Salted Maple Caramel Sauce (easy recipe!) (2024)

Salted Maple Caramel Sauce is the discovery of the season at our house. With only 4 ingredients and no cane sugar or corn syrup this luxurious dessert sauce comes together in just 10 minutes. Oh joy! (What will you do with yours?)

Salted Maple Caramel Sauce (easy recipe!) (1)

This silky homemade salted maple caramel sauce is the ‘it’ recipe of the season ~

you’re going to love dreaming up ways to use it. It’s an all natural version of caramel sauce that brings the complex flavor of maple to the table. I guarantee your first batch will be gobbled up with everybody demanding a taste test! It’s super easy to make, so let’s gather our ingredients and get right to it.

According to Wikipedia: The process of caramelization consists of heating sugar slowly to around 170°C (338°F). As the sugar heats, the molecules break down and re-form into compounds with a characteristic color and flavor.

For this caramel, I’m substituting pure maple syrup for the sugar, with amazing results!

Salted Maple Caramel Sauce (easy recipe!) (2)

What you’ll need to make salted maple caramel sauce

To make a dairy free vegan caramel sauce

  • omit the butter and cream, and use full fat coconut milk instead.

Salted Maple Caramel Sauce (easy recipe!) (3)

This sauce is made like any other caramel sauce with a couple of important differences…it’s made with pure maple syrup, and it doesn’t contain any sugar or corn syrup. The result is a smooth silky caramel sauce that has the lovely flavor of caramelized maple.

How to use salted maple caramel sauce (other than polishing it off with a spoon 😉

  • Drizzle it over ice cream. If you heat your sauce briefly first you’ll have the best hot caramel sundae ever.
  • Enjoy it over oatmeal or in morning yogurt.
  • Add some to your coffee to make your own unique salted maple caramel latte (move over Starbucks.)
  • Enrich a decadent hot chocolate.
  • Drizzle it over fall cakes and quick breads, it makes an elegant dessert with store bought pound cake.
  • Top a cheesecake with it or drizzle over a flourless chocolate cake.
  • Use it as an easy dip for fruit like bananas, apples or pears.
  • Um, did somebody say waffles?

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How to store your fabulous salted maple caramel sauce

  • Store your sauce in a closed container in the fridge. I like to use Weck mold jars, they’re cute and sturdy. It will last at least 2 weeks or more, and should stay nice and pourable.
  • If you find your sauce gets hard or slightly grainy after a while in the refrigerator, microwave it in short bursts to reheat it.

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Troubleshooting your maple caramel sauce

Your sauce is grainy: grainy caramel is the result of overheating it. Did you heat the mixture past 230F? This could be the problem. Another issue might be that your thermometer is incorrect: to test it, immerse it in a pot of boiling water…it should read 212F. If not, it needs to be replaced, or you need to adjust your cooking accordingly.

Your sauce is thin: you may have undercooked it by a bit. Make sure it gets to 230F and make sure your thermometer is accurate, see above. Refrigerating it will thicken it. And keep in mind thin sauce is not necessarily a problem, you can use it in all the same ways.

Your sauce is darker or lighter than mine: different types and grades of maple syrup will produce slightly different colorations, but don’t worry, they’re all delicious. Each of the test batches I made came out a different color!

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Is maple syrup healthier than sugar?

  • It depends on your definition of healthier.
  • Maple syrup is less processed thanrefined sugars. It also contains antioxidants and minerals like zinc and potassium, and has a lower glycemic index than refined sugars, which means it won’t lead to blood sugar spikes.
  • But maple syrup is still a sugar, and so should be eaten in moderation.

Reader Rave ~

“There was a pint of vanilla ice cream calling me while I read your recipe. So I hopped up and made it on the spot. Came together so quickly. The sauce is divine and is fabulous over ice cream.” ~ Suzanne

Salted Maple Caramel Sauce (easy recipe!) (7)

Salted Maple Caramel Sauce (easy recipe!) (8)

Salted Maple Caramel Sauce (easy recipe!)

4.56 from 34 votes

Salted Maple Caramel Sauce is the discovery of the season in our house. With only 4 ingredients and no sugar or corn syrup this luxurious dessert sauce comes together in just 10 minutes. Oh joy! (What will you do with yours?)

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Prep Time:5 minutes minutes

Cook Time:10 minutes minutes

Total Time:15 minutes minutes

Servings: 10 servings (1 1/4 cups total)


  • candy thermometer



  • Put the maple syrup into a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom. Fit the pan with a clip on candy thermometer. You'll need a pan tall enough to allow the maple syrup to foam up as it boils. The heavy bottom helps prevent scorching. Most good quality saucepans will work.

  • Bring the syrup to a boil over high heat and boil until it reaches 225F - 230F, this is just under the softball stage.

  • Remove from heat and add the butter, stirring until it melts. Then add the cream and salt and mix in gently. Note: the mixture will be very hot. Do not stir too much, just enough to blend the butter and cream. Too much stirring can cause the mixture to crystallize.

  • Pour into a heat safe jar and let cool before refrigerating. It will thicken as it cools, and will thicken further in the refrigerator. This recipe makes just over a cup.


Don't try this with imitation syrup, it will only work with pure maple syrup.

Recipe lightly adapted from American Heritage Cooking

NEW FEATURE! Click here to add your own private notes.

