The BEST Salted Caramel Sauce

Say hello to the BEST Salted Caramel Sauce! 

The BEST Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Don’t you hate when you have a bad caramel day? Each attempt either seizes up or burns. And then to add injury to insult, the ruined caramel has the audacity to burn you! It’s worse than a bad hair day. Seriously. Way worse. Maybe these things only happen to me…

The BEST Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Fortunately yesterday was not one of those days!
(Mine usually occur only when my husband is lurking around the kitchen to bear witness to my failure.)

The BEST Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Because yesterday I made the most delicious salted caramel sauce that I have ever had! I made two batches just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke.

I know calling something the BEST is a bold statement but salted caramel is something I take very seriously. I’ve tried a lot of salted caramel sauces and I feel qualified to make this designation.

The BEST Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

The ratio of butter to sugar to cream is perfect and there is just the right note of saltiness from the fleur de sel. It’s so, so, so good!!! So rich and creamy!

The BEST Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Even my cat loves this caramel! That is how universally loved it is. I had to keep shooing her from my photograph set or she would lick the sauce from the spoon.

And in the spirit of making everyday a good caramel day…

A few things I’ve learned about making salted caramel sauce [the hard way]:

  1. There is a sliding scale of acceptable caramel flavor. From the very light in color and, in my opinion, light on taste to the almost burnt, dark, sultry caramel that I prefer. The final taste will depend on when you add the butter to stop the cooking process. The caramel pictured in this post is that middle ground – universally accepted as a delicious, well-prepared caramel. I added the butter when the sugar had just turned amber in color and you could smell the cooking caramel but it did not have even a hint of a burning smell. My favorite caramel is cooked just a little bit longer (only another 15 to 20 seconds or so) and I add the butter when the sugar turns a deeper, rich amber color and there is just the slightest hint of burning scent when you waft the vapors (just like they taught in middle school chemistry).
  2. I have burned more caramel using a thermometer than I have using the senses God gave me, thus I dispense with the thermometer. I suggest you do the same. It’s just one extra dish to wash…unless you are trying to make candy (soft ball or hard crack) to which process a thermometer is essential.
  3. Have your butter and heavy whipping cream at room temperature. If you add a cold liquid to the hot sugar, it will seize up and you won’t be able to recover it.If you have a gas stove that delivers consistent, even heat, then feel free to whisk your sugar as it melts (as per the Brown Eyed Baker), but if you are cooking on an induction stovetop like me, then I find it best to refrain from whisking. Honestly cooking caramel on a gas stove is so much easier. Sigh. Some day.
  4. Be sure to whisk in the fleur de sel IMMEDIATELY after the cream otherwise it won’t completely incorporate. I also can taste the difference between Maldon’s Fleur de Sel and regular sea salt. I think it’s worth the splurge! :-)
  5. The Golden Rule of caramel making is DON’T WALK AWAY. Stand your ground at the stove. Don’t let your cat pester you into feeding her or your husband ask you to look at something. Your caramel focus will be broken and something will go horribly wrong. I know. These things happen.

The BEST Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

The BEST Salted Caramel Sauce

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 2 cups

The BEST Salted Caramel Sauce

The BEST Salted Caramel Sauce that I have ever tried!! Smooth and creamy with the perfect consistency.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fleur de sel (or another sea salt)

Instructions

  1. In a 2 to 3 quart saucepan, melt the sugar over medium-high heat. Lots of recipes call for you to stir until all the sugar is melted, but, for me, I get better, more consistent results on my induction stove if I just let it be and swirl the pan frequently. [Unless the recipe calls for sugar AND water to be cooked. In that case, I stir with abandon.]
  2. Once all the sugar has melted watch your caramel like a hawk; swirling the pan occasionally. As soon as the sugar turns amber in color add your butter and whisk vigorously. It will bubble up aggressively but just keep whisking until all the butter has melted.
  3. Remove pan from the heat and slowly pour in the cream while whisking vigorously. The caramel is going to bubble aggressively again, so be careful but stand your ground.
  4. Whisk until all the cream is incorporated and then whisk in the fleur de sel.
  5. Set the sauce aside to cool for 15 minutes prior to pouring it into a glass jar to cool completely.
  6. You can refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks, but you will need to warm it before using. I gently heated mine in a saucepot with warm water or at 5 second intervals in the microwave (yes, 5 second intervals).

