Microwave Caramel Sauce

5 Ingredient Caramel Sauce made in the microwave

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.

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. Homemade caramel sauce 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 Caramel Sauce 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.

Easy Microwave Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe

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 For This Caramel Sauce Recipe:

  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 microwave caramel sauce

I like to store my caramel sauce into a 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: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/4 cups 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Microwave
  • 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

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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102 Responses
  1. Ck

    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.

  2. Rachel

    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?

  3. Alyssa

    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 whisked the rest of a quart of heavy cream in. I stored the stuff in a blender bottle for 2 weeks in my fridge, and made a latte every morning with it. It’s miraculous stuff that keeps me from killing others early morning 🙂 And, thanks to your recipe, I can make it in the microwave. Thank you!!!

  4. S Hoffman

    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??

  5. Rebekah

    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!

  6. Shira

    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.

  7. Marie

    Why the short store time i wonder? Is this experience or a guess or ? With the ingredients, i would have thought it would have a MUCH longer shelf life, since bacteria really do not like heavy concