Salted Caramel Sauce

Caramel sauce might be one of Hubby’s favorite things ever. He will always choose a caramel treat over a a chocolatey treat. I’ve just recently gotten more comfortable making my own caramel sauce. It actually is so much easier than I thought it was. Having a candy thermometer is a must for making caramel at home. But that’s really all you need. If you haven’t made your own caramel sauce, do it. Trust me, it’s worth the minimal effort required.

I ended up making a triple batch of this salted caramel during the holidays. I ordered some cute jars online and gave them away as gifts to some family members. Hubby also enjoyed a bunch of this caramel sauce heated up over vanilla ice cream.

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Salted Caramel Sauce

Salted caramel sauce is easier to make than you could ever imagine. And it makes a great gift!

Yield: 2 cups


1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
1 tsp fleur de sel


Add water to a 2-qt saucepan. Gently add the sugar to the center of the pot - it will mound, that's fine. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.

Once boiling, uncover the pot and insert a candy thermometer. Continue cooking until the mixture registers 300 F and is just starting to develop some color, about 15 minutes.

Reduce heat under the pot to medium and cook until the syrup is amber and registers 350 F on the thermometer, about another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the cream into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. If it simmers before the syrup is ready, just take it off the heat and set aside.

Remove the caramel from the heat and add about 1/4 of the warm cream to the pot. It will bubble furiously so be careful. Once the bubbling subsides, add the remaining cream. When it stops bubbling, whisk gently to incorporate fully. Add the butter and the salt and whisk to combine.

Refrigerate up to 1 month.

Recipe from Cook's Illustrated, as seen on Erin's Food Files

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6 Responses to “Vanilla Buttercream”

  1. #
    Julie — April 12, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Just beautiful! Buttercream sings to my soul. Or possibly my thighs, but either way, yum!

  2. #
    Heidi — April 12, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    I love a good vanilla frosting. What I find odd though, there is only 2.5 cups powdered sugar along with 2.5 sticks of butter. Wow, that is not much powdered sugar. I would be adding like 5 or 6 cups sugar with enough milk or cream to moisten. But hey, you said this was a terrific icing and it looks damn good so I shall try it. Thanks for the white cake recipe too! Good combo: white cake/white icing.

  3. #
    Kelly — April 13, 2010 at 12:50 am

    Frosting is the best part of cupcakes and cake so I definitely think it deserves its own post 🙂

  4. #
    Memória — April 13, 2010 at 3:23 am

    This frosting looks yummy. I don’t know how I miss this.

  5. #
    Jen — April 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I agree Heidi, it does seem like a small amount of sugar to butter. But it’s quite tasty. Let me know if you try it.

  6. #
    Sarah — April 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks for all of the go-to recipes! I can’t tell you how many variations of these things I must have bookmarked because I don’t know which is best, but now I can delete all of those! These allow those of us who aren’t really good at testing things to know that we have a good homemade basic. So much less stress!

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