Notes:

Recipe Slightly Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

http://americanheritagecooking.com/2014/03/best-salted-caramel-sauce/

You may also like:

Bailey’s Irish Coffee Caramel Brownies

Baileys Irish Coffee Milk Chocolate Brownies

Double Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Easter Double Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Caramel Chocolate Chip Blondies

Caramel Chocolate Chip Blondie

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey's Buttercream and Salted Caramel Filling

 Maple Pecan Caramel Brown Butter Blondie

Maple Pecan Brown Butter Blondies

 

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie 

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie

 

 


Comments

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      It is an excellent topper for ice cream! I have been eating it off the spoon, baking it into brownies and blondes, and filling cupcakes! It will be making several cameo appearances soon!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thank you!!

      Mmmm all this talk of caramel is making want some! Maybe I’ll just take a quick trip to the fridge….

  1. says

    Salted caramel sauce – I love it! And it looks so appetizing, dripping on the sides of that glass jar. YUM! I would put it all over everything: pancakes, crepes, sweet quick breads, muffins, etc.!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Leave it to you, the Crepe Master, to think of putting it in a crepe! That would be so yummy! I think I remember you having a banana bread that was dripping in caramel. Good thing I have some left or I would have to make some more to spice up my usual banana bread recipe!

  2. says

    I just love caramel, especially when it’s warm. I’ve done my share of screwing up caramel. It is so easy to make, but at the same time also so easy to mess up. And OMG speaking of caramel burns…OUCH! Something at that temperature burning you is just beyond painful. There was a girl in my class that had hot caramel spill all over her hand. It was when we were making caramel cages, she thought it would be clever if she used plastic to pipe the caramel, but she paid the price for it. Hot sticky caramel sticking to your hands…yikes!

    And I am drinking iced caramel macchiato right now as I type this. I’ve cut back on the caffeine, but I never said I was going to quit cold turkey haha.
    Miss Kim @ behgopa recently posted…Ghirardelli Gift Card Giveaway to commemorate my one year blogiversary!My Profile

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      I am not generally an advocate of quitting anything cold turkey especially caffeine…can lead to headaches!

      Hmmm plastic and caramel…bad plan. The big question though is when you do get hot caramel on your hand while in the middle of cooking, do you stop and run it under cold water and burn your caramel, or do you suffer through the pain to save the caramel? I say anything to save the caramel!!

  3. LJ says

    I tried your sauce and I got hard bits of sugar mixed in with my sauce. Luckily I have a nice size container without bits, but what was left in the pot was the consistence of slush. I tried reheating it and that melted a little of it, but most of it went down the drain. What do you think I did wrong? My butter wasn’t exactly room temp and it took a lot of stirring to incorporate, so I am blaming it on that. Today I am going to make the cupcakes. BTW, the sauce is delicious, thanks for the recipe.

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Hi LJ – I’m so sorry you are having trouble! Caramel can be tricky! If I am understanding your situation correctly, it sounds like you had no problems melting down the sugar and caramelizing it. The problems happened when you added the butter and the cream. That is exactly what kept happening to me when I added cold butter and cream to the sugar – it seizes up and, once re-crystalized, there is no way to fix it. I tried. Once I used room-temperature (i.e- really warm) butter and cream it stopped seizing up. The only other time that I ended up with sugar crystals in my finalized caramel was when I stirred the sugar while it was melting on my induction stovetop. I could not get the the crystals to reincorporate before I burned the sugar. I hope that helps!

      Have fun with the cupcakes!

      • Missy says

        Glad I saw this reply. I just tried this recipe, and I guess that’s what I get for stirring the sugar as it was melting….I didn’t have a saucepan and was using a large skillet, so I got nervous. DANG IT. BUT – the flavor is out of this world (what I salvaged without sugar bits)

        • AmericanCooking22 says

          Brave! Trying it in a skillet! I would be afraid it would bubble up and burn me. Glad you tried it and were able to salvage some!

          • Missy says

            Well, in all fairness, it was one of those giant Emeril skillets…using your sauce for triple vanilla, salted caramel filled cupcakes with browned butter buttercream (with caramel drizzled on top of course!

          • AmericanCooking22 says

            Those cupcakes sound delicious!!! The extra caramel drizzle was totally understood! I’m going to have to try browned butter buttercream. Do you brown the butter and then refrigerate it solid again?

  4. says

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my blog so i came to “return the favor”.I
    am attempting to find things to enhance my site!I suppose its
    ok to use some of your ideas!!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Lol! That’s the problem!! My site’s been a little caramel heavy since I first made it! Aaaaannnnddd I may have some still in the fridge…..here comes trouble!

