Come dive into the sweet and salty indulgence world with our step-by-step recipe for the perfect salted caramel sauce.
Our homemade caramel sauce recipe requires a few simple yet crucial ingredients: caster sugar, water, butter, double cream, and salt. You can add an optional extra flavour with vanilla extract. Each ingredient plays a vital role in creating the perfect balance of flavour and texture.
It's a sauce with the delicious flavour of Werther's Originals but in a more luxurious, pourable form!
Drizzle it over a bowl of vanilla ice cream for a classic treat, use it as a dip for fresh fruits like banana or caramel apples, stir it into your milkshake, coffee or drizzle over your frappe, for a sweet twist. The possibilities are endless!
How to make Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe
In this step-by-step slideshow video, we'll walk you through each process stage, from the sugar's initial melting to the final salt addition.
We've made it easy for everyone to follow along and create this delicious sauce at home.If you're eager to start immediately, click here to jump straight to the recipe card, where you'll find all the precise measurements and detailed instructions.
Continue reading to master the art of homemade salted caramel sauce!
With the following ingredients, you'll be set to create a delightful salted caramel sauce that's sure to impress.
Let's start with the type of sugar needed to make caramel sauce. We suggest using caster sugar, which is a type of white sugar. The reason behind this is that white sugar when melted, forms a clear, amber-coloured caramel that has a pure, sweet taste.
If you don't have caster sugar, granulated sugar can be used as a substitute. Caster sugar has smaller crystals than granulated sugar, which dissolves faster and more easily.
However, granulated sugar should work fine as long as you ensure the sugar fully dissolves when making your caramel.
You might wonder, can I use brown sugar instead? While you technically could, it's important to note that brown sugar will produce a different sauce, more like toffee sauce and is harder to caramelise than white sugar.
Brown sugar contains molasses, which gives it a distinct flavour that's deeper and more complex than white sugar. Using brown sugar, your sauce will take on those additional molasses notes.
Adding water stops the caramelisation process quickly before the sugar burns. Use room temperature water.
You need to be careful: when you add water to boiling melted sugar, the mixture will bubble and splatter. This is because water and sugar react violently when combined at high temperatures.
In our recipe, we recommend using unsalted butter. You might be wondering, "Why not salted butter? Isn't this a salted caramel sauce?" That's an excellent question, and the answer is all about control.
When cooking, especially when making something as delicate as a caramel sauce, you want complete control over each ingredient and its quantity.
Unsalted butter is essentially a blank canvas. It allows you to add as much or as little salt as you like, giving you control over the saltiness of your sauce.
You can add salt to your taste, ensuring your caramel sauce perfectly balances sweet and salty flavours.
Double cream, with its high-fat content of about 48%, is rich and thick, making it ideal for our caramel sauce recipe. It doesn't curdle when heated and adds a velvety texture to the sauce.
Double cream's richness enhances caramel's sweet flavours, resulting in a luxurious, indulgent sauce. Its use in our recipe ensures a depth of flavour and silky texture unmatched by other creams. In the US, you can use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream instead.
If you use a single cream or milk, it will affect the taste and texture.
Salt is crucial in making salted caramel sauce, acting as a flavour enhancer that balances the caramel's sweetness.
Sea salt or kosher salt is often recommended due to its clean, pure flavours. The salt is best added after the caramel sauce has been created and cooled slightly so you can taste it while adding.
Vanilla extract is an optional ingredient for your salted caramel sauce.
Just a splash of vanilla extract infuses the sauce with a subtle, sweet fragrance and a warming flavour.
Creating salted caramel sauce requires specific kitchen equipment for the best results. A heavy-based saucepan is critical as its thick bottom evenly distributes heat, preventing sugar from burning and allowing controlled caramelization.
While not mandatory, a whisk is preferred over a wooden spoon for stirring as it breaks up clumps effectively, ensuring a smooth sauce.
