Easy Caramel Sauce

Easy caramel sauce. Did three words ever comfort you as much as these?! The promise of ridiculously rich, thick, gooey caramel goodness is sufficient to win us over, more so than even the sweetest of sweet nothings whispered in our ears.

A cup of easy caramel sauce on a saucer with a spoon resting on top.

Simple and simply indulgent. That’s what we think of this easy caramel sauce. It’s so darn simple—seriously—that it’s ideal for random weeknight cravings. And while dribbling it over pie may make you murmur and moan in ecstasy, this lovely little caramel sauce has also got countless other applications, including ice cream. Shortbread. Apple slices. Pear slices, too. Banana slices probably wouldn’t be terrible, either. And, of course, there’s apple pie, which takes us back to where we began with this whole easy caramel sauce escapade. By the spoonful, too, suffices quite nicely.–Renee Schettler

HOW LONG WILL CARAMEL SAUCE LAST?

If you’re leaving it at room temperature, say on the counter for eating a spoonful at a time, about 3 days at most. However, if you can bear to put it out of sight, then it will last up to 3 weeks in the fridge. You’ll have to warm it up a bit before using it—either let it sit out or just give it a few seconds in the microwave, stirring as you go.

Easy Caramel Sauce

A cup of easy caramel sauce on a saucer with a spoon resting on top.
Easy caramel sauce. Did three words ever comfort you as much as these?! The promise of ridiculously rich, thick, gooey caramel goodness is sufficient to win us over, more so than even the sweetest of sweet nothings whispered in our ears.
Jan Moon

Prep 5 mins
Cool 15 mins
Total 20 mins
Dessert
American
12 (2-tbsp) servings
176 kcal
5 / 4 votes
Print RecipeBuy the The Southern Pie Book cookbook

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Ingredients 

  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup honey

Directions
 

  • Bring all the ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil, still stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 15 minutes.
  • And, um, that’s it. Spoon the caramel sauce over anything you want or just stick a spoon in it. (You can cover and refrigerate the caramel sauce for up to 1 week. To reheat, microwave on high for 10 to 15 seconds or just until warm and stir until smooth.) 
Print RecipeBuy the The Southern Pie Book cookbook

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Show Nutrition

Serving: 2tablespoonsCalories: 176kcal (9%)Carbohydrates: 24g (8%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 10g (15%)Saturated Fat: 6g (38%)Trans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 27mg (9%)Sodium: 8mgPotassium: 34mg (1%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 24g (27%)Vitamin A: 309IU (6%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 21mg (2%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Recipe Testers' Reviews

I’m all about recipes that require little thought, can be made quickly for a dinner party, and always impress. And it doesn’t get any easier than this easy caramel sauce recipe. One pot, no prep, minimum watching, and barely any cook time—it’s nearly instant gratification! I used dark brown sugar because it’s what I had on hand and heavy cream because it’s what I thought I needed. Anyway, neither thing caused any problems.

I plopped everything in a heavy cast-iron saucepan, applied heat, and stirred. I boiled it for exactly 2 minutes and then let it sit on the stove. After about 20 minutes, I sliced up a fresh Honeycrisp apple and we all dug in. Rave reviews all around! It was thick, perfectly sweet, and smooth. The honey gave it a nice flavor I hadn’t had before. The extra went into a Mason jar for tomorrow…now to think about what deserves this special stuff. This will definitely be going in my recipe file.

This easy caramel sauce is a very nice recipe to have on hand. It does up very quickly and the results taste like you’ve been standing at the stove for much longer than 5 minutes. I found the honey overtones in the sauce to be very pleasant, although I might decrease the amount of honey a little next time according to my own tastes.


Originally published October 25, 2013

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! I added cinnamon and vanilla to the sauce. To recreate the new Starbucks Cinnamon Shortbread latte, I added water, 2% milk and instant Starbucks Columbian coffee to this sauce and it tastes so yum! I wish I had a milk frother to make the drink so it has the latte feel.

  2. 5 stars
    When this recipe was posted, I knew I had to find something wonderful to adore this with and this is what I came up with….pan seared zucchini bread in butter, a scoop of pumpkin ice cream, this fabulous sauce and fresh whipped cream. My guests were speechless and legless.

  3. Sorry to be pedantic, but isn’t this really a butterscotch sauce? In my very limited brain you get caramel by, well, caramelizing white sugar and butterscotch by cooking brown sugar in butter or cream until it dissolves. I know, a caramel by any other names still tastes sweet…

    1. Bob, you’re quite correct. And shame on us for perpetuating a falsehood. We saw this recipe in the book with it’s current title of Easy Caramel Sauce and we knew it was butterscotch—which of course is far less tricky to make—but since testers’ loved the taste and professed it to be far more caramel-like than butterscotch-like, we decided to let the title remain. We appreciate your attention to detail and apologize.

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