How To Make Homemade Caramel Sauce

Learn how to make quick and easy homemade caramel sauce recipe from scratch, using sugar, heavy cream, butter and no thermometer. It’s creamy and thick.

The recipe for this HOMEMADE caramel sauce comes from my Mom and almost all other family members have been making it for years too.

This CLASSIC caramel sauce requires just 4 ingredients:

  • Heavy cream
  • Water
  • Granulated sugar
  • Butter

Use this homemade caramel sauce for:

  • Cheesecake
  • Popcorn
  • Coffee and lattes
  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Ice cream
  • Apples
  • Brownies
  • Pancakes
  • Apple pie
  • Bread pudding

How To make Caramel Sauce From Scratch

How do you make caramel syrup? How do you make runny caramel?

Prepare caramel sauce normally and then, thin it out by adding extra heavy cream and mixing it together until you have a runny syrup-like consistency.

How do you make caramel sauce with sugar?

Start off by cooking granulated sugar and water together until it’s bubbling and golden brown. Then, add heavy cream and let it simmer. Remove from heat and add butter, vanilla extract and salt and enjoy.

How to store homemade caramel sauce?

Store it in a sealed container or sealed jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.

How long does homemade caramel sauce last?

It’s best to use it within 1 week (7 days).

Does homemade caramel sauce need to be refrigerated?

Yes, it needs to be refrigerated or else it will go bad.

How do you make salted caramel sauce? How does one make caramel?

Caramel sauce is different than homemade caramel candy. The first is runny and can be poured or drizzled BUT the other one is soft and chewy and is eaten as a sweet candy or used as a homemade gift during the holidays.

How To Make Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe (4 Ingredients Only)

I have seen VARIOUS recipes of homemade caramel sauce with:

  • Heavy cream
  • Milk
  • Evaporated milk
  • Half and Half
  • Condensed milk
  • Vegan milk (such as almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk)
  • Buttermilk
  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Maple syrup

Here are some TIPS for making caramel sauce from scratch:

  • Work fast and have your ingredients ready to prevent the sugar mixture from burning.
  • Use a NON-STICK saucepan to prevent the caramel sauce from burning and sticking to the pan.
  • DON’T replace granulated sugar with brown sugar since the flavor will be different and brown sugar is typically used to make butterscotch sauce.
  • Use UNSALTED butter since salted butter can make the caramel very salty.
  • Salt and vanilla extract are optional in this recipe but they do ENHANCE the flavor.
  • Use this homemade caramel sauce (without thermometer) for dipping, drizzling and filling your desserts.
  • For THICK caramel sauce recipe, cook for longer and as it cools down, it will thicken further.

Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe (No Thermometer)

Well, that’s all for today.

If you liked this salted caramel sauce recipe, you may like some of these other caramel recipes:

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Caramel Apples

Easy Caramel Apple Coconut Pie

Mocha Caramel Cookie Dough Truffles

I have drizzled this caramel sauce on some of these desserts:

Old Fashioned Applesauce Cake

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

Snickerdoodle Bars Recipe

Chai Tea Spice Cake

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How To Make Homemade Caramel Sauce

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Learn how to make quick and easy homemade caramel sauce recipe from scratch, using sugar, heavy cream, butter and no thermometer. It's creamy and thick. 
Yield: 1 Cups


  • 1 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Heavy cream, Warm
  • 2 tbsp Butter, Unsalted
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract, Optional
  • 3/4 tsp Salt, Optional


  • In a non-stick saucepan, add sugar and water and cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes until the mixture is bubbling and becomes golden brown and sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Add warm heavy cream in the saucepan and mix thoroughly and let the mixture simmer for about 3 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and add the butter, vanilla extract, salt and mix until smooth.
  • Serve warm with pancakes, waffles e.t.c and enjoy!


  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 1 week. 


Calories: 933kcal, Carbohydrates: 135g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 44g, Saturated Fat: 28g, Cholesterol: 149mg, Sodium: 1331mg, Potassium: 59mg, Sugar: 133g, Vitamin A: 1640IU, Calcium: 52mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 933
Author: CakeWhiz

Until next time, tata my lovelies!

15 comments on “How To Make Homemade Caramel Sauce”

  1. Looks good enough to make me want to start mess’en in th kitchen at 2 am.5 stars

  2. This sauce is amazing in coffee and so user friendly! Thank you so much! I add a heaping tablespoon to my hot coffee in the morning and stir. Makes the coffee amazing! Thanks for the recipe! 5 stars

  3. What is heavy cream? Is it non dairy cream?5 stars

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