Other useful equipment includes a heat-resistant spatula for scraping the pan sides, a measuring cup for precision, and a glass jar for storing the finished sauce.
You wont need a candy thermometer for this recipe. You can tell by sight when it is ready.
Here is how we create our amazing caramel sauce.
Start by placing 200 g caster sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Shake the pan to spread the sugar evenly and turn to medium heat.
Let the sugar cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes. As the outer edges melt and turn golden, stir gently with a whisk or spoon.
If the sugar lumps together, don't worry; keep it moving in the pan to help all the sugar clumps melt. Stir constantly until all the sugar has melted (approximately 3 minutes). The sugar will turn a pale amber colour when ready. Remove the pan from the heat at this point.
While making caramel, you may be tempted to taste it due to its sweet aroma and appealing golden colour. However, it's crucial to resist this temptation. The melted sugar in the caramel is extremely hot and can cause severe burns if it comes into contact with your skin or mouth.
Wait until the water, butter and cream are added to the caramel. This will cool it down sufficiently before tasting.
Slowly and carefully add three tablespoons of room-temperature water from a distance. Use a long-handled spoon. Be careful, as the mixture will bubble and splatter.
Whisk the water in to stop the caramelisation process and prevent the sugar from burning. Next, add 45 grams of butter and stir until it melts.
Slowly pour in 120ml of double cream while constantly stirring. Your caramel sauce is now ready to season.
Season the sweet caramel sauce with a pinch of salt and vanilla extract.
Taste the sauce and add more salt or vanilla as desired.
Don't be concerned if the sauce is thin; it will thicken as the caramel cools. Transfer the sauce to a serving jug. It can be served warm or cold.
Our salted caramel sauce is perfect for pouring over cakes, desserts, fruit, ice cream, milkshakes, frappes, or lattes.
We also like to drizzle some on our Madeira loaf cake topping. Or mix with butter and icing sugar mixture to make a salted caramel buttercream.
Here are some more ideas we suggest trying with our salted caramel recipe.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 200 grams Caster Sugar
- 3 tablespoon Water room temperature
- 45 grams Butter
- 120 ml Double Cream
- ¼ teaspoon Salt add more to taste.
- ¼ teaspoon Vanilla Extract Optional - add more to taste.
- Place 200 grams Caster Sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Shake the pan to spread the sugar making it level, and turn it on to medium heat. Cook for approx 5 minutes: do not stir during this time.
- You will notice that the very outside edges of the sugar in the pan will begin to melt and turn a light golden colour. Gently stir with a whisk or spoon at this point.
- Don't worry about the sugar lumping together at this stage. Keep it gently moving in the pan to help all the sugar lumps to melt.
- Continue stirring with a whisk until all the sugar has melted. It should take approx 3 minutes.
- It will be an amber colour when finished. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Now very slowly from a distance (Be careful, it will bubble and splatter!) add 3 tablespoon Water
- Whisk the water in. This will stop the caramelisation process, ensuring the sugar does not burn.
- Next, add 45 grams Butter and stir in until melted.
- Then, slowly add the 120 ml Double Cream whilst constantly stirring.
- Next stir in ¼ teaspoon Salt and ¼ teaspoon Vanilla Extract (optional).
- Taste the sauce and add more salt or vanilla to taste if required. Don't worry about the sauce being thin at the moment, it will thicken as the sauce cools.
- Transfer to a serving jug. Can be served warm or cold.
- Perfect for cake, desserts, fruit or ice cream. Also perfect for milkshakes, frappes or lattes.
Properly store salted caramel sauce to maintain its taste and quality. Once the sauce has cooled completely, transfer it to an airtight glass jar or container.
The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Spoon out only the needed amount of caramel sauce. Always use a clean spoon to avoid contaminating the remaining sauce.
Serve it cold, at room temperature, or slightly warmed in a microwave with frequent stirring for even heat distribution.
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