Salted Caramel Recipe

Delicious, creamy and rich salted caramel. Great for adding to buttercream or using as a filling for cake decorating. Drizzle over the top of your cake for added decadence.
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Total Time: 20 mins
Serves: 28 oz
Salted caramel sauce recipe cake tutorial

Caramel sauce that is super creamy and easy to make at home using only four ingredients!

Caramel sauce is one of those things that everyone should make at home. The taste is un-matched by any store-bought version and is really simple to make! It only takes a few minutes and can be mixed into buttercream, used as a filling, over ice-cream, even in drinks! It lasts pretty much forever in the fridge and makes an excellent gift or favor.

caramel sauce recipe

How do you make caramel sauce?

  1. Place sugar and water in a small saucepan with a heavy bottom
  2. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Keep covered for five minutes to ensure all the granules of sugar around the edges are dissolved (to prevent crystallization)
  3. Remove lid and attach your candy thermometer (Optional)
  4. Reduce heat to medium and watch your sugar closely. At first steam will be evaporating and your temperature will hover around 225ºF without raising. Once all the water evaporates, your sugar will start to cook rapidly. Once the sugar is a deep caramel color, remove from the heat (around 350ºF)
  5. Remove the pan from heat and add in your butter in small pieces. It will bubble! Use caution. Whisk to combine.
  6. Add in your cream and your salt. 
  7. Let cool before use.

A few tips for success. Get all your ingredients ready before you start so you can move to the next step right when you need to. The sugar will be too pale one minute and too dark the next so keep your eyes on it! Don’t be tempted to add your ingredients too soon. You want a nice dark color but not burned. A darker color means richer flavor. A candy thermometer is your friend.

I always have a batch of salted caramel in my fridge ready to go. It’s a decadent flavor that is well-loved by pretty much everyone and a little bit goes a long way.

Can you use caramel sauce as a cake filling?

Tip: If you want your caramel to be thicker, add more butter.


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Cups of Batter Needed

8 cups

Cups of Frosting Needed

5 cups

Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
Salted caramel sauce recipe cake tutorial

Salted Caramel Recipe

Delicious, creamy and rich salted caramel. Great for adding to buttercream or using as a filling for cake decorating. Drizzle over the top of your cake for added decadence.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Serves: 28 oz
Calories: 126kcal



  • 14 ounces (397 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces (113 g) water
  • 4 ounces corn syrup
  • 6 ounces (170 g) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces (227 g) heavy cream
  • 1 tsp (1/4 tsp) sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • Medium saucepan with a lid
  • candy thermometer (optional)



  • Combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in a medium to large sized saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. No need to stir.
  • Brush the sides of the pot down with a clean and oil-free pastry brush (preferably one only used for water or sugar) to make sure all the grains of sugar are dissolved.
  • Cover the pot with the lid for 5 minutes and allow the condensation to continue to dissolve all the grains of sugar on the sides of the pot that might cause your caramel to crystalize.
  • Remove the lid and attach a candy thermometer if you are using one.
  • Continue cooking the sugar until it's a deep golden amber color or the candy thermometer reads 350º (hard crack stage) This can take from 5-10 minutes so keep an eye on it to avoid burning.
  • Remove the sugar from the heat from heat and slowly whisk in a couple Tablespoons of the cream (it will bubble and steam) then continue whisking in the rest of the cream in a slow stream.
  • Add in your butter, salt, and your vanilla. Stir until creamy and smooth.
  • The sauce will thicken as it cools down. Store leftover sauce in the refrigerator for up to a month or freeze for 6 months or more.


Store in refrigerator covered for up to a month.


Serving: 1oz | Calories: 126kcal (6%) | Carbohydrates: 14g (5%) | Fat: 7g (11%) | Saturated Fat: 4g (20%) | Cholesterol: 24mg (8%) | Sodium: 24mg (1%) | Potassium: 7mg | Sugar: 14g (16%) | Vitamin A: 270IU (5%) | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 7mg (1%)


25 comments on “Caramel Sauce Recipe

      1. Hi. Thankyou for your recipe. I just want to ask how can i store it. In +4 or in deepfreze. And can i refreeze it again when i use it? Thankyou

  1. I’m not sure why anyone had problems with the recipe. This recipe turned out exactly the way yours came out in your video. I also had my heat on medium high heat and never had an issue. I absolutely love this recipe and I’m in love with caramel sauce. Thank you again for all of your amazing recipes, tutorials and all the help you give us all the the time Lizzo. You rock my friend.

  2. 4 stars
    Great recipe! I didn’t watch the video and missed the part about putting the lid on the pan for the first 5 minutes. I don’t know if that will make a difference but so far so good!

    1. The lid just insures that all the grains of sugar are dissolved so that your caramel does not crystalize. I hope yours turned out 🙂

  3. One reason people may have had issues with sugar not desolving is from using utensils or pans that may have oil or grease on them. Make sure that all utensils and pans are oil free to start the carmilization process.

  4. Thanks for the exact recipes and the professional explanation I have tried a number of caramel recipes that are accurate and successful and thanks again

  5. 4 stars
    It taste delicious but my caramel never got thick it was to runny I put on top of a cake with some frosting decoration and they slided down it never got hard enough. I follow the directions to a t I even used a candy thermometer so not sured what happened.

  6. Can I mix this caramel sauce with your easy buttercream to make “caramel buttercream “ ?

      1. Thank you so much For sharing these wonderful recipes ! I’ll try it !

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe ands tutorial. I’ve tried several times to make caramel and always failed. This time, with your help, it came out perfect and delicious!

  8. Could you fill cupcakes with this or would that be too runny?

  9. Can you add more butter later? If you have a batch in the refrigerator and decide you want to fill a cake with it can you reheat it enough to melt more butter into it and allow it to cool again and then use it to fill your cake?

  10. 5 stars
    Was scared to try do to the hot sugar but glad I did as it turned out wonderfully and was pretty quick and easy in my opinion. The video helped as I was doing it. Thanks Liz!

  11. This tastes SO yummy!!!! How much of this would you add to your easy buttercream to be able to still pipe on cupcakes without the buttercream getting to runny?

    Thanks Liz! You’re the best!

  12. 5 stars
    The first batch was a disaster 😢 a awlful lumpy mess, I stirred it my fault I didn’t watch the video! The second batch was totally yummy as this time I watched the video and discovered no stirring!!! Can the sauce be jarred up for future use? If so would I have to heat it right up and put it into sterilised jars hot or cooled? If not can it be frozen?
    Thanks Toni 👍

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