Sea Salt Caramel

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My Salted Caramel recipe is simple and quick, yielding a delicious sauce that is both sweet and salty with an intense caramel flavor. It goes great on pancakes, ice cream, apples, or other desserts!

Sea Salt Caramel

I remember the first time I ever had salted caramel, but it wasn’t presented to me as, “try this salted caramel sauce.” It was in culinary school in a baking class after we finished whipping up a variety of sauces, including caramel sauce.

The teacher said a great way to intensify caramel’s sweet, maple-like flavor was to add a pinch of flaky sea salt on top. I was not a crazy fan of sweet and salty food then, but that one bite changed my life forever. So my goal with this recipe is to do the exact same thing. 

My main goal is to show you how easy homemade caramel sauce is to make and to help you stop buying store-bought caramel sauce. The major brands have unnecessary ingredients and many additives so that they can last on the shelf longer. Why does sea salt caramel sauce have natural flavor, pectin, sodium citrate, and soy in it? Plus, the organic and limited ingredient caramel sauce costs more than it does to make at home and doesn’t taste as good as a homemade version.

 My recipe below only requires 5 ingredients and 15 minutes to make from start to finish without a candy thermometer.

Salted Caramel

What is salted caramel sauce?

Salted caramel is a sauce made from sugar, water, and heavy cream that is usually used as a topping for desserts. It is also used in ice cream, coffee, and other drinks. The sauce is made by heating sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Then creamy and salt is then added to taste.

The flavor of salted caramel is sweet and rich with a kiss of saltiness. This combination makes it a popular choice for many people who love salty and sweet combinations. The sauce can be made at home or bought in stores. It is also available in different colors, from light brown to dark brown.

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What are the Ingredients for Caramel?

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to whip up this fantastic salted caramel recipe.

Sugar

Sugar is the base of any caramel sauce, and regular granulated sugar will do the trick! Some people like using brown sugar to make caramel sauce.

Water

Tap water is perfect, but you can use any water you like.

Heavy Whipping Cream

Heavy whipping cream is going to give our caramel sauce an incredible lightness and body.

Unsalted Butter

We only want to use unsalted butter because it allows us to control the amount of salt added. If you use salted butter, omit adding it to the recipe.

Flaky Sea Salt

Now, as I mentioned, the salt I first had with caramel was Maldon Salt. They make the best flaky sea salt on the market: the larger the salt flakes, the less needed.

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How long does it take for sugar and water to become caramel?

The amount of time it takes for sugar and water to become caramel is about 5 minutes over medium-high heat, but the time can vary depending on your sugar-to-water ratio. The more water added, the longer it will take to caramelize the sugar.

How to make Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce?

I will teach you how to make a salted caramel recipe with the proper technique and without a candy thermometer, so you can make this for your family time in and time out.

In a medium pot, add sugar, water, and salt to a pot over high heat, and cook for 5 minutes until sugar melts and turns a light caramel color.

Remove from heat and add heavy cream but be cautious because the sugar will bubble aggressively. Cold cream added to hot sugar causes this to happen. Bring to a boil over low heat and stir until caramel sauce smooths out.

Turn the heat off and stir in cold butter until smooth. Cool before placing in an airtight container, and garnish with sea salt. Caramel thickens as it cools and will turn a dark amber color.

This is how easy it is to make a homemade salted caramel sauce in 15 minutes.

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Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks

Here are a few notes I had from making this creamy, silky-smooth caramel sauce.

  • I recommend two tools for stirring hot sugar: a wooden spoon or a heat-proof spatula. The caramel sauce doesn’t stick to them and makes them easy to clean.
  • You can add as much or little sea salt to your caramel.
  • How do you make salted caramel sauce without heavy cream? Use whole evaporated milk or whatever you have on hand instead.
  • Use either a tall medium pot or a 5-quart pot so it doesn’t boil over when the sauce bubbles.
  • Use this recipe to make a creamy caramel sauce recipe without sugar crystals or a burnt taste.
  • Stirring the hot sugar while it cooks causes sugar crystals to form.
  • If your pot has any burnt sugar for any reason, fill it with water and boil it to loosen the sugar.
  • Feel free to use raw cane sugar or brown sugar instead of granulated sugar.
  • Use kosher salt or coarse sea salt if you cannot find flaky sea salt but never use regular table salt.
  • Store caramel sauce in a glass jar or a BPA-free plastic container.
  • You can add vanilla extract to your recipe at the very end if you like, but it is not necessary.
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FAQs

Here are the questions

What is the difference between caramel and salted caramel?

The only difference between caramel and salted caramel sauce is the addition of salt used in and on the caramel. Caramel is sweet and creamy, while salted caramel is sweet, salty, and creamy.