      • matt says

        This looks amazing. I was trying to melt the sugar in the sauce pan but it was already turning brown on the bottom before it all melted. I made the mistake of stirring it and then had fun cleaning out the “harder than granite” sugar rocks. Can you melt the sugar by itself without burning the bottom or should I be using a double burner or should I be melting it WITH the butter?

        • AmericanCooking22 says

          Hi Matt! I’m so sorry that happened. That has definitely happened to me…sometimes the temptation to stir is irresistible. When you make caramel using the dry method (aka without water) parts of the sugar will melt faster especially if you are using an induction stove. Gas heats more evenly, so it will melt more constantly. You are definitely supposed to melt the sugar by itself. I’m not sure it would get hot enough to melt in a double boiler. I vigorously swirl my pot to try and distribute the melting sugar and help it melt more evenly. I’ve ruined many a pot of caramel (mostly by cooking it too long) and the good news is that you can let it soak for 15 minutes and the sugar will dissolve. No scrubbing needed! Good luck!

        • Melissa says

          So Matt, I had the exact same problem the first time. I tried it for the second time today and WOW! No matter how much I wanted to stir that sugar (I did cook on a gas stove) I held back and just swirled. Made the entire difference! Take 2, turned out PERFECT!

          • AmericanCooking22 says

            Haha! I am terribly jealous of your gas stove! Way to impose that self-restraint! I know it is so difficult to resist the urge to stir! I’m so glad it turned out perfectly this time and I hope you enjoy it whether you are eating with a spoon or baking with it!

          • AmericanCooking22 says

            Lol! A girl after my own heart! All is as it should be :-) Except that I have no caramel to eat with a spoon!

  5. Cassie says

    Have you tried canning this? I would like to make several batches to have on hand ( since I go through it so quickly!), but I didn’t want to waste all my beautiful caramel if it wouldn’t work:(

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      I haven’t tried canning it but I have used it over the course of several months and found it tasted exactly the same. I keep it in the jar pictured, tightly sealed in the coldest part of my refrigerator. I’ve done this with several batches and the only trouble I had was that some of the larger flakes of salt eventually settled towards the bottom but I think this was because I forgot to crush the salt prior to adding it so it didn’t fully dissolve.

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Yes it is! I was just trying to figure out how to swirl it into my first batch of homemade ice cream!

  6. Flo says

    Hi, Lindsey. What a great recipe! I’m going to try it soon with an apple pie (or perhaps a crumble). Are 12 tablespoons of butter 170 grams? Thanks

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      I hope you do try it, Flo! It would be delicious with apples. 12 T of butter weigh approximately 170 grams.

      • Flo says

        I am suuuuch a failure….. I tried making your caramel sauce and everything went wrong… I added water to the sugar, but I think I added a bit too much. My sugar got clumpy and then, after about 10 minutes, it started to turn amber (it was still clumpy, though). I had to clean up my mess with boiling water.
        I think I’ll just give up on caramel, since it’s the second time i’ve tried making it (the first time it burnt).

        • AmericanCooking22 says

          Oh no!! You are not a failure! I would be willing to bet that 99% of people who have made caramel have also ruined caramel. I include myself in this 99%. I actually burned the caramel twice and my hand in this post!

          This is a dry caramel recipe meaning you don’t mix the sugar with water before heating. I have tried several “wet” caramel recipe before and they often add corn syrup in with the water and sugar to keep the sugar from clumping or seizing up. You are also supposed to stop stirring as soon as the sugar dissolves. I have had more luck using the dry method. It sounds like it worked except that your sugar seized. I have never had luck getting the sugar to remelt completely before caramelizing, so you are not alone here either! I hope you do try again; it’s so much better than store-bought! :-)

  7. Lisa says

    Hi! Can this sauce be turned into firmer caramel candy if cooked to a higher temp after adding the cream when the sauce is done like other caramel candy recipes call for ? Thanks!

      • Lisa says

        Oh no! I’m having difficulties!… My sugar that I am melting in step one is already getting much too dark before all the ‘clumps’ have broken down and dissolved!…. Even when my temp is med-low!!! Then finally when it’s just barely dissolved it looks quite dark( almost too dark) so I add my warm butter right away but it doesn’t want to incorporate and I end up with large golfball hardened size clumps among the mixture of butter and sugar that’s not incorporating!!! ( so then the first time I attempted to whisk the butter for a few minutes to get it to incorporate and everything seized up real hard so I couldn’t even add the cream ) but the second time I add the cream right away even though the butter had not come together with the melted sugar and the mixture only starts to smooth out after 5 minutes of hard whisking over medium heat but even then I am left with big clumps of the original sugar mixture that never incorporated well with the butter and cream at first!!! Ahhh! Help! Please! Thankyou!!

