Easy Caramel Sauce is the ultimate sweet and rich dessert topping. Quick and easy to make with just heavy cream and caramel candies.
This homemade Caramel Topping is an easy way to add awesome flavor to your favorite Dessert Recipes. If you love this caramel flavor, be sure to also try Real Caramel Candy and Homemade Chocolate Covered Caramels.
Table of Contents
- Sabrina’s Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe
- Easy Caramel Sauce Ingredients
- Kitchen Tools & Equipment
- How to Make Easy Caramel Sauce
- “Can Easy Caramel Sauce be made ahead?”
- Nutritional Facts
- Recipe Tips & Tricks
- What to Pair With Easy Caramel Sauce
- How to Store
- Ideas to Serve Easy Caramel Sauce
- Alternative Cooking Techniques
- Frequently Asked Questions
Sabrina’s Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe
This caramel recipe is made with such simple ingredients. All you need is heavy cream and soft caramel candies. You can also add a little salt if you like, but it’s not necessary. By melting the two ingredients in the microwave, it’s unbelievably easy to make the perfect caramel mixture for adding rich flavor to any dessert recipe. The microwaving directions are quick and simple, but below you’ll find directions for making the recipe using a double boiler on your stovetop if you prefer.
Easy Caramel Sauce Ingredients
- Heavy Cream: This recipe is incredibly easy, particularly because you only need two ingredients. By adding 1 cup heavy cream to melted caramel, you create a thick, liquid consistency perfect for drizzling over ice cream or other desserts. Heavy cream is the ideal base for the sauce because its fat content makes the Caramel Sauce rich, silky, and indulgent.
- Caramel: For the actual caramel flavor, you’ll melt soft caramel candies. Unwrap 2 cups worth of soft caramels before starting the recipe. Werther’s Original soft caramels or Kraft baking caramels work well for this. Keep in mind that different caramel brands may use varied base ingredients. So, if you have any dietary restrictions, you can pick your candy brand accordingly.
Kitchen Tools & Equipment
- Large Bowl: Use a large bowl that is microwave safe for melting your caramels. Make sure it is big enough to add the heavy cream and to stir everything while it melts.
- Mixing Spoon: The only other tool you’ll need is a spoon, or better yet a rubber spatula or spoon so you can scrape the sides of the bowl as you stir, making sure to incorporate everything nicely.
How to Make Easy Caramel Sauce
Time needed: 5 minutes.
- Melt Caramel
Add the caramel candy and heavy cream to a large, microwave-safe bowl. Then turn the microwave to 50% power. Microwave in 30-second increments until the melted caramel is smooth and creamy. As it melts, the heavy cream can mix into the liquid caramel until it has a smooth texture and deep amber color.
Between each microwave session, stir the hot caramel and let it sit for 15 seconds before heating again. This should keep the sugar from burning.
Add a sprinkling of sea salt to the Caramel Sauce recipe if desired. Then serve the wonderful recipe over ice cream, cakes, or any other dessert recipe you like.
“Can Easy Caramel Sauce be made ahead?”
Yes. Caramel Sauce can keep in the fridge or the freezer if you make it ahead of time. Just reheat the recipe and stir until smooth before serving.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
Find your new favorite sauce with this recipe, especially using these tips to make it easy and delicious.
- Let the heavy cream come to room temperature
- Make sure you use room-temperature heavy cream. As the cream warms, the fat will soften, making it easier to blend with the caramel.
- Don’t use a glass container for freezing
- A glass container will expand when frozen so be sure not to freeze the caramel in glass, otherwise it can break.
What to Pair With Easy Caramel Sauce
Along with how easy it is to make, there are so many ways to use homemade Caramel Sauce. You can serve caramel with recipes like Apple Crisps, New York Style Cheesecake, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Double Chocolate Brownies, and so many other treats. It’s also the perfect topping to finish Homemade Ice Cream. You can also use it with other dessert toppings to make the ultimate ice cream sundae.
