Easy Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe: 10 Minutes Start to Finish!

Diane Hoffmaster
by Diane Hoffmaster
3 cups
13 min

This easy salted caramel sauce recipe is absolutely delicious. It is made from scratch on the stove top in less than ten minutes, with no candy thermometer required! Use it as a topping for sliced apples, drizzle it on your ice cream, or just lick it right from the spoon!

Easy Salted Caramel Recipe

What is salted caramel?

Salted caramel is made by sprinkling fleur de sel, or any other flaked sea salt on top of caramel or caramel sauce. Why does caramel taste good with salt on it?

Basically, chefs call this combination “flavour layering”. Salt acts as a flavor enhancer and makes caramel taste even better. Why? It's a bit of a mystery but they certainly go great together!

What Can You Use This Sauce For?

What do you do when you have a huge fruit bowl full of apples but are craving something sweet? You make this easy salted caramel sauce recipe, of course! Seriously.

Some people might love all things pumpkin spice during the fall but for me, caramel is my favorite fall flavor. I make homemade caramels every year but they require quite a bit more work than this salted caramel sauce does.

For this easy caramel, you don't need a candy thermometer or any fancy kitchen tools. Just a few simple ingredients, a heavy saucepan, and a wooden spoon. I ate two apples covered in this stuff before I even finished the photos!

Need more ways to use caramel sauce? Drizzle it over fluffy waffles; crepes and even homemade oatmeal. Fibrous fruits are great for dipping. For example things like pears, apples, bananas, etc.

Caramel in a glass bowl

How long does homemade caramel sauce last?

When you first take this caramel off the stove, you are going to have to let it cool for a bit. It will thicken as it cools and will be the perfect dipping consistency.

How do you fix caramel sauce that is too hard? Just heat it a little on the stove with a few tablespoons of heavy cream. If it is too thin, cook it a bit longer.

Like this caramel recipe? Try these dessert recipes, too!

In my house, this salted caramel doesn't last long because we eat it quickly. However, if you have more restraint than I do, you might want to know how long it lasts.

Homemade caramel sauce stays good for about 2 weeks in an airtight container stored in the refrigerator. I recommend a glass container with a tight-fitting lid or even a mason jar. Warm the caramel for a few seconds before use in the microwave.

Easy Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe: 10 Minutes Start to Finish!

Tips for making homemade caramel:

If you aren't careful, you can end up with quite a mess as you try your hand at making your own caramel sauce. Follow these caramel-making tips for a perfect sauce every time:

  • Make sure your pan is larger than you think you need. The caramel will bubble up a bit and you risk overflowing if it is too small.
  • Make sure you have plenty of light (or a light-colored pan) since you need to watch the caramel sauce turn colors.
  • Measure out ingredients ahead of time so you don't have to multitask.

How do you heat up caramel sauce?

The sugar in this easy salted caramel sauce recipe will crystallize out a bit when the sauce starts to cool. Of course, this stuff doesn't really last that long because it is so darn delicious you eat it all in about 10 minutes!

But, you can keep it warm in a small fondue pot or just microwave it for a few seconds if it starts to cool off too much.

How to make an Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

If it is cold right from the fridge, microwave it on high power for a minute or two. Stir it about every 30 seconds. If you don't have a microwave or you are very patient, place it in a bowl in a pan of simmering water.

Let it sit, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is warm, about 7 minutes. Serve this easy salted caramel sauce with a plate of apples and your kids (and YOU) will happily eat all the apples in the house!

close up of a whisk mixing fresh home made caramel in a sauce pan

Use Only the Best Ingredients!

This easy caramel sauce recipe has such a simple ingredient list. Butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, a pinch of salt and some vanilla. That's it.

I kept looking for homemade caramel recipes online but they all seemed to start with a can of sweetened condensed milk which I rarely have on hand.

And really, a good caramel recipe needs to start with butter and cream. It just DOES! So, if you are in the mood for a rich and delicious caramel sauce for apples, I definitely think you should give this one a try!

Easy salted caramel sauce recipe

Easy Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe

This simple recipe is just the thing you need to celebrate the flavors of fall. Now that you know how to make the homemade caramel sauce, how will you serve it?

Easy Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe: 10 Minutes Start to Finish!
Recipe details
  • 3  cups
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 8 Minutes Total time: 13 min
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  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick butter (8 TBSP)
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP vanilla

Place the cream, butter, brown sugar and salt in a medium sized sauce pan
Heat over medium high until mixture comes to a boil, stirring frequently
Boil 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and let cool 2 to 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and stir gently.
Let cool slightly before using
Diane Hoffmaster
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