Honestly, I never used to be the biggest fan of caramel (except in a caramel macchiato) but homemade salted caramel is on a whole other level! It’s so good! It’s also super easy to make and only requires 4 ingredients and comes together in about 10 minutes! I'll teach you how to make homemade salted caramel from scratch and all the different substitutions I've tried!
This salted caramel can be used in buttercream for my caramel macarons, drizzled on top of cupcakes, or tossed with popcorn! Or just eaten by the spoonful if that's what you're feeling.
All you need to make caramel is sugar, butter, cream, and salt!
- Sugar - I typically just use regular granulated sugar for caramel, but I've also used brown sugar and it works great!
- Unsalted butter - The butter is key to a silky, buttery caramel sauce! One of my favorite swaps is using brown butter instead for an extra toasty flavor! To make brown butter, check out this post!
- Heavy cream - You want to use heavy cream for extra creamy salted caramel! However, you can also substitute coconut cream or Nutpods plain, original creamer for a dairy free option.
- Flaky sea salt - You can't have salted caramel without salt! I love using Maldon Flaky Sea Salt because it has the best flavor and texture. But it's important to note that different types of salt taste differently. For example, table salt tends to taste "saltier" than kosher salt. So you may need to adjust the amount of salt in the recipe based on what you're using.
You can also add in different flavorings to your caramel at the end if desired!
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
How to Make Caramel
Making homemade caramel is actually surprisingly simple! All you have to do is caramelize the sugar (hence the name caramel) and then mix in butter and cream!
Warning: do not walk away from your caramel because it will probably burn the second you walk away from it (trust me).
In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar and stir every 1-2 minutes or so until it begins to melt (the sugar will start to clump up before melting).
Once the sugar is completely melted and smooth (it should be an amber color), immediately remove from the heat. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
Stir in the butter until combined (don’t be scared if it bubbles a lot).
Add in the heavy cream and salt and mix until fully combined and smooth.
It won't want to combine at first, but just keep stirring and it will come together.
Pour the caramel into a heavy glass jar to cool to room temperature.
Can be stored in the fridge for up to a month!
The caramel will get hard in the fridge, so you can microwave it for intervals of 15 seconds to get it back to a pourable consistency.
Your homemade caramel will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month!
Yes! I've made this caramel vegan by swapping out vegan butter and using coconut cream instead of heavy cream!
Adding more or less cream will change the consistency of the caramel! For super thick caramel, reduce the cream by half. For super runny caramel, add in a few extra tablespoons of cream.
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
Salted Caramel Recipes
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How to Make Salted Caramel
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- Warning: do not walk away from your caramel because it will probably burn the second you walk away from it (trust me).
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar and stir every 1-2 minutes or so until it begins to melt (the sugar will start to clump up before melting).
- Once the sugar is completely melted and smooth (it should be an amber color), immediately remove from the heat. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in the butter until combined (don’t be scared if it bubbles a lot).
- Add in the heavy cream and salt and mix until fully combined and smooth. It won't want to combine at first, but just keep stirring and it will come together.
- Pour the caramel into a heavy glass jar to cool to room temperature. The caramel will thicken as it cools.
- Can be stored in the fridge for up to a month! The caramel will get hard in the fridge, so you can microwave it for intervals of 15 seconds to get it back to a pourable consistency.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
I have tried to make salted caramel before but could never quite get it right. Your portions were absolutely spot on! We had it with some vanilla ice cream and it was fantastic!
Oh my goodness, this caramel recipe is SO DREAMY, and such minimal ingredients, yay!
I was craving a caramel macchiato today so I'm actually reading your blog post drinking one! Salted Caramel is so easy to make, I'm glad you've made a great easy to follow post for it.
Katie Deacon says
Oh yum!! I can't wait to make some of this for my morning coffees. It sounds delicious!