This homemade caramel sauce from scratch is so yummy and easy to make. It is great on ice cream or any fall dessert! Learn how to make it, store it, and use it.
What are the ingredients in caramel?
Homemade caramel sauce is only made from 3 inredients.
- granulated white sugar
- half and half
I’ve seen a lot of recipes out there using brown sugar for caramel, but did you know that using brown sugar is actually for making butterscotch sauce?
How to make caramel sauce from scratch?
In a pot on medium heat, add your sugar and stir constantly until the sugar melts. It will begin to turn an amber color when it starts to melt. This is called caramelization and is where we get the word caramel. Stir until the melted sugar begins to boil.
Once your sugar begins to boil and turn to a light amber color, slowly add your half and half while continuing to stir. You’re sugar will bubble and can bubble over or splatter and burn you. Trust me, it has happened to me before and it was not fun!
After you add your half and half, stir in your butter until it is fully melted. I know, it’s a lot of stirring! Just think of it as your arm workout for the day! 😉 Set aside and let cool. The caramel sauce will thicken as it cools.
Do I need a thermometer to make caramel from scratch?
You do not need a thermometer for this caramel recipe. Some recipes do call for a thermometer, but you will know when the sugar carmelizes when it begins to melt and turn an amber color.
Can I turn this into salted caramel?
Yes, you can. Whisk 1- 1/2 tsp of salt into your caramel after melting your butter.
Tips for making caramel.
- Use a bigger pot than you think you’ll need. Caramel gets very hot. When adding the half and half it could also boil over, fast! Using a larger saucepan will keep it from boiling over and possibly burning you.
- Wear gloves. I’m really not overexageratting this part. When you add in your cream, it can bubble over and/or splatter. If it gets you, it will hurt! Trust me! Dishwashing gloves will work great.
- Stir constantly. This will keep your caramel from burning or separating.
- Use white, granulated sugar. Do not use brown sugar. Brown sugar is used for making butterscotch sauce, not caramel sauce.
- Keep trying. Homemade caramel takes practice. It did not turn out good on my first try, but I kept trying and it finally turned out amazing!
How to store.
Leftover caramel sauce should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator
How long does homemade caramel last?
Homemade caramel will last for up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator. Make sure to store in an airtight container.
What goes great with homemade caramel sauce?
Caramel sauce is delicious on ice cream, sliced apples, cupcakes, brownies, anything you can think of! For the ultimate fall dessert try it with my homemade apple cinnamon hand pies and ice cream.
More recipes you might enjoy:
Homemade Caramel From Scratch
- 1 cup white, granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 4 tbsp butter, salted
- In a medium to large saucepan over medium heat, add sugar. Begin stirring constantly until sugar melts and turns a light amber color. This is called caramelization. This step can take up to 20 minutes or so. Do not stop stirring or your sugar can burn.
- After sugar is melted and has turned to a light amber color, remove from heat and slowly add half and half while continuing to stir. This is the step that can cause burns. Watch for the mixture to bubble over or splatter when adding half and half. You can wear gloves during this step.
- Add your butter and keep stirring until butter is completely melted.
- Let cool. Caramel sauce will thicken as it cools.