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Small Batch Salted Caramel Sauce

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Small Batch Salted Caramel Sauce is perfect for adding to recipes, giving as a gift or just maybe sneaking a spoonful when no one is looking,  This recipe uses a candy thermometer to make sure your sauce is perfect the first time around!

Spoons and apple slices covered in gooey salted caramel sauce

Do you have a swoon food? Like, a food that you could stand at the counter and eat with a spoon? Regardless of temperature or how its supposed to be served. Maybe it’s peanut butter, for Henry it’s cold chicken soup (ew), for me it’s salted caramel sauce.

But not just midnight snack sweet treat kind of swoon. It’s salted caramel over chocolate, salted caramel over pie, if you can put salted caramel on it I’m doing it.

Spoons and apple slices covered in gooey salted caramel sauce

Here’s what there is to love about this caramel sauce:

  • buttery
  • sweet
  • smooth
  • just a smidge of salt to balance the sweet
  • thick but drizzly texture

Need more convincing?

Maybe I have a salted caramel sauce problem…but is it really a problem?

Salted caramel sauce dripping off spoon

Close up of salted caramel sauce in mason jar

Tips for Perfect Salted Caramel Sauce

Working with sugar can be a little tricky. It’s temperamental. Well, really, I feel like it’s more like a ripening avocado.

You’re cooking the sugar and it’s like “not ready yet, not ready yet, not ready yet, IM READY!” Then 2.5 seconds later the sugar burns. You know, like how an avocado has a 2 minute window of being ripe before it turns brown.

Close Up of spoon covered in salted caramel sauce

Jar of salted caramel sauce with gooey caramel drips down the side.

Anyways…here are a few tips and tricks to kicking ass at making salted caramel sauce.

  1. the recipe. This recipe is always my go to because the corn syrup and water ratio to the sugar makes it easy to combine without getting sugar crystals
  2. the pan. Pick a heavy bottom sauce pan because sugar burns very easily. You can always cook for longer on a lower heat.
  3. no stir. Once everything is combined cook it without stirring, but you can stir it a little to check the color – just move the bubbles out of the way when checking the color.
  4. candy thermometer. Yes, it’s a pain to have one more kitchen gadget in the drawer but the thermometer is your best friend at perfecting texture and thickness.
  5. patience. Waiting is hard. Especially when you just want to be done, but yes, you are going to have to stand by the stove and watch the sugar cook and let the caramel cool a touch before adding the butter.

Spoons and apple slices covered in gooey salted caramel sauce

Once you are all caramel’ed up – let the sweetness begin! If I may…since it is October and all…slice up one of those fresh orchard apples and drizzle with salted caramel sauce goodness. Or cake, cake is good too.

Happy Carameling Friends!

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Jar of salted caramel sauce with gooey caramel drips down the side.

Small Batch Salted Caramel Sauce

  • Author: Lauren
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups 1x


Perfect, buttery, sweet and smooth salted caramel sauce in a size perfect for gift giving or to add to desserts.  This recipe uses a candy thermometer for no fail results.


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. In a heavy bottom sauce pan combine sugar, corn syrup and water.  Stir over medium-high heat until the sugar melts into a grainy sauce and there are no more lumps – the sugar does not need to be completely melted.  Cook without stirring 8 to 10 minutes until caramel turns amber color and remove from heat.Perfect amber color of salted caramel before adding cream
  2. Slowly pour in heavy cream while stirring – mixture will steam and bubble.  Return to heat and cook until the mixture reaches 238°F on a candy thermometer.  salted caramel sauce after adding heavy cream
  3. Transfer caramel to a heat proof bowl and stir in salt.  Let cool for 10 minutes.  Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until it melts completely before adding the next butter.


When picking out your pan, choose a good quality sauce pan with a thick bottom and enough space to allow for 2 to 3 inches of bubbling sugar (when you add the cream).

If you’re worried about burning the sugar, you can always start off on a lower heat and cook for longer.

If you only have salted butter, leave out the additional salt.

  • Category: dessert
  • Cuisine: dessert

Keywords: salted caramel sauce, small batch salted caramel sauce, food gift ideas, tips for cooking sugar

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Recipe rating


Tuesday 20th of October 2020

Just made caramel sauce for the first time using this recipe and it came out delicious! It's nice and smooth, not grainy at all. I'm going to make a caramel cream cheese frosting and put it on top of a pumpkin spice cake. Thanks for the easy and delicious recipe :)


Tuesday 20th of October 2020

that sounds delicious! thank you!!

Rachael Weis

Tuesday 15th of September 2020

What is the best way that you suggest reheating the sauce after it cools and tickens up?


Tuesday 15th of September 2020

You could microwave it in short intervals - like 10 seconds - stirring in between. Or you could put the jar in a pan with a little bit of hot water and let it sit.

Tracey Theuring

Wednesday 1st of January 2020

How do I store the sauce once I make it?


Wednesday 1st of January 2020

I like to keep mine in a mason jar, that way if you get any on the lip it cleans easy. Whichever airtight container you use, store in the fridge but let it sit at room temperature before using.


Friday 15th of November 2019

Anyway to print this without pictures? Lots of ink and paper, sorry.


Saturday 16th of November 2019

Of course! At the top of the post there is a 'print recipe' button and that will pull just the recipe card for easy printing!


Wednesday 30th of October 2019

I have never made caramel or even candy. I read this recipe several times and said I can do it! I got a thermometer on amazon and set out to make it. It turned out perfect...oh yummy. My son’s first birthday cake will be amazing with this sauce!!


Wednesday 30th of October 2019

This makes my heart SO happy! Thank you for trying this caramel sauce recipe, it's a constant go to for our family!