might have gotten your sugar too hot and the temperature difference between that and the butter could have caused it to separate and seize up. I’m glad to hear you got it all to combine in the end–it’s pretty forgiving, but next time try using room temperature butter or adding it in two batches! I will say it does take some time to become homogenous, so just keep stirring. Hope this helps 🙂

Bazilah
Reply

I had the same problem! When I added the butter the melted sugar somehow solidified. Like yours, it just sat there in a pool of melted butter. I tried stirring but it just won’t incorporate with the butter, even after adding the cream. So I had to reheat the mixture and kepy stirring. It did incorporate most of the mixture though. Maybe I should have waited a few minutes for the sugar to cool down before adding yhe butter. It’s possible that mu sugar temperature was too high since it took quite more than fifteen minutes for it to melt. Still tastes good though!!!

Erin
Reply

Turned out perfect and so so good. Gonna use it to fill macarons!

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Yay! So happy this turned out well for you! Enjoy your macarons 🙂

Sarah McMahon
Reply

I’ve just made the caramel to fill chocolates but it’s quite runny! Do I have to remake with half the cream or will it thicken when it cools? Thanks

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hey Sarah! It will thicken as it cools, but it still still be quite soft. I would add 1/4 cup of cream for a thicker caramel!

Mariam El-Naggar
Reply

It is AMAZING I loved it so much and I will definitely do it again! 😊

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

YAY! That makes us so so happy!! So glad you enjoyed!

CATHERINE WHITE
Reply

No vanilla extract?

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hey Catherine! You can definitely add vanilla if you’d like a vanilla caramel sauce but it’s not necessary!

TOS
Reply

Hey Sarah!
Please what type of cream can I use . Whipping cream ?

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hey there! You can use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream!

Pam
Reply

This looks so good I cant wait to make some!

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Yay! Let us know how it goes 🙂

Doris
Reply

Flow directions. You will not go wrong. Make sure you take sugar off the stove before you add butter. Most important thing to do is make sure you have everything ready. Before you start.

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