6-Minute Small Batch Salted Caramel Sauce

/// November 13th, 2014

6-Minute Small Batch Salted Caramel Sauce It’s that time of year where I want salted caramel EVERYTHING. It’s such a cozy treat! Be it drizzled over your coffee… or straight into your mouth. If you’ve been looking for an easy way to slip into the salted caramel game, this recipe is here for you. No thermometer needed. No fancy ingredients. No hours of waiting and waiting and waiting. All you need is six minutes!

6-Minute Small Batch Salted Caramel Sauce And a few ingredients. This recipe calls for brown sugar, salted butter, cream, and salt. Das IT! You may add vanilla or bourbon at the end, but if you’re watching $$$ and not trying to spend a lot, the sauce will be just as dreamy minus the vanilla punch. Promise!

That said, I sometimes add a little splash of Madagascar bourbon vanilla and HOLY SMOKES is it good.

6-Minute Small Batch Salted Caramel Sauce This recipe makes a VERY small batch of caramel (a little less than a cup) because as much as I love salted caramel, it’s one of those things I would rather make fresh and use up all in one shot. Trust me when I say having a giant sticky jar of seductive sweetness lurking in the back of your fridge isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. Have you ever tried getting cold caramel from the depths of a mason jar? Not a fun way to spend the evening. No no no. Lucky for us, I’ve got a solution. Six minute small batch salted caramel sauce. Yes. That’s right! You can have warm, sticky, sweet and salty caramel sauce ready in just SIX minutes! And it makes just enough for two hearty servings! We like to drizzle this over ice cream… or brownies… or lattes… or well, basically anything! So, what will you drizzle your batch over?! Let me know! xo 6-Minute Small Batch Salted Caramel Sauce P.S. This sauce cooks REALLY fast so I don’t recommend leaving it unattended while it’s on the stove. No one wants burnt caramel if their life… I know this from experience 😉

6-minute small batch salted caramel sauce

6-Minute Small Batch Salted Caramel Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Dash of vanilla or bourbon (or Madagascar bourbon vanilla!), optional


  1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together butter, brown sugar, heavy whipping cream, and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil (should take about 1 minute), then reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, whisking frequently.
  3. Whisk in vanilla or bourbon if using, stir, then remove from heat.
  4. Pour caramel into a heatproof jar. Allow it to cool a few minutes before using.

six minute salted caramel sauce

103 thoughts on “6-Minute Small Batch Salted Caramel Sauce

  1. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    I saw this on IG and had to hop right on over! Yes to caramel sauce on everything. I’ve never made it with brown sugar (only white sugar) but now I’m super duper excited to try brown sugar. I bet the flavor is amazing! Yeah!

      1. brenda

        Y is my caramel always gritty when my caramel gets cold no matter what sugar I use? And do u refrigerate unused caramel,cuz mine again is gritty,help!

        1. bakerbynature Post author

          Hi Brenda. You may not be cooking the sugar long enough…
          Yes; you do need to refrigerate the leftover caramel, then simply reheat it for a few seconds when you want to use it. Reheating it (either by microwave or place the jar in very hot water) should remove any gritty texture it may have taken on while in the fridge. I hope that helps! xo

          1. Marie Kimber

            Hi, mine is also gritty. When it was fresh it was awesome, but as it cooled it became crystallized. I was hoping to use it cooled on top of a cheesecake. Any recommendations?

          2. bakerbynature Post author

            Hi Marie. This small batch salted caramel is best served right away. I’m working on a recipe for a more stable caramel sauce and hope to have it up soon!

          3. Jennifer

            Hi Marie
            I made a double batch of this recipe. It was sooo good. My daughter and I had to make another batch to replace what we had spooned it to our mouths (for tasting purpose only). Anyway after it cooled I put in the fridge. I made a box carrot cake cut into cubes. Then made cream cheese icing whipped with whipped cream. Cut the cake in cubes and layer with the cream mixture, the new walnuts and this salted caramel. I just reheated for 1 minute and stirred. Heated and stirred. Not to warm so it didn’t spoil the cream mixture. It was still a little gritty but in this receipe. You couldn’t even taste anything but the delicious Carmel. I got this carrot cake truffle recipe on Pinterest. I wish I could go back to see the name. Anyway this receipe is Awesome!!

      2. D. B.

        I usually make homemade caramels for my neighbors and daughter’s co-workers but this year I’m recovering from a lumpectomy I had on Dec. 17. Not wanting to let down my neighbors, I found your recipe on Pinterest and decided this was doable. I can stand and stir small batches for the 6 minutes, no problem, and the sauce is absolutely yummy! (I’m dipping my healthy apple slices in it!) My gift won’t be full blown caramels but my friends & neighbors will get a sweet taste of the holidays with love! Thanks!

      3. Maryanne

        Hello :) I love that the recipe is a small batch–I’m planning on making cheesecakes in mini mason jars so this is perfect! Does this recipe still work if I use white sugar? How will it affect the flavor? (This is my first time making caramel sauce, btw).

          1. MC Serrano

            I made it for the first time with refined sugar, but then had to add a bit more vanilla extract to give it more colour. It still tasted great, I just felt like I tasted the cream more. Just made it with brown sugar and it tastes more rich. But I think it will turn out alright with white sugar! :)

  2. Kathy Vick

    Would love to make this salted Carmel sauce for gifts for my staff. What size mason jar and when it’s cooled, can it sit out or does it need to be refrigerated?

