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Caramel Sauce

The easiest, tastiest stovetop Caramel Sauce with only six ingredients and no special equipment (or candy thermometer) required!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword caramel sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 -8 with dippers
Calories 406kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $3.48


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 cup light corn syrup (like Karo)
  • 1 can (14 oz.) regular sweetened condensed milk (not fat free)
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (add to taste preference)
  • Optional: crushed toffee candy
  • Serving suggestions: See Note 1


  • COMBINE. Combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk in a medium-sized pot over medium heat.
  • MELT. Stir constantly until the butter is melted and ingredients are completely combined.
  • BOIL. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Immediately remove from heat.
  • COOL. Let the mixture cool for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then add in the vanilla extract and salt to taste. Add salt gradually. (Not all salts will salt this sauce the same. Add more for a salted caramel sauce and less to just season the sauce.)
  • SERVE. Let the sauce thicken for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then serve by transferring caramel to a bowl, topping with optional crushed toffee candy, and your choice of dippers. (See notes for serving suggestions!)
  • STORAGE: Transfer leftover sauce to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Sauce doesn't freeze/thaw well. To reheat, transfer to a small pan and heat over low heat until warmed through and thinned or heat in the microwave in short increments. Gradually add heavy cream or milk if the sauce is too thick to slightly thin.



Note 1: There are so many delicious things to dip in the caramel sauce; below are some of our favorites:
  • Apples. Granny Smith apples are our favorite (sweet and tangy!). We also love Fuji and Honeycrisp apples in this dip. You could also make apple nachos by drizzling this sauce over thinly sliced apples and topping with crushed toffee bits. 
  • Bananas. We love dipping bananas in this sauce; make sure they aren't overly ripe or they'll break apart when dipping. One of our favorite treats is to dip bananas in this sauce, then dip them in melted dark chocolate, and then top with some crushed nuts. Freeze and enjoy!
  • Other treats: cubed Rice Krispie Treats®, brownie bites, large marshmallows, pretzels
  • Packaged cookies: Oreos®, Nutter Butters®, Pirouettes®, Milanos®, Girl Scout Cookies®, Graham crackers, chocolate Graham crackers.
Nutritional information does not include the optional toffee bits.


Calories: 406kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 232mg | Potassium: 52mg | Sugar: 69g | Vitamin A: 493IU | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg