This easy salted caramel sauce is the perfect thick and glossy drizzle for all your sweet treats. It’s so rich and decadent that you’ll also want to eat it by the spoonful.
Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce
This easy salted caramel topping doesn’t get any better than when it’s drizzled over your favorite desserts. Actually, it might— it’s ready in less than 30 minutes and is a fail-proof one-pot recipe.
Made with 4 simple ingredients, you won’t believe how thick and creamy it is. In fact, others will probably bet a whole lot of money (or batches of this caramel) that you stood over the stove for hours. Fortunately, only you need to know that it’s as easy as melting the sugar, adding the butter, and mixing in the cream.
Its deep copper color is a cozy invitation to add it to cookies, pies, ice cream, and more. It doesn’t matter if they’re fall-flavored or not. You’ll still find everyone in the house eating this salted caramel sauce by the spoonful— so you might want to make a batch or two.
With only 4 ingredients, it’s an effortless recipe. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredient amounts.
- Granulated Sugar – Light and dark brown sugar are great substitutes.
- Unsalted Butter – You can use salted butter instead, just watch the amount of salt in the rest of the recipe.
- Heavy Cream – Half and half works too. No sour cream, dairy milk, or plant-based milk.
- Flaky Sea Salt – I really love flaky sea salt to put over my caramel sauce. The larger flakes, versus regular table salt, add so much more salty goodness!
How to Make Salted Caramel Sauce
Making this salted caramel topping consists of melting the sugar, adding the butter, and mixing in the heavy cream. That’s it!
- Melt the sugar. Place the sugar in a large pot over medium heat. Whisk it once it begins to melt. It will clump at first, but keep whisking.
- Let it brown. When the sugar is fully melted, stop whisking and occasionally stir the pan to let the sugar mixture brown. Once it’s light amber, remove the pot from the heat.
- Add the butter. Throw the butter into the pot and whisk vigorously until completely incorporated and melted into the mixture.
- Pour in the cream. Slowly pour the heavy cream into the pot while you whisk with your other hand. Once you get a smooth mixture, add the flaky salt. Mix to combine. Let it cool completely and add it to your favorite desserts and drinks.
Tips for Success
Follow these tips to keep your salted caramel topping from spilling, burning, and sticking:
- Choose the right pot. When choosing your pot for the salted caramel sauce, always choose a size up because the ingredients can expand and bubble— causing spills.
- Make it darker. The longer you cook the sugar, the deeper brown it will turn. This will give you a darker caramel sauce with a more caramel-y flavor.
- Use non-stick all the way. While stainless steel pots can look pretty on the stove, you do not want any caramel stuck to the sides or bottom of the pot. Plus, they’re super easy to burn things in. Skip all the trouble by using a non-stick pot instead.
- Use a silicone spatula. Although any heat-proof kitchen utensil will help you stir the caramel around, a silicone spatula is your best option because it cleans the surface and helps you integrate all the ingredients. If you have one, use it.
- Don’t reduce it too much. Avoid reducing the caramel too much because it will continue thickening as it cools down in the pot.
Ways to Use Salted Caramel Topping
This salted caramel topping can be drizzled over your favorite desserts and ice cream. I particularly love it over fall-flavored baked treats like my Cinnamon Baked Apples, Mini Apple Pie Cookie Cups, and easy Caramel Apple Dump Cake. I also can’t make Churros without having this sauce for dipping.
How to Store
Once fully cooled, refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. You don’t need to let it come down to room temperature again before eating. However, it will help loosen the caramel.
If it’s too thick to drizzle, place your serving size in a heat-proof container and microwave it in 10-second increments or until it reaches your desired consistency.
More Caramel Dessert Recipes
- Churro Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Pumpkin Roll with Toffee Filling
- Pumpkin Cobbler with Caramel and Pecans
- Classic Crème Caramel
- Caramel Pecan Clusters (Pecan Candy Recipe)
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
- ¾ cup heavy cream, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
- In a large, deep sided sauce pan over medium heat, add the sugar, whisking as it begins to melt. It will clump as it melts, but keep whisking until it is completely melted.
- Once it is fully melted, stop whisking and occasionally swirl the pan as it begins to brown. Once it reaches a light amber color remove from heat and very carefully add the butter, whisking it in with a clean whisk.
- Once all of the butter is mixed in, whisk in the cream until smooth and then whisk in the flaky salt. Allow the caramel sauce to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before serving or moving to a storage container.
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