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Gemma’s Signature Salted Caramel Sauce

4.65 from 178 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 medium and bring to a simmer.
  3. Once it simmers, you can stop stirring. Watch as your mixture transforms into a beautiful amber color – taking somewhere between 15-20 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

4.65 from 178 votes
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 1.5 cups
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 1.5 cups

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
  • Whisk constantly until all the sugar has dissolved, then 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 15-20 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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Jopie
Jopie
2 years 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?

Farilyn
Farilyn
1 year 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
2 years 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?

Joni
Joni
2 years 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
2 years ago

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

Hira Ziad
Hira Ziad
1 year 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 🙂

kiara
kiara
1 year 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

Joanna
Joanna
29 days ago

Hi, thanks for the recipe! This caramel turned out amazing and it wasn’t that difficult to make. I used it as a topping for brownies and it made them so delicious 🙂

Mehd
Mehd
3 months ago

Hi Gemma! This is my go-to caramel recipe It’s so easy and simple to make I always thought caramel was hard to make until I found this recipe It’s so easy and the results are better than restaurant quality, it’s honestly to DIE FOR! I only face one issue with this caramel recipe: Whenever I pour something cold like milk or add it on top of Icecream or use it for a frappe, the caramel just hardens up. I dunno why, but it just doesn’t stay liquid like store bought Caramel Sauces like Hersheys. Do you have a solution to… Read more »

Cindy
Cindy
4 months ago

Can I use this salted caramel sauce as a filling on a vanilla cake in the middle of the two layers?

Last edited 4 months ago by CindySwart

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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