Easy 7 Minute Salted Caramel

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Some things in life just seem unnecessarily complicated. Take wedding planning, for instance – we’ve created this huge industry that charges exorbitant prices for what should just be a joyous celebration with your loved ones. And there are so many details to think of! Pinterest and blogging has certainly made weddings (as well as crafting, cooking, and a slew of other things) more complicated. There’s more pressure to do things in a cute, perfect-looking way.

But I’m not really here to complain about wedding planning stuff. I’m actually here to tell you I discovered this awesome, un-complicated way to make caramel that doesn’t involve a candy thermometer and is practically impossible to ruin. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ruined a batch of caramel, by stirring too much or heating it up too quickly, or a myriad of other issues. When I was creating a salted caramel mocha cheesecake for a Crock Pot contest, I needed to find an easier version of salted caramel sauce. I came across a seemingly too easy version of caramel over at Pioneer Woman, and was shocked to find that not only did it work, but it tasted just like a regular, complicated caramel sauce!

I tweaked her recipe a bit and came up with this delightful 7 minute salted caramel sauce. You basically boil all the ingredients for 7 minutes-it really couldn’t be any easier! I made some delicious brownies with this stuff, so stay tuned for that recipe soon.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Place butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, and salt into a saucepan over medium heat.

2. Whisk until everything is combined.

3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 6 minutes, whisking occasionally.

4. After 6 minutes, add vanilla (be careful, it will bubble up). Whisk together and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and let cool.


Easy 7 Minute Salted Caramel Sauce


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together butter, brown sugar, heavy whipping cream, and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 6 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  3. Whisk in vanilla (be careful, it will bubble up) and cook 1 more minute.
  4. Pour caramel into a jar, then refrigerate until cold.
  5. Store in refrigerator. To serve, microwave briefly until sauce is pourable.

41 Responses to “Easy 7 Minute Salted Caramel”
  1. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet writes:

    Having a jar of this deliciousness is going to be dangerous! I just may eat it all!
    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet recently posted How To Make Sugar Hearts

  2. Christina @ Be Mindful. Be Human. writes:

    Thanks Stephanie. I have been wanting to try a caramel recipe that uses brown sugar. Can’t wait to try it on my crockpot chocolate cake this weekend.
    Christina @ Be Mindful. Be Human. recently posted Radish Chips

  3. Becca from It's Yummilicious writes:

    No thermometer? No scalding myself? SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!
    Becca from It’s Yummilicious recently posted Lip Smacking Good Lemon Bars

  4. Shannon McGrail writes:

    SHAME ON YOU….I am fat enough and this is information not unlike the nutella brownies I found online last week that I did not need! just kidding…fat yes but also hungry and grateful. Feel free not to post but I love your food!
    Shannon McGrail recently posted Autism and Reading Comp…more examples

  5. Cristina @ Just My Crazy Kitchen writes:

    A blogger after my own heart! I love salted caramel and I put it on everything. I will definitely have to give this a try soon!

  6. Stephanie @ Life Tastes Like Food writes:

    Steph, this is AMAZING. I’ve been wanting to make caramel for the longest time but have always gotten too lazy to go out and grab a candy thermometer. Now I can use this recipe for all of the other recipes I have bookmarked that require salted caramel. You’re a lifesaver, can’t wait to try this recipe!!! :)
    Stephanie @ Life Tastes Like Food recently posted How to Make the Ultimate Football Snackadium

  7. Rachael {Simply Fresh Cooking} writes:

    OMG!!!! OMG!!! I don’t even own a candy thermometer, so this is perfect for someone like me! Yay!

  8. Laura (Tutti Dolci) writes:

    Um, can’t even tell you how much I love this!! Salted caramel is only 7 minutes away… now that’s a dangerous thought!
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently posted meyer lemon-brown butter bars

  9. Jessica writes:

    Wedding planning:
    Pretty tables
    Yummy food
    Dance till you drop
    Get good pictures
    Don’t wear a boring strapless dress like every other bride on the planet
    That’s my advice, don’t sweat the small stuff, people really don’t remember.

  10. nadia writes:

    This is how I make my caramel too! Definitely the easiest method, instead of just melting the sugar until in caramelizes then adding the other ingredients. Your pics look great!

  11. Dawn | Dawn's Bella Via & C. writes:

    Shut UP! I can’t believe how easy this looks… dangerously easy! But I totally love you for posting this recipe. I wonder if the caramel would thicken up more if you cook it longer? Is it stiff enough to coat apples, etc.? xo

  12. Stephanie Nuccitelli writes:

    Dawn – isn’t this amazing?! Hmm, it might thicken more, definitely worth trying. I used it to top brownies and put them in the fridge over night. It was still gooey the next day, so it would be very messy as an apple coating. You could slice apples and drizzle it over though.

  13. Mama's Gotta Bake writes:

    I have never attempted caramel sauce before, but what the heck, I’m gonna give it a try. I love your set-by-step photos!
    Mama’s Gotta Bake recently posted Chocolate Pecan Cookies

  14. Sarah writes:

    That looks so good! And easy! And good!!!

