Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe

Homemade caramel sauce is so simple, you'll never want store-bought caramel sauce again! Easy 1-step, 5-ingredient salted caramel sauce recipe. | natashaskitchen.com

This caramel sauce recipe is so simple, you’ll never want store-bought again! There are only 5 all-natural ingredients that all go into the pot at once and then you whisk until it’s thickened to your liking. How easy is that?! You’ll learn how to make caramel sauce in no time!

I’ve been disappointed many times looking for caramel that didn’t have high fructose corn syrup, or artificial colors and flavors, or other ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. It’s crazy! This caramel recipe is not just easy, but it tastes amazing. Nothing beats homemade caramel sauce!Homemade caramel sauce is so simple, you'll never want store-bought caramel sauce again! Easy 1-step, 5-ingredient salted caramel sauce recipe. | natashaskitchen.com

I learned how to make caramel sauce from Pioneer Woman years ago and have been making this salted version ever since! The little bit of salt in this recipe balances the flavors perfectly so don’t skip it! There’s a reason why salted caramel is “a thing.”

Caramel Sauce Ingredients:

1 cup (200 grams) light brown sugar, packed
4 Tbsp unsalted butter*
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1/2 cup half and half (or use equal parts heavy cream and milk)
1 Tbsp real vanilla extract

*If using salted butter, cut the salt to 1/2 tsp or add it to taste.

Homemade caramel sauce is so simple, you'll never want store-bought caramel sauce again! Easy 1-step, 5-ingredient salted caramel sauce recipe. | natashaskitchen.com

To make the Easiest Salted Caramel Sauce:

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over low heat, whisking constantly or until thickened and no longer watery (6-9 minutes). Keep in mind it thickens more as it cools. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled with refrigeration. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 2 weeks. You can warm it slightly to make it more drizzle-able.

Homemade caramel sauce is so simple, you'll never want store-bought caramel sauce again! Easy 1-step, 5-ingredient salted caramel sauce recipe. | natashaskitchen.com

P.S. That’s homemade vanilla extract you see up there. You only need to ingredients for it – so easy! It also makes for a great homemade gift! 

Homemade caramel sauce is so simple, you'll never want store-bought caramel sauce again! Easy 1-step, 5-ingredient salted caramel sauce recipe. | natashaskitchen.com

P.S. Be careful with the sampling – It’s easy to get carried away!

⬇Print-Friendly Caramel Sauce Recipe:

Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe

4.96 from 21 votes
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Homemade caramel sauce is so simple, you'll never want store-bought caramel sauce again! Easy 1-step, 5-ingredient salted caramel sauce recipe. | natashaskitchen.com
Homemade caramel sauce is so simple, you'll never want store-bought again! Easy 1-step, 5-ingredient salted caramel sauce recipe.
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $1-$2
Calories: 89 kcal
Servings: 16 Tbsp (makes 1 cup caramel sauce)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter *
  • 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 1/2 cup half and half or use equal parts heavy cream and milk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small/medium saucepan and simmer over low heat, whisking constantly or until thickened and no longer watery (6-9 min). Keep in mind it thickens more as it cools. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 2 weeks. You can re-warm it slightly to make it more drizzle-able.

Recipe Notes

*If using salted butter, reduce salt to 1/2 tsp or add it to taste.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 89 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 152mg 6%
Potassium 28mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 13g 4%
Sugars 13g
Vitamin A 2.3%
Vitamin C 0.1%
Calcium 2%
Iron 0.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Homemade caramel sauce is so simple, you'll never want store-bought caramel sauce again! Easy 1-step, 5-ingredient salted caramel sauce recipe. | natashaskitchen.com

We love this homemade caramel sauce over our pumpkin cheesecake, vanilla ice cream, over baked apples, and the mini cheesecakes I will post later this week, and everything we can possibly put caramel over ;).

Homemade caramel sauce is so simple, you'll never want store-bought caramel sauce again! Easy 1-step, 5-ingredient salted caramel sauce recipe. | natashaskitchen.com

natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Jo
    December 3, 2018

    What does 1/2 cup half and half mean?

