Ditch storebought caramel sauce and replace it with homemade caramel sauce for the tastiest version you’ve ever had. The sauce is the perfect topping and an excellent addition to any sweet treat. Plus, it’s surprisingly simple to make!
Caramel sauce has the reputation of being way more complicated to make than it actually is. We’ll let you in on a little secret and let you know that the gooey sauce is actually pretty simple to make. By the time you head to the store to buy the ready-made version for your caramel apple nachos, you could have easily made your own at home — it comes together that fast.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST HOMEMADE CARAMEL SAUCE
Caramel sauce is an excellent recipe to keep up your sleeve. It is one of those toppings that take anything it is added to the next level. Think about it. Coffee with caramel? So much better! Ice cream topped with caramel? Melt in your mouth good! And don’t even get me started on caramel apples!
The secret to getting this homemade caramel sauce to taste so good is a little bit of patience. If you rush everything, the sugar will burn, and you’ll be left with a sticky mess. To get that smooth, creamy caramel, make sure you get the mixture at just the right temperature. Keep a close eye on the candy thermometer and wait until it hits the right temperature. It will be key to getting that silky texture.
Once you’ve got your caramel sauce ready to go, the possibilities are pretty endless for what you can use it on. This type of sauce is perfect for coating sweets. It creates a smooth layer that sticks to whatever you put it on.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE SILKY SMOOTH CARAMEL SAUCE
- Heavy cream – give the caramel a full body.
- Light corn syrup – allows the caramel to get that excellent, shiny coating.
- Light brown sugar
- Unsalted butter – let it soften.
- Kosher salt
- Vanilla extract – a little bit goes a long way to help balance the flavor.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CARAMEL SAUCE
In a heavy bottom saucepan or dutch oven, add the heavy cream, corn syrup, sugar, salt, and butter. Stir it all together over medium heat and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot.
Keep stirring the mixture until the temperature on the candy thermometer reaches 245F. As soon as it hits that temperature, take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Let the caramel sit in the pot off the heat for about 10-15 minutes. This is when the caramel will cool and thicken into a nice, creamy sauce.
HOW TO STORE CARAMEL SAUCE
If for some reason, you have leftovers of this luscious caramel sauce, it can easily be stored in a glass jar or container. Make sure the container is airtight and place it in the fridge. It will last for about 3 weeks.
You can also store the caramel in the freezer. Simply store in the same container and freezer. It will last in the freezer for about 2-3 months. When you want to use it, let it thaw at room temperature.
Caramel sauce is the perfect consistency to add to drinks, coat sweets with, or dip treats into. Caramels cook to a different temperature and have a more solid texture that makes them into candy that holds up on their own.
Yes! A candy thermometer will be your best friend when making caramel sauce. It will take out any of the guesswork and give you silky smooth caramel each and every time.
If your sugar starts to crystallize or all clump together, there is no need to panic and start over. Simply add about 1/4 cup of water into the mixture and let everything start to dissolve. Slowly start to heat it up again and let the caramel go back to work.
RECIPES THAT USE CARAMEL SAUCE
- Caramel Apple Tarte
- Pumpkin Caramel Poke Cake
- Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
How To Make Homemade Caramel Sauce
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 2 cups light brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a heavy bottomed sauce pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the cream, corn syrup, sugar, salt, and butter. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and begin to stir.
- Keep stirring until the mixture reaches 245F.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Allow the caramel to cool for 10-15 minutes to thicken.