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A jar of salted caramel sauce, pouring onto a bowl of salted caramel ice cream.

Salted Caramel Sauce

Heather Smoke
Homemade salted caramel sauce is rich and buttery, with hints of vanilla and bourbon.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups


  • Saucepan with 10-cup Capacity


  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream, warmed
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp bourbon, optional


  • Combine the water, sugar and corn syrup in the saucepan. Use a wet pastry brush or a damp cloth to wipe any sugar crystals off the sides of the pan.
  • Set the pan on the stove over low heat to dissolve the sugar, without stirring. When the mixture begins slowly bubbling, increase the heat to medium.
    Continue to cook, without stirring, until the mixture is a deep amber color. The entire cooking process should take less than 10 minutes, and the color will deepen very quickly towards the end. Immediately remove the pan from the burner.
    Take care not to cook the sugar until it burns. If it starts to smell scorched, then your caramel sauce will have a bitter taste.
  • While you're cooking the sugar, pour the cream into a small saucepan and set over low heat to warm the cream just until hot.
  • When the sugar is ready, immediately remove the saucepan from the heat. Pour the hot cream into the bubbling sugar. It will bubble up quite a bit, so stir until combined.
  • Add the butter, salt, vanilla and bourbon, stirring until smooth. If there are any small lumps of sugar that siezed up and won't smooth out, you can just pour the caramel through a wire mesh strainer to remove them.
  • Let the caramel cool for about 10 minutes, then pour into a glass jar. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Keyword bourbon, Caramel Sauce, Salted Caramel
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