    Just in case I wanted to give some as a gift, do you know how long it keeps?
    Sarah recently posted Pasta with Bacon and Herbs (or No More Smug Face After This, I Swear)

  15. Salted Caramel Brownie Bites | 52 Kitchen Adventures writes:

    […] week I shared this incredibly easy 7 minute salted caramel and you know I couldn’t just let that sit around in my fridge for long. I made some brownies […]

  16. heidi writes:

    yes, same Q – how long does it keep? i assume it needs to be kept in the fridge…maybe a week or ??

  17. Stephanie Nuccitelli writes:

    Sarah & Heidi, I totally forgot to put that it needs to be refrigerated. I just added that to the recipe. I don’t know the exact amount of time, but I’d say it’s probably good for a week or 2.

  18. Amanda Carriere writes:

    This is a great recipe. I wanted my own salted caramel to use in recipes such as the Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Turtle Thumbprints I am going to make later today. Wonderful!

  19. Shannon writes:

    I hate say this, but as I was stirring away on the stove I suddenly thought “this can’t be _real_ caramel sauce.” So after it was made, I let it cool enough to take that taste that would make me wish I chose a harder recipe. So I thought. Girl! This stuff is _awesome_!! What a great, rich, homemade taste. I’ll be making this again!! THNAKS!!

  20. Darlene Boyd writes:

    I was skeptical at first about not using a candy thermometer but decided to go ahead and give this recipe a try. OMG the very best recipe for making the salted caramel buttercream frosting. It is just PERFECT!!!! The buttercream frosting had the perfect consistency for piping onto the cupcakes. Delicious!!!! One of my cupcake fans told me to make him a dozen cupcakes and money is no object :). Thanks so much for posting this recipe!!

  21. Grace writes:

    Thank you very much for the recipe. I did it exactly as you explained, I can only say wonderful, delicious and easy and everybody liked.

  22. Nita writes:

    Just made this. Hope it turns out great when cooled down. It’s going to be used in my vanilla & salted caramel Mille crepe cake! Crossing fingers & toes. Thx for sharing

  23. Amy writes:

    Was making a last minute bread pudding, and wanted a quick caramel sauce….absolutely delicious !

  24. Stella writes:

    Can I use granulated (white) sugar instead of brown? Will it work? Thanks!

  25. Homemade Salted Caramel Mocha | 52 Kitchen Adventures writes:

    […] via RSS or email.Edited 10/1/13: Instead of the caramel syrup listed below, you could also use my 7 minute salted caramel, which is incredibly easy and quick to […]

  26. Michelle writes:

    Can I leave the salt out if I just need regular caramel sauce? I’m making vegan apple cider cupcakes for a party on Saturday and it calls for regular (not salted) caramel to drizzle. The recipe for caramel sauce that comes with the recipe calls for soy milk powder, which I can’t find anywhere near me and appears to be a lot more time consuming than this one. Thanks for your help!

  27. Stephanie Nuccitelli writes:

    Stella, the brown sugar helps give it that caramel flavor, so I don’t recommend swapping it out for granulated sugar. If you want to use that, I’d try a more traditional caramel recipe where you cook the sugar longer, caramelizing it.

  28. Stephanie Nuccitelli writes:

    Michelle- yes, just reduce the salt (I’d start with a pinch, taste it and add more to taste). Enjoy! :)

  29. Salted Caramel Apple Dip | Fireflies and Mud Pies writes:

    […] of Salted Caramel Apple Dip. I read through many recipes on the web, but eventually decided on this one from the wonderful 52 Kitchen […]

  30. Jocelyn writes:

    Love it. Would cooking time be the same if I doubled recipe?

  31. Stephanie Nuccitelli writes:

    Jocelyn, that’s a good question. I haven’t tried doubling it so I’m not sure. You may need to cook it another couple of minutes. Sorry I can’t be more helpful – let us know how it works!

  32. Shannon writes:

    After the caramel cooled it seemed to get gritty. Any idea what went wrong?

  33. Jocelyn writes:

    I doubled and cooked the same. Worked well.

  34. Gm writes:

    Hi thank u so much for the recipe! Loved how the sauce came together so easily n how it tasted…but had an issue using it after 2 days…the sugar seemed to have separated from the sauce n had a grainy texture n taste…do I need to warm it up Everytime I use it?

  35. Stephanie Nuccitelli writes:

    Gm, yes you can put it in the microwave to warm it up and then stir it back together.

  36. Jocelyn writes:

    The best and easiest recipe ever. I’ve posted before but getting ready to make it again and wanted to say again. The best.

  37. Stephanie Saunders writes:

    Thank you, Jocelyn, I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the recipe! I love how easy this one is too!

  38. Andrea writes:

    Do you have to use cream in this? Can I use soy creamer or some other type of non-dairy milk? Also, if I make it dairy, can I just use whole milk? I just never have heavy whipping cream around and hate to buy it for one little project. I look forward to trying this! Thanks!

  39. Stephanie Saunders writes:

    Andrea, I don’t know how non-dairy products would work, but my gut says they wouldn’t. Whole milk may work, but it may not have a high enough fat content. If you give it a try, please let me know how it turns out!

  40. Christine writes:

    After I refrigerated it it is sugary and not gooey at all. Did I do something wrong?

  41. Stephanie Saunders writes:

    It sounds like something went wrong. It should be very thick after refrigeration. You may not have cooked it at high enough heat but it’s hard to say without being there. Sorry I can’t help more!

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