Caramel Sauce

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Caramelizing sugar develops a rich flavor and deep brown color in this dessert sauce. The secret to avoiding crystallization is to swirl and shake the pan in the beginning until the sugar dissolves. Enjoy this sauce warm over dessert pancakes and waffles.



Total Timeunder 15 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Texturebuttery, creamy, rich, sweet

Type of Dishdessert sauce, sauces


  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, shaking and swirling the pan without boiling until the sugar dissolves. Then bring to a boil, cover, and cook for 1 minute. Remove the cover and boil until the syrup develops a rich, dark color, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the butter, stirring to melt, then stir in the cream and vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and serve warm or at room temperature. Or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Reheat in a heat-proof container in the microwave on high heat for 30 seconds or over a pan of simmering water.


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Kosher salt is a great addition.


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