Why does caramel need to be salted?

The reason that caramel needs to be salted is to balance out the sweetness of the caramel. The salt will bring out the caramel flavors and make it more palatable.

How much salt do I add to store-bought caramel?

To turn a store-bought caramel into salted caramel sauce, I recommend starting with 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per serving. If you use large sea salt, use less rather than more.

What is the difference between caramel sauce and caramel syrup?

There are a couple of differences between caramel sauce and caramel syrup. First, caramel syrup is traditionally thinner than caramel sauce. Secondly, caramel syrup is made with corn syrup. Some people add corn syrup to their caramel sauce to stabilize it, which keeps it pourable at all times without needing to be heated.

How do you make condensed milk into caramel?

To make condensed milk into caramel, you will need to add cans of condensed milk to a pot and fill 3/4 way with water, then about 2-3 hours to wait for the chemical reaction that’ll caramelize the sugar to a great caramel sauce.

This is a fun way to make caramel sauce, but if you follow my recipe below, you would have made and eaten your caramel sauce on multiple things before the condensed milk turned into caramel.

What does adding butter to caramel do?

Adding butter to caramel helps to make it creamier and smoother. The sauce will then have a better texture and mouthfeel.

How to store salted caramel sauce?

Homemade caramel sauce is best 3 days after making but will be fresh for 14 days in a cool dark place. Keep in a glass jar or an airtight container.
 
I wouldn’t recommend freezing caramel sauce because the sugars will crystalize when frozen, making the sauce watery.
 
Reheat caramel sauce in the microwave at 10-15 seconds intervals, or add some to a skillet and heat over medium heat until the sauce is hot.

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More Recipes

Here are a few recipes to drizzle, dip and pour salted caramel sauce over.

Latest Recipe Video:

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Before You Begin

Here’s how I get organized before I start anything.

Step 1: Get all ingredients for the salted caramel sauce on the counter.

Step 2: Measure everything into individual bowls.

Step 3: Follow the recipe and prepare the best-salted caramel sauce ever!

My salted caramel recipe is perfect for you if you’re craving something salty and sweet! This sauce is easy to make and excellent on various things. I hope you give it a try! And if you do, be sure to leave me a comment and a star rating. Thanks for reading!

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Salted Caramel5

Sea Salt Caramel

Kenneth Temple
My Salted Caramel recipe is simple and quick, yielding a delicious sauce that is both sweet and salty with an intense caramel flavor. It goes great on pancakes, ice cream, apples, or other desserts!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dessert, Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 12 persons
Calories 310 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon Maldon’s salt plus more for garnish
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

Instructions
 

  • Add the sugar, water, and salt to a pot over high heat, cook for 5 minutes until sugar melts and turns a light caramel color. Remove from the heat, add cream (sugar will steam and bubble up), bring to a boil over low heat, and stir until sauce smooths out.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cold butter until smooth. Cool before placing in an airtight container, and garnish with sea salt.

Notes

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks
Here are a few notes I had from making this creamy, silky-smooth caramel sauce.
  • I recommend two tools for stirring hot sugar: a wooden spoon or a heat-proof spatula. The caramel sauce doesn’t stick to them and makes them easy to clean.
  • You can add as much or little sea salt to your caramel.
  • How do you make salted caramel sauce without heavy cream? Use whole evaporated milk or whatever you have on hand instead.
  • Use either a tall medium pot or a 5-quart pot so it doesn’t boil over when the sauce bubbles.
  • Use this recipe to make a creamy caramel sauce recipe without sugar crystals or a burnt taste.
  • Stirring the hot sugar while it cooks causes sugar crystals to form.
  • If your pot has burnt sugar for any reason, fill it with water and boil it to loosen the sugar.
  • Feel free to use raw cane sugar or brown sugar instead of granulated sugar.
  • Use kosher salt or coarse sea salt if you cannot find flaky sea salt but never use regular table salt.
  • Store caramel sauce in a glass jar or a BPA-free plastic container.
  • You can add vanilla extract to your recipe at the very end if you like, but it is not necessary.
Storage:
Homemade caramel sauce is best 3 days after making but will be fresh for 14 days in a cool dark place. Keep in a glass jar or an airtight container.
I wouldn’t recommend freezing caramel sauce because the sugars will crystalize when frozen, making the sauce watery.
Reheat caramel sauce in the microwave at 10-15 seconds intervals, or add some to a skillet and heat over medium heat until the sauce is hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 310kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 1gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 58mgPotassium: 30mgSugar: 51gVitamin A: 496IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword caramel sauce, caramel sauce recipe, homemade caramel sauce, salted caramel, salted caramel recipe, salted caramel sauce
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