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.

Adapted from Jan Moon | The Southern Pie Book | Oxmoor, 2013

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


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.

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

Easy Caramel Sauce

5 / 6 votes
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.
Servings12 (2-tbsp) servings
Calories176 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Cool15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes


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


  • 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.) 
The Southern Pie Book

Adapted From

The Southern Pie Book

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Serving: 2 tablespoonsCalories: 176 kcalCarbohydrates: 24 gProtein: 1 gFat: 10 gSaturated Fat: 6 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 27 mgSodium: 8 mgPotassium: 34 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 24 gVitamin A: 309 IUVitamin C: 1 mgCalcium: 21 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2013 Jan Moon. Photo © 2013 Hélène Dujardin. All rights reserved.

Originally published October 25, 2013

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.

This easy caramel sauce is essentially foolproof. It was as quick and easy as the recipe made it sound. At 15 minutes of cooling, mine was still a little on the thin side. I used it over apples for dessert about 30 minutes into cooling. This would be delicious on pie or over ice cream. I did find myself wishing there was a little more complexity to the flavor, but that wasn’t what this recipe purported to be.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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