Caramel Sauce

DessertQuick and EasySauceCaramel

Classic smooth, creamy, and delicious caramel sauce recipe. Made with sugar, butter, and cream.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Making your own caramel sauce from scratch is a lot easier than you might think, and it takes practically no time at all. This recipe comes from my friend Suzanne who is a baking genius. I’ve watched her make caramel sauce many times and finally got around to doing it myself.

My one note of caution is to be extra careful while you are cooking the sugar, as with any candy making process. Once the sugar has melted it has a much higher temperature than boiling water. Also, when you add the cream, the mixture will foam up, so use a pan with high sides.

Caramel Sauce Recipe

  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes a little over one cup of sauce.


  • 1 cup (210 g) of sugar
  • 6 Tbsp (85 g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream


1 First, before you begin, make sure you have everything ready to go - the cream and the butter next to the pan, ready to put in. Making caramel is a fast process that cannot wait for hunting around for ingredients. If you don't work fast, the sugar will burn. Safety first - make sure there are no children under foot and you may want to wear oven mitts; the caramelized sugar will be much hotter than boiling water.


2 Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the melted sugar is simmering, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on. Note that this recipe works best if you are using a thick-bottomed pan. If you find that you end up burning some of the sugar before the rest of it is melted, the next time you attempt it, add a half cup of water to the sugar at the beginning of the process, this will help the sugar to cook more evenly, though it will take longer as the water will need to evaporate before the sugar will caramelize.

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3 As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted.

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4 Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. Note than when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably. This is why you must use a pan that is at least 2-quarts (preferably 3-quarts) big.


5 Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature. (Remember to use pot holders when handling the jar filled with hot caramel sauce.) Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.

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Showing 4 of 223 Comments / Reviews

  • Maggie

    This was so easy and so good! I tried to make a different recipe that called for water in the beginning, which was a bust. I found this and after reading the science behind it I tried it. So glad I did! My first time making carmel sauce. I used a heavy sauce pan with a heavy copper bottom to regulate my electric burners for even temperature. For anyone else trying this….do not blink and you will see that perfect color…take it off the heat and keep whisking. If you blink it will burn. It smells like heaven!

  • Jen

    After several other caramel recipes that just wouldn’t turn out I tried this one. I thought it was a bust when my sugar started balling up and turning hard but I stuck with vigorously whisking and am so glad I did. By time the sugar had all dissolved and it was a dark amber color the sugar clumps had all melted. DO NOT WAIT TO BOIL! It will not boil and you will burn it. As soon as it gets to that amber color add your butter and proceed as directed. Turned out great!! I added some salt -Yum! This will be my go to recipe.

  • Domenico

    Can I keep it in the fridge? How long?

  • Janet Vine

    Hi in the UK the easiest Caramel that I have ever made is to put a can of Condensed Milk in a pan of water and simmer for about 4-5 hours (don’t let the pan boil dry or it will explode) , when opened hey presto caramel in the tin. I usually do 6 cans at a time as they keep in the store for months, just don’t forget to label the tins as the paper label comes off when cooking

  • Parisa

    I always make caramel sauce successfully,but there is a big problem. When I use it as coating on the cake or ice cream or other materials,it gets hard and destroy whatever i have cooked please tell me what should I do?

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