Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Salted Caramel Sauce

Salted caramel is one of my absolute favorite flavors.  In fact, we chose salted caramel gelato to serve at our wedding!  I’m not sure why I love it so much, perhaps it’s the complexity of salty + sweet.  I just know that I lose all resistance in the face of this flavor in any dessert!  I originally made a batch of this salted caramel sauce because I needed it for another recipe (not sure if I’ll blog that, not crazy about the photos).  I was halving the other recipe, but chose to make the full amount of caramel, for obvious reasons.  Besides, anytime a recipe calls to boil sugar & water, I hate to halve it, because I always seem to have a hard time having enough liquid for the candy thermometer to even register.

This salted caramel sauce is the perfect consistancy for drizzling atop ice cream.  Especially bourbon ice cream.  But it also is an excellent topping for brownies & cheesecake.  Or, you can go with my preferred method of consumption, and just eat it straight from the jar.  It keeps really well refrigerated, as long as you try to hide it from yourself after each time you eat some.  I have to put it way in the back, behind the pickles or something, or else every time I open the refrigerator I want to eat more!


Salted Caramel Sauce


1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 teaspoon grey sea salt or fleur de sel


Add water to a 2-qt saucepan. Gently add the sugar to the center of the pot - it will mound, that's fine. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, uncover the pot and insert a candy thermometer. Continue cooking until the mixture registers 300 F and is just starting to develop some color, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat under the pot to medium and cook until the syrup is amber and registers 350 F on the thermometer, about another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the cream into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. If it simmers before the syrup is ready, just take it off the heat and set aside.

Remove the caramel from the heat and add about 1/4 of the warm cream to the pot. It will bubble furiously so be careful. Once the bubbling subsides, add the remaining cream. When it stops bubbling, whisk gently to incorporate fully. Add the butter and the salt and whisk to combine.

Refrigerate up to 1 month.

adapted from Cooks Illustrated via Tracey's Culinary Adventure's

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27 Responses to “Salted Caramel Sauce”

  1. 1
    Jill — June 7, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

    Oh, this looks delicious. We both love caramel and would love to have some homemade caramel sauce in house. I will have to try this someday soon. I agree, eating it by the spoonful seems like the best bet. 🙂

  2. 2
    Blog is the New Black — June 7, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

    YUM! 🙂

  3. 3
    Apron Appeal — June 8, 2011 @ 3:19 am

    So, once the sauce goes in the fridge does it harden up or does it stay “spoonable”?

    • Erin replied: — June 8th, 2011 @ 5:34 am

      In the fridge it’s still soft & spoonable, but if you want to drizzle it, just let it come to room temp for about 5 minutes.

  4. 4

    I have to give my thanks to TasteSpotting or else I wouldn’t have the chance to bookmark this recipe! I’ve been scouring the web for edible gifts (so basically yummy treats that last a long time) and I’m over the moon that this sauce can last a month in the fridge.

  5. 5

    Erin, this is right up my alley. There’s nothing better than salted caramel! I’m going to have to make your bourbon ice cream & this to pour over. Sounds like the perfect treat for summer!

  6. 6
    Erin — June 8, 2011 @ 7:46 am

    I will use this on my ice cream soon! If only to pretend that I don’t want to just eat it by the spoonful!

  7. 7
    Shawnda — June 8, 2011 @ 8:14 am

    I could live on that stuff! And I can’t imagine how good that would be on Bourbon ice cream. Yum!

  8. 8
    Shannon — June 8, 2011 @ 8:17 am

    I’m always so afraid to make my own caramel sauce because I’m scared I’ll ruin it. However, I did just buy a new candy thermometer, so I’m definitely going to try this. It looks so amazing.

  9. 9
    Lesley Eats — June 8, 2011 @ 11:13 am

    Maybe sometime I can trade you some black bean and sweet potato enchiladas for this. 🙂

  10. 10

    I need to try making this!…and who cares if the photos are bad (i’m sure they’re fine!), post that other recipe dang it! 🙂

  11. 11
    Samantha — June 8, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

    Caramel is sooo good. Salted Caramel is even better. Want! Now!

  12. 12

    Love the looks of this! I’ve just started buying Trader Joe’s salted caramel sauce and love it so I’d love to be able to make it myself as well!

  13. 13
    Jessica — June 8, 2011 @ 11:39 pm

    Ummm. Hells yes.

  14. 14
    Heather — June 9, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

    oooh I want this NOW!

  15. 15
    Vivek — June 9, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

    this looks so delicious, Erin!

  16. 16
    Maris (In Good Taste) — June 11, 2011 @ 10:43 am

    I could eat this by the spoonful!

  17. 17
    JulieD — June 13, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

    Oh my, I have been wanting to try salted caramel! I’m going to pin this to try it. 🙂

  18. 18
    Megan — June 20, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

    Oh yum! This looks perfect.

  19. 19
    Eating Deliciously — June 22, 2011 @ 11:42 am

    Salted caramels are one of my favorite treats. Will be making this very soon to go on top of homemade vanilla bean ice cream!

  20. 20
    Jill — August 10, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

    I know, I already commented once. I wanted to let you know I made this and it turned out amazing! I love this stuff. We were eating it by the spoonful out of the jar last night. 🙂

  21. 21
    Kittrell — October 14, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

    Oh my! We are having family over tomorrow night and my 7 year old daughter requested carmel apples. I wanted to do something a little different so I tried your Salted caramel. We are going to bob for the apples and then cut them up and cover with the sauce. It is amazing! Thank you for sharing!

  22. 22
    Katy — October 19, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

    Thank you! I own a bakery in Oregon, and was making a salted caramel apple cupcake, but couldn’t find the right caramel flavor I wanted, but this was it! It is now my highest selling cupcake on my menu!

    • Katy replied: — October 19th, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

      I also like to use the leftovers in my hot chocolate for a salted caramel hot chocolate. Yum!

  23. Pingback: Salted Caramel Sauce and a giveaway! — {Sweetly} Serendipity

  24. 23
    sara — November 7, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

    I just made this and oh goodness it is good! I didn’t use a candy thermometer but went by the times you gave and it tirned out perfectly. I’m making jars to give as gifts this holiday. Thank you!

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