Fail-proof homemade caramel sauce sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?! This easy caramel sauce can be made in less than 20 minutes and can be used to make homemade coffee drinks, top cakes, and cupcakes, dip apples in, or just eat with a spoon because it’s that good!
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Raise your hand if you love caramel!?
Ok, now raise your hand again if you want to make a fool proof caramel sauce at home that you can enjoy with literally anything! I see you over there, raising your hand smiling from cheek to cheeck because a fail proof caramel sauce at home recipe is coming your way.
This is the best Caramel sauce recipe ever!
Caramel sauce is such a nostalgic recipe for me. I remember being a young-in and making caramel in my old Algerian kitchen with my mom. It smelled so good and now when I make it again it makes all those amazing memories flood back into my mind.
Since, we are right around picnic season with the weather getting nicer, I wanted to share this easy caramel sauce recipe with you to take out to the park or beach or wherever you can have picnics at with some fruits and marshmallows to dip in.
It’s the perfect sweet treat for those days where you’re trying to up the self care!
What’s so special about this caramel sauce?
- Rich, and complex, and buttery.
- Ready in less than 15 minutes.
- Way cheaper than any store bought caramel sauce.
- Will make your house smell divine.
- Can be used in a so many different recipes.
- Is the perfect last minute caramel recipe if you need something ASAP for ice cream or to decorate desserts.
No candy thermometer caramel sauce!
Another reason why I love this caramel sauce recipe is the fact that it doesn’t require a candy thermometer. I know not all of us have a candy thermometer and some of us might actually have it but don’t want to dirty it ( ew extra dishes)
It will require you to be attentive while your caramel sauce is cooking but that’s not hard at all. I could watch caramel cook for hours. It is so therapeutic and the smell will have you hooked.
Ingredients for homemade caramel sauce
Here are the ingredients that you will need to make this easy caramel sauce at home. Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card to get the full detailed ingredient list.
- Sugar: You will need to use regular granulated sugar for this caramel sauce.
- Cream of tartar: The cream of tartar is used to keep the caramel sauce or sugar from crystalizing.
- Water– The water is used to moisten the sugar so that it cooks evenly before turning into caramel.
- Butter & heavy cream: The butter and the heavy cream will bring the fat up in this caramel sauce and will allow it to stay saucy. If we don’t add these two ingredients the caramel will harden. Make sure to use good quality butter and heavy cream because they will also be adding a depth of flavor and we want that flavor to be as good as possible.
- Sea salt (optional): This is one of my favorite little tricks when I want to make slated caramel sauce. Adding that sea salt to the mix will turn this from amazing to out of this world. Plus I always love a little salt in my sweets to balance things out.
What if I don’t have cream of tartar? | Ingredient substitution
Don’t panic just yet. Cream of tartar is used to add a little acidity to the sugar to keep it from crystallizing so if you don’t have cream of tartar a few drops of lemon juice will do the trick.
You can actually even make your caramel sauce without lemon juice or cream of tartar but it will be more of a pain because you run the risk of having your sugar crystalize.
Can I make caramel without cream of tartar?
Yes! If you decide to make caramel without cream of tartar you will need to have a wet pastry brush and continuously brushing down the sides of the sauce pan to wash down the sugar from the walls of the pan. This will keep them from crystalizing around the walls of the pan and in turn will keep the rest of the sugar from seizing up before it turns into caramel.
Another option would be to place a lid on top of your sauce pan, this way the condensation from cooking your sugar will come down the sides of the saucepan and wash down the sugar preventing it from crystalizing.
How to make fail proof caramel sauce at home
Here is how you can make fail proof caramel sauce, make sure to scroll down to the recipe card to se the detailed instructions.
- Add the sugar, water, and cream of tartar to a heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium-high heat.
- Cook until the sugar dissolves and turned an amber golden color.
- Add in the butter and heavy cream and stir until fully combined. If it’s still clumpy, place it back on the stove on medium heat and cook just until smooth.
- Let the caramel get to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container.
How to Store Salted Caramel
Storing caramel properly is a must because
I receive this question a lot and I’m so happy to answer it. After the caramel cools down, pour it into a glass jar or container. Refrigerate for up to 1 month. The caramel solidifies as it cools, but you can reheat in the microwave or on the stove so it’s liquid again. You can freeze the salted caramel, too. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then warm up before using.
Tips for the best caramel sauce
- Keep a close eye on your caramel while cooking it– Sugar can be very tricky when making caramel so keeping a close eye on your sauce pan will ensure that it doesn’t burn. Don’t worry too much to the point of not wanting to try out this recipe but check it from time to time to see when it’s done cooking.
- Use good quality butter and heavy cream– The heavy cream and butter are a big part of this recipe so making sure that you’re using the best quality ingredients will ensure a better tasting caramel sauce.
- Heat up your caramel whenever you want to use it– The caramel will thicken when you store it in the fridge of freezer so whenever you want to enjoy it as a dip of use it in drinks or in baked goods, pop it in the microwave for a bit. The longer you heat it up the more liquid it will become so start with only a few seconds.
How to store caramel sauce?
Caramel sauce will keep for quite some times. You can store it in the fridge in an airtight container (jar) for up to one month. You can also Store it in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
What to use caramel in?
having caramel handy at home is the best, you can use it for so many things! Here are a few ways I like to use my Caramel sauce:
- Use it to top greek yogurt with
- Swirl in homemade ice cream
- Use it to decorate cakes
- Top cheesecakes with it
- Use it to make your favorite Starbucks coffee drinks
- Add it to milk shakes and smoothies
- Use it in your coffees to make Starbucks inspired drinks!
If you use caramel sauce in different ways, please share them in the comments below! I would love to hear all the different ways you use this with.
Frequently asked questions
Does caramel sauce need to be refrigirated?
Yes! Because caramel sauce often had dairy in it, it needs to be stored in the fridge to not go bad.
Help! My caramel sauce is hard and thick. Can I reheat it?
Absolutely! Because caramel sauce is mad eup of heavy cream and butter as well as cooked sugar it will seize up once it gets to room temperature or even more when place in the fridge or freezer. So whenever you are ready to use and enjoy your homemade caramel sauce, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds or head it up on the stove top for a bit until it reaches the desired consistency.
Keep in mind that the more you heat it up the more thin and runny it becomes. So start by heating it up just a bit and stirring it to see if it’s good enough for what you’re using it for.
Homemade caramel sauce recipe
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Homemade caramel sauce recipe
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar read notes
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2-1 tsp seal salt flakes optional
- Start by adding the sugar and the water, and the cream of tartar to a heavy bottomed saucepan and place over medium high heat.
- Cook until the sugar dissolves and starts to turn a golden amber colored. Lift the saucepan and gently swirl to make sure that the caramel is evenly cooking. Sometimes, you might notice that the caramel is darkening faster in certain areas than others so that gentle swirl will help with that. This will take about 10-12 minutes
- Turn the heat off and add in the butter and the heavy cream immediately. Stir using a wooden spoon to get everything well incorporated.
- If the caramel looks clumpy, place the sauce pan back on the stove on medium heat and stir until it is smooth. You can now add in some sea salt or just let the caramel sauce cook to room temperature before transferring to a jar and into the fridge it goes!
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