Caramel Sauce

My favorite indulgence in the fall is caramel apples. Somehow, when there’s caramel involved, I can easily eat an apple a day, and it’s exactly what my doctor recommends, right?! So I’ve been making a batch of caramel sauce every October just for this purpose. This is a basic caramel sauce recipe, but caramel is so delicious on its own, it really doesn’t need any bells and whistles. 
I like how simple the recipe is, but there is a catch: this stuff seizes up. If you’re having a lucky day, when you pour the cream into the melted sugar, you get caramel sauce; but in the real world that practically never happens. What does happen is that the whole thing boils and bubbles like crazy and then you get a hard ball of sugar surrounded by yellowish liquid. This is what I like to call the “Don’t Panic” stage of candy-making, because it looks ruined, but with some patience everything will be ok in about 20 minutes (and no, I’m not referring to how long it takes that glass of wine to go to my head). If this happens to you, turn down the heat to a very gentle simmer, and while Not Panicking, slowly stir the hard-candy ball in the cream. It may take 15-20 minutes for the hardened stuff to dissolve, but it’ll get there. I promise. 
Caramel Vanilla Sauce
Total Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
1800 calories
208 g
408 g
110 g
6 g
69 g
505 g
1294 g
200 g
0 g
36 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1800
Calories from Fat 968
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 110g
Saturated Fat 69g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 32g
Cholesterol 408mg
Sodium 1294mg
Total Carbohydrates 208g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 200g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 cup of sugar
  2. 1 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  3. 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  1. In a measuring cup, pour 1 1/4 cup of cream. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into the cream. Discard the bean.
  2. In a medium pot over low heat, add the cup of sugar. Watch it carefully as it starts melting over the next few minutes. When most of the sugar is melted, stir gently with a wooden spoon, until all the sugar is now liquid. Remove the pot from the heat and add half the cream while constantly stirring. The sugar should start bubbling violently. After it stops bubbling, add the other half of the cream. At this point you should have a smooth sauce, but if not, Don't Panic. Keep stirring the whole thing on very low heat for the next 15-20 minutes, or until you have a creamy, amber sauce. Remove from heat. Stir in the salt and pour into a glass jar.
  3. Let it cool down at room temperature, then store in the fridge until it thickens.
  1. Makes 2 cups
A Kitchen Odyssey