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Salted Caramel Sauce

5 from 1 vote

You might think making your own salted caramel sauce is a faff but not with this recipe... You only need 4 ingredients and 20 minutes to knock together a batch of homemade sauce.

Written By Brad Archer




Does this really need an introduction? You can probably taste it before you even get your ingredients out. My homemade salted caramel sauce is super sweet with a hint of salt and only requires 4 basic ingredients that you’ve probably got sitting in your kitchen.

Close up of salted caramel sauce

If this is the first time you’ve made caramel sauce, you need to be careful with how hot it gets. With this sauce, you add cold butter and cream into hot melted sugar so things will bubble up and spit. Just be careful.

That’s why, before you even start, it’s good to have everything laid out in front of you, all measured out and ready to go. Mis-en-place, as the French say.

Once you’ve made it, you’ll realise it’s the perfect topping for just about everything from waffles and pancakes to ice cream sundaes and fruit salads.

What’s In Salted Caramel Sauce?

Every caramel recipe will start with sugar. Fortunately, to turn that sugar into a salty, sweet sauce, you’ll only need 3 additional simple ingredients. That’s what makes this such an easy caramel recipe.

  • 200 g Granulated Sugar: Sugar is a must-have for the base of any caramel. I find granulated sugar the easiest to work with when making caramel.
  • 90 g Unsalted Butter: You need some fat to enrich your sauce. I’d always use butter, personally.
  • 120 ml Double Cream: It just has to be double cream! If you’re making caramel sauce, then you’re not counting calories.
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt: To add the salted to your caramel sauce, you will obviously need salt. I’ve kept things simple with just a teaspoon of fine sea salt. You could use flaky sea salt. It also depends on the salt level you’re after.

How to Make Salted Caramel Sauce

Step 1: The base of any caramel is sugar. Different caramels call for different sugar types, but for my homemade caramel sauce, I’m keeping things nice and simple.

All you need is 200g of granulated sugar. Tip this into a large heavy-bottom saucepan or skillet and heat over medium heat. Stir it continuously, either with a wooden spoon or a heat-proof spatula. You’ll want to scrap the sides of the pan to ensure none of the sugar gets left behind and then burns.

Melting sugar in a pan to make salted caramel sauce

Step 2: People often panic at this stage – I used to! I’ve heard from countless people who make caramel, see the sugar seizing into clumps and chuck it out. There’s nothing wrong at this stage. Give it time. You may want to turn it down to medium-low heat at this point.

As the sugar dissolves, it’ll slowly transform into that golden amber liquid you’re after. This is the major difference between the wet caramel method and dry caramel method. This is the dry method as we’re melting sugar without the addition of a liquid.

Allow sugar to clump to make caramel

Step 3: To give some richness, add butter to the now-melted sugar. When you add the butter, it will bubble up quite violently, so be careful. This is just where something cold is hitting something hot. Allow the butter to fully melt into the sauce – this only takes 2 minutes.

Add butter to pan

Step 4: Next, you want to turn your rich, sugary base into a sauce. Slowly drizzle in your double cream, stirring as you go. As before, it will all bubble up and may splutter, so be careful not to burn yourself. Keep stirring until the cream is fully incorporated and you have a silky-smooth caramel sauce.

If you’re after a thicker sauce, then use slightly less double cream to loosen it.

Add double cream to pan

Step 5: Remove the sauce from the heat and stir through enough salt to taste (although don’t try it yet as it will be like lava). Allow it to cool a little and then enjoy the best salted caramel sauce you’ve ever had on just about anything and everything…

Drizzling salted caramel sauce into a pink bowl

Substitutes and Tweaks

You can use other types of sugar, including brown sugar or demerara. However, larger sugar crystals will need more time to melt. Maple or corn syrup are other options.

You can change the source of the saltiness by using a teaspoon of miso paste when adding butter. This will give you that iconic umami saltiness.

Feel free to spike your salted caramel sauce with other flavours. You could add the zest of an orange, a squeeze of lemon juice or a few drops of vanilla extract.

If you love coffee as much as I do, add an espresso shot to the cream before you pour it into your melted caramel mixture.

If you want to make this vegan, then you could try coconut cream or cashew cream.

Give the caramel a subtle herbal note by infusing it with a sprig of mint, rosemary or thyme.

How to Store Salted Caramel Sauce

This sauce is rich! Even if you have the sweetest of teeth, you probably won’t eat it all in one go. The good news is that you can keep it pretty well.

How Do You Store Salted Caramel Sauce in the Fridge?

To store salted caramel sauce in the fridge, transfer it to an airtight container or a jar with a tight-fitting lid. This helps maintain its texture and flavour. It’s best to keep it away from strong-smelling foods to avoid flavour transfer.

How Long Does Salted Caramel Sauce Last in the Fridge?

Salted caramel sauce typically lasts up to two weeks in the fridge when stored properly in an airtight container. For optimal quality, check for any changes in texture or smell before use.

How Do You Freeze Salted Caramel Sauce?

To freeze salted caramel sauce, let it cool completely, then pour it into a freezer-safe container or bag, leaving some space for expansion. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.

How Do You Defrost Salted Caramel Sauce?

To thaw frozen salted caramel sauce, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. For quicker thawing, place the sealed container in a bowl of lukewarm water. Stir well before using to ensure consistency.

Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe

Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Course: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


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This is my recipe for salted caramel sauce


  • 200 g 200 Granulated Sugar

  • 90 g 90 Unsalted Butter, Cubed

  • 120 ml 120 Double Cream

  • 1 tsp 1 Sea Salt


  • Heat the granulated sugar in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heat-resistant spatula.
  • The sugar will form clumps initially but will eventually melt into a thick, amber-coloured liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn it.
  • Once the sugar has fully melted, add the butter. Be careful here – the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
  • Stir the butter into the caramel until it’s completely melted, which should take about 2-3 minutes.
  • Slowly drizzle in the cream while continuously stirring. Again, be careful as the mixture will rapidly bubble and possibly splatter when the cream is added.
  • Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Allow the sauce to cool before using.

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