salted butter caramel sauce

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This is an easy, delicious, smooth, salted caramel sauce that is wonderful for all your recipes that call for caramel. This recipe makes about 1 and 1/2 cups.

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup half & half

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the brown sugar, half & half, butter, and salt in a small saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium-low heat for 7 minutes (or until it gets thicker.) Add the vanilla and cook an additional minute. Turn off the heat and allow sauce to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a jar. Refrigerate until ready to use.


for cinnamon caramel: add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg when you add the vanilla. (wonderful in monkey bread)

for Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Caramel: add 2 Tablespoons JD in place of vanilla. (wonderful on ice cream or brownies)

for orange caramel: add 1 teaspoon orange extract in place of the vanilla (wonderful on caramel rolls)

for coconut caramel: add 1 teaspoon coconut extract in place of the vanilla (wonderful on banana splits)



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  28 comments for “salted butter caramel sauce

  1. Faye
    August 12, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Looks delicious!

    • Melissa
      August 12, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, Faye! Enjoy 🙂

    • Louise
      June 6, 2016 at 6:27 am


      Being a European I don’t know what half & half is.
      Could you be so kind as to enlighten me?


      • Melissa
        June 6, 2016 at 3:08 pm

        Hello there, Louise!
        Half and half is equal parts milk and cream 🙂
        Hope that helps, and thanks for stopping by!

        • Louise
          June 6, 2016 at 10:50 pm

          Thank you, Melissa.

          • Melissa
            June 7, 2016 at 7:56 am

            You’re welcome 🙂

  2. August 12, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Yes! I’ll try this one. I cringe when I see the recipes where you cook sweetened condensed milk in the can. This looks wonderful and easy, Melissa!

    • Melissa
      August 12, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      Hi Lorinda! So pleased you like the recipe! It’s my fave 🙂 thanks for commenting and visiting.

  3. Heather
    August 12, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    how long will it stay good in fridge?

    • Melissa
      August 12, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      Hi Heather! about a week 🙂

  4. trish
    August 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    hi can i ask what half and half is please?

    • Melissa
      August 12, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      half whole milk/half cream. 🙂

      • trish
        August 13, 2013 at 10:29 am


        • Melissa
          August 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm

          my pleasure 🙂

  5. sharon
    August 13, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Can this be preserved to give as gifts? Would love to include it in a box of homemade goodies!

    • Melissa
      August 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      I’m not quite sure how to preserve caramel sauce, Sharon 🙂 Sorry about that. You certainly could make it and refrigerate it within a week of giving your gift boxes away. Thanks for visiting and for commenting! XO

    • Mel
      June 26, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      Apparently, it’s not safe to preserve food with butter in it. Best to give it fresh, I guess.

      • Melissa
        June 30, 2014 at 7:49 am

        Yeah, that’s what I’ve read too, Mel 🙂 Oh well. It’s not like this is easy to keep around once you make it anyway. hee hee! enjoy!

        • Deni Wilson
          June 4, 2016 at 7:38 pm

          I am making this now…and i’m pretty sure it will be all gone by tonite!!!!!

          • Melissa
            June 6, 2016 at 3:08 pm

            Enjoy! 😉

  6. November 13, 2013 at 11:41 am

    can you make coconut carmel sauce using pinacolada drink mix ? instead of coconut milk . asking due to the fact I have 3 bottles of this stuff from a past party ! May be a good way to use it up , will try and let you know .

    • Melissa
      November 13, 2013 at 11:54 am

      Hi Jeff 🙂 I don’t think that will work because to make caramel you need sugar and butter. I don’t think there’s any fat of any kind in pina colada drink mix.

  7. Sharon
    November 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Am thinking this would be good on bread pudding! Going to try it. Looks yummy and sticky. <3

    • Melissa
      November 25, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      Hi Sharon! this would be perfect on bread pudding 🙂 I add a little rum and nutmeg to the caramel when I make it for bread pudding. enjoy, and thanks for visiting!

  8. angela
    February 24, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Looks great!
    what’s 1/2 cup half & half?

  9. angela
    February 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Got it: half whole milk and half cream 😉

    • Melissa
      February 25, 2014 at 12:11 am

      Yes, Angela 🙂 That’s right!

  10. Tracy
    October 10, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    I make caramel vanilla lattes every morning. I bet this would be fabulous drizzled on the foam cap! Thanks for sharing!

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