Salted Caramel Sauce

Salted Caramel Sauce

The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
181 Calories
9g Fat
25g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 181
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 26mg 9%
Sodium 137mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 12mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Whoever thought of adding crunchy flakes of salt to a thick, creamy, and sweet caramel sauce should be thanked profusely as it is one of the tastiest sauces ever. The sauce is a rich mixture of sugar, butter, and cream, but just a mere half teaspoon of either fleur de sel or sea salt cuts right through any sickly sweetness and rounds out the flavor perfectly.

You can use any sugar to make a caramel sauce. White (either granulated or caster sugar) is easier since it melts quickly and you can see the color changing more easily than with brown sugar.

A salted caramel sauce is incredibly versatile and can be used in many different dishes. Pour warm sauce over ice cream or stir it through a custard sauce. It can be used to decorate cakes, bars, and cookies, and can even be poured over pancakes for breakfast.


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 6 tablespoons salted butter

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Salted Caramel Sauce gather ingredients

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  2. Tip the sugar into a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. You now need to be patient and stay by the pan. Do not stir the sugar; simply shake the pan from time to time to prevent it from burning. Do not be tempted to turn the heat up. The sugar will start to melt and there will be a moment when it goes from sugar to caramel. If you rush this, it will more likely burn than melt.

    Sugar in a skillet

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  3. The beginning of the melting starts slowly. Shake the pan to prevent it from sticking or browning too much.

    Sugar starting to melt in a pan

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  4. The melting of the sugar will increase rapidly. Stay with it and continue to shake the pan. Note that sugar will begin to stick to the side of the pan with all the shaking. Keep a pastry brush handy and periodically sweep around the sides of the pan to loosen the sugar.

    Sugar turning to caramel in a pan

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  5. As soon as the sugar is molten, add the butter. Use caution, as the sugar may splutter and will be very hot. Whisk furiously to incorporate the butter into the sugar.

    Butter added to caramel with whisk

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  6. Add the cream and again whisk it into the sauce.

    Cream added to caramel in saucepan

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  7. The sauce will take shape and become thick and smooth. Add the salt and stir again. Serve.

    Salted Caramel Sauce in a pan with whisk

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

How to Store

Allow salted caramel sauce to cool then pour into a jar, cover with a lid, and store in the fridge. It will keep for up to one month.

How to Use Salted Caramel Sauce

  • Leftover, chilled salted caramel sauce will need to be gently warmed either by placing the jar into hot water to loosen slightly or by leaving it at room temperature to soften.
  • Use salted caramel sauce to top pancakes or waffles, over ice cream, drizzled on top of cakes, cookies, or bars, or as a dip for fresh apple slices. It also makes a tasty addition to fancy coffee drinks and sweet cocktails.

Why Do You Put Salt in Caramel?

A pinch of salt helps keep caramel (which is made of just sugar or mostly sugar) from being too sweet. A little salt also helps bring out the flavors of the sauce. For a more pronounced saltiness, salted caramel uses a higher amount of salt to achieve a sweet-salty flavor.