Looking for a foolproof, yet decadent dessert sauce? You're going to LOVE this scrumptious Brown Sugar Caramel! This simple recipe uses just a few ingredients, takes minutes to make, and it's absolutely mouthwatering!
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Have you ever shied away from cooking something, because it seems like it might be too tricky? Homemade Caramel is one of those recipes with a difficult reputation.
But I'm going to let you in on a little secret ... it doesn't have to be! You don't need to stand over a hot stove melting sugar, and you certainly don't need a thermometer to make this mouthwatering Brown Sugar Caramel. In fact, it's ready in just 10 minutes, and it's so easy that it's virtually foolproof!
The not-so-secret ingredient is brown sugar. Using brown sugar (instead of the granulated sugar called for in most recipes) makes the whole process much faster and easier than you'd expect. But certainly no less delicious ... you are going to love the rich flavor!
This delightful sauce makes a wonderful dessert topping, but you can use it many other ways, too. I love it mixed into a cup of coffee or cocoa, drizzled over French toast and pancakes (best way to start the day), and so much more. It even makes a great gift!
Are you licking your lips and ready to get started? Then keep reading for all the details!
You'll use just a few basic ingredients to throw together this yummy sauce! Here's what you'll need:
- Butter - A stick of unsalted butter gives this sauce a rich, buttery flavor that's totally irresistible.
- Brown Sugar - Using brown sugar (instead of granulated sugar, as in classic Caramel recipes) completely simplifies the process! I recommend using light brown sugar. It gives the recipe a full flavor without being too molasses forward.
- Cream - You'll mix the butter and brown sugar with heavy cream. This adds richness to the sauce and gives it a silky texture.
- Vanilla - A little vanilla extract makes the recipe even more delicious by adding another layer of flavor.
- Salt - A pinch of kosher salt or sea salt balances the sauce's sweetness. You can also turn this recipe into a Salted Caramel Sauce simply by adding extra salt.
This recipe is vegetarian and gluten free.
You'll Also Need
You'll need a large frying pan for this recipe, measuring cups, and a whisk. This Sauce & Gravy Whisk has become one of my favorite kitchen tools, and it's perfect for this recipe! It has a flat shape that works so much better than a traditional whisk when preparing sauces.
How to Make Brown Sugar Caramel
Making Caramel with Brown Sugar is a total snap! You'll find a detailed recipe card below, but here's an overview of the steps:
- Melt butter. Begin by melting the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Add brown sugar and cream. Whisk in the brown sugar and cream until smooth.
- Simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then simmer the butter mixture gently for five minutes. Make sure to stir frequently.
- Mix in vanilla. Lastly, whisk in the vanilla extract and add a pinch of salt. Carefully remove the pan from the hot burner, and let the sauce cool slightly before using. It will thicken as it cools.
How easy was that? The Brown Sugar Caramel Sauce is delicious, gourmet treat that you can easily make with very little fuss ... no tricky techniques or thermometers required!
Tip: This yummy sauce makes a lovely a foodie present! To do so, transfer it to a small jar after it's cooled a bit. Add a cute label with some twine, and it's all set to gift.
How to Use
This easy Caramel recipe couldn't be more versatile! Here are a few ways to use it that will have you craving a second helping:
- Ice Cream - Drizzle over a bowl of ice cream or use it to top a sundae, like my fave M&M Sundae!
- Cheesecake - Serve it over a slice of your favorite cheesecake.
- Cakes + Cupcakes - Use to decorate or fill cakes and cupcakes.
- Pie - Drizzle over a homemade tart or pie. I would be amazing on this No Bake Peanut Butter Tart!
- Other Desserts - Add a dollop to brownies, cookies, dessert pizza, pudding, shortcake, sweet breads, scones and other baked goods, and more. I used a version of it to make this Apple Cheesecake Parfait, and it would be super tasty drizzled on my Strawberries and Cream Crepes and Indoor S'Mores, too!
- French Toast, Waffles, and French Toast - Skip the maple syrup and spoon on this tasty sauce instead. Try it on my Panettone French Toast.
- Bread Pudding - Dollop on homemade bread pudding, like my favorite Panettone Bread Pudding. So delish!
- Coffee - Stir into a cup of hot coffee (or drizzle over a whipped cream topped drink) for a morning treat.
- Hot Cocoa - Use it to make this amazing Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate!
- Other Drinks - Mix it into other hot drinks, like cider and tea, too.
- Dip - Serve as a decadent dip for cookies, fruit, pretzels, marshmallows, and more. It would be wonderful for a party served alongside this Easy Chocolate Fondue! Or make fruit nachos, by drizzling it (along with some chocolate sauce) over apple slices.
If you have any leftover Brown Sugar Caramel, store it in an airtight container (mason jars work perfectly) in your refrigerator, where it will stay fresh for one week. When you're ready to serve it, gently warm it up your microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds, or reheat over medium-low in a small saucepan.
If you loved this recipe, don't miss my Salted Caramel Sauce ... it's very similar, but a little extra salt truly puts the flavor over the top! Searching for more caramel recipe ideas? Don't miss these sweet treats:
- Pretzel Cookies - Each bite of these delicious treat is filled with deliciousness.
- Gourmet Caramel Apples - A fun and easy way to make this fall fave even cuter.
- Caramel Apple Parfait - An amazing dessert that blends caramel apples and cheesecake ... no baking required.
- Caramelized Bananas - So tasty over ice cream!
- Balsamic Cherry Sauce - This yummy sauce has a caramel flavor accented by the tang of balsamic vinegar.
- Candy Bar Cookies - A unique cookie that you can fill with your fave candy!
Brown Sugar Caramel Sauce
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (4 ounces / 113 grams)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch kosher salt
- Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Add brown sugar and cream. Whisk until smooth.
- Simmer gently over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Mix in vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Remove from heat.
- Cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!