There was a time, not so long ago, that the idea of caramelizing sugar scared the hell out of me. It seemed so temperamental, and a need to be precise. Last year I finally gave it “a go” in order to create some of my favorite coffee drinks at home. My first few attempts went okay. Sometimes the sugar would seized up on me (aka the sugar hardens into a lump), but after a few minutes of stirring it melts right back down into the sauce. Now it’s something that I always have to have in the fridge.

Great to mix into coffee, over ice cream, with apple slices – possibilities are endless. I’ve been guilty of eating it right off the spoon. This is the basic recipe, but it’s an open canvas to additions. Add 1/2 teaspoon fleur-de-sel or another finishing salt to make it a Salted Caramel Sauce. Or, a tablespoon of dark rum gives it a delicious boozy kick. Mix a tablespoon or so into some hot spiced cider, with maybe a little extra rum – a perfect way to wind down on a chilly fall evening.

So, if you’ve been scared of tackling caramel – don’t be. It might take a couple of tries, but once you get the feel for it, you’ve got it. And, being able to make something that is as delicious and versatile as this stuff is, is definitely something to pat yourself on the back for. Enjoy!


  1. Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

    I’ve been intimidated by this process as well. But this makes such a wonderful gift, I’m gonna try it!

    Thanks! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Ben
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

    Hey, it’s me. Do you ever have issues with cleaning the pan afterwards? Should I use stainless or cast-iron?

    • Laura
      Posted September 14, 2012 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

      I used a stainless steel saucepan, I think a skillet would be too shallow – you definitely don’t want ti to bubble over! If you’ve got problems with a stubborn pan, just soak it in some hot water for 20 minutes or so to soften up the hardened sugar.

  3. sue
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for this. I have been wanting to try this.

  4. Rosie
    Posted September 15, 2012 at 6:58 PM | Permalink

    If you’re having trouble cleaning the pan, just fill it with water and take it back to heating, then boil the water for some minutes, stirring a little, the sugar will dissolve!

  5. Posted September 16, 2012 at 1:29 AM | Permalink

    Never thought of making my own caramel sauce. Will bookmark it in case I decide to make it.

  6. Posted September 24, 2012 at 6:25 PM | Permalink

    I had a similar fear, and now I think about the process and wonder why I was so scared of the concept. Hurray for caramel sauce!

  7. Colleen
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    That is a beautiful pic! Will have to give it a try tomorrow :)If it turns out as lovely as yours, I’ll bring over some of your carrot cupcakes with it drizzled on top, see what you think of the combo. Good luck and have fun tomorrow!

  8. Maryellen LaGarde
    Posted September 15, 2014 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    Jimmy’s favorite on anything going to pull it together tomorrow.

  9. lee
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    looks so good! smells yummy! but when I poured the cream into the sugar it immediately hardened into a big hard kinda brittle glob! what did I do wrong?

    • Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

      That’s completely normal. You just keep whisking over low heat and it will melt back into the cream and form a beautiful sauce.

  10. Posted February 5, 2016 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

    I let it turn amber and the consistency is great but it taste a little burnt? do you think i let the sugar get to dark?

    • Posted February 8, 2016 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

      It sounds that way. I’ve done this myself – even after making many, many batches of this stuff over the years. Next time you’ll have a better eye for it! 🙂

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