    Does it mean:
    1/4 cup of cream
    plus
    1/4 cup of milk

    I really would like to try this it sounds delicious!! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 4, 2018

      half and half, also known as ‘half cream’ in Europe. It is equal parts of whole milk and light cream. Reply

  • Jan Myhre
    November 26, 2018

    I just tried making this recipe and while it has a good flavour I have some questions about the process.

    In the cooking stage should it bubble, if so how much? Or keep the heat low enough for no bubbles at all?
    Do you start timing once everything is melted?
    What fat % is half and half?
    I used 10% cream and cooked it 12 min adjusting the heat for no bubbles. Then as it was still really thin I let it bubble on low heat for another 2 min. It’s a bit grainy.

    I used store bought pure vanilla extract and the vanilla flavour is a bit strong. Maybe your variety is milder? Reply

    • Natasha
      November 26, 2018

      Hi Jan, I start the timer once it comes to a simmer so it is at a simmer for that time frame – There should be light bubbling of the mixture while it is simmering. If there were no bubbles, the heat was probably too low which would cause it to be thin and/or grainy. Half and half is basically equal parts milk and heavy whipping cream. You can definitely add vanilla to taste and the quality of the extract will make a difference, but I suspect the vanilla flavor was too strong due to not having it at a simmer long enough. I hope that helps to troubleshoot! Reply

  • Zzz
    November 24, 2018

    This is the best home made caramel ever. Thank you so much. In my country you cant buy heavy cream… So i could never make my caramel at home… I am so happy… Finally… And its so tasty… Yummmy Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 24, 2018

      I’m so happy you discovered our blog & this recipe! Thank you for the wonderful review! Reply

  • Kat Ferguson
    November 19, 2018

    Could this be canned to preserve? Reply

    • Natasha
      November 19, 2018

      Hi Kat, I haven’t tried so I can’t say with certainty. You might google some recipes with shelf life and see how their process and proportions differ. I wish I could be more help with that question! Reply

  • Tina
    November 19, 2018

    Is it suppose to be a tablespoon or teaspoon of vanilla Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 19, 2018

      Yes, A tablespoon is correct. Reply

      • Tina
        November 19, 2018

        Ok thank you so much can’t wait to try it Reply

      • Tina
        November 24, 2018

        I tried the caramel sauce and chocolate sauce it was AMAZING THANY SO MUCH FOR SHARING I made it for a homemade cheesecake that I make your recipe are very delicious Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          November 25, 2018

          That’s just awesome!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review 🙂 Reply

  • Jennifer
    November 15, 2018

    This recipe looks so good! I am going to try it for Thanksgiving! Thank you and love the video! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 15, 2018

      Thank you for that great feedback!! I’m so happy you enjoyed that! Reply

  • Natalia
    November 11, 2018

    This. Was. A. Hit!!! I never knew that it would be so easy to make a caramel sauce. One thing I don’t understand and I probably never will is a salt in this sauce… But that’s just me. Next time I’ll omit salt at all. But crepes with this sauce were sooooooooooo good. Thank you, Natasha! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 11, 2018

      That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite Natalia! Reply

      • Natalia
        November 12, 2018

        You bet! Making a cheesecake in IP now and guess what’s going on top of it? Your caramel sauce! Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          November 12, 2018

          Yum! I’d love to know how this turns out Natalia!! Reply

  • Arya
    November 11, 2018

    It will help me in my bakery business…thanx so much Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 11, 2018

      I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe! Reply

  • Marina Hatton
    November 9, 2018

    I have mold to make home made turtles would the caramel sauce recipe be ok for them
    🙂 thanks Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 10, 2018

      Marina, this caramel sauce may be a little thin for homemade turtles – it won’t fully harden and dry like caramel candies would. I think it might work if you cooked it longer but I still think it would be sticky to the touch. Reply

      • Natalia
        November 11, 2018

        Try to experiment adding a bit of corn starch to it. It migh make it thicker…. Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          November 11, 2018

          Thank you for sharing that with us! Reply

        • Dia
          November 14, 2018

          Wow! This is definitely the best caramel sauce recipe, so easy to make and oh the taste, i could just eat the whole thing myself 😀 can’t wait to try the mini cheesecakes with that sauce, thank you Natasha! Reply

          • Natashas Kitchen
            November 14, 2018

            You’re Welcome!! Thank you for that wonderful review Dia!

