Classic Caramel Sauce


Adding butter gives this old favorite a velvety texture. It should be added once the sauce has cooled a bit so that it emulsifies rather than melting into the sauce.


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • Large pinch of kosher salt


Stir the sugar and water together in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Increase to high heat and continue to cook, without stirring, until the sugar has caramelized and is medium amber in color. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly stir in about ¼ cup of the cream. (The caramel will sputter as the water is added, so stir carefully.) Continue gradually stirring in the remaining cream.

Let the caramel cool, stirring occasionally, until warm. Whisk in the butter and salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. If serving warm, reheat in a double boiler or microwave.

In Advance

The caramel sauce can be made up to 2 weeks ahead.