Browned Butter Salted Caramel Sauce

Once you try homemade salted caramel sauce, you won’t ever want store bought again!  The browned butter gives this sauce an amazingly deep flavor!

Smooth, dreamy, homemade salted caramel sauce is flecked with bits of browned butter for an incredibly deep and nutty flavor.  This is one sauce you’ll be putting on absolutely EVERYTHING!

Browned Butter Salted Caramel Sauce | Browned butter gives this homemade salted caramel sauce a deliciously deep flavor! |

I have a little secret you guys.  Some of you may gasp a little, (okay maybe not, but play along)… but I don’t really like caramel.  ** awkward pause ** …I know right?!  Well at least I THOUGHT I didn’t like caramel.  It turns out, I just didn’t like the colored corn syrup sold in jars labeled “caramel sauce” from the grocery store.  I made some homemade salted caramel sauce and was BLOWN away.  I mean, I think it’s true love you guys.

Browned Butter Salted Caramel Sauce | Browned butter gives this homemade salted caramel sauce a deliciously deep flavor! |

I literally couldn’t stop eating it.  It started off all innocently with a little taste off the spoon, then quickly spiraled into a mad search through the house for things I could put this caramel sauce on.  Basically the food was irrelevant, it was just a caramel delivery device lol.  I’ve eaten SO many apples (honeycrisp are my favorite), dipped in this sauce… all under the guise of feeling good about myself for eating more fruit (nevermind that it’s coated in a mixture of butter, cream and sugar).  Isn’t it funny how our minds work?

If you’ve heard that making homemade salted caramel sauce is complex or difficult, don’t worry… it just takes a little bit of patience and faith, but certainly isn’t hard or too time consuming at all!

Browned Butter Salted Caramel Sauce | Browned butter gives this homemade salted caramel sauce a deliciously deep flavor! |

Patience and faith my friends… and here’s why.


  • Browning butter can be a little bit of a longer process, and you can’t really walk away and let it do it’s thing… it needs some babysitting.  If you’ve never browned butter before this is a great tutorial.
  • When starting the caramel process, you have to cook down sugar in a pan (with no liquid), which is a whole lot of “omg nothing is happening… maybe I’m doing it wrong… how can it take this long to melt sugar?!” to, “oh wait, there it goes”
  • Once the sugar starts to melt, it looks like clumps of slightly wet sand, then gradually becomes wetter and wetter, but it does take a while before allllll the sugar clumps are completely dissolved.
  • Don’t skip the waiting for them to dissolve though… you want the sauce to be nice and smooth, not grainy.


  • Once you add the cream, the sauce will foam and bubble up like some horrible science experiment gone horribly wrong… but fear not!
  • Just keep whisking, and take the pan off the heat for a minute if you need to.
  • Even if the caramel clumps up on the whisk a bit, just keep whisking (said in my best Dory voice), and it’ll melt off.
  • Before long, you’ll have a smooth, rich, glossy sauce.

Browned Butter Salted Caramel Sauce | Browned butter gives this homemade salted caramel sauce a deliciously deep flavor! |

There are several ways to make caramel sauce, but this is my favorite way.  If you prefer a different way, just incorporate the browned butter into your recipe… trust me, you won’t regret it!

My favorites to drizzle with this salted caramel sauce (or dip in it):

This sauce would also be a fantastic gift to give away during the holidays!


Browned Butter Salted Caramel Sauce | Browned butter gives this homemade salted caramel sauce a deliciously deep flavor! |

Browned Butter Salted Caramel Sauce

Browned butter gives this homemade salted caramel sauce a deliciously deep flavor!
5 from 15 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins


  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream + 2-3 Tbsp
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  • Add butter to small sauce pan and heat on MED-LOW.
  • Butter will melt, then foam up, then the foam will start to go away. Whisk or swirl the pan frequently.
  • Brown flecks (the butter solids) will start to form at the bottom. Once they're golden brown (not dark brown or black), and the butter smells nutty, remove pan from the heat.
  • Pour butter into small bowl and set aside to cool.
  • Wash pan, then add in sugar.
  • Heat over MED heat, and stir often with a rubber spatula.
  • After several minutes, the sugar will start to melt into brown liquid and will look clumpy. More and more clumps will appear, then they will start to melt into the brown liquid.
  • Make sure all the clumps of sugar have dissolved into the liquid before moving on to the next step.
  • Whisk in cooled browned butter.
  • Lower heat to LOW and add the cream, while whisking continuously.
  • Mixture may foam and bubble up like crazy, but keep whisking (take the pan up off the heat if you need to).
  • The bubbling will go down and become a glossy sauce.
  • Simmer for 1-3 minutes on MED-LOW heat, whisking often.
  • Sauce will thicken as it cools, so if it looks thin, just give it time to cool some.
  • Once it cools for a bit, stir in the salt.
  • Use right away or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week or so.


