Step by step pictorial instructions for this easy and addictive homemade whiskey vanilla caramel sauce. Only six ingredients and about 15 minutes stand between you and this liquid gold treat. This is the only caramel sauce recipe you will ever need!
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Whiskey vanilla caramel sauce. I absolutely LOVE caramel and today I’m going to show you how easy it is to create your own homemade caramel sauce.
You are going to either love me for showing you how easy it is; or you are going to hate me for showing you how easy it is! 😉
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Making homemade caramel sauce frightened me for years. Caramel sauce has a reputation for being hard or scary, but I’m here to show you that those rumors are just plain false!
This whiskey vanilla caramel sauce is sweet, buttery, thick and oh so delicious; with a subtle hint of whiskey. If you are anything like me, it will be a challenge not to eat the whole jar with just a spoon. You’ll get no judgement from me if you do.
The first caramel sauce recipe that I tried is from Averie Cooks. I love how Averie puts the first instructions in the recipe, “Tie up your hair, put your phone down, get small children out of the kitchen. Have all the ingredients in place including hot mitts and a glass jar or heat-safe container nearby. You’re working with boiling sugar and your full attention on the recipe is necessary.” I couldn’t say it better myself!
HOW TO MAKE WHISKEY VANILLA CARAMEL SAUCE
You will start by getting all your ingredients ready. The unsalted butter and heavy cream should be room temperature. Then put the granulated sugar in a heavy-bottomed medium to large saucepan placed over medium heat.
The sugar will start to melt; then it will clump together before melting completely. This typically takes several minutes. I prefer to use a wooden spoon or heat resistant spatula for the first stages of this recipe.
The sugar will turn amber in color as it fully melts.
Once all the sugar granules are fully melted, switch to a whisk and add the cubed and room temperature butter. The addition of butter will cause the sugar to bubble up; please use caution at this step!
Whisk the bubbling sugar and butter mixture until the butter is fully melted and incorporated. It takes a couple of minutes and the mixture will look separated during the process. Just keep whisking until it’s fully combined. Then slowly add in the heavy cream; which will cause the mixture to bubble up again. Allow the mixture to boil, while whisking, for 30-60 more seconds. Turn off the heat and add in the whiskey, vanilla and salt.
Please don’t skip adding the salt! The addition of salt helps to balance the sweetness of the whiskey vanilla caramel sauce.
The caramel will be quite thin at completion, but will thicken up as it cools. Carefully pour the hot caramel sauce into a heat proof container and allow to cool before tasting or using.
HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE CARAMEL SAUCE LAST?
Whiskey vanilla caramel sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month. You can also freeze for up to three months (I recommend placing caramel in an airtight container that isn’t glass for freezing). Then allow the frozen caramel to defrost in the refrigerator before using.
WHY IS MY CARAMEL SAUCE GRAINY?
Grainy caramel sauce can be caused by sugar that was not completely melted before adding the butter and heavy cream. The sauce can also become grainy if any crystallized sugar from the side of the sauce pan or your spatula gets incorporated when the mixture boils. It will still taste delicious, but will not have the silky smooth texture.
CAN YOU REHEAT WHISKEY VANILLA CARAMEL SAUCE?
Yes! The addition of whiskey and vanilla keep this caramel sauce softer than a traditional homemade caramel sauce. If you want to warm it, use a water bath on the stove top or in the microwave. Warming the caramel sauce with make the sauce thinner again.
HAVE YOU TRIED THESE OTHER CARAMEL RECIPES?
To pin this recipe, you can use the button on the recipe card, or on any of the photos in this post. Happy baking!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup heavy cream, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons whiskey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Add one cup of granulated sugar to a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan and heat over medium, stirring constantly. Use a wooden spoon or a high heat resistant rubber spatula.
- The sugar will start to melt. Then it will clump together before melting into a thick amber colored liquid.
- When the sugar is fully melted, add the room temperature butter. The butter will cause the sugar to bubble rapidly, so use caution in this step.
- Whisk the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted and incorporated. I prefer using a whisk to keep the butter and sugar from separating, but your wooden spoon or spatula can work as well.
- When your butter and sugar are fully incorporated, slowly add the heavy cream while continuing to whisk (or stir). Again, the mixture will bubble rapidly, so use caution.
- Let the mixture boil for approximately 30-60 seconds more.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the whiskey and vanilla, followed by the salt.
- Carefully pour caramel into a heatproof container and allow to cool down before using. Caramel will thicken as it cools.
Left over caramel sauce should be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to one month. You can also freeze it for up to three months (place in something other than a glass jar for freezing); allow to defrost in the refrigerator.
Warm in a water bath on the stove top or in the microwave; if needed to reach desired consistency. The whiskey and vanilla keep this caramel sauce from getting as thick as other homemade caramel sauces.
I don't recommend trying to double this recipe. Make multiple batches if more is needed.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1750 Total Fat: 101g Saturated Fat: 63g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 31g Cholesterol: 287mg Sodium: 571mg Carbohydrates: 204g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 204g Protein: 4g
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
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