Caramel Sauce

Delicious caramel sauce – Quick and easy to make with just three ingredients. Drizzle it on pretty much anything to add some lovely caramel sweetness.

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Looking down on a measuring cup full of caramel sauce with a caramel covered spoon next to it. This is all on a slate which has been drizzled with caramel sauce.Whenever we go to Starbucks Jon’s favourite drink is a Caramel Macchiato. For anyone who’s never heard of it before, it’s a milky coffee (a bit like a cappuccino) with vanilla syrup and caramel drizzle sauce on top.

Since buying a coffee machine a couple of years ago I like to make them at home too. I’ve always bought the caramel drizzle sauce and vanilla syrup but I thought it might be fun to have a go at making my own (although I haven’t attempted the vanilla syrup yet).

Whilst caramel macchiatos are yummy (well at least Jon thinks they are, I find them far too sweet!) there are so many other uses for this sauce, ice-cream, milkshakes, cakes, pancakes, well pretty much anything sweet you can think of. It’ll keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge so you don’t have to use it all straight away.

This recipe makes about 100ml of sauce but it can be easily multiplied. It just might take a little longer for the sugar to caramelise.

A spoonful of caramel sauce drizzling down into a bowl of sauce.

How to make caramel sauce

It turns out (like with most things) that caramel sauce is pretty easy to make, it just needs a bit of time and attention.

Caramel sauce consists of three ingredients – sugar, butter and single cream (or a mix of double cream and full fat milk).

The approach I take to making caramel sauce is to heat the sugar in a large saucepan until it’s completely melted and turned a light brown colour, then quickly whisk in the butter, turn off the heat and whisk in the cream.

Here are a few tips to help you get perfect caramel sauce…

  1. Use granulated sugar – Other types of sugar contain impurities which make it more likely that your sugar will crystallise or burn.
  2. Use a large pan – It means that the sugar will be spread in a thinner layer and should melt more evenly, making it less likely to burn. You’ll also find that the sauce bubbles up significantly when you add the butter and cream so a large pan will ensure it remains contained.
  3. Make sure your pan and spatula are spotlessly clean – Any impurities will encourage the sugar to crystallise.
  4. Have your butter and cream measured out and ready to use – Otherwise there’s a risk you’ll overcook your caramel while you measuring everything.
  5. Move the caramel about (but only a little bit) – You can use a spatula to gently move the sugar around to help it melt. Avoid stirring it until it’s clearly started to turn to liquid (it’s more likely to crystallise before that point), then gently stir it just enough to move any unmelted sugar over the heat.
  6. Be very careful – boiling sugar is much hotter than boiling water and the sauce will bubble up when you add the butter and cream. You may want to use heat resistant gloves to protect you from any spatters.
  7. Remove the sauce from the heat as soon as you’ve added all of the ingredients – The sauce will look too thin, but don’t worry it’ll thicken as it cools.
  8. Don’t panic if you get a couple of lumps of crystallised sugar – Obviously if there are too many then your sauce will be a disaster. But if you get a couple just put the sauce through a metal sieve to remove them (I’ve had to do it and the sauce is still perfect afterwards).

Caramel sauce spoon
5 from 2 votes

Caramel Sauce

Delicious caramel sauce – Quick and easy to make with just three ingredients. Drizzle it on pretty much anything to add some lovely caramel sweetness. Recipe VIDEO below.
Active Time 12 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 7 tbsp


  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 30 g butter
  • 60 ml single cream - or 30ml double cream and 30ml full fat milk


  • Measure out all of your ingredients into separate bowls (100g granulated sugar, 30g butter, 60ml single cream). Cut the butter into small cubes (this’ll help you to incorporate it into the sauce quickly).
  • Put the sugar into a large saucepan spread even across the bottom and place onto a medium heat.
  • Once the sugar has clearly started to melt, gently move the sugar about the pan with the spatula until it has all melted.
  • Once the sugar has melted continue to stir gently with the spatula until it has turned a light brown colour.
  • As soon as the caramel is light brown, carefully add the butter and whisk rapid until the butter has melted and is combined.
  • Turn off the heat and add the cream, again whisking rapidly until combined.
  • If there are any small sugar crystals, pass the sauce through a metal sieve to remove them.
  • Put into a bowl or jug and refrigerate to cool.


This recipe makes approximately 100ml/150g of caramel sauce.
Have you tried this recipe?Please leave a comment and rating at the bottom of the page to let others know what you thought.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 111kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 8mg | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 3.9% | Calcium: 0.6%
Any nutritional information shown is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you want to learn more about how this is calculated.

What to make with your caramel sauce

If you’re after some inspiration for using your caramel sauce once it’s been made then take a look at some of these recipes…

Free From/Suitable For…

  • Suitable for Vegetarians
  • Egg-Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Nut-Free
  • Soy-Free

The ingredients for this recipe are commonly available free from all these allergens. However, please ensure you double-check allergen information for all ingredients.


  1. Hi Charlotte, would this be thick enough to fill a cake? Also, do you k ow how much salt I would add to.make it salted caramel? Thanks

    • If you chill the caramel then it quite firm so should be fine as a filling. I’d also recommend my caramel buttercream if you’re looking for a caramel cake filling, it uses this sauce for the caramel flavour. For salted caramel I think it’s more down to taste so I’d add a little at a time and have a taste until it tastes just how you like it.

  2. 2 things…..I noticed you stirring the sugar mixture before it was dissolved and was surprised. It doesn’t crystalize? Also, no water or corn syrup?

    • If you don’t add water you can stir it before it’s fully dissolved. It’s the slight impurities in the water that make it crystalise. That said you need to ensure it’s already melting before you start stirring otherwise it does crystalise. I sometimes find I get a few small lumps but these are easily sieved out. You can add water if this is the method you prefer (and then don’t stir until you’re ready to add the other ingredients), but I personally find it easier without.

  3. How long will this sauce keep?

  4. Success! I followed the video and managed to make great caramel sauce first time. I used it to drizzle over a pie this time, but fancy having a go at one of your hidden caramel sauce cupcakes recipes next time. Thanks Charlotte

  5. Hi,
    Can I pour this caramel sauce on a cake to get the drip effect? if yes then can I pour it and then keep the cake in the fridge? Will I need to warm it a bit

    • I’ve not tried it but it should work fine. If you find the consistency is a little too firm once it’s cooled then you can work it slightly in the microwave to get it softer.

  6. Hello Charlotte, came across your recipe while surfing for new ideas. Maybe you can help with this task I haven’t solved yet. I’ve been trying different cook methods to make a Carmel that is between a sauce and a candy. The goldilocks effect we could say. I’m trying to fill large candies without the spill or yank your teeth out result of the carmel. Any ideas on stiffening without making it hard? I haven’t tried powdered sugar yet, but it was suggested. Your thoughts are appreciated.

    • Charlotte Oates

      Hi Kevin, can you give an example of the sort of texture you’d like the caramel to have (a caramel you can buy in the shops with a similar consistency)? and when you say fill large candies, do you mean chocolate coated?

  7. Hi Charlotte. I found your video really helpful. I’ve tried making my own caramel sauce before, but the colour was always a bit too dark and the sauce a little bitter. However I came across your recipe on Pinterest and thought I would give it another go and it worked! Thanks so much. I used it to drizzle over chocolate brownies and they tasted pretty good.

    • I’m glad it worked for you Ellie. I love the idea of drizzling it over brownies, I have plans to add it into a brownie recipe soon.

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