        • AmericanCooking22 says

          Oh no!!! I feel your frustrations! This will sound counterintuitive, but you need to melt the sugar over medium-high heat. If you melt it over low it will take too long for all of it to melt and you will have a mixture of unmelted sugar and burned sugar. I, too, have done this. It sounds like you are using an electric burner which will exacerbate all these problems because the heat is inconsistent and uneven to begin with. When making caramel on an electric stove it is important to swirl the caramel more frequently and use a heavy-gauge saucepan if possible. When the sugar starts to melt, it will melt unevenly. Don’t worry, just swirl and try to rotate your pan to get it to cook evenly on the burner. You can also try a long handled spoon instead of a whisk to add the butter and cream.

          One more thing…when you say “clumps” what do you mean? If your sugar is clumped before you start melting it, you definitely want to smash those because they will take too long to melt otherwise. I hope all that helps, Lisa! Caramel is so temperamental! One of these days I’ll get a gas stove and I’ll make caramel carefree! :-)

          • Lisa says

            Thank you a million times! I will try again! But when I said clumps I meant basically the sugar ( which had no clumps before starting) as it is starting the melting process forms it’s own clumps and somehow some of them never finish dissolving by the time the rest is perfect darkness! Maybe the higher heat will help this. But the mixture is really darkening so quickly on me! And like I said im also really struggling to get first the butter and then the cream to incorporate smoothly the butter really just stays liquid apart from the sugar ! I’ll try again ! My goal then at the end was to turn this in caramels to cut so basically after i finally get a smooth mixture ( hopefully) then I would continue to cook to a higher heat ( how high?? Of just a few minutes longer of cooking?) in order for this to firm enough to turn in caramel candies? Thank you thank you! Would lemon juice help to keep this from crystallizing? Or is that for a completely different purpose?

          • AmericanCooking22 says

            Welcome! The sugar will melt unevenly and that is totally normal! Just swirl vigorously to try and get some of the melted sugar on the dry sugar! I only get crystalized clumps in the beginning if I try to stir or whisk my sugar before it melts. Others have had success doing this but it NEVER works for me, so I just leave it alone and swirl. You can also get crystals in the beginning if you have something else in the pan other than sugar when you start cooking it. I have read that adding lemon juice can keep this from happening but I’ve never tried it. You can also try the wet method, which means just adding just enough water to wet the sugar in the pan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and then following the recipe as written. I prefer the dry method but that is a personal preference. If the sugar crystalizes before adding the butter, I have never been able to melt it all back down after adding the butter and sugar. If it is only a few pieces, then you can just take them out with a spoon and no one will be the wiser! :-)

            To make soft caramel candies you want to cook the sugar to the firm ball stage which is around 245 degrees F. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, then you can do the test the old fashioned way by dropping a dollop into cold water. When you remove the caramel from the water it should be in a firm ball that will flatten when squeezed but will stay in a ball in your hand. It should be malleable. If you cook it past this stage then you will get into the soft and hard crack stages that get completely hard when you drop them in the water.

          • Lisa says

            Ps- the last batch even after whisking and whisking to smooth it out still has all sorts of clumps and chunks left in it now after setting!

          • Lisa says

            Thanks I’m still trying!! To make caramels Do you mean cook it to 245 after adding the cream and butter?

          • AmericanCooking22 says

            That’s correct. Add the butter and cream when the caramel hits your desired level of “burnt”. I like mine a darker amber but that is personal preference. The caramel as pictured was a lighter amber before I added the butter and cream. Return the caramel to the heat and continue to cook until it reaches the correct temperature. You can also stir or whisk away at this point.

          • Lisa says

            Thankyou for all your help! Ok well after 2 more attempts I’ve managed to get much less clumping when I do it the way you described with less mixing! but during the sugar melting period it’s turning much too dark before it’s all melted resulting in burnt flavored very too dark caramel! I just can’t get it to darken less quickly to give the rest of the sugar time to melt! Hmmm any other ideas with my darkening problem? It’s just much much too dark to quick that’s all I can say to explain! The portions that melt first hit the perfect color when there’s still a lot of sugar left to melt so then I wait for the rest to melt while swirling like you said ( which was a great idea) but before that happens it’s already too dark and burnt! Yes I’m using an electric. Thankyou again for trying to help me!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Sampling is definitely always a problem! I’ll check out that caramel pudding! It’s been forever since I made a pudding. Enjoy!!

