Rich and creamy caramel is easy and homemade in just 15 minutes and you most likely have everything needed to make this indulgent topping right now. If you can stir ingredients together, you can make this. Come on, let me show you an easy step-by-step homemade caramel recipe:
First pour one cup of granulated sugar into a medium sauce pan and turn the heat to medium-high. Pretty quickly, the sugar will start to lump together. That’s just what you want.
Don’t over-work the sugar. Just stir occasionally so all the bits get time in the heat.
In no time, the sugar will start to melt and turn a pretty golden color. You’re still only stirring it once in awhile.
In about three minutes, the sugar is pretty much dissolved and the color will turn a pretty amber. Start stirring more until it’s completely melted.
Take the pan off the heat and add your butter. The mixture will immediately begin a mad boil. That’s what you want.
Stir constantly now to melt the butter. As you see here, the sauce is beginning to become thicker.
Stir for about five minutes till the butter is almost completely incorporated. If it doesn’t completely mix in, don’t worry.
Now, add room-temperature heavy cream and continue to stir. I switch to a whisk at this point and pretty soon, all the butter and cream disappears.
After everything is combined, put the mixture back on the stove for one more quick dose of heat.
And that’s it. Serve immediately for a hot ice cream topping or let cool to be used in recipes. And speaking of recipes, if you happened to make the salted caramel version…
…try it in THE best Salted Caramel Brownie Recipe. These are heavenly. The salted caramel is baked right into the brownies AND drizzled over the top…as if the brownies aren’t gooey enough already.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into big chunks (thirds is fine)
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
- ½ to 1½ teaspoons sea salt (depending on if you're making regular caramel or salted caramel)
- Pour the sugar into a medium saucepan and heat to medium-high. Using a rubber spatula, stir the sugar just occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pan. At first the sugar will be lumpy, but will soon melt and start turning brown. Don't stir too often, just enough to keep everything evenly cooking. After about 5 minutes, the sugar should be fully melted and become a rich amber color.
- At this point, remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the butter. the mixture will start to bubble quite rapidly. That's just what you want.
- Using your spatula or a whisk, stir the butter and sugar until they melt together almost completely. This can take 1-2 minutes.
- Next, pour in the heavy whipping cream and sea salt. If you're making regular caramel, then add ½ teaspoon of salt and no more. If you're making a salted caramel version, add anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1½ teaspoons depending on your liking.
- Stir constantly now until the sauce is all mixed together and is smooth. Place back on the stove at medium-high heat again for about 20 seconds more. Remember to keep stirring.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately for a hot option over ice cream or let cool at least 15 minutes for room temperature use.
- Over several minutes, the caramel will become harder to stir. For a manageable sauce, just heat in microwave for 10-15 seconds and stir again.