Ditch the store-bought jar! Homemade Caramel Sauce can be yours to drizzle over whatever you please in about 20 minutes with only 3 ingredients!
I’m a freak for caramel.
I blame my husband – before him, I was a chocolate devotee. Nothing was better than a hot fudge sundae. After he literally forced his adoration of that liquid gold on me…I learned how to enjoy them both.
Liquid gold is probably the perfect description for caramel, really. It’s sort of a lofty title for some burnt sugar mixed with dairy, but whoever invented it was pure genius.
But, you know, as experienced a baker as I am…I’ve always struggled with making my own. Consistently, anyway, but I usually just blame my finicky stove.
To make your Homemade Caramel Sauce:
Pop a medium-sized saucepan on your stove (thick-bottomed works best,) crank up the heat to medium, and toss 1 cup of sugar inside.
Then wait. Grab almost a whole stick of butter (6 tablespoons of it, actually) and 1/2 cup of heavy cream and keep it close by your pot. Everything moves kind of fast after the sugar melts, so you’ll want to be ready.
Grab almost a whole stick of butter (6 tablespoons of it, actually) and 1/2 cup of heavy cream and keep it close by your pot. Everything moves kind of fast after the sugar melts, so you’ll want to be ready.
I use a spatula when I make caramel, but if you’re partial to whisks or wooden spoons, feel free to use one of those instead.
As the sugar begins to melt (or to help it along if you’re impatient like I am,) stir the pot vigorously and continuously. The sugar will begin to clump and harden into little balls – just continue to stir, and asmush the balls until they’re completely melted into a golden syrup.
At this point, you’ll need to add your chopped butter. This is one recipe where salted or unsalted is really up to you! A good salted caramel is all good in my personal opinion, so if that’s how you’re feeling, salt it up!
Over the next 2 or 3 minutes, your golden sugar and butter will fight. There will be much bubbling and spitting and sputtering, but soldier on and keep stirring until it’s all melted in.
Once the butter and sugar are happy, slowly and carefully drizzle in your heavy cream, stirring it all the while. Once again, a temper tantrum will be thrown, but after about a minute of boiling almost to the point you think it might overflow right out of the pan…voila.
Take that baby off the heat, for you have made caramel.
Trust me when I say I’ve burned mine more times than not – but once you get the rhythm down, you’ll be swimming in homemade caramel sauce. Go easy on heating the sugar, have your other ingredients at the ready, and do not walk away from the stove.
If you can manage those easy steps, you’ll be golden.
Homemade Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter salted or unsalted
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, rubber spatula, or wooden spoon. The sugar will clump and eventually melt into a golden-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Do not burn.
- Once sugar is completely melted, immediately but carefully stir in the butter for 2-3 minutes until completely melted. The sauce will bubble rapidly.
- Slowly and carefully drizzle in the heavy cream, continuing to stir. The mixture will once again bubble and splatter. After the cream is mixed in, allow the caramel to boil for about 1 minute, then whisk until smooth.
- Remove from heat; cool about 10 minutes before using.
- Cover tightly in a container or mason jar and store the caramel for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Simply warm it slightly before using it in a recipe.
Now that you have the basic formula – get baking! This homemade caramel sauce is sure to heighten the tastiness of ANY of these recipes!