Salted Caramel Sauce + Printable Labels

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I can cook, and I can bake, and I used to be a teacher… but I’m not always the craftiest of people. So I’m pretty proud that I successfully made some (cute) jars of Salted Caramel Sauce to give away as holiday gifts this year.

salted caramel sauce and apples

This stuff should really be called Salted Caramel Crack. It’s a good thing that I made small jars of the stuff because once you open this baby, you’re going to want to eat the whole jar, and then (if no one is looking) you might be tempted to lick out the inside of the jar too.  No kidding, man!

how to make salted caramel sauce

Here’s a little peek at the preparation shake-down.  It does not require a candy thermometer- just a watchful eye.  Honestly I screwed up the first batch I made I guess because I cooked it too long… and it solidified before my very eyes.  Eek!  Take two, watching the mixture turn an amber color, I yanked it from the heat, finished adding the ingredients and let it cool.  Perfect on the 2nd try.

pouring salted caramel sauce into jars

For my gift jars, I used 4-ounce jelly jars.  You really do not need anything larger.  A little of this stuff goes a long way. This recipe makes 4 jars.  I made 2 batches- separately- since I wasn’t sure how it would work out if I tried to double the recipe.

salted caramel sauce in jars

Once it is completely cooled, you’re ready for the lids and labels.

printable labels

My adorable cousin Gina just graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology, and she’s now doing web design, photography, graphic art, etc.  She’s available for freelance work 🙂  Gina designed my Salted Caramel Sauce labels- one especially for Christmas and one for any time of year.  Thanks Gina- they’re super cute!  These labels are downloadable in .pdf form, printable here:  Salted Caramel Sauce- Christmas Theme  and here: Salted Caramel Sauce- Generic Theme .  You are welcome to use these labels for your sauce, but please do not take the .pdf’s and re-print them anywhere else.  Link to here if you should decide to make salted caramel sauce on your own blog.  Many thanks!

salted caramel sauce

The labels fit perfectly on the 4-ounce jelly jars- the labels are 2-inches in diameter.  You can either print them on card stock, cut them out and tape them to the tops of the jars.  Or you can just print on nice paper and do the same.  Or you can get really fancy and buy some 2-inch round label stickers.  I thought taping it on top worked just fine though.

salted caramel sauce

So what can you use Salted Caramel Sauce for?

salted caramel sauce and apples

My gift idea is to put the jar in a festive box or bag, along with 2 red apples and 2 green apples for dipping.  It can also be used as a dessert sauce for ice cream, and it would make a fabulous Salted Caramel Milkshake too.

apples served with salted caramel sauce

No double-dipping allowed.

dipping apples in salted caramel sauce

Now can’t you just imagine how delicious this must be?  Yes, you’re imagining correctly.  This is delicious.  It’s caramel… with a hint of salt.

This is what my neighbors will be getting for Christmas this year, along with a few apples.  I figure it’s a nice little treat for their families to enjoy together.

P.S.  The sauce DOES need to be refrigerated, and it will stay fresh for 2 to 3 weeks.

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Salted Caramel Sauce

Such a delicious sauce for eating and gifting!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 4 jars
Course Sauces
Cuisine American
Keyword caramel sauce, salted caramel sauce


  • cups granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Four 4-ounce jelly jars with lids, cleaned and dried


  • In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-high heat. Stir. Bring the mixture to a boil and shake/swirl the pan very often (don't stir it while it's boiling) until it turns a medium amber color (should take 12 to 15 minutes). If sugar crystals gather along the sides of the pan during the cooking process, you can use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush the sugar down the sides of the pan so that it becomes incorporated into the boiling mixture.
  •  Remove the pan from heat and pour in the cream. It will bubble up like crazy. Give it a whisk, then add in the butter, vanilla and sea salt. Whisk again until everything is nice and smooth. It should be the color of caramel. Cool it in the pan, or pour it into a large measuring cup so that it will be easier to transfer to jars when cooled.
  • Divide the sauce evenly among the four jars. Place lids and labels on and refrigerate until ready to use or gift to friends. The sauce must be kept refrigerated and it will stay fresh for 2 to 3 weeks.


  • *I like to boil my jelly jars and lids for a couple of minutes to really get rid of any grime that might be in there from packaging. Then I just let them dry thoroughly before adding the sauce.
  • *If your sauce solidifies (I speak from experience), you either let it cook too long or the heat wasn't high enough. Pull it off the heat when it is a nice, medium amber color. It's important that it maintains a nice boil at medium-high heat and that you don't take yours eyes off of it. Keep swirling the pan and don't let it burn!
  • *Serving suggestions: Serve with apples, cheesecake, ice cream, or incorporate it into a milkshake!
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  • Andrea wrote:

    I really wish I could understand what I am doing wrong in making this caramel! It seems fairly simplistic but I can’t seem to get the right “shade” of amber, therefore compromising taste. If I let it get too dark, it instantly solidifies, too light seems like just the right texture but tastes like thickened sugar, not caramel. ? I was hoping to do these as gifts for my neighbors, but after 4 batches it just isn’t working out.

  • Katrina wrote:

    Is there any pictures of the caramel sauce?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      There are a lot included in the post. Do you not see them?

