Sweet Essentials: Homemade Caramel Sauce

ThePretentiousChef avatar
By Andy Anderson !
from Wichita, KS

Why buy caramel sauce when it’s so easy to make your very own. It only takes four ingredients, and you probably have them sitting in your pantry and fridge. Once you make this yummy treat, it can be used in so many ways: You could drizzle a bit over a nice warm piece of apple pie, or you could spoon some over a nice big scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s up to you. Caramel sauce is usually made with milk or heavy cream; however, I find that the use of evaporated milk gives the sauce flavor notes that are more earthy. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

serves Several
prep time 5 Min
cook time 15 Min
method Stove Top


  •   1 c
    sugar granulated variety
  •   6 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted, or 5 tablespoon clarified butter
  •   1/2 c
    evaporated milk
  •   1 tsp
    vanilla extract

How To Make

  • 1
  • 2
    Gather your ingredients.
  • 3
    Cut the butter into cubes, and reserve.
  • 4
    Add the sugar to a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • 5
    When you see the sugar begin to melt, use a spoon to stir the mixture.
  • 6
    Chef’s Note: The time it takes to begin the melting process, can be from 5 to 10 minutes. Be patient, and keep an eye of that sugar… you don’t want it to burn.
  • 7
    Chef’s Note: Some people begin the process of making caramel by adding some water to the sugar… That’s cheating. Let the sugar melt on its own.
  • 8
    Continue to stir the sugar until completely melts, and turns into a nice golden liquid.
  • 9
    Chef’s Tip: Do your absolute best to keep any of the melting sugars from splashing up on the sides of the pan. Those hardened sugar crystals can give the caramel a grainy texture. When I see them forming on the sides, I’ll take a small damp brush, and brush them until they dissolve back into the sugars.
  • 10
    Add the butter one-third at a time, and completely incorporate each batch before adding the next.
  • 11
    Chef’s Tip: At this point, the sugar will be very hot, so when you add the butter it will sputter and spit. If you use clarified butter, the reaction will not be as dramatic.
  • 12
    Chef's Note: Stir the butter with the sugar, for a minute.
  • 13
    Chef’s Note: If you notice that some of the butter refuses to incorporate into the sugar, don’t worry, it will combine with the sugar when you add the evaporated milk.
  • 14
    Add the evaporated milk, and expect the liquid to foam up.
  • 15
    Chef's Note: Stir for an additional minute, and then remove from the heat.
  • 16
    As a final act, stir in the vanilla extract.
  • 17
    Store the syrup in a tightly sealed jar.
  • 18
  • 19
    Drizzle on whatever goodies you choose. Enjoy
  • 20
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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