Microwave Caramel Sauce

This Easy, Homemade Microwave Caramel Sauce can be made in just minutes with only 5 ingredients! This buttery, rich caramel sauce recipe is perfect to drizzle on ice cream or dip apple slices in.

Making Caramel Sauce in the Microwave

Can You Make Caramel Sauce in a Microwave? YES! And it’s EASY!

This quick and delicious Microwave Caramel Sauce recipe is a no brainer. Making it homemade is infinity times better than a store-bought sauce, and this recipe takes literally 5 minutes, so I can make it all day every day. Because that’s exactly what will get me closer to my goal weight, yes? Oh also, I added a bit of extra salt to my recipe to amp up the heart-health factor, as well as make it Salty Caramel Sauce. Win-win.

You know I love my caramel. I make Homemade Caramels for the holidays, Caramel Cake when I have a craving, and of COURSE Salted Caramel Corn  to name a few favorites, but this recipe might be my most favorite…probably because it’s done in just minutes and seriously can be eaten with a spoon. I’m not proud.

Caramel sauce in a jar with a spoon

How to make Homemade Caramel Sauce IN A MICROWAVE!

Traditional caramel sauce requires candy thermometers, and a little stress in my opinion. SO I am here to day to simplify the whole process. If you’ve never made caramel sauce, this is a perfect recipe to start.

What Ingredients You Will Need:

  • Heavy Cream: This is the base for the sauce, and heavy cream makes the sauce rich and silky.
  • Vanilla: Use Pure Vanilla extract in this recipe. The vanilla really shines through!
  • Butter: I use salted butter in this recipe, because I prefer a Salted Caramel. Salted Butter along with an extra pinch or two of salt will give you that yummy salty/sweet balance.
  • Brown Sugar: I use brown sugar in this recipe (which TECHNICALLY makes this a butterscotch sauce) because we’re not boiling the sugar, as in a traditional homemade caramel sauce. Cooking the sugar on the stove top is what gives it that deep amber color which we know in caramel, but since this is a short cut recipe, you get the color from brown sugar. I’m not made about it.
  • Salt: You can use kosher or sea salt in this recipe to make it a Salted Caramel Sauce, which I highly recommend. Use as much or as little as you like, but make sure you stir it in enough so it all dissolves and doesn’t settle to the bottom.

Ingredients for simple microwave salted caramel sauce

The Simple Steps:

  1. First melt your butter and add in the brown sugar and cream. You can do this all in one bowl, but make sure the bowl has high sides, because it will bubble up in the microwave!
  2. Whisk the caramel mixture until it’s combined and then pop it in the microwave for a few minutes, stirring once.
  3. And this is when I add a little salt to make it homemade SALTED caramel sauce! Make sure you stir the salt in enough for it to dissolve.
  4. Add in your vanilla last and stir to combine.

Pro Tip: The caramel will seem a bit thin at first. Just keep whisking it and it will thicken as it cools. You can always reheat it for a few seconds if it gets too thick.

Whisking the sauce in a measuring cup

I like to store this in cute little Mason Jars so I can pretend like I live in Pinterest, but as long as it’s air tight, it will be fine in the fridge for up to a week!

Looking for More Caramel Recipes? Try These:


Microwave Caramel Sauce

  • Prep Time Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time Total Time: 6 minutes
  • Yield Yield: 1 1/4 cups 1x
  • Category Category: Sauce
  • Method Method: Microwave
  • Cuisine Cuisine: Dessert


makes 1 1/2 cups caramel sauce



  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


  1. In a 4 cup microwave safe glass bowl (or larger) combine melted butter, brown sugar and heavy cream, whisking until blended and there are no lumps.
  2. Heat mixture in microwave on high for 2 minutes and remove to stir. Return to microwave and heat for 2 more minutes until bubbly and slightly thickened.
  3. Stir in salt and vanilla and allow to cool until warm, not hot. Mixture will thicken as it cools.
  4. Serve warm.
  5. If caramel cools completely reheat by placing in microwave for 20-25 seconds.


Microwave time might vary slightly, as microwaves aren’t all the same wattage.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week

recipe adapted from Domino Sugar

Nutrition Information:

2 tablespoons
7.2 g
80 mg
4.4 g
7.3 g
0.2 g
12.8 mg

Keywords: caramel, homemade caramel, microwave caramel, salted caramel, caramel recipe

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How To Make Caramel Sauce


Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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August 15, 2020 3:09 pm

Very good sauce and not long to make maybe 10 min! Doesn’t make very much so double recipe!

Nancy Cook Tracy
July 21, 2020 2:04 pm

Oh my, this was quick, easy and delicious! Seriously missing desserts during these crazy times! Didn’t have heavy cream, used milk with a wee bit more butter. Great on popcorn!

December 3, 2019 7:25 pm

I made this recipe and put it on popcorn (drizzled carmel over it while in a large paper bag and shook it, drizzled some more, shake, etc) sprinkled with salt it was the best thing ever.

January 26, 2019 1:36 pm

Mine turned out grainy too. What wattage is your microwave? Maybe I need to cook it a little longer to make up for a difference in wattage?

March 13, 2017 11:03 pm

Boil a can of sweetened condensed milk for about 5 hours and youll have caramel sauce.

January 1, 2017 3:30 pm

Hi there! I know I’m a little late to the party here but I wanted to let you know how awesome this recipe has been for me. When I cut out real sugar and went to coconut sugar I was REALLY struggling with not having caramel lattes. Like, 1st world problems, it was BAD. So I searched for coconut sugar caramel, and found recipes that called for coconut milk and other such things. I wanted cream. Heavy cream. I used your recipe to a T, just subbed in coconut sugar for the brown sugar, and when it was done, slowly… Read more »

November 19, 2016 12:13 am

could I use this in your Salted Caramel Butter Bars?

February 1, 2016 6:21 am

This is simply amazing. Very easy to make. And you will most likely eat half of it as soon as it cools. Great recipe

October 3, 2015 11:23 am

Made this and it was delicious. I now make enough for a six ounce canning jar.

S Hoffman
March 4, 2015 5:27 pm

Mine turned out very grainy…. making a turtle cake for a customer and was short on time so thought I would try this… needless to say, didn’t save time as I had to cook a second stovetop batch. Any thoughts on the texture??

January 8, 2015 8:53 pm

In case anyone wants to make a dairy free version-I substituted coconut milk for the heavy cream and smart balance for the butter. It was amazing!

October 25, 2014 10:48 pm

This is sooo good! I didn’t have heavy cream so I substituted 6 tbsp of milk and 2 tbsp of melted butter. I didn’t microwave it for the full 2 minutes the second time because it was starting to boil over. It’s still warm and isn’t super thick, but it’s delicious and is perfect on vanilla ice cream.

melissa jones
September 14, 2014 10:53 am

I just did this with 3/4 c Brown sugar splenda blend. Fingers crossed!

August 21, 2014 9:27 pm

I don’t have heavy cream at hand right now, do you think half and half would substitute?

August 17, 2014 9:52 am

WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for gold rush after show season 2

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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