I have numerous ways of getting my caramel fix and this Homemade Quick Caramel Sauce is just one of them.

From the authentic caramel in these Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Cookies to the one I use the most in these Chocolate Caramel Brownies, I think it’s safe to say it’s an obsession for me.

A white bowl with scoops of vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce

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 

Caramel sauce being poured from a saucepan into a glass jar. Another sits behind

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
  • Water
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Salt

How to make it – step by step

Making caramel sauce is incredibly easy with just 4 ingredients and 5 minutes.

Ingredients for caramel sauce in a steel pan, being melted together A pan of caramel sauce, bubbling

  1. Add butter, brown sugar and cream to a heavy based stainless steel saucepan over low heat.
  2. Heat it gently while stirring until the sugar dissolves, then let it come to bubble.
  3. Set the time for 3 minutes and let it bubble away, stirring every 30 seconds or so until it thickens up a little.
  4. 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.

Birdseye view of two pots of caramel, one sprinkled with salt.

How to use it

I’m sure you need no help with this, but caramel sauce is lovely;

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.

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A spoon drizzling caramel sauce into a glass jar.

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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Caramel sauce being poured from a saucepan into a glass jar. Another sits behind

Homemade Quick Caramel Sauce

3.86 from 7 votes
This Homemade Quick Caramel Sauce recipe is dreamy! Making caramel sauce is simple with this 4 ingredient, 5 minute recipe and you’ll never have to buy it again.

Ingredients

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)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  1. This recipe yields 3/4 cup of caramel sauce
  2. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (= 4 teaspoons worldwide)
  3. The caramel sauce will keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge in a sealed jar (I love these Weck jars). Reheat it until pourable.
Want more sweet sauces? Click here
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Closeup of caramel sauce being drizzled into a glass jar