1. Sauce can be frozen for several months, but make sure to use a NON glass container (since sauce can expand while freezing and break the glass).
Author The Chunky Chef
Tried this recipe?Mention @the_chunky_chef or tag #thechunkychef!

If changing the recipe serving quantity, the recipe plugin will change the ingredient values for you, but it does NOT change the written instructions, those are manually added and not subject to a slider/button. You will have to extrapolate that multiplication to any amounts listed in the instructions.

For example: if an ingredient calls for 4 cups, and you doubled the recipe, it will automatically change to 8 cups. In the instructions, if I say “use 4 cups of cheese”, you will have to realize that since you doubled it, you use 8 cups, not 4

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Browned Butter Salted Caramel Sauce | Browned butter gives this homemade salted caramel sauce a deliciously deep flavor! |

Browned Butter Salted Caramel Sauce | Browned butter gives this homemade salted caramel sauce a deliciously deep flavor! |

Browned Butter Salted Caramel Sauce | Browned butter gives this homemade salted caramel sauce a deliciously deep flavor! |

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Recipe Rating

59 comments on “Browned Butter Salted Caramel Sauce”

  1. This caramel sauce is well worth the effort. I had faith and cooked as directed. Unbelievably delish! Love this recipe. 

  2. Not sure what I did wrong, parts if it clumped up despite my constant whisking. The part that stayed liquified is delicious. I used a silicone covered whisk since I used a non stick sauce pan, maybe that had something to do with it. I did lower temperature after adding butter. I will try it again another time.

  3. Hello–how much does this recipe yield?

  4. This stuff is unbelievable!!! I love caramel, so this is like heaven, may be the best thing I have ever made. I made your apple crisp recipe too, I am sure it is going to be amazing with this sauce. I cut the salt a tiny bit as I don’t like my caramel overly salty. I can’t believe I haven’t ever tried making this before, but maybe I was waiting for your very clear, easy to follow instructions. Thanks so much!

    • Would give this ten stars now if I could! It was amazing with the apple crisp, the best dessert I can remember having!!! I bet it would be amazing on apple pie too. Thanks for both recipes, they are great, I am going to try the apple crisp topping on some kind of cherry filling next.

  5. Fantastic sauce – fast & easy. Just need a little patience 
    Definitely worth the wait ! Yum 😋 

  6. Any chance you can use 1/2 and 1/2 instead of cream? I’m guessing no :-/ Thanks!

  7. Yum!!! Would this work with brown sugar? 

  8. Easy recipe. Use patience with the butter and sugar and you will reap the rewards!  1000% tastier than store-bought sauce. Thanks for sharing. 

  9. Hi! I just read through your recipes for Apple Crisp and the Caramel sauce. My husband LOVES caramel, sovi Must make it for him. It sounds simply decadent and totally divine. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes.

  10. If the salted caramel is slightly bitter does this mean you browned the butter too long? Still love the recipe! 
    I burned the first batch of butter and made a second batch. 

  11. Do you use salted or unsalted butter?

  12. Has anyone tried replacing the cream with coconut cream?  I’m curious if this would work.

    • I know this is a bit of a late reply but we don’t use heavy cream in South East Asia since they are hard to come by and EXPENSIVE. We use coconut cream instead, coconut milk if you want it thinner. They are cheaper here and delicious. Swap it out. You can omit butter since Coconut Cream is heavy and rich. Great Vegan Option. You’d be surprised! If you want to give it an Additional Asian Twist, add some Pandan Extract instead of Vanilla. You could get them at an Asian Supermarket. Cheers!

  13. So I’ve become obsessed with brown butter in baking and just thought omg brown butter caramel! Your recipe was like the only one that I could even find! This caramel came together easily and yes it did require some patience…stir stir stir…but this always happens to me…clumps up when i had the heavy cream (I even let the cream sit out for awhile so it’s not super cold when I add it to the caramel and it still clumps up…but I just keep stirring it until it dissolves) Either way this brown butter caramel is sick! There isn’t an obvious brown butter flavor but there is this addictive quality to it…like you know it’s different and special but you just can’t put your finger on what it is! I used it in a pear pie and it was an absolutely perfect compliment to the subtle sweetness of the pear. Thanks for sharing a killer recipe!