How to Store
- Serve: After making the recipe, you can let the dessert topping cool for a few minutes before using it since it will be VERY hot. But it’s delicious to serve while still warm.
- Store: To keep this caramel dessert topping for later, let it cool to room temperature. Then pour the caramel into a mason jar or another airtight container. It can stay good in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Reheat the mixture for 30 seconds in the microwave before serving.
- Freeze: You can also freeze homemade Caramel Sauce. You’ll need to transfer the sauce to an airtight, container to freeze it. The frozen caramel can stay good for 2-3 months. Transfer the container to the fridge to let it thaw before serving.
Ideas to Serve Easy Caramel Sauce
In addition to adding it to desserts, you can also use caramel sauce as a sweet dessert dip. Make caramel apples in the fall. This is also great for parties or a kid-friendly after-school snack. Simply pour the caramel sauce into a bowl and enjoy it with dippers like sliced apples, pretzel rods, graham crackers, and vanilla wafers. You could even pour it right over your dippers to create apple nachos with toppings like chocolate chips, crushed pretzels, or a dusting of cinnamon or brown sugar.
Alternative Cooking Techniques
Caramel Sauce on the Stovetop
Instead of using the microwave, you can make homemade Caramel Sauce on the stovetop. To do this, you’ll use the double boiler method. Here’s how:
- Fill a medium pot with 2 inches of water and put it over medium heat to bring it to a low boil.
- Place a heat-safe glass bowl over the hot water. You need a bowl that’s big enough to touch the edges of the pot when you set it on top. Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.
- Add the caramel candies and heavy cream to the heat-proof bowl. The steam will heat the bowl and melt the ingredients.
- Stir the caramel mixture as it melts into a silky consistency. Then remove from heat and let it cool for a minute or so before adding the recipe to your favorite desserts.
Easy, 3-Ingredient Caramel Sauce
This alternative is a great option for making caramel sauce if you don’t have caramel candies on hand. Instead of running to the store to get some, you can prepare homemade caramel sauce using unsalted butter, white sugar, and heavy cream.
- To make this version, add 1 ½ cups granulated sugar to a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring every minute for 5-7 minutes. At first, the sugar will start to clump, but as it heats, it will liquify and turn to an amber color. As it’s turning to liquid, watch the mixture carefully and stir to make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Once all the sugar clumps are gone, reduce the heat to medium-low. Then add ½ cup unsalted butter. Stir until the caramel mixture is melted together and bubbling.
- Then pour in ¾ cup heavy cream in a slow, steady stream. Keep over heat and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Then remove from heat immediately and let the Caramel Sauce cool for a few minutes before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. In this recipe, you’re just melting ready-made caramel and mixing it with the cream to make a rich dessert topping. There’s no need for a candy thermometer, but you should mix the ingredients as you heat them to make sure it’s all heating evenly.
Caramel recipes become grainy when the sugar grains in the caramel crystalize. If this happens to your recipe, you can fix it by mixing in a small amount of an acidic ingredient like lemon juice to break down the sugar crystals.
- 1 cup heavy cream at room temperature
- 2 cups caramels unwrapped
- Add caramels and heavy cream to a microwave-safe bowl.
- Melt on 50% power in 30-second increments until smooth and creamy.
- Let sit 15 seconds between each time you microwave.
- Serve over ice cream or cakes or other desserts.
- Sprinkle flaky sea salt over caramel sauce if desired.
- Salted Caramel Sauce: To mix salty and sweet flavors, you can add 1 teaspoon of salt to the caramel mixture. You could also sprinkle large-grain sea salt over the top of the caramel sauce as desired after you add it to your dessert. If you like the sparkle of sea salt but not the sweet and salty flavor combo, you can sprinkle on large-grain sugar crystals instead.
- Flavors: You can make other flavor additions by adding vanilla extract or hazelnut extract to the tasty caramel mixture. Wait to add any flavor ingredients like this until after heating and stirring the Caramel Sauce together. For a rich toffee-like flavor, you could also stir in a spoonful of brown sugar.