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Author: Sue Moran

Keyword: caramel, dessert, easy, fall, maple, sauce


Serving: 2 Tbsp · Calories: 127 kcal · Carbohydrates: 22 g · Protein: 0.2 g · Fat: 4 g · Saturated Fat: 3 g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2 g · Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g · Trans Fat: 0.1 g · Cholesterol: 13 mg · Sodium: 81 mg · Potassium: 79 mg · Sugar: 19 g · Vitamin A: 157 IU · Vitamin C: 0.04 mg · Calcium: 40 mg · Iron: 0.04 mg

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although The View from Great Island attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Did You Make This?We love seeing what you've made! Tag us on social media at @theviewfromgreatisland for a chance to be featured.

Salted Maple Caramel Sauce (easy recipe!) (2024)


How do you make salted caramel sauce thicker? ›

If you're using heavy cream, note that it contains more water (less butterfat) than double cream. If your caramel sauce ends up too runny, cook it for a few minutes longer to remove some of the moisture – this will thicken it up. (And next time, try using a slightly smaller amount of heavy cream.)

What is salted caramel made of? ›

And salted caramel is one of the easiest recipes. This truly the best salted caramel I've ever had and there's only 4 ingredients required: sugar, butter, heavy cream, and salt. This salted caramel is a reader favorite recipe, marking its spot in the top 10 most popular recipes on my website.

What's the difference between caramel sauce and caramel syrup? ›

Caramel sauce is easier to mix and dissolve, and it also has a richer flavor because of the dairy / fat. If you want to use it to decorate your coffee (hot or iced) on top of the whipped cream, I'd recommend syrup because it holds well in lower temperatures and it is better to make drawings.

Does maple syrup caramelize? ›

You can substitute maple syrup for honey in equal amounts. Decrease the oven temperature by 25 degrees since maple Syrup tends to caramelize and burn on the top and edges sooner than recipes using cane sugar.

What thickens homemade caramel? ›

For each cup (240 mL) of caramel sauce that you need to thicken, run 1 tbsp (14.7 mL) of cold water into a measuring cup, and slowly stir in 1 tbsp of cornstarch. Pour the cornstarch mixture into your pot caramel sauce, and stir constantly. Keep the sauce on low heat until it begins to thicken.

What happens if you add too much butter to caramel? ›

If you have added too much butter to your caramel sauce, you may find that it is too oily or it might even begin to separate. To fix this, add 1 tablespoon of either water or milk and stir while cooking over medium heat. Adding 1-2 Tbsp of a simple cornstarch slurry may fix the problem, as well.

Can I use milk instead of heavy cream in caramel? ›

Sugar, water, salt, and milk are the base ingredients for any caramel. Can I substitute milk for heavy cream in caramel? Absolutely! You can use any milk you have at home, whether whole, non-dairy, or evaporated, to make a deliciously creamy caramel sauce.

What makes salted caramel so good? ›

The Science Behind The Flavour

Salt, on the other hand, stimulates the taste buds responsible for detecting sour and umami flavors, which can enhance the perception of sweetness. The addition of salt to caramel not only enhances the sweetness, but also adds a savory element to the flavor profile.

What is difference between caramel and salted caramel? ›

The primary difference between salted caramel and normal (or unsalted) caramel lies in salt in the former, which significantly impacts both the flavour profile and the overall taste experience.

Does maple syrup taste like caramel? ›

Summary of the grades of maple syrup

A lighter grade to medium grade has a smooth caramel taste almost like milk chocolate, whereas a very dark syrup might taste closer to dark chocolate or molasses.

What are the three types of caramel? ›

Caramel can be produced in so many forms such as, sauce, a chewy candy, or a hard candy because of how much of an ingredient is added and the temperature it is being prepared at.

Should caramel be made with white or brown sugar? ›

Sugar Note: Most chefs say that only granulated sugar can be successfully caramelized; other sugars — such as brown sugar and unrefined sugar such as cane sugar — contain impurities that can inhibit caramelization. It's those impurities that can burn before the sugar has time to caramelize.

What happens if you cook maple syrup too long? ›

Maple syrup that is boiled too long will crystallize and maple syrup that isn't boiled long enough will spoil quickly and will be watery because the concentration of sugar in the syrup will be too low.

What thickens maple syrup? ›

Boil it more. Maple syrup is typically boiled down to 219 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have syrup that was boiled to less than that, or you like your syrup thicker than standard, just put it in a pot on the stove and boil it to your desired temperature. 240 degrees will get you maple syrup candy.

What is a syrup cooked until it turns light brown called? ›

This process is known as caramelization.

How do you fix caramel that is too soft? ›

If caramels are too soft, that means the temperature didn't get high enough. Again place the caramel back into a sauce pan with a couple of tablespoons of water and heat to 244°F. If you don't have a candy thermometer, you can test with a cold water test. Details on how to use this method can be found here.

How long does it take caramel sauce to thicken? ›

If the caramel is too thin, simmer the caramel on medium heat for 5-10 minutes to thicken it (the caramel will not continue to darken). Keep in mind that the caramel will thicken significantly once cool. Likewise, if the caramel is too thick, thin by stirring a tablespoon or two of heavy cream.

Why does my caramel sauce harden? ›

The water evaporates, leaving sugar crystals behind. If even one sugar crystal falls back into the pan of cooking caramel, it starts a chain reaction of sugar crystals and the entire pan will harden. The result? Gross, grainy caramel that is unusable in most recipes.

Why add water to caramel sauce? ›

When making a wet caramel, water is added to help dissolve the sugar before cooking. Like dry caramel, you want to gently move the sugar mixture in that same side-to-side paintbrush-like fashion until the sugar dissolves.

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