  • Jenn wrote:

    Love it! I would like to make this and use it as a wedding favor can it be canned and stored till Oct 2016 when its given out?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I don’t think so… I think it would need to be stored using proper canning techniques.

  • Sam @ PancakeWarriors wrote:

    Feel free to send some to me!! I’ve got to try this ASAP. What a gorgeous gift!

  • Nancy wrote:

    Loved it! It was the easiest gift ever and my daughters teachers loved it and have already asked for more!!! Took me longer to buy the jars and clean them than to make this sauce! Awesome!

  • Mercedes wrote:

    I have a question. I want to make this as a Christmas gift and ship it to family a few states away. I see that it should stay refrigerated, is it okay to ship it? I am in Michigan and I am shipping it to Louisiana. I have never made caramel so this is all new to me.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not sure if it’s the best option for gifting across states… because of the refrigeration needed.

  • Lynn wrote:

    I am excited to make this to give as gifts! I am going to do a trial run in the next week or two.

    If it works out, I will make a batch or two in December. How long will they last in the fridge. I don’t want to make them too late in the month. I want to make sure there is time to remake a batch if need be.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      The sauce must be kept refrigerated, and it will stay fresh for 2 to 3 weeks.

  • Amanda wrote:

    I’ve been making salted caramel sauce for yrs now, never used butter in the recipe. Planning on trying this one out soon 🙂 a few tips for people new to the caramel game….Use a heavy bottom pan, shake the molten sugar when it reaches a dark amber(depending on hot spots this may not be all over color), remove from heat, & now add your cream very slowly! Stir simultaneously with wooden spoon (to disperse the liquid preventing clumps) adding the rest of the cream in small amounts. For thinker sauce use less cream. **pro tip** don’t walk away!! & don’t move the pan before it’s time, causes the sugar to solidify.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Thanks for the tips!

  • april wrote:

    I don’t know what I did wrong but after I added the cream the mixture hardened so quickly it stuck to the whisk. How can I fix this problem?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Might have been too hot?

  • Jeanine wrote:

    Thanks for the great recipe and for the free printables too! 🙂

  • Miranda wrote:

    So delicious! I doubled it and it worked just fine – same cooking time as well. I also only had heavy whipping cream so that’s what I used but I had it warming on the stove while the sugar did its thing and only ended up with a small amount of hard ended sugar at the bottom of the pan (warming over the still hot but turned off eye helped soften it up). I think I ended up using 3 tsp kosher salt and it turned out so very yummy. I warmed the finished sauce on the stove a few minutes and it turned a bit darker and thickened a bit – was very runny at finish but after cooling is now a perfect dipping sauce! This will make a great Christmas present 🙂

  • Angela wrote:

    After 4 failed attempts, I finally figured it out! It took reading some reviews on other recipes to get it exactly right. I have now made 9 successful batches 🙂 Tip 1: If you need a candy thermometer, the temp should be 350 before you add cream. I was able to eye ball it after using the thermometer a couple times- the sauce will begin to very lightly smoke (first, it will steam as the water evaporates, then you will see nothing as it starts to turn color, then a very light smoke and caramelly smell). 2) Try leaving the cream out a bit to reach room temp. and/or add it very slowly to keep the sauce from seizing up- I added maybe 1/3 of the cream, stirred, then another third, then the rest). Time and again it turned out beautifully! Oh yeah, I also found greater success avoiding my non-stick pans.
    Thank you for the recipe!

  • Melanie wrote:

    Oh Yum! This was divine. Thank you so much for sharing. Mine came out quite thin and we enjoyed it with ice cream straight away. The next day I was pleasantly surprised to find the sauce had thickened. Delicious!

  • Erika wrote:

    Made the salted caramel sauce today! Ruined my first
    batch with over cooking ( hardened up ) but tried again and it was fabulous!!
    My neighbors & friends will be very happy!!

  • Amber wrote:

    Omg. Just. Jesus.

    So I made this and like others, my caramel was more like the color of butterscotch. It also seized as soon as I added the cream, leaving me with a big lump of sugar. I think it had to do with the temp of the cream. Anyway, I put the pot back onto the stove on medium heat and just whisked the sugar mound away. the heat proved to be enough to disintegrate the sugar crystals further. Be careful that you don’t let the pot boil, that’ll cook the sugar more.

    Thank for the recipe!

  • Hilary wrote:

    Made this last night, it is delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe 🙂

  • Kristan wrote:

    Wow, just wanted to say that I made this Salty Carmel Sauce tonight and it is amazing!! Recipe is spot on…making these for Mother’s Day gifts and I think they will be a huge hit!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  • Angie T. wrote:

    This was awesome! I made 4 batches tonight and they all turned out very well and all a little different. I loved/hated playing chicken with boiling mixture about when to take it off! I never quite made it to as dark as yours but close! These are going to make such cute and delicious favors for my daughter’s First Communion this weekend! Thanks again and LOVE the labels!

  • Becca wrote:

    I messed up the first batch too! Very Yummy when you get it right there.

  • Prashna Singh wrote:

    Hu there, just made a batch but mine turned out runny. Does the sauce thicken on standing and can I boil once the cream and butter have bee added? Thanks.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      It should thicken a little after cooling.