  • Aldi
    October 22, 2018

    Delicious, perfect caramel sauce ! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 22, 2018

      Isn’t it?! Thank you for this review! Reply

  • tina r rogers
    October 20, 2018

    can you use country crock churn style instead of butter? Reply

    • Natasha
      October 22, 2018

      Hi Tina, I honestly haven’t tried that substitute. If you experiment, please let me know how it works out. If anyone else has tried, please let us know! 🙂 Reply

  • Jane King
    October 10, 2018

    Thanks for this recipe. My grown son likes to have caramel sauce and apple cake for his birthday, and this year I made your recipe. It’s in the refrigerator right now waiting for his party and I hope it doesn’t mysteriously disappear before then. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 10, 2018

      I hope not either, Jane! Although that would be a great compliment! Wish him a Happy Birthday! Reply

  • Fatema
    September 20, 2018

    Love this recipe. But my turned out grainy . What did I do wrong? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 20, 2018

      Hi Fatema. It could be due to the sugar not dissolving completely. Reply

  • Fatema
    September 20, 2018

    Love this recipe. Taste was very good. However, the sauce was grainy. What did I do wrong? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 20, 2018

      Hi Fatema, I’m happy you enjoyed the recipe. My guess is it could be crystallization or the sugar did not dissolve completely. Reply

  • Bonnie
    September 12, 2018

    Keto blt salad and dressing.
    Do you have the nutritional break down for the dressing. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 12, 2018

      Hi Bonnie. If you are looking for the nutritional break down of this recipe you can locate it on the print out option towards the bottom of the post 🙂 If you are looking for the dressing alone I recommend copying the ingredients into a calorie counter like this one. I hope this helps. Reply

  • Sadia Rifat Islam
    September 7, 2018

    Such an easy recipe. I am from Bangladesh. And it is almost impossible to find a good quality readymade caramel sauce. This recipe will help me a lot. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 7, 2018

      That’s so great Sadia! Thank you for sharing this with me! I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe! Reply

  • jenn
    July 22, 2018

    Hi, what I can use to substitute heavy cream?can I use all purpose cream instead?thank you Reply

    • Natasha
      July 22, 2018

      Hi Jenn, you can use regular whipping cream instead of the half and half and you will have a slightly thicker caramel sauce which will still work great 🙂 Reply

  • Sheryl
    July 12, 2018

    I was all excited about this recipe (because we ADORE salted caramel), until I saw “Pioneer Woman”. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 12, 2018

      It is sooo good! Thanks you for reading! Reply

  • Maria
    June 2, 2018

    Can I use regular sugar instead of brown? Reply

    • Natasha
      June 2, 2018

      HI Maria, I have always made this with brown sugar. I think it could work but you probably wouldn’t get as nice of a caramel color using white sugar since the brown sugar has molasses in it for color. Reply

      • Maria
        June 5, 2018

        Thank You for the answer! Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          June 5, 2018

          You’re welcome! Reply

  • Vivian
    May 21, 2018

    Would I be able to use heavy cream instead of half and half? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 21, 2018

      Hi Vivian, I would suggest using equal parts of heavy cream and milk to substitute for the half and half (1/4 cup of heavy cream and 1/4 cup milk) Reply

    • Sandy Davidson
      July 8, 2018

      You can just use straight heavy cream, no half and half. I use 36% cream and as always it works great! I also use 36% cream when making Caramel candies. Reply

  • May 10, 2018

    Hi
    The amount of sugar.. is it 200 g? or 220 g? and how mangy grams of butter please. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 10, 2018

