3-Ingredient Caramel Sauce

This 3-ingredient classic caramel sauce is so delicious and easy you’ll be using it for years to come.

If you know anything about me, you know I am perpetually busy with homestead chores and activities. Add rheumatoid arthritis along with other health woes, everything seems to take longer than I expect, so I’m always looking for recipes that are quick and easy and don’t sacrifice taste or quality.

Over the years I have tried many caramel sauce recipes, all with varying degrees of success. This simple, 3-ingredient recipe is the one I always return to.

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This caramel sauce is made with white sugar.

Why does that matter? Well, most caramel sauce recipes I’ve encountered are made with brown sugar. It really seems to be the standard and one I’m definitely not a fan of. I don’t care for my caramel to taste like brown sugar or of the molasses undertones that tend to come with it.

The other “different” thing about this recipe and is it contains no water or liquid to assist in melting the sugar.

Wait! What?

Yes, that’s right. No water. It may seem daunting, however, with a little patience, sugar can be melted without the assistance of any additional liquid.

A word of caution – Sugar begins to melt at 320°F/160°C. Once it begins to melt not only is it very hot but it becomes very sticky as well. Please read the full instructions before you start and pay extra attention while making this recipe.

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Add the sugar to a medium sauce pan and begin melting it over medium heat. As you gently stir the sugar with a wooden spoon or silicone scraper (my preference), the sugar will begin to melt and clump up.

Keep stirring until all the clumps are melted, this takes roughly 10-15 minutes.

Once the clumps have melted, you can stop stirring it and let the sugar cook a bit more. Watch it closely – sugar can burn easily at this stage!

You’re looking for a honey to amber color. Too light and it won’t taste like caramel. Too dark and it will taste bitter.

When it has reached the desired color and is giving off a delightful nutty aroma, remove it immediately from the heat.

Whisk in the butter, one cube at a time. It will bubble and steam. Don’t worry, just keep going until all the butter has been incorporated.

Now for the heavy whipping cream. Since adding the cream will also create bubbles and steam, you want to add it slowly, whisking until it’s fully combined.

You now have caramel sauce! It may seem a little thin at this point; it will thicken as it cools. I like to allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes before pouring it into an airtight container like a mason jar or a plastic (food grade) squeeze bottle that is perfect for drizzling.

It should last at least 2 weeks in the fridge, though ours never lasts that long – it’s too darn delicious!

3-Ingredient Classic Caramel Sauce

This 3-ingredient classic caramel sauce is so delicious and easy you’ll be using it for years to come.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Butter, Heavy Whipping Cream, Sugar
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Author www.MistyMeadowsHomestead.com


  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 6 tbsp Salted Butter (cubed, at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream (at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla (optional)
  • 1 pinch Salt (optional)


  • Add the sugar to a medium sauce pan and begin melting it over medium heat.
  • The sugar will begin to clump and then melt. This takes 10-15 minute. 
  • Once the sugar has melted, stop stirring. If you like your caramel a bit darker, allow it to cook longer however, be careful not to bun it.
  • Remove from heat and add butter one cube at a time and whisk until it’s well incorporated.
  • Slowly add the heaving whipping cream and whisk until it’s fully combined. 
  • Optional: add vanilla & salt
  • Allow the sauce to cool for about 10 minutes before using.  You can store it in a jar or squeeze bottle.  Refrigerate up to 2 weeks.  Warm up in the microwave in 10 second increments. 
  • Enjoy!
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You don’t have to limit its use to drizzling over ice cream (though that is Mr. Misty‘s favorite way to enjoy it), you can use as a dip for apples and other fruits, to flavor your coffee, drizzle it over pie or use it in your favorite cinnamon roll recipe.

Favorite Products

This week I’ll be using it to drizzle on apples I will be freeze-drying for Christmas gifts! Which is another great use for this caramel sauce – Christmas gifts.

Actually, its a popular “anytime” gift – any time you give it, you’re guaranteed to be popular!

Here is a FREE printable to help you with that!

What is your favorite way to use caramel sauce?

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