  8. Lee Anne says

    Might I add to your list of “…Things I’ve learned…”? I only use raw sugar and did not imagine this could pose any problems until the sugar starting melting then realized very quickly it was already the desired color just as it completely melted. After a short moment of panic I simply used the smell of the sugar as my guide. It was also imperative to have everything lined up and ready so at the crucial moment of life or death, there’s no need to go madly searching for anything.

    I’m happy to say all turned out well in the end and I have several little jars of an absolutely divine sauce..

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      I’m so glad to hear it worked with raw sugar too! Even with regular sugar the smell is very important. That is a great point about having everything at the ready! It is absolutely necessary! Enjoy your sauce!

  9. says

    I made this and turned out great a little concerned it wanted to seaze up but keep on wisking and smothed outfine. I think maybe I addeda little too much salt but still so good will cut salt a bit next time.
    Thanks so much for great recipe and hints.

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      I’m so glad it all worked out! I always have that moment when I am making caramel when I worry that it’s going to seize up and not going to work! The salt measurements are for fleur de sel, which have very large salt flakes. If you used regular table salt or even coarse salt, it might be too much volume. You are most welcome! What are you going to make with it? Or are you just going to eat it with a spoon (no judgement here! My husband does that all the time!)

  10. Missy says

    I did. Poured it into a bowl, let it solidify a little (to the consistency of softened butter) and then beat it until fluffy. If I could figure out how to post a picture of the final product, I would. They were GLORIOUS!! The buttercream is really the champion of these cupcakes!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      They sound delicious! I’ll have to try that out. I bet it would be good on a pumpkin pecan cupcake too. You can post a pic on my FB page if you want or on Instagram and tag me :-)

  11. Deborah says

    Hi, this looks amazing, I’m thinking about making some for gifts for Christmas this year. What size of jar do you store this in?

    Thanks

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Hi Deborah! That is a wonderful Christmas gift idea! I have only stored it in the jar that it is pictured in, and I have always made it and used some immediately in a recipe. I think you could use any size jars that you want. The recipe as written makes about 2 cups of sauce. I am out of town so I can’t check the size of the jar, but it is probably about 1 1/2 cups.

  12. CJ says

    I just made this and served it over apple crisp. OMG, over the top!! You can eat it alone, right out of the spoon…it’s Mmmm delicious!! Followed recipe and tips exactly. It came out perfect…

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thanks for stopping back to tell me, CJ! That makes me so happy to hear! I bet it would be ah-mazing over apple crisp! It is also excellent right off the spoon – this I know from experience. :-)

  13. Katrina says

    Please tell me if I’m being stupid, but is the first step literally just sugar in the pan? No water at all? I can’t get my head around the fact that it will melt?! About to attempt for dinner guests tonight to dip apples in (caramel fondu, I wanted to do toffee apples in honour of Halloween but just discovered dear husband doesn’t like them!)

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Haha! You are not being stupid, Katrina. There are two different methods of making caramel: a wet and a dry method. This recipe is the dry method where sugar is melted all by its self. The wet method is when sugar is first dissolved in water and then they are cooked together. The dry method does require more babysitting and you will need to swirl the pan to keep it cooking evenly. I have tried both methods and I prefer the caramel produced by the dry method. I can’t believe your husband doesn’t like toffee apples! They are so delicious! A caramel fondu sounds delicious too. Good luck!

  14. Chrissy says

    I am going to attempt making your caramel sauce to use as Christmas gifts. I was wondering if it were possible to make the recipe in bulk to fill several jars at once or if it would be harder to do that way. I have never tried to make my own caramel and I wasn’t even worried about attempting it until I read your directions and all the comments so I’m trying to do some ‘homework’ before trying it.

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Hi Chrissy! I would not try to make this in any larger batch than as written. I think you will have even more trouble getting all the sugar to melt before it starts burning especially if you do not have a gas cooktop. Good luck! The good news is, when you are done, you’ll be an expert at caramel!