  14. I made this twice. Both times when I added the cream, it globbed into a big clump that I couldn’t get creamy. What did I do wrong?  

    • I’ve never had that problem before… my advice would be to try a few things and see if they help. Instead of adding the cream when the burner is on low, take it off the heat completely. Try using room temperature cream, and adding it very slowly as you whisk constantly.

  15. Do I keep whisking the entire time or stop between steps 6 and 7. It wasn’t quite clear to me. Can’t wait to try it!!!

  16. Hi ! Thank you for this amazing recipe! I was making an invisible apple cake (buzzfeedJapan recipe which i highly recommend) and they had a microwaved caramel sauce which i didn’t trust. I found yours instead and nailed it for my evening dinner with friends i hadn’t seen in a long time…
    I am very glad it was no fail, so thank you for writing this recipe. 
    I did make a mix of normal salt and kosher salt to add to the caramel and it was perfect! And it did take almost one whole hour to get it all cooked as you were describing it…But no regrets people loved it ! 
    Have a good day ! 

  17. This stuff was amazing. Just a couple notes

    1. I made a double batch and put the caramel in a mason jar and its lasted almost over month in my refrigerator. Even reheating several times in the microwave. My guess is that the sugar content is too high to allow bacterial growth, kinda like honey. But with the cream in it, i would still leave in the fridge.

    2. When melting the sugar, i always add just a couple drops (just drops) of water to the sugar. It seems to help it melt faster.

  18. This recipe looks genius level amazingly YUM. Do you think this would be thick enough to sandwich between cookies?

    • It’s our absolute favorite caramel of all time! I don’t think it would be thick enough for that… but I’ve made these whoopie pies with the browned butter maple frosting and drizzled some of this caramel over the frosting before topping with the other cookie, and it’s heaven!

      • I can’t believe you just said whoopie pie because that is EXACTLY what I wanted to use this on. That is absolutely perfect. Thank you!!!

  19. I love all things brown butter! I make caramel like this, but never thought to brown the butter! Doh! 🙂 Going to have to try this! Thank you!

  20. Can you can it for gifts?

  21. The ingredient list for this recipe includes heavy cream, but nowhere in the procedure does it say when to add the cream to the rest of the mixture.

  22. OMG this was fabulous! My first time making homemade Carmel and I nailed it. The directions were very descriptive and encouraging. Thank you, I told my husband I am going to have to keep making this and always have a jar of it in hand. 

  23. Pingback: Sugar Free Caramel Sauce Recipe - Low Carb | Low Carb Yum

  24. I made this recipe and it’s delicious! Thank you! Can you tell me I can freeze the leftover sauce?

    • Hi Ann 🙂 I’m so glad you loved it!! Just pour the cooled leftover sauce into a non-glass container and freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost, refrigerate overnight, then warm gently before using.

  25. Looks yummy. I’m Diabetic, will this recipe work with Splenda?

    • Hi Richard 🙂 I’ve never made this with anything other than the ingredients listed, so I really can’t say for sure. I’m not sure if Splenda will caramelize the way sugar does… but if you try it, I’d love to know how it turns out!

  26. I love making my own homemade salted caramel sauce! Never thought of browning the butter before, though!

  27. This looks soo delicious, Amanda! There’s nothing quite like that buttery homemade caramel scent and taste 🙂

  28. Literally liquid gold. I would eat the entire jar all by myself!

  29. Homemade caramel sauce is just the best! I’ve never tried it with browned butter, I’ll bet it’s heavenly!

  30. I would drizzle your browned butter salted caramel sauce straight into my mouth! There, I said it 😉

  31. I’m not a huge fan of caramel, but salted caramel is a whole ‘nother story — yum!

  32. I can think of so many ways to use this!

  33. yes! store bought “caramel” is just icky. homemade is the only way to go.

    i have not tried your technique before with the brown butter, cannot wait to try this! will be do delicious with apples!

  34. WHAT?! I cannot believe you thought you did not like caramel sauce, lol. I always joke that I am made of caramel sauce because I love butter, sugar, and cream! I love the idea of a brown butter sauce! This is totally happening!