      I Sara, when I weighed it, it was 200grams. The recipe converter uses an algorithm and sometimes can be off a little bit. I manually corrected it. Thanks for asking! Reply

  • Yuliya
    April 18, 2018

    Hello! Can you use this caramel for dipping apples into it? Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 18, 2018

      Hello Yuliya! It would work as a dip but it won’t form up around the apple. Reply

  • Lily-Jade
    February 21, 2018

    Instead sea salt, can I substitute the unsalted butter for salted butter? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 21, 2018

      Salted butter should work fine 😀 Reply

      • Lily-Jade
        February 22, 2018

        Thank you very much for the quick response, I really appreciate it. I’m going to try this caramel sauce on panna cotta. I can’t wait! Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          February 22, 2018

          My pleasure, glad to help! Reply

  • Aida
    January 28, 2018

    Where has this recipe been all my life? Thanks for sharing this Natasha. xoxo Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 29, 2018

      My pleasure Aida! I’m glad you love it! Reply

  • Retha
    January 24, 2018

    Hi Natasha,
    I made this recipe yesterday and the results is Fantastic! I put it on top of my chocoflan and all my friends said they love it! Thanks a lot for sharing your recipe.
    PS: I made caramel sauce twice with different recipe from other famous blog/website, but the results are disaster. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 24, 2018

      Hello Retha! I’m glad to hear the recipe is such a success! Thanks for sharing your wonderful review! Reply

  • Victoria
    December 11, 2017

    Hi there,

    It looks delicious. How long does it keep in the fridge if I give it as a gift Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 12, 2017

      Hi Victoria, you can refrigerate in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.I have a note about that closer to the top of the post. Reply

  • Lana
    December 1, 2017

    If I use regular salt instead of sea salt and vanilla extract instead of real vanilla extract will anything change? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 1, 2017

      Hi Lana, those substitutions will still work. Add the salt to taste since table salt is smaller crystals than sea salt so 1 tsp of table salt will taste saltier than 1 tsp sea salt. Reply

      • Lana
        December 3, 2017

        I followed the recipe but my caramel sauce didn’t thikened but overcooked. Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          December 3, 2017

          Hi Lana, I haven’t had that happen but I am always happy to help troubleshoot. Did you measure the ingredients as stated in the recipe, measuring dry ingredients in dry ingredient cups and wet in liquid measuring cups? Also, when brown sugar is “packed,” it should keep the form of the measuring cup when you empty the measuring cup as shown in the image. If it is not packed, it will take longer to form. Also, it may be that the heat was on too high – it should be cooked over low heat. I hope that helps! 🙂 Reply

          • Lana
            December 4, 2017

            Yes I did. What if the brown sugar was in the container, does it work?

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            December 4, 2017

            Hi Lana, I’m not sure what you mean by the container.

  • Julie
    November 20, 2017

    Hi Natasha,
    Will this set up enough for homemade turtles?
    Thanks,
    Julie
    p.s. I’ve purchased all the items to make/gift your homemade vanilla! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 20, 2017

      Hi Julie, this caramel sauce may be a little thin for homemade turtles – it won’t fully harden and dry like caramel candies would. I think it might work if you cooked it longer but I still think it would be sticky to the touch. Reply

  • Isla
    November 17, 2017

    we made this for my birthday cake it was SO delicious and got to the perfect thickness. Thank a lot Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 17, 2017

      You’re welcome Isla! I’m glad you love the recipe! Thanks for sharing your great review! Reply

  • Richard Cutt
    November 15, 2017

    Natasha – how would I make the caramel sauce thicker? it is great but sometimes I would like it thicker. Thanks Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 15, 2017

      Hi Richard, to make it thicker, cook the sauce longer. As more of the liquid evaporates, it will thicken 🙂 Reply

      • Richard Cutt
        November 15, 2017

        Natasha – thank you so much Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          November 16, 2017

          You’re welcome Richard! Reply

  • Anastasia
    November 11, 2017

    For how long can I leave the caramel sauce at the room temperature? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 11, 2017

