Homemade Ingredients

Microwave Salted Caramel Sauce

4.75 from 43 votes
Learn how to make Microwave Salted Caramel Sauce, a quick and easy recipe to use on ice cream or any dessert for caramel lovers.
Caramel sauce dripping from a whisk

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.

Hi Bold Bakers!

WHAT YOU GET: Ooey-gooey, creamy, and rich Salted Caramel Sauce. My Microwave Salted Caramel Sauce recipe is hands down the best topping you can drizzle over your frozen treats or any dessert that can use a touch of sweet and salty goodness. The best part is that you can make this recipe in the microwave in under 7 minutes using just 5 ingredients and 3 tools.

A Salted Caramel Sauce recipe that I don’t have to stand over and anxiously wait for to turn the right color? Yes, please! Making homemade caramel may seem like a daunting task, but it can’t get simpler than this. My Microwave Salted Caramel Sauce is an all-in-one kind of deal, meaning all of your ingredients go in 1 jug, you give it a quick mix, microwave, and done. 

Bigger Bolder Baking is about giving you the confidence to bake anytime, anywhere. You don’t just need an oven to bake. Recipes don’t have to be complicated to give you amazing results, just like my delicious Microwave Salted Caramel Sauce. I’m all about making my microwave work for me, and you can too!

A bowl with caramel sauce ingredients ready for microwaving.

How Many Watts Should My Microwave Be?

All microwaves can make this recipe! My microwave is 1200 watts, but if your microwave has a lower wattage than mine, you may need more time to thicken your sauce up. You can also try this recipe on the stovetop in a saucepan if you don’t have access to a microwave.

Speaking of microwaves, check out more quick and easy microwave recipes here!

Can I Substitute The Cream In This Recipe?

It depends! Based on which kind of dairy you use for this recipe, you will yield different results.

Heavy cream (fresh cream or double cream) will yield the best results for this sauce because of the high 49.4% fat content. The higher the fat content, the richer and creamier your Salted Caramel Sauce will be. Generally, anything above 35% fat content will work in this recipe.

You can also try all-purpose cream. The main difference between using heavy cream and all-purpose cream is the percentage of fat content. All-purpose cream contains 30% fat which makes it lighter and more difficult to whip than heavy cream. 

If you choose to use any milk alternative such as reduced-fat milk, whole milk, low-fat milk, or full-fat milk, your sauce will not turn out as rich. The water content of the milk will affect the viscosity and may thin your sauce down.

If you’re looking to play around with different creams in your kitchen, try making my Sour Cream, Whipped Cream, and Cream Cheese

Tools You Need To Make Microwave Salted Caramel Sauce:

Microwave Caramel in bowl next to ingredients

Should I Use Unsalted Or Salted Butter?

Since this is a Salted Caramel Sauce, I recommend using salted butter to enhance that sweet and salty flavor. However, you can use unsalted butter or adjust the salt measurement to reduce the salt content if you prefer. I suggest adding ¼ teaspoon of salt if you’re using salted butter.

If you’re feeling extra bold, try making your own Homemade Salted Butter!

What Kind Of Sugar Should I Use For This Recipe?

The recipe calls for dark brown sugar since it has more of a caramel flavor, but you can really use any kind of sugar. If you don’t have dark brown sugar on hand, you can use brown sugar or white sugar. Depending on which sugar you use, it will change the flavor of your Salted Caramel Sauce.

You can also try out my Vegan Caramel Sauce if you’re looking for a recipe that specifically uses ‘sugar-free’ sugars.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making The Best Microwave Salted Caramel Sauce:

  • If you’re Salted Caramel Sauce is runny after cooking for around 2 minutes, let it cool instead of cooking it for longer. Otherwise, the sauce will overcook and crystallize. Trust the process, and let the sauce thicken as it cools.
  • No one likes hard Salted Caramel Sauce. To prevent crystallization, make sure the sugar is fully dissolved before raising the temperature to caramelize. It’s really important to start gently dissolving all of the sugar for any successful caramel.
  • To make your Salted Caramel Sauce less sweet, reduce the sugar by a quarter or a third of the amount in the recipe. Your cooking time may be less, so keep a close watch on it, and observe the changes that should happen in every step.
  • Store your Salted Caramel Sauce in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. To reheat, pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds at a time, and stir after every cycle. Keep that going until your sauce is back to its nice and fluid consistency.

Top-down view of the microwave caramel

Want To Try Other Sauces? Check Out:

Want To Go Deeper?

Level up your baking skills even further and subscribe to the Bold Baking Academy today! You’ll get access to all the in-depth baking courses both past and present, access to the Bold Baking Academy Community, and the one-of-a-kind Baking Concierge — which is a fast & direct connection to me and my team of culinary experts to answer any baking question you might have.

That’s right, inside or out of the Academy! So subscribe now!

Banner to subscribe now to the Bold Baking Academy

Microwave Salted Caramel Sauce

4.75 from 43 votes
Learn how to make Microwave Salted Caramel Sauce, a quick and easy recipe to use on ice cream or any dessert for caramel lovers.
Author: adapted from instructables.com
Servings: 1 1/2 cups
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Learn how to make Microwave Salted Caramel Sauce, a quick and easy recipe to use on ice cream or any dessert for caramel lovers.
Author: adapted from instructables.com
Servings: 1 1/2 cups


  • 4 tablespoons (2oz/60g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (4oz/115g) cream
  • 1 cup (6oz/175g) dark brown sugar (dark sugar has more of a caramel flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a large measuring jug, combine the brown sugar, butter and cream.
  • Microwave the mixture for 1 minute, stir then microwave another 30 seconds more. In total cook for 1.30-2 minutes. Just note it will bubble up as it cooks so keep an eye on it. Once it's golden caramel in color it will be done.
  • After you take it out of the microwave, add in the vanilla and salt and whisk it until it's nice and smooth and a uniform color. You want to do this immediately so it all comes together well.
  • At this point, you can taste it and decide if you want to add more salt or vanilla!
  • When you take it out of the fridge, you should heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time and stir after every cycle. Keep that up until it's nice and fluid again. This caramel sauce should be good for a couple weeks refrigerated.


Notify of

most useful
newest oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
SA Smith
SA Smith
5 years ago

When I first saw this recipe I had to try it as I often need a caramel sauce and the store bought ice cream caramel tastes like nothing. I usually buy the butterscotch just for some flavor. I didn’t have any cream of any kind when I decided to make this recipe so I used what I had, 2% milk. I wasn’t expecting much but was hopeful that it would at least pass for caramel sauce. I was so pleased when I tasted it. It was actual caramel sauce. Since then I have only used the 2% milk to make… Read more »

3 years ago

Hi Gemma,
My name is Ani and I am 12 years old.
I made your Salted Caramel Sauce as a topping for a birthday cake and it is so easy and delicious!
I did add in 1 additional tsp of salt and a little extra vanilla…. I did also have to switch to a large bowl because I don’t have a large measuring jug…
It took me a while but it was worth it!
I love watching your channel and following your recipes!
Thank you for this recipe my family and I love it!
Stay Safe!

Last edited 3 years ago by Ani
4 years ago

Hi Gemma, love all your recipes, thank you! I am a lover of butterscotch and caramel and want to make your salted caramel sauce, but,not using regular sugars, can I use substitute sugar replacements?? If so which kind and what quantity, thanking you in advance,

1 year ago

Hi Gemma! Soooo……..should I just assume the brown sugar is one cup *packed* or no?

5 months ago

Soooooooo good! I didn’t have dark brown sugar, so used the light. Added a drizzle of molasses and a pinch of instant coffee to punch up the caramel flavor! This is my new condiment!! Love not having to make this stovetop. Thank you!

Cheryl P
6 months ago

I have tried to make caramel, it always turned rock hard. But I trust you and your recipes, they are always perfection. Because hubby is a diabetic I swapped out brown sugar for half allulose and half truvia brown sugar, I cut butter down to 3 tablespoons cuz it’s all I had on hand. I added a half teaspoon of torani sugar free salted Caramel syrup. Guess what? It’s silky, its smooth it’s delicious. I make sugar free coffee creamer for my granddaughter and she requested A salted caramel creamer. I can’t thank you enough for this recipe. 🤗 I’d… Read more »

Nicole Lebrun
Nicole Lebrun
6 months ago

Hi GemmA
Iam diabetic, can y use splenda brown sugar.
Thank you
I love your recipes

6 months ago

can you use 2% milk instead of cream?

6 months ago

Edit: **I meant to give 5 stars, but accidentally hit 4, and now I can’t change it, but this is definitely a 5 star sauce!!!**
I just made this for some salted caramel butter cream I make (I just add a good sized dollop of the cooled caramel to the butter cream), and it worked out excellently! I did cook it 1-2 minutes longer so I could get a thicker consistency, since I need that for the frosting, and it worked out great! I can’t believe I’ve never made this before! So easy, and so delicious! Thanks, Gemma!!!

Last edited 6 months ago by ARainestone
8 months ago

This would be butterscotch, not caramel. Caramel uses white sugar, butterscotch uses brown. It’s the molasses that makes the difference.

This Recipe Made By Bold Bakers

4 Images



Sarah-Jane Waller


About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.


Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook

10th Anniversary Cookbook


 Recipes that have been loved by millions of real bakers!