      1. Stephanie

        curious why does it need to be refrigerated? I have for years and years made caramel and I make it all the time and never refrigerate it. I sometimes use preservatives due to when I am making it like if between Christmas and Valentines. I make sauce and harder pieces to dip in chocolate. I also have heard to squeeze some lemon in it to prevent crystalization but it curled a batch I did so I never tried it again wondering have you?

  3. Sue P.

    I definitely will try this! I always buy unsalted butter. Do you have any idea how much salt I should add if I use unsalted butter instead of salted butter as shown in your recipe? Thank you.
    Sue P.

  4. Lauris

    It is truly amazing and a great time saver! I made it with half and half cream (10%) it turned out fantastic. Thanks for posting this recipe.

  5. Angela

    I’m about to indulge in my small batch of salted vanilla caramel. I can’t wait! Thanks for posting this recipe!

  6. Jacki

    Trying this with coconut milk. Wonder how it’ll turn out. Just really wanned to try it and only had margarine and coconut milk 😛
    Update! It is fabulous! Super yummy still though I imagine butter would be better.

      1. Kim

        Hey Ashley, just thought I’d let you know that I tried this with the vanilla cinnamon Bailey’s and it was awesome. Served it with some apple pie fries and whip cream and it was a hit at my potluck. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Elizabeth

    So I just tried the recipe but my Carmel came out very thin and runny, any suggestions as to what I did wrong? It did take 3 or so minutes longer to get it to boil even on medium-high heat. Could that have been my issue?
    Thanks for any pointers

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Elizabeth. I’m sorry to hear your caramel didn’t turn out. It sounds like it didn’t cook long enough, although it’s hard say exactly what the issue was without being there myself to see it. Your burner may run a little cold, so next time I would recommend boiling it a little longer.
      Happy holidays!

      1. Jess

        This also happened to me and I added a 1 tsp of cornstarch with one tbsp of cream, then added it to the mixture. I also tripled the recipe because I wanted a lot of caramel :)
        Amazing though and turned out spectacular, I could drink it!!!

  8. Mie

    Can I use regular sugar instead of brown sugar? My brown sugar is very coarse, i wouldn’t want the end result to be gritty!

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Ann. I’ve never tried incorporating this caramel into frosting, so I’m unsure. We typically use it for drizzling over ice cream, scones, cookies, etc. It does need to be reheated after sitting a while, as it does “set”, so that may be an issue in your frosting. If you give it a try, I’d love to hear how it turns out.

    1. kristin

      I was wondering the same thing! I made it this morning and it only filled a small jar about 3/4 full. Have you ever doubled it?

  9. Sophia

    This looks fantastic! Those of you that doubled or tripled it, did you increase the cooking time, and and by how much?

  10. Flo

    This is THEEEEEEE BEST recipe I have ever tried to make for salted caramel! It came out like perfection!! Thanks so much for posting this recipe! It will be topping some delicious brioche turtle donuts today for a special baby shower! Xo

  11. Denis

    I tried this recipe. Made it with unsalted butter and then 1/2 tsp of flaky sea salt. It was awesome!!! However the color of my caramel is a bit brownish rather than amberish like yours… Should i have heated it a bit more?

    1. Denis

      By the way, because this recipe has no water, the caramel will solidify in the fridge. It’s really best to consume right away… Heating up solidified caramel will make the oil from the cream separate which you would be frustrating. Nevertheless it tastes good fresh!

  12. Alicia's Indulgent Sweets

    I was making chocolate caramel marshmallows. Can I use this caramel to put on the marshmallows? Will it harden enough to add the chocolate and not drip off?
    Thank you

  13. Kimberly

    I just made this and it was super easy, and taste amazing. I’ll never buy store bought again. Thx for sharing.

  14. Michelle

    Amazing recipe! I always dread salted caramel for the temperature watching and cream overboil. This was unbelievably easy and the perfect flavor and consistency. My new go-to. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Kayla

    Hi. I made this and stuffed fresh home made crapes with them, served with vanilla ice cream. Absolutly yummy and great dessert for company. Thank you

  16. Marianne

    Hi–this is still on the thin side. Does it thicken up when it cools?

    Also–I have always been told by my chef friends that the difference between butterscotch and caramel is that butterscotch is made with brown sugar, and caramel with white. So this might be butterscotch!! No biggie, it is still delicious. Hoping it gets thicker though. I want to blend it into ice cream…

  17. Angelique Stainrod

    So, I made this and the first time it did not turn out. However, I made it a second time adding in the half and half and butter in slowly and it worked just fine! Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  18. Brenda

    Thank you sooooo much for this recipe. Made it for my boyfriend a couple months ago…needless to say I have made about 10 batches since. He is addicted lol. And yes you can double the batch…I now double it!

  19. Crystal

    Just made this to put on cheesecake bars…..holy balls this is amazing. I did use dark brown sugar and my dash of vanilla turned into a splash but lick the pot good. Thanks for the easy recipe!!!!!

  20. Deborah

    Ok so I tried the Bobby Flays salted caramel and I thought it would be perfect. But it is nothing compared to your caramel sauce!!!!! You are the Queen of Caramel!!! It was so much easier and tasted incredible. Thank you for changing the way I make caramel.

  21. Brenda

    Does this recipe make enough to use with your German Apple Cake? I’m making it for book club tonight, and thought the recipe looked great. Just need to know if this small batch is enough to to drizzle over the whole 9″ cake. Thank you!

  22. Michael Holden

    Wow, this is fab with pannacotta. But it’s actually butterscotch, I though butterscotch and salted caramel taste a bit different. A bit of googling and it does seem more of a butterscotch but kept pourable. 5 stars for the recipe!


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