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Published April 22, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This easy-to-make homemade caramel is a foolproof recipe that comes together in minutes and is perfect to drizzle on any dessert. You won’t believe just how simple this is to prepare.
Caramel is a mixture produced when sugar has been cooked or caramelized until it melts and becomes a thick liquid that can be golden in color to dark brown. The temperature for caramel is between 320° to 350°. When you cool this mixture, it will harden unless reheated.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Sugar – I like to use light brown sugar, but you can use dark brown sugar or even just plain granulated sugar.
- Fat – I like the combination of unsalted butter and heavy cream, but you can use half and half as a substitute for cream. Fat does not need to be used to make caramel, but it aids in flavor and stopping the sugar from burning.
How to Make Caramel
Follow these step-by-step images to make homemade caramel:
Add the butter, cream, and brown sugar to a saucepot.
Heat over low to medium heat while continuing to whisk until slightly boiling and smooth.
Finish by stirring in the salt and serve.
Make-Ahead and Storage:
Make-Ahead: You can make this up to 1 hour ahead of time, just keep warm in a double boiler.
How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. This will not freeze well.
How to Reheat: Add the caramel to a saucepan and heat over low heat while whisking until hot and more sauce-like.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is caramel the same as brown sugar?
- Now, brown sugar can be used as an ingredient to achieve caramel.
chef notes + tips
- Be careful not to cook it too long as the fat will evaporate and the caramel will crystalize and burn.
More Sauce Recipes
Easy Homemade Caramel Recipe
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 packed cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Add the butter, cream, and brown sugar to a medium-size saucepot.
- Heat over low to medium heat while continuing to whisk until slightly boiling and smooth, which takes about 5 minutes.
- Finish by stirring in salt and serve.