  15. Dianne says

    Hi Lindsay
    Thank you so much for allowing me to use your photo for my caramel sauce. I have now properly credited the photo with a link to your site. Thanks once again.
    Best wishes

  16. Jeanie says

    Hi, I tried making the caramel and it had some hard pieces, I was able to take them out but the caramel didn’t thicken enough it is like a thick liquid. I think my butter wasn’t at room temp, can you melt the butter putting it in. Can I cook it longer to help it thicken. Also was I supposed to cook it longer after I added the cream and butter. Thanks

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Hi Jeanie! Those hard pieces are from the sugar seizing most likely from adding cold butter. Sugar naturally wants to recrystalize so if any sugar crystals on the spoon or side of the pan fall into your caramel it also may create lumps of sugar. The same thing happens when you add cold butter and cream to the hot sugar; the cold will shock the syrup and chill parts of it creating crystals. Sometimes you can keep heating it and the crystals will dissolve but often it’s best just to strain it.
      To achieve the caramel sauce consistency in the photos, I did not need to keep heating it. If you do keep cooking it, it will continue to thicken. Hope that helps!!

  17. hirsche says

    I just made this sauce and it is so yummy in the tummy! Here are a few things I learned, 1) read the directions at least 5 times, 2) read them once more, 3) Swirl that pan! my sugar went a little lumpy but I kept on swirling and they melted out, 4) the sauce turned out a little thinner than I like, 5) I may need to drink the stuff! (Can you get drunk on caramel sauce)
    All kidding aside, I did read the instructions many times and followed them as you wrote them. Getting the method down right is the most important step. And yes I poured some in a glass and I am sipping it as I clean up! Forget the spoon!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      LOL! I will have to add your #1 and #2 suggestions to my list! Hilarious! And so true
      If the sauce is too thin, you can cook it longer and it will thicken up. And there is no shame in drinking salted caramel! I do it all the time :-)

  18. says

    I love this recipe, is there anyway to keep the same recipe but make it into candy squares? I feel so lucky to get this one right I just want to stick with it:)

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Hi Beth! I have often wondered the same thing. The only thing you can do is try! To make caramel candies, you just put the caramel back on the heat after adding the butter and sugar and continue to cook it until it reaches 235 F (soft ball stage). Pour it into a grease pan or little molds if you have them. This recipe has a lot of butter and cream, which is the only reason I can fathom that you could not make it into caramel candies. Good luck! Let me know if it works because I want to make some!

  19. Lisa says

    I got hit with major sugar cravings earlier and searched pinterest for all things sweet and gooey and delicious, and came across your recipe. I’ve always been scared to try make caramel sauce myself but the need got too great and your instructions were so clear and detailed, I got confident and ran out to get some cream and a (huge) tub of tin roof! Everything went exactly like your description (until I dropped the butter spoon into the caramel) and the sauce came out perfectly!! Living in South Africa, I wouldn’t know where to start looking for fleur de sel, and just used coars-ish sea salt. Unfortunately, it seems like my salt settled at the bottom of the pan (a discovery I made while practically licking the bowl), was I meant to use a fine/table salt?
    Thanks so much for this amazing share though, I’ll never be satisfied with the store-bought kind again!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Haha! I am soooo happy to hear that your caramel came out (almost) perfectly! I absolutely love this recipe! I have dropped my spoon too, but fortunately the caramel was saved! As for the salt…I have a few thoughts on salt. I never use table salt in my baking because it it processed and tastes completely different than sea salt. Maldon salt is a very high quality sea salt with thin flakes that melt very quickly into the caramel. I have used regular sea salt but I used fine texture. If the crystals are too large then they won’t dissolve and you will have salt at the bottom. The other mistake that I made with salt was adding it too late so the caramel wasn’t hot enough to dissolve the crystals and I just got pieces of salt in my caramel like you. I add it immediately after the butter. You can put it back on the heat to dissolve it too but the longer you cook your caramel, the thicker it will be after cooling! I hope that helps!!! Happy baking!

  20. Ann says

    First time success thanks to your detailed instructions. I laid everything out first, swirled, whisked and it worked! A couple of sugary blobs left behind in the pan is all.
    It tastes fantastic and is headed for the top of chocolate lava cakes and coffee ice cream tonight.
    Thank you for instilling confidence. I read your instructions maybe half a dozen times before I took the plunge.

    • Lindsey says

      I am so happy to hear that, Ann!! There is nothing quite like homemade caramel! I am seriously so happy that my instructions helped you! Since I wrote that, I went to culinary school so I have been meaning to go back and update that post with even more helpful hints! Enjoy your chocolate lava cakes and ice cream! They sound perfect!

