I have numerous ways of getting my caramel fix and this Homemade Quick Caramel Sauce is just one of them.
This caramel sauce with cream and brown sugar is somewhere in between. It is far quicker and easier to make than authentic caramel sauce as the brown sugar already has the colour and caramel flavour while it takes only minutes longer than my super easy variety.
I’ve said many times, this stuff is so good it should be illegal (luckily for us it’s not).
- It’s rich and luxurious
- Takes mere minutes on the stove top
- It’s perfect drizzle over, well, just about anything
- No risk of the crystallisation
White sugar vs brown sugar caramel
White sugar caramel is the real deal. You slowly melt down white sugar over low heat until it becomes a gorgeous golden liquid. The butter and cream are added later. This slow cooking gives the ultimate flavour but it can also be very temperamental and prone to crystallisation if the planets aren’t aligned.
If you’re new to making it, I recommend starting with this version. It’s far less likely to crystallise as it’s cooked so quick and, while it doesn’t have quite such an intense caramel flavour, it’s still incredibly silky smooth and addictive.
See more about the different types of sugar in baking.
What you’ll need
- Brown sugar
How to make it – step by step
Making caramel sauce is incredibly easy with just 4 ingredients and 5 minutes.
- Add butter, brown sugar and cream to a heavy based stainless steel saucepan over low heat.
- Heat it gently while stirring until the sugar dissolves, then let it come to bubble.
- Set the time for 3 minutes and let it bubble away, stirring every 30 seconds or so until it thickens up a little.
- Turn the heat off and add a little salt then stir it through
Add some extra salt
While this sauce already has a touch of salt in it, to counteract the intense sweetness, adding a little more will turn it into a heavenly salted caramel sauce recipe. I add 1 teaspoon instead of the regular 1/4 teaspoon but you can add it to taste.
How to use it
I’m sure you need no help with this, but caramel sauce is lovely;
- With waffles or pancakes
- Poured over ice cream
- Perfect with sticky date pudding or chocolate pudding
- Over tarts like these Warm Apple Crostata
- Over cakes or inside cupcakes like these Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes
- Use it in cookie cups like these Salted Caramel Cookie Cups
- Freeze it in ice cube trays, then coat in chocolate, a la these butterscotch candies (make sure to store them it the fridge.
- Add 1/3 cup of chopped chocolate while the caramel is still hot and you have a fantastic thick chocolate fudge sauce (best used straight away as it may turn a little gritty as it sets).
How to store it
You can store your sauce in a preserving jar, in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. It’s easy to scoop out of the jar, then you can just reheat it over the stove or in the microwave until it is pourable.
Now you have a minimal effort, but unbelievably delicious quick caramel sauce to spoil your family, friends and yourself with, it’s time to work out what you want to top with it first.
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Homemade Quick Caramel Sauce
MAKES 3/4 CUP
- ½ cup, packed brown sugar (100g / 3.5oz)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter (57g / ½ stick)
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ cup thickened (heavy) cream (60ml)
- 2 tablespoons Frangelico liqueur (optional) (notes 2)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
- heavy based saucepan¾
- Add brown sugar, butter and water to a heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Stir it constantly until the sugar has dissolved.
- Once sugar is dissolved, bring it to a bubble and keep stirring for another minute.
- Add the cream, liqueur and salt and stir in. Bring it back to a boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until you see it has thickened.
- While the caramel is cooking, heat a glass preserving jar in the microwave for 1 minute, just so that it's not cold, to prevent it cracking when you pour the caramel sauce in.
- Transfer the caramel to the warm jar, and let it cool just a few minutes before use.
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