Homemade Caramel Sauce – this smooth and creamy caramel sauce is perfect with ice cream, apples, or even cheesecake!
When I was in high school, there was an ice cream parlor called Leatherby’s a few minutes from my house that I would often visit with friends. They served a killer turkey sandwich, and the BEST caramel sundaes.
The caramel sauce was made from scratch, and it was my absolute favorite. When I went away to college I would dream about that caramel sauce! Any time I came home I would try to fit a visit to Leatherby’s into my schedule so I could get my fix.
If chocolate is more up your ally, don’t miss my easy hot fudge sauce recipe!
It took me two decades, but I finally found an easy recipe for caramel sauce recipe that tastes just like I remember, and I am in heaven! You will be too if you make this stuff. It’s phenomenal!
How to make caramel sauce:
- brown sugar (I use light, but you can use dark brown sugar.)
- granulated sugar
- corn syrup
- butter (I use salted butter.)
- evaporated milk (You can substitute cream if you prefer.)
- vanilla extract
The recipe is pretty simple, and you don’t even need a candy thermometer. Just cook and stir the first five ingredients over medium heat till it’s as thick as you like it, then add vanilla and salt. If you’re the type that loves using a thermometer, cook the sauce till almost to soft ball stage.
It does require a bit of stirring, so be prepared for that. You can use a spoon or silicone spatula, but I happen to love this whisk. It does a great job of getting into the edges of the saucepan!
Frequently asked questions about Caramel Sauce:
Q: How should I store the caramel sauce?
A: Leftover sauce should be stored covered in the refrigerator. I like to store mine in mason jars with plastic lids.
Q: Can I use cream instead of evaporated milk?
A: Yes, light or heavy whipping cream is an acceptable substitute. It actually makes a richer sauce, but I prefer the evaporated milk because it tastes more like the sauce I remember.
Q: Can I use dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar?
A: Yes, that is just a matter of preference. It will taste slightly different and may turn out a little darker, but that’s fine.
Q: What can I use in place of corn syrup?
A: I’ve never tried a substitute, but I’d imagine that honey or agave nectar would work. Honey would definitely change the flavor though.
What can I serve with my homemade caramel sauce?
This caramel is smooth, rich, and basically perfect. We of course love it over ice cream, but it is also fantastic served with sliced apples or drizzled over cake or cheesecake. Or you can just eat it by the spoonful. I won’t judge.
It’s National Caramel Day today, so you have the perfect excuse to make this caramel sauce! And of course I’m teaming up with some other talented bloggers to bring you even more unbelievable caramel recipes. Prepare to drool!
Instant Pot Caramel Dipping Sauce from 365 Days of Slow Cooking
Smoky Salted Caramel Creme Brulee from Hey Grill Hey
Turtle Cake from Real Mom Kitchen
Chocolate Dipped Caramel Marshmallows from Ashlee Marie
Iced Caramel Macchiato from Gather for Bread
Vegan Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from Namely Marly
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from Baking with Blondie
Caramel Banana Bread from Yellow Bliss Road
Coconut Chocolate Caramel Nests from Life Made Simple
Chai Creme Brulee from Foodie with Family
Homemade Caramel Sauce (you’re here!)
Caramel Pretzel Brownies from The Baker Upstairs
Homemade Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- dash salt
- Combine brown sugar, sugar, corn syrup, butter, and evaporated milk in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Boil, stirring constantly, for 15-20 minutes or till mixture thickens. I like mine pretty thick (almost to a soft ball stage if you want to use a thermometer). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.
- Sauce will thicken as it cools. Serve warm over ice cream.
*If your heat is set too high, the sauce may appear curdled. If this happens, just let it cool a little, then pour it into a blender and blend till smooth. Works like a charm.
Recipe adapted from The Provident Pantry
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 147Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 71mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 0gSugar: 23gProtein: 1g