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Salted Caramel Sauce

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Homemade salted caramel sauce is a velvety blend of sugar, butter, and cream. It has a delicate balance of sweetness and saltiness, perfect for elevating desserts to gourmet status.


Main image for Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce


If this is the first time you have found a recipe for sea salt caramel sauce, welcome to the best part of all my desserts.

This is my go-to recipe for all my desserts.

There is something about the blend of sweet caramel with just a hint of saltiness to create a flavor profile that’s indulgent and addictive.

With just three simple ingredients, this easy caramel recipe transforms ordinary kitchen staples into an easy salted caramel sauce worthy of any dessert.

Whether you use it for topping ice cream or filling cupcakes, this caramel sauce adds a touch of luxury to every drink and dessert.

Skip the store-bought caramel salted sauce versions filled with additives and preservatives, and savor the pure, homemade goodness of this easy caramel sauce.


All ingredients on counter, ready to make caramel sauce


What Ingredients are in Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce?

  • White Sugar: Provides the base sweetness and caramelization.
  • Salted Butter: Adds richness and a subtle saltiness to balance the sweetness.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Creates a creamy texture and enhances the luxuriousness of the sauce.

Pro Tip: Use room temperature butter to help it not sputter at you when you add it to the melted sugar in this easy salted caramel sauce recipe.


sugar added to a skillet


How to Make Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce?

  1. Melt sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, slowlywhisking sugar crystals until the sugar dissolves and it reaches a smooth, dark amber color.
  2. Add butter to the melted sugar, whisking vigorously until fully melted.
  3. Remove from heat and slowly pour heavy cream into the sugar mixture while whisking until smooth.
  4. Be sure the caramel cools before transferring to a heat proof container for storage.
  5. Serve at room temperature or gently warm before drizzling over your favorite desserts.

Pro Tip: Patience is key when melting granulated sugar – be sure to stir continuously and watch closely to prevent burning. You do not need to use non-stick pans if you stay at the stove and stir until melted.


whisk mixing sugar as it begins to melt and clump


Can You Add Salt to Store-Bought Caramel Sauce?

Yes, you can add regular table salt to store-bought caramel sauce.

Add a pinch of salt at a time to get that perfect sweet-salty balance in delicious caramel sauce.

Does Sugar Melt?

Yes, sugar melts when exposed to heat.

It will transform from solid crystals to a liquid state, creating a rich caramel base for this sauce recipe.


all sugar is melted and clumping


Can you use unsalted butter to make Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce?

Yes, you can use unsalted butter to make salted caramel.

But if you do not adjust the amount of salt by adding more, you will have regular sweet caramel sauce, which is also delicious.

To adjust and make the best salted caramel sauce, you will want to add 1/4 teaspoon of salt for every 1/2 c (1 stick) of unsalted butter.

That is enough to give you just a hint of salt in your caramel sauce.


Sugar has begun to dissolve a turn smooth


What to Use Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce For?

This caramel dip is the perfect topping for vanilla ice cream sundaes, brownies, and specialty drinks.

It also makes a great filling for cupcakes like these Rolo Cupcakes and drizzling over Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

We like to make apple nachos by drizzling warm homemade caramel sauce and chocolate sauce over apple slices.

You can also use this to make caramel apples or just dip for your apples.

Get creative and experiment with a salted caramel frosting or on top of any of your favorite desserts!


butter is added to hot caramel


How to Store Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce?

Store salted sea salt caramel sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

I like to use a glass jar so I can warm it in the microwave or in a boiling water bath before drizzling.

How Long Can You Keep Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce?

You can keep caramel sauce for up to three weeks if stored properly in the refrigerator.

It will keep its flavor and quality.


Heavy whipping cream added to caramel sauce


Does Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce Need to be Refrigerated?

Yes, this easy salted caramel sauce should be refrigerated because of the dairy content.

Refrigeration will preserve its freshness and prevent spoilage.

Can I Freeze Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce?

Yes, you can freeze homemade salted caramel for up to three months.

Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using, then gently reheat if desired.


perfectly mixed caramel sauce


Is Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce Gluten Free?

Yes, this homemade caramel is naturally gluten free.

There is no gluten in sugar, butter, or cream. 

But it’s always a good idea to double check your prepackaged ingredients before serving this to someone with dietary restrictions.


caramel sauce in jar with a spoon held over it


Is Caramel Sauce Vegan?

No, traditional caramel sauce contains animal products.

Traditional dairy (butter and cream) make this sauce unsuitable for a vegan diet.

Can Dogs Eat Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce?

No, dogs cannot eat caramel sauce.

Ingredients like sugar and dairy are not safe for canine consumption and may cause digestive issues.

It’s best to avoid feeding it to your furry friends.


Caramel sauce being poured over ice cream


Additional Desserts You’ll Love…

This Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce is an easy recipe you will make again and again; it really is the next level goodness for all your favorite desserts!


Yield: 8 Servings

Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Caramel sauce being poured over ice cream

Indulge in the velvety richness of homemade salted caramel sauce – perfect for drizzling over your favorite desserts!


  1. In a medium heavy sauce pan over medium heat, add sugar to pan. DO NOT ADD ANYTHING ELSE! TRUST ME!
  2. DO NOT LEAVE THE STOVE! Slowly whisk the sugar until it melts and turns into a dark amber color.
  3. If it is chunky at first, don't panic. It will eventually be smooth and runny.
  4. Once sugar is melted and a nice dark amber color, and while heat is still on, immediately add the butter and whisk quickly until it is melted. The mixture will sputter at you.
  5. Once butter is melted, remove from heat.
  6. Continue whisking as you add the cream.
  7. Once fully incorporated, set aside and let cool. Pour into a heat proof container (I prefer a mason jar) and refrigerate until ready to use.
  8. When cool and ready to use allow to come to room temperature or nuke in microwave and pour on top of ice cream, brownies, apple pie or in cupcakes as a filling.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 206Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 71mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 25gProtein: 0g
Originally Posted: August 25, 2016

Photos & Text Updated: April 10, 2024


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Saturday 13th of April 2024

Your Salted Caramel Sauce was a hit at our family dessert night! It was incredibly easy to make and had the perfect balance of sweet and salty.


Friday 12th of April 2024

This recipe was easy to follow and turned out perfect! Thanks for sharing!

Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Friday 12th of April 2024

I've tried this caramel sauce with my ice cream last night! It's so good, can't wait to pair this with other desserts!

Amanda Batcher

Thursday 11th of April 2024

This poured over ice cream is the perfect match of flavors!


Thursday 11th of April 2024

Salted caramel is my BF's favorite. Surprised him with this for movie night and we both devoured it.

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