  21. Kayla says

    So this turned out absolutely beautifully, but unfortunately WAY too salty. I wish I had thought about the volume difference of flaked versus fine or coarse sea salt. I even made another batch with no salt and added it to the ultra-salty batch and it is still unbearably salty. Off to make a third batch in hopes to save the first two. Disappointed, but hopefully others can learn from my mistake! It may be beneficial to add a comment in your recipe about others adding significantly less salt if using coarse or fine sea salt. :(

    Overall great recipe, and easy to make. My own silly mistake ruined it :/

    • Lindsey says

      Hey Kayla! I’m happy both batches turned out beautifully but I’m disappointed about the salt. I’ll test it with fine sea salt and see what my suggested measurement would be. I would try 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt but I wouldn’t use coarse sea salt because I don’t think the granules would dissolve completely. I waited just a touch too long one time and the flaked sea salt didn’t dissolve. Thank you so much for sharing your experience so we can all learn and I can improve my recipe! I hope the third batch solved it – on the bright side, you are now a caramel pro!! :-)

  22. nishi says

    I read some of the replies after stuffing up my sugar.. sugar bits remain and hard as rock too.. ladies.. im gonna put it in thw spice grinder! Its the sugar or me tonight! Sauce is heavenly btw.. those sugar bits are gonna keep me up if I dont do something.

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Nishi- The sugar bits will eventually melt into the caramel if you keep cooking it but the sauce will be thicker and will eventually become candy. You can also strain the sugar bits out. The sugar bits happen when the sugar crystallizes which can happen from too much agitation or even if you have sugar crystals on the side of the pan and they fall back in.

  23. Trula says

    I always appreciate reading review so I just figured that I’d put in my two cents. I made this today, and it turned out just beautifully. The biggest problem for people seems to be in the melting of sugar, so here’s what I did: I let the sugar melt without stirring (just swirling) until about 2/3 of the sugar was melted. At that point, I used a wooden spoon to slowly incorporate the rest of the sugar, and then I stirred fairly vigorously once there were just little floating chunks of sugar until it was all melted. Yes, the melted sugar was golden brown while some of the sugar hadn’t even melted yet, but in the end it worked. I did put the caramel back on the stove for about 2 minutes after I had added the cream and butter just to thicken it up a tad. It’s delicious…thank you!

  24. Rosie says

    Well, I’m salted-caramel-challenged :( — I swear it sounds soooo easy to make, but I tried 3 times this evening and it all went down the drain. I had all kinds of trouble…the first time I tried a different recipe that called for corn syrup and no butter…yeah, I know. By the time I added the cream it became liquid and it never set. The second time I tried you recipe and the sugar did not melt all the way when it started burning. So, I thought it was the brand of sugar so I switched to a different brand and one more time it started getting dark before the sugar melted all the way. However this time I was able to add the butter and the cream quickly and it came out okay, but with a slight burn-taste….ahhhh, what is it? I have an electric stove and maybe is gets too hot.
    Also, quick question. Is there a reason to not add water to the sugar before melting it? someone told me I should melt the sugar with a bit of water to avoid burning it…
    **(in Charlie Brown voice)** I don’t wanna give up on salted caramel!!!

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Rosie! Don’t give up! I’ve totally been there. Promise. Let’s start with your last question and go from there. There are two different methods for making caramel. One is the dry caramel method (this recipe) and one is the wet caramel method. One is not any better than the other. Some find the wet caramel method easier but you absolutely cannot stir it after the sugar has dissolved because the agitation combined with the hydration will cause it to crystallize. Also once the sugar has dissolved into the water, you should wash the sugar crystals from the side of the pot with a clean pastry brush dipped in water or I have even used a wet papertowel. If you leave crystals on the side of the pot then they can fall into the caramel and cause it to crystallize. Once you hydrate the water and wash the sides, don’t touch it! You can swirl a few times but don’t stir! There is no wrong amount of water to add but the more you add, the longer it will take too cook because the water needs to boil off before the sugar will caramelize. No big deal. You can change this recipe into a wet caramel if you want to try it.

      Take heart: The problem is not you and your caramel making skills; the problem is your electric cooktop. The heat is uneven and the burner turns off and on to maintain a “consistent” heat, which is never consistent. Don’t fret. I made the caramel in this post on an electric stove. If your caramel starts to melt unevenly, which it always will, just stir it gently with a wooden spoon (bonus points for one with a flat bottom). Then allow it to continue to melt. Think of corn syrup as cheap insurance against crystallization. I only use corn syrup with wet caramel though. If you want to try that add about 1/2 cup of water to the sugar in this recipe and stir to hydrate the sugar then add about 1 tablespoon of corn syrup, stir to combine; wash down the sides of the pot and don’t touch it! There are scientific reasons why I do not add the corn syrup to the sugar before it is hydrated but I’ll spare you!