      Hi Anastasia, I would refrigerate after a day at room temperature. The sooner you refrigerate, the longer it will last. 🙂 Reply

  • Morgan Dresvyannikov
    November 5, 2017

    I made this today to go on top of the miniature cheesecakes! I had a good feeling about the recipe, so I made a double batch of the caramel and I’m SO glad — it was absolutely delicious! I am even going to give a jar to my mom for part of her birthday present this week! I will never buy caramel from the store again! The whole family at dinner this evening loved it! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 6, 2017

      I’m so glad to hear how much everyone loves the recipe! Thanks for sharing your excellent review Morgan! Reply

  • Therapist
    November 2, 2017

    Will this work well for Carmelo’s apples? Does it set up enough for that purpose? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 3, 2017

      It would work as a dip but it won’t form up around the apple. Reply

  • Galya from PDX
    October 19, 2017

    I never even thought of googling how to make a homemade caramel sauce. I made it yesterday and I will never never never buy it in the store again. Even the most natural ones in the store have an odd taste, but this one is the recipe of all recipes. In addition, these simple ingredients are staples in each household. As always, good job Natasha. I don’t follow many cooking blogs, but I like the fact that you reference where you got the recipe originally. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 19, 2017

      Thanks Galya! I’m so glad to hear how much you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for sharing your great review with other readers! Reply

  • Tammy
    October 19, 2017

    Hi Natasha,
    This looks awesome! Can’t wait to try it especially with your pumpkin cheesecake. Thanks so much! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 19, 2017

      Hello Tammy! It’s my pleasure, I hope you love the recipe! Please let me know what you think! Reply

  • Julia
    October 19, 2017

    Amazing! I could never have any store bought caramel sauce since most of them have high fructose corn syrup and I am allergic! And the sugar free versions taste awful… I resigned myself to not having any until now. Just made this last night and can’t get enough of it. My husband loved it too Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 19, 2017

      That’s great! I’m glad to hear you both enjoy the recipe! Thanks for sharing your fantastic review Julia! Reply

  • Luba
    October 19, 2017

    made the recipe and it’s amazing! thank you so much Natasha the taste reminds me of russian caramels. i’ve been trying to limit myself on how much of this i eat:) Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 19, 2017

      You’re welcome Luba! I’m glad to hear that! Thanks for sharing your fantastic review! Reply

  • Alena
    October 18, 2017

    How awesome! Will need to try soon. I’ve made caramel sauce using a different recipe before, and I like to add it to coffee with milk. The result tastes better than the Starbucks coffee I’ve tried! I’m sure this one would add an amazing flavor to coffee as well. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 18, 2017

      Mmmm that sounds amazing! Wishing I had some leftover from my last recipe to try it on my coffee tomorrow morning. Good thing it’s super easy to make! 😉 Reply

  • Diana
    October 18, 2017

    Wow! Definitely going to try! I’d really like to see your take on platsindi, with feta or pumpkin. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 18, 2017

      Hi Diana, I have never heard of those! Is there a great recipe online you could recommend? Reply

  • October 17, 2017

    Dear Natasha, thank you for this multi functional ingredient. Festive days are getting closer and no one can skip using this one ! Enjoy the day ! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 18, 2017

      Thank you so much! Yes I agree – this one is a perfect topping for so many Autumn and holiday desserts! I hope you love it 🙂 Reply

  • October 17, 2017

    This looks so easy. I’m a little obsessed with homemade caramel sauce. Thanks for sharing, Natasha! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 17, 2017

      My pleasure! I hope you love it! Reply

  • Katy B.
    October 17, 2017

    Gurl! This is amazing! Yay to home cooking! Thank you Natasha. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 17, 2017

      You’re welcome Katy! I’m glad you love it! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Reply

  • October 17, 2017

    I like the fact that you use brown sugar (so far I have never made caramel sauce with brown sugar successfully) and that all ingredients are combined at once. Sounds perfect. Will report back once I try it! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 17, 2017

      Hi Jenny, thank you! The color and flavor is wonderful and this recipe is so easy. I hope you love it! 🙂 Reply

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