Homemade Caramel | Easy Recipe

Homemade caramel recipe for beginners. How to make caramel sauce right at home, with just a few simple ingredients.

My daughters know my weakness. It’s ice cream.

So when we start rounding the corner at the grocery store and the freezers full of ice cream come into view, you better believe they were holding off all other request for the big daddy of “hey mom, should we get ice cream?!”

But I’m that mom who’s a tad vanilla about her ice cream and gets… you guessed it, vanilla. I like adding things! Nuts, peanut butter, maple syrup (don’t judge). But you know, I never go for the jars of caramel.

One trip my daughters asked for that very jar and I got to thinking, why am I not making this myself?

We’re all about simple ingredients and from scratch recipes. I’m not afraid to give things a try, and neither should you. So I’m here to tell you, you can absolutely make delicious caramel at home with three ingredients and no candy thermometer.

HOMEMADE CARAMEL

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream.
  • Salt (optional)
    • Yeilds- 1 cup caramel

Gather all of your ingredients and have them measured out.

In a small saucepan add one cup of white sugar. Set stove to medium.

Occasionally give the sugar a little swirl by holding the handle of the saucepan. Do not leave the stove as the caramelization process happens rather quickly once the sugar starts melting.

*Note- Some recipes tell you not to swirl or stir the mixture at all! But I found that very difficult and would burn the bottom of the sugar before it even had a chance to melt.

*Note- Other recipes tell you to use a heat safe spoon! I did not like this method as the sugar would instantly harden on the spoon and was unbelievably hot.

Once the sugar is melted and a light caramel color, add 6 TBS of unsalted butter.

The butter will instantly bubble up and may even act like it wants nothing to do with the sugar. Whisk the butter in until it combines.

Add 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream and whisk the mixture together. Add a pinch of salt (optional).

Pour into a heat safe container and allow to cool.

Once the caramel cools completely it will become a thicker consistency.

SOME OF MY SUGAR DIDN’T MELT

If some of your sugar decided it didn’t want to melt, or has a few lumps, don’t force it. Caramel can be tricky.

Try straining it through a mesh strainer into a heat safe container. That way you’ll keep out the lumps but still have some nice caramel for your ice cream.

MY SUGAR SMELLS BURNT

If you step away from the stove and come back to a bit of a bitter sugar smell, do not add the butter and cream. Start the sugar again and keep a closer eye on it.

CARAMEL CLEAN UP TIPS

After you transfer your caramel to a heat safe container, add water to your saucepan and allow to simmer on the stove for an easier clean up.

-Store caramel in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Homemade caramel can be a little tricky at first. But if you keep a close eye on it, you can make delicious caramel with only a few simple ingredients.

Homemade caramel in a mason jar

Homemade caramel

Homemade caramel recipe for beginners. How to make caramel sauce right at home, with just a few simple ingredients.
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sauce
Servings: 8
Calories: 223kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • pinch salt (optional)

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan add one cup of white sugar. Set stove to medium.
  • Occasionally give the sugar a little swirl by holding the handle of the saucepan.
  • Once the sugar is melted and a light caramel color, add 6 TBS of unsalted butter.
  • The butter will instantly bubble up. Whisk butter in until it combined.
  • Add 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream and whisk the mixture together. Add a pinch of salt (optional).
  • Pour into a heat safe container and allow to cool.
  • Once the caramel cools completely it will become a thicker consistency.
  • -Store caramel in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Notes

Caramel can be tricky at first.
If some of your sugar decided it didn’t want to melt, or has a few lumps, don’t force it. Try straining it through a mesh strainer into a heat safe container.
Once you make it a few times, it gets easier to judge the timing. 
  • The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will very based on different brands of ingredients that are used and cooking methods. 

Nutrition

Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 14mg | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 481IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
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