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+ servings
5 from 1 vote

Microwave Salted Caramel Sauce

An easy microwave caramel sauce to use as a topping on ice cream, brownies, or inside fudge.

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Course Dessert
Category Ice Cream
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 88 kcal
Author Melissa Rose


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup (I recommend Karo brand)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup hot heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Stir together sugar, corn syrup, water and lemon juice together in a 2-cup microwave-safe measuring cup or medium glass bowl.
  2. Microwave for 4-5 minutes until the mixture starts to become a pale amber color. You will need to watch it very closely, and remove it from the microwave (using a hot pad) as soon as it starts to turn a pale amber color. (All microwaves vary, but mine took 4.5 minutes). If you leave it in too long, it will burn. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed on the counter for about 1 minute, allowing it to continue to cook & turn slightly darker (the long you let it sit, the darker it will get).
  3. Very slowly add in the hot heavy cream 2 tablespoons at a time and stir between each addition. The mixture will vigorously bubble with the addition of the hot cream, so do not pour the entire 1/2 cup in at one time.
  4. Once all the cream is added, stir in the butter, vanilla, and salt. Continue stirring until creamy. Allow to cool 30-60 minutes before serving.
  5. If not serving immediately, pour into glass jar and store in refrigerator for up 2-3 weeks. Caramel will become stiffer in the fridge, so you can gently reheat it when you want to use it.

Recipe Notes

Makes 1 cup of caramel sauce (nutrition facts based on serving size of 1 tablespoon).

Nutrition Facts
Microwave Salted Caramel Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 88 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 12mg4%
Sodium 47mg2%
Potassium 5mg0%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Sugar 14g16%
Vitamin A 130IU3%
Calcium 5mg1%
* Nutritional information is estimated from a online calculator and can vary based on ingredients. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.