Salted Caramel Sauce

As far as I’m concerned, caramel sauce is a kitchen staple. It is delicious and versatile, playing well with a broad range of flavors. It can be swapped in pretty much anywhere a syrup is called for, whether it is drizzled on top or baked right in.

Many people find making their own caramel sauce to be intimidating, and I will admit that was me at one point in time. It is true that the sugar can go from beautiful amber to a black smoking mess seemingly in the space of a single heartbeat (it really isn’t nearly that fast, but when multitasking in the kitchen, it can certainly seem that way). Introduction of “added extras”, such as anti-caking agents found in many salts can cause the solution to crystalize. And let’s face it, this stuff is HOT, when molten sugar splashes on you, it hurts! But all of that is avoidable and the end result is so worth taking just a little bit of care.

Really, it all boils down to “pay attention”. Don’t allow other tasks in the kitchen to distract you when you sugar is caramelizing. Read the label on your salt – if it the ingredient list is more than one item (salt) long, don’t use it to make caramel. Be careful when stirring the caramel or adding ingredients to it to avoid any splashing. And relax – it really isn’t so scary.

Salted caramel sauce

Salted Caramel Sauce

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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: caramel, sauce
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 20 ounces


  • kitchen scale
  • measuring spoons
  • sauce pan 3 quart or larger
  • candy thermometer
  • glass jars


  • 17 ounce sugar
  • 8 ounce water
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup optional
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt make sure the only ingredient is "sea salt"
  • 16 ounce heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • Put sugar, water, salt and corn syrup in a heavy bottomed medium to large sauce pan. Stir to combine.
  • Heat over medium heat with out stirring until the caramel turns a deep amber color. Swirl the pan occasionally to ensure even caramelization.
  • Lower the heat and carefully add the cream.
  • Stir continuously until mixture has smoothed out.
  • Insert a candy thermometer and continue cooking the caramel sauce until it reaches 225° F (107° C)
  • Stir in the vanilla extract until fully combined.
  • Pour caramel sauce into a heatproof container(s) (glass canning jars are excellent for this) to cool until just warm before using. Store remainder in the refrigerator, warm in the microwave before use.


This is a very large batch of caramel sauce, it will yield just over 20 ounces total.  That is about 20 servings.  Caramel sauce will keep for a very long time in the refrigerator and I love having it on hand to add to recipes or drizzle over just about anything (fruit, cakes, ice cream, various breakfast foods!) 
A note on the optional corn syrup.  Corn syrup interferes with the formation of crystals.  This is a caramel sauce, intended to stay in a liquid state rather then setting up into a creamy chewy candy, so there is very little risk of crystals forming.  But, if you’d like to take out just a little bit of insurance, feel free to add the corn syrup.

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