The Ultimate Caramel Sauce
This ultimate caramel sauce is a quick and easy silky smooth, creamy topping that is perfect with ice cream, cupcakes, cakes, cookies, tarts, pies and so much more!
Homemade caramel sauce only requires five ingredients and is a lot easier than you might think! It takes practically no time at all and doesn’t require a sugar thermometer!
Plus, I have included vegan options too and if you want salted or chocolate caramel check out my variations section for additional instructions.
If you decide to give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment below and rate it – it’s really helpful to me and the other readers. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #thegourmetlarder on Instagram! I love seeing what you come up with 🙂
- Ease: easy and quick to prepare.
- Diet: this recipe is gluten-free and includes vegan options.
- Great for: cupcakes, cakes, cookies, tarts, ice-cream and more!
- Taste and texture: sweet, rich smooth caramel.
WHAT LARDER INGREDIENTS WILL I NEED FOR THIS RECIPE?
For this recipe all you need are these ingredients:
Caster or granulated white sugar – once sugar reaches a high temperature it starts to caramelise and this is the base of making our caramel.
Water – it is possible to make caramel without water. However, I prefer to add just a little as it helps to dissolve the sugar and allows it to melt evenly while heating, reducing the likely hood of burning.
Butter – gives the sauce a rich velvety finish. For vegan options see my recipe notes or the variations section.
Double cream – I use double cream as it is thicker and contains a slightly higher fat content, making the final sauce super creamy and thick.
I highly recommend adding a good pinch of salt to your sweet sauces. It would seem counter productive, but it’s not, I promise. Salt helps balance out the sweetness and richness. It also elevates the other ingredients, bringing out the best characteristics of any sauce recipe. In a seemingly absurd or contradictory way, salt intensifies the mouth’s ability to taste sweetness. Sodium sends signals to move glucose into the sweet taste receptor cells in our tongue, triggering the cells to register sweetness. The result is that salt not only alerts our ‘salt sensitivity’, but also our ‘sweet sensitive’ taste buds.
WHAT VARIATIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS CAN I MAKE?
Here are a few other flavour ideas:
Salty caramel – really adds another dimension to this caramel sauce. Simply add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the caramel once made.
Chocolate caramel – for a super delicious variation, stir 100g chopped dark chocolate into the caramel after adding the cream.
Dairy-free – Naturli vegan block or Flora plant based block butter alternative. Most can be found in large supermarkets and online.
If you experiment I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.
Serving: one tablespoon
Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, or the source of nutrition data.
I strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy.
I encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Allow the caramel to cool down to room temperature, then pour into a jar or container. Seal with a lid and place in the fridge. The caramel will thicken further in the fridge.
Freezing: Caramel can be frozen if really necessary, in a jar sealed with a lid. Avoid filling the jar to the very top, leaving a 1cm gap for expansion during freezing.
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TOOLS YOU’LL NEED
Here are some kitchen tools that I use and recommend for this recipe.
When it comes to baking, I highly recommend using metric measurements and a digital scale, rather than cup measurements. You will find it much easier, less messy and you will get far better, consistent results weighing your ingredients. 🙂
READY TO MAKE YOUR HOMEMADE CARAMEL SAUCE ?
- 100 g caster or granulated white sugar
- 2 tbsp water (30ml)
- 50 g butter or vegan dairy-free block butter (see notes)
- 100 ml double cream or vegan dairy-free cream (see notes)
- 1 pinch fine sea salt (optional)
- In a medium saucepan, gently pour in the sugar and water. Avoid getting sugar up the side of the pan.
- Place over medium-high heat. Avoid stirring if you can, once the sugar and water have dissolved, you run the risk of causing crystals to form and it becomes grainy. You can prevent this by brushing the side of the pot down with a wet pastry brush.
- Cook until the sugar mixture becomes a golden amber colour, then remove from the heat and add the butter, stirring until amalgamated and then return to the heat for one minute. (For vegan options please see notes.)
- Remove from the heat again and stir in the cream vigorously. Be very careful as the caramel will be extremely hot and may bubble. Return the caramel to the heat to simmer and whisk continuously for 2-3 minutes to allow it to thicken.
- Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Notes & Tips
- Safety First! – Be extra careful! Once the sugar has melted it has a much higher temperature than boiling water, and when adding the butter and cream it can splatter.
- Using the right saucepan – A heavy bottomed saucepan distributes the heat and allows the sugar to melt evenly. If you find that your sugar is burning and not melting, the culprit is most likely the pan heating unevenly. Use a pan with high sides as when you add cream to the caramel mixture the hot caramel will bubble up and you will want to make sure your pan will not overflow when this happens.
- Avoid stirring – once the sugar and water have dissolved, you run the risk of causing crystals to form and it could become grainy. You can prevent this by brushing the side of the pot down with a wet pastry brush.
- Watch the caramel at all times – it can go from a light amber colour to dark caramel very quickly, leaving you with bitter burnt sugar that doesn’t taste good.
- Use room temperature butter and cream – or reheat it on the stove.
PLEASE LET ME KNOW HOW IT TURNED OUT FOR YOU!
If you tried this Homemade Caramel Sauce or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you got on in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you’re there!
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