Creamy Caramel Sauce

Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce

Homemade Caramel Sauce is easy to make and so rich, creamy, and ooey-gooey! Drizzle it on ice cream, use it as a filling between cake layers, whip it, or mix it into buttercream. What can you NOT do with Homemade Caramel Sauce?!

Caramel may seem like a difficult thing to make but, trust me, you can make a smooth and creamy caramel sauce at home in just a few easy steps.

A pint jar of creamy caramel sauce is a pantry staple.
Rich, creamy caramel sauce for all occasions! A delicious topping or filling for any dessert!

How Do You Make Caramel Sauce at Home?

Caramel is essentially just cooked sugar. When you heat sugar, the molecules begin to break down and move around. First, it will melt to become a clear liquid, then it will begin to brown – or caramelize.

This recipe is for ‘wet caramel’. When you add a small amount of water to the sugar, the amount of time that the sugar can cook is extended which allows more time for the flavor to develop. The water will evaporate out as the sugar browns and creates the caramel flavor as well as a deeper color.

Be Careful When Working With Cooked Sugar!

When sugar is heated, it gets very hot…I mean, like, up to 400 degrees! Cooking sugar gets hotter than boiling water and will burn skin badly. And, worse than boiling water, the caramel will stick to your skin and continue to burn, not run off the skin the way water will.

Please be VERY CAREFUL when working with cooked sugar!

Ingredients in Homemade Caramel Sauce

The list of ingredients in this recipe is so short that you won’t believe how quick and easy it comes together!

To make Caramel Sauce, you will need:

  • Granulated sugar – You can also use caster sugar but it will melt faster due to the smaller size of the granules so be sure to keep a close eye on it.
  • Light Corn Syrup – Adding a small amount of corn syrup helps to stop crystallization, which leads to grainy caramel.
  • Water – You can leave the water out but adding a small amount extends and slows the cooking time allowing for a deeper flavor in your caramel.
  • Heavy Cream – Adding cold heavy cream to the hot caramelized sugar will cause the caramel to bubble up so add it carefully! Make sure that there is extra room in the pan to allow for the bubbling and continue whisking until the cream is totally incorporated and the caramel is smooth.
  • Salt – Just a pinch for a regular caramel or up to 1 teaspoon for a Salted Caramel Sauce.
  • Butter – The butter is not completely necessary but it adds to the richness and creaminess of the caramel sauce.
  • Vanilla Extract – Replace with rum or bourbon if you’d like!

How to use Homemade Caramel Sauce

  • Drizzle on top of ice cream
  • Drizzle into brownie batter after adding the batter to the pan. Swirl and then bake!
  • Whip some caramel into buttercream for a flavor boost
  • Add to coffee or tea for a special treat
  • Dip apples or pears into the caramel
  • Stir into nuts and bake for caramelized nuts
  • Drizzle on top of bread pudding
  • Use as a filling between layers of cake
  • Swirl into cake batter before baking
  • Swirl into or on top of pancakes or waffles
  • Grab a spoon and eat it straight from the jar!
  • Homemade Caramel Sauce is a great gift from your home kitchen!

Other Caramel Recipes to Try!

Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream


Peach & Caramel Ice Cream

Chocolate Cake to Die For

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Creamy Caramel Sauce

Homemade Caramel Sauce

Rich, creamy, smooth, delicious homemade caramel to use on top of ice cream, between cake layers, in buttercream, or a million other ways!
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings
Calories 139 kcal


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt a pinch to 1 teaspoon for salted caramel
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter soft
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract see note


  • Pour the granulated sugar into the middle of a saucepan. 
    Homemade caramel sauce recipe starts with pouring granulated sugar in a pan
  • Pour water around the edges and then add the light corn syrup.
    Add corn starch
  • Stir gently with your finger BEFORE you turn on the heat. Just mix to get all the sugar moistened.
    Stir together the sugar, corn syrup, and water.
  • Turn on the heat to medium-low. Allow to heat, without stirring, until the mixture achieves a caramel color. Do not stir but occasionally swirl the pan to help the mixture heat and caramelize evenly.
    Cook the sugar until it browns to a caramel color
  • When the color is similar to a dark honey, remove from heat. Immediately add the heavy cream and whisk until smooth.
    Pour the heavy cream into the caramel while whisking
  • Stir in the salt and butter until the butter is melted. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and stir.
  • Pour into a heat proof glass jar and allow to cool at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes, uncovered. Place lid on jar and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
    Pour caramel into heat proof jar and cool



  • Replace the vanilla extract with a flavoring of your choice, such as rum or bourbon


Serving: 1servingCalories: 139kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 0.4gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 4mgPotassium: 13mgSugar: 20gVitamin A: 245IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.02mg
Keyword caramel, caramel sauce, caramel using corn syrup, caramel with corn syrup, dry caramel, homemade caramel sauce recipe, how to make caramel, ingredients in caramel, wet caramel
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