Easy and Delicious Homemade Salted Caramel

Homemade caramel is easier than I would have ever imaged when I first started baking. More importantly, it’s out-of-this-world delicious! You’ll never go back to store bought caramel once you’ve tried this recipe for homemade salted caramel.

How to Make Homemade Salted Caramel

I’ve been using my caramel in SO many cakes recently, I decided it was high time this deliciousness had it’s own place on the blog. You are going to love how easy this caramel is to make. Let’s get started!

Ingredients for Homemade Salted Caramel

  • Water
  • Granulated sugar
  • Corn syrup – this helps with a smooth, silky texture. We’re not using too much but you can also use honey or leave it out
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt

That’s it!

How to Make Homemade Salted Caramel

To make homemade salted caramel, you actually don’t have to be too hands-on. In fact, I want you to keep your hands off for the majority of the time!

  • You’ll start by combining the sugar, water, and corn syrup (or honey) over the stove on medium heat.
  • Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves and then step back!
  • Allow the mixture to boil and cook. Stirring the sugar mixture at this point will encourage crystallization and we don’t want that!
  • It will take a few minutes for the mixture to change color, but once it does, stay close by.
  • You’re looking for the mixture to turn a dark golden brown, amber color. Check the pictures below for guidance.
  • Once you’ve reached the right color and your mixture is about 380 degrees F., you’re ready to start SLOWLY adding warm heavy whipping cream.
  • Using warm heavy whipping cream will decrease the chance the mixture hardens.
  • Once you’ve added all the cream, you can stir in the vanilla and salt.
  • Allow the mixture to cool completely before using in your buttercreams and cakes.

How to Store Homemade Salted Caramel

To store the caramel, I typically pour the cooled caramel in a mason jar or other glass airtight container. You can then refrigerate the caramel for up to two weeks. I like to reheat the caramel just a bit to thin it out before using in my cakes and buttercreams.

How to make homemade salted caramel in less than 10 minutes.

Cakes I Use My Homemade Caramel In

I love this caramel so much that you’ll see it in many of my recipes. Recently, I’ve used it in:

What Pan to Use for Making Caramel

I just got new pans and loved making this batch of caramel with my Caraway Homes* non-toxic, non-stick pans. I’m still giving them a test run, but so far, so good! I’ll keep you posted with more of my review soon.

*Affiliate link

How to Make Homemade Salted Caramel

Salted Caramel

The most delicious and easiest recipe for homemade salted caramel.
4.41 from 27 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Topping


For the Caramel

  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (120 g) water
  • 2 teaspoons (14 g) light corn syrup or honey
  • 3/4 cup (180 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt


  • Heat the cream in the microwave for about a minute. Set aside.
  • Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved and then stop stirring.
  • You want the mixture to cook on its own. Stirring creates crystallization. If you notice sugar crystallizing on the sides of the pan, soak a pastry brush in warm water and run the brush along the sides of the pan where the sugar is building up.
  • Once the mixture turns amber in color, remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the cream, while stirring the caramel.
  • Add the vanilla and salt, and stir to combine.
  • Cool to room temperature before using. The caramel will thicken as it cools.
  • Caramel can be refrigerated for up to two weeks in an airtight container.
Keyword caramel, salted caramel
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

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Everything you need to know about decorating a cake like a pro!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 1 star
    Tried 3 times and it burned every time! No matter how slow I tried to heat it up and used a candy thermometer to watch the temperature closely. Trust me it smells awful when you burn it 😩

  2. 5 stars
    I made it this past fall to go with the apple cider doughnut bundt cake and it was so good! I’ve also added the caramel to my coffee!

  3. The recipe on the dark chocolate caramel cake has different measurements for the Karo, salt and vanilla. Which one is correct?
    Thank you!!

  4. 5 stars
    I have been making The Pioneer Woman’s caramel sauce for years. Oh. My. Gosh. I made this today along with the shortbread clusters for the Twix cake and this caramel is hands down the best ever. Super easy. Little bit of an anxiety lifter when you start slowly pouring the warm cream but after the first time it’s fine. So good, definitely have to keep this on hand.

  5. 1 star
    Oh man, I’ve tried to make this 3 times and each time it comes out watery and burnt burnt burnt. Is 380F correct for the temperature? I finally gave up and tried other recipes elsewhere and all the temperatures ranged from 233-250. I tried taking mine off even at 300 and it already smelled burnt. I love all your other recipes but this one seems off.

  6. 5 stars
    Burnt the first one! But thats ok, I tried again and nailed it! Def need to watch when it turns dark as it turns quick! That was my mistake the first time. But now that I understand, its SO good!!!

  7. 2 stars
    Tried this recipe twice to the T, and my sugar water NEVER became the dark golden brown amber color like the recipe says. Both times it boiled steady for over 15 mins. Very frustrating.

  8. 5 stars
    I needed something to spiff up a cake I made for my husband to take to a meeting. I thought I’d give this a try. SO good. Thanks!

  9. 4 stars
    I made this and loved it!! I used it as a drip on the caramel apple cake. I found the drip kept running though and never set. Can I do something differently?

  10. 5 stars
    I am making the caramel apple cake so I went with the directions that go along with that recipe, but I came here to double check technique. The recipes are markedly different in measurements for corn syrup. The cake recipe calls for 4 tsp, 75 g of corn syrup. This recipe calls for 2 tsp, 14 grams of corn syrup. I’m not sure that math works out. My caramel came out ok, but I’m curious which recipe is correct. Thank you!

  11. 5 stars
    I’ve made this multiple times and it is so good every time! I have never had a problem with it burning, but I keep the stove temp pretty low. It does take quite awhile but turns out perfect every time. It’s great in cakes and for dipping apples. Love it!!