Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

Normally the day after Valentine’s I wouldn’t post a dessert because people are usually sweeted out, but I keep needing to reference this recipe and then realize it’s not on the blog yet!  So I’m getting it up here while it’s on my mind.

Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe

Traditional caramel sauce isn’t too hard, but it can be intimidating and a little labor intensive since you caramelize sugar to a very specific point, and then add in butter and cream after.  There are lots of instances where I prefer this style of traditional caramel, but for most things, I usually just whip up this short-cut version!

Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe

It takes minutes, literally less than 15 start to finish.  There’s nothing to caramelize here and you only need a few ingredients.  Instead of caramelizing white sugar, you’ll just use brown sugar, which already has a caramel flavor. You basically just melt everything together and call it good so it’s so easy it’s dangerous.

Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe

This sauce is buttery and warm and has flakes of sea salt to balance out the sweetness.  You can use this over any dessert- like swirled in brownies, drizzled on cupcakes, poured over ice cream or crepes, used as a dip for fruit- you name it.  It’s just a great, easy recipe to have in our repertoire!

Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe

To make it, just combine brown sugar, real butter, and cream in a sauce pan.  Bring it to a very low simmer and stir constantly to dissolve the sugar.

Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe

After it’s done, you’ll stir in a little vanilla and some salt.  You can really do this to taste.  You can use more if you’ve used unsalted butter or less if you prefer it that way.

My favorite favorite salt for things like this is Maldon.  I just order this on Amazon; it lasts forever so I just keep it in the pantry for dessert recipes like this.  It’s amazing sprinkled over chocolate chip cookies or a salted caramel cupcake.

Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe

The great thing about Maldon salt is that the pieces are large enough to stay in tact in the caramel, lending crunchy little bits as you eat it.

Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe

But you can certainly use any larger-grained salt, or even table salt if you’re in a pinch.  Just remember the finer your salt, the less you will want to add.

I’ve made this using both light and dark brown sugars and they both work just fine.  The dark brown sugar is a little more intense and it yields a darker sauce.  Light brown sugar will give you a more traditional caramel flavor.

Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe

You can’t go wrong with either.  You can store this in the fridge if you need to store it and just reheat in the microwave.  This type of sauce will start to crystallize a bit the more it sits in the fridge, but it will still taste amazing.

Next time you’re needing a little caramel on something- whip this up and have homemade in minutes!

Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe

Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe

Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

Quick and easy recipe that yields buttery warm caramel with flaky sea salt in minutes!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1/2 cup 1 stick real butter
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • flaky sea salt to taste


  • Heat butter, brown sugar and cream in a pot on the stove top, stirring until melted and smoothed. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and salt to taste. Start with 1/4 teaspoon salt and add more if desired. Can be left at room temperature, or if storing overnight or longer, place in a covered container in the fridge. Reheat gently in the microwave.
Author: Our Best Bites
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Appreciable! Really a nice way to make our dishes more interesting and delicious to eat.

  2. This sounds fantastic i going yo make this today, i absolutly love caramel so this is just up my street.

  3. Okay, those little jars are adorable–I have some like that that I saved from yogurt, but I don’t have lids for them. Do your jars have lids??

    1. Yes! Those are Weck Jars and I LOVE them. You can actually use them for canning but I just use them because they’re cute, haha. These ones I’m using in the photos are these, I believe, but they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

  4. This recipe makes me so happy. I’m going to ignore everything else i have to do today and make some homemade ice cream, then swirl a little of this caramel between layers and throw in some toffee bits for good measure. Happy Wednesday to me!

    1. Until you lick that bowl clean, so not very long ,haha. Definitely a week or so. It will get thicker and start to crystallize over time, but it still tastes great.

    1. nope, doesn’t matter at all- you’ll just adjust the added salt to taste. For what it’s worth, I always make this with salted butter and still add additional sea salt.

      1. You’ve probably addressed this a million times already, but do you usually use salted butter in recipes that just call for butter? I read butter in recipes as unsalted, but know this varies from recipe author to author. I actually made the buttermilk syrup recipe from your site yesterday and served it over waffles! I used unsalted but wasn’t sure if that was correct–of course it turned out delicious. Thank you!

        1. Hey Emily! So the rule of thumb is to always default to salted butter. If a recipe uses unsalted, they should always specify, so if it doesn’t specify, go with salted. Hope that helps!