      The other recipe you tried – the one with the cream that never set – you just need to put it back on the heat and keep cooking it to thicken it. That is how you make caramel candies.

      Lastly, just remember that caramel *is* burned sugar. The key is just to figure out how “burned” you like it. I like really dark, rich caramel so I let mine get a dark amber before I add my butter and cream. If you like it lighter, add the cream and butter when it reaches a lighter amber color. The darker the caramel, the less sweet it is. There is about 2 seconds between dark amber and black-burned. You may have to burn a few before you figure it out. I know I did! I hope that helped! Don’t give up. Let me know what you try and if it worked!

      • Rosie says

        Lindsey,
        Omg, thank you soooo much for writing such a through response—you’re an angel !!!! Thanks a million!!!
        Now I realize how little I know about ‘salted caramel’ — there’s a whole science behind it lol !!! — and all this time I kept thinking my life is full of mishaps (just like Charlie Brown) so add salted caramel to the list, ha!! —
        And, you are so right! my electric stove does create uneven heat and the sugar doesn’t know whether to boil or just be hot.
        Ahhhh, I didn’t know I could had salvage the batch that never set…unfortunately that one went down the drain already…oh well. Okay, off to buy more sugar and try the recipe one more time. –if Charlie Brown never gives up why should I????–…who cares if I never achieve perfect salted caramel but I’m learning so many things about the process and properties of delicious Salted Caramel!!! #unstoppable #nevergiveup #keeptrying #practicemakesperfect

        • Lindsey says

          You are most welcome, Rosie! #unstoppable is right! You’ll nail it soon! It is difficult on an electric burner but totally possible! I know that feeling of throwing out something I later realized that I could salvage – that’s the worst. I threw out so many Italian and Swiss buttercreams before I went to culinary school where I learned that they were all completely fixable! :-( You’ve got this! Let me know how it goes!

  25. Nikki says

    Thank you for such a killer recipe and all of the tips! I tried it yesterday, Thanksgiving, to go with an espresso cheesecake. It was my first time making caramel and it turned out great!

  26. says

    Might be a dumb question, but what temp should the cream and butter be? I have had them out on my counter for a couple hours and they are about 60 degrees. I can’t seem to find an easy answer anywhere online.

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Jen! Great question! Room temperature is just fine. You just don’t want them cold or they will seize the hot caramel. You can warm the cream a little in the microwave if you want but it’s not necessary. If the butter is soft, it’s warm enough.

  27. Ashleigh says

    I just came across your salted caramel recipe. I am very intrigued. I am thinking a bit along the lines of a salted caramel bourbon sauce to give for christmas to my coworkers, any thoughts on how to go about this with your recipe?

  28. Ellione says

    I have a question: since i am not american all the cupmeasurings confuse the hell out of me. But if i calculate correctly it would be: 240g sugar
    230g heavy cream
    170g butter
    5,6g salt (although i will just use a spoon for this one)
    Am i right? I just don´t wanna mess this up :D

    • Ellione says

      So i couldn´t wait and tried it with my estimated amounts of ingredients. Although it was a little bit too salty at the beginning (i only made about half the portion and i messed up the salt a little bit) but i saved it by adding decorating powder sugar into the hot caramell. And all i can say now is: oh my god, my taste buds are in heaven <3 <3 <3

      • Ellione says

        i hope you enjoyed your vacation :) And oh yes i made this and i am happy with it. This is also going to be a part of a birthday present. The person has already tried it and also fell in love. So all i can say is: thank you for sharing this lovely recipe :*

  29. Norma says

    I have a burnt finger, 2 failed pots of half burnt sugar but will use all my sugar until I have a nice jar of Carmel!! Back to the stove!

  30. Mao says

    Hi! this looks so delicious! I’m looking for a caramel recipe that i can pipe though…is it possible to pipe this on to a cake?

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Mao! What exactly are you going to pipe? It’s probably a bit too loose at room temperature for that. I would use less cream and butter to get a pipeable caramel.

      • tania says

        Heya, I have come across this recipe and just wondering if it will be suitable to put in a squeezy ketchup type bottle and used as a caramel sauce for drizzling over squirty cream topped hot chocolate

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