Rating: 3 stars
4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 2

Salted caramel sauce might sound intimidating to make, but it’s as simple as combining five ingredients and melting, whisking, and stirring. In fact, maybe something so decadent as vanilla-infused caramel shouldn’t be quite so quick and easy! Thirty minutes is all it takes to stir up a generous batch of this gooey, salty-sweet treat. Our salted caramel sauce recipe makes six cups of caramel, which is enough for six to 12 holiday or hostess gifts, depending on the jar size you use. Win extra points by including a pint or two of ice cream and a tin of flaky sea salt to finish the sundaes off.

Pam Lolley


Credit: Victor Protasio

Recipe Summary

30 mins
30 mins
6 cups


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Stir together sugar and 1½ cups water in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Place over medium-high and cook, undisturbed, until sugar begins to turn amber around the edge of the pot, about 15 minutes.

  • Gently stir mixture until color is uniformly amber, about 1 minute more. Reduce heat to low and gradually stir in cream. (Be careful: Sauce will bubble and steam vigorously.) Continue to cook, stirring over low, until caramel is smooth, about 2 minutes.

  • Add butter, 1 piece at a time, whisking constantly until butter is melted and emulsified.

  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Serve warm or let cool. Store in airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

Chef's Notes

For a sweet holiday gift, place caramel in 4- or 8-ounce glass jars and tie with ribbon.