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Homemade Ingredients

Gemma’s Signature Salted Caramel Sauce

4.64 from 173 votes
Learn how to make caramel sauce with this salted caramel recipe that’s a staple in many of Big & Bold desserts!
Salted caramel sauce being poured into a jar.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

I receive a lot of requests to post my Signature Salted Caramel Sauce. I’m happy to share it because I believe everyone deserves a great caramel sauce recipe.

This sauce is a staple in my fridge. I make it every few months and it instantly transforms any dessert you put it on. I don’t recommend you get into the habit of eating it off a spoon. That’s a slippery slope, trust me.

It goes great in ice cream, trifles, and as the finishing touch of roasted banana, or whatever your heart desires.

And you can use it in my Big & Bold baking recipes, like my Salted Caramel & Chocolate Brownie Trifle, my Secret Monkey Bread, and my Starbucks Ultra Caramel Frappuccino.

What Is Caramel?

It’s easy to write off caramel as just heated sugar, but it’s so much more. When you heat sugar to a certain temperature, its molecules break down and are then reformed into compounds. Now, whenever you make this recipe, you can say that fact out loud, and pretty much anyone will think you’re the baker version of Walter White.

What Is The Difference Between Caramel And Salted Caramel?

 The only difference between the two is the ingredient of salt, which should be pretty obvious. However, while some recipes use sea salt, like Fleur de Sel, mine just requires regular salt for all intents and purposes.

A jar of my homemade caramel sauce.

Salted Caramel Recipe Ingredients

Thankfully this caramel sauce recipe only needs a few simple ingredients: granulated sugar, water, cream, unsalted butter, and salt.

What You’ll Need For This Easy Caramel Sauce

This homemade caramel sauce only needs a few tools of the trade:

How To Make Caramel Sauce

Making caramel sauce is easy if you follow the steps and have patience. I love this recipe. You get to watch the chemical reactions that turn sugar into caramel right in front of you. Here’s how to make salted caramel that will make anyone tries ask which store you bought it. (And don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below).

  1. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the water and sugar over medium heat. I recommend medium because medium-high heat runs the risk of burning it later on.
  2. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture starts to bubble. Then turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, you can stop stirring. Watch as your mixture transforms into a beautiful amber color – taking somewhere between 8-12 minutes.
  4. Once you’ve achieved that pretty gold color, carefully and slowly whisk in the heavy cream and the mixture will bubble.
  5. Mix in the butter, one cube at a time, and then remove your pan from the heat.
  6. Allow the salted caramel sauce to cool to room temperature before enjoying.

Taste And Consistency

The end result should taste sweet and briny like you want a salted caramel sauce recipe to end up like. If it tastes burnt, it’s probably because you cooked it a bit too long. If the caramel is cracked, it’s probably because you stirred the mix after it came to a simmer. Following the recipe is easy, but it can be a bit exact.

My signature salted caramel sauce recipe dripping down a mason jar.

What Can You Use This Caramel Sauce Recipe With?

There is seriously no shortage of recipes that this caramel sauce goes with. Here are a few of my favorite uses for caramel sauce:

How Long Can You Store Caramel Sauce

One of the best traits of salted caramel sauce is its longevity. You can refrigerate caramel sauce for up to one month. When you want to use it again, reheat the sauce either in the microwave or as I prefer, on the stove.

Can You Freeze Caramel Sauce?

Yes, salted caramel sauce and your freezer are friends. As long as you seal the sauce in an airtight container, you can freeze it for up to three months. When you want to use your delicious caramel sauce again, just remember to defrost it in the fridge overnight.

Then, just reheat the sauce and you’re good to go.

My Favorite Uses for Caramel Sauce:

Make More Toppings!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Gemma's Signature Salted Caramel Sauce

4.64 from 173 votes
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 8
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 8


  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup (2oz / 57g) water, enough to just cover the sugar*
  • ½ cup (4oz/115g) cream
  • 6 tablespoons (3oz/85g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Heat granulated sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Don't let it simmer at this stage.
  • Once all the sugar has dissolved bring the mix to a simmer on medium heat. Do not stir the caramel once it comes to a simmer or it can crack.
  • Cook steadily until you reach a rich amber-colored caramel, roughly 6-7 minutes. Be careful not to burn.
  • Once you have a rich caramel immediately add the cream. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the cream is added.
  • Next, very slowly, drop in the butter. Since the butter is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added.
  • Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the salt. Allow to cool down before using.
  • * The more water you use the easier it will be to control the caramel - the less water the quicker the process - do stand over caramel until it is finished.


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1 year ago

Hi Gemma. I hope you’re well and safe. Thank you for sharing your recipes and tips. 😊
My question is, can I use all-purpose cream instead of the heavy cream? If yes, what is the measurement?

11 months ago

Hi Gemma, do you have a video of you making this caramel, it would be awesome to watch the process. Thanks

Sonia Wahdud
Sonia Wahdud
1 year ago

Hi Gemma, I made the caramel today! The taste is 10/10 😍. It hardened in the fridge so I popped it in the microwave for a few seconds and it was perfect again. The only problem is that I tried to drizzle it over ice cream and it hardened again (it tasted almost chewy)! Do you know how to prevent this?

1 year ago

Hi Gemma! I’m drooling over this right now! I’m curious – would this recipe work for making Turtles?
Thank you so much!

Madiha Siddiqui(@madiha-siddiqui)
1 year ago

P.s. it is super yummy.. cant stop tasting it.. wow

Hira Ziad
Hira Ziad
5 months ago

Hi Gemma.. this is my go to recipe for salted caramel. ♥️ please tell me if this can be used as drip on whipped cream frosted cake?
Thanks 🙂

7 months ago

Hello Gemma
every time i make this caramel sauce while the taste is fantastic and the sugar doesn’t crystalise, it sets as though its praline for some reason. What should i do next time since i love the flavour and would make it again

4 days ago

Hi Gemma, after I let the caramel cool, it set up too hard. I did notice the book calls for 1/2 c water instead of 1/4 c as described on the internet . I also noticed a difference in salt, but the internet says unsalted butter, so I assume less salt in the book corresponds with using salted butter. My question is, would the water difference be the issue?

4 days ago

So after staring at my sugar water mixture for over 30 minutes waiting for it to dissolve I consulted your recipe on the Internet and it’s different than the book. I think I am on track now because I have it dissolved and now it’s going to start bubbling. Am I missing something between the two recipes?

1 month ago

Would this recipe work to make sticky buns, adding pecan pieces, and using the cinnamon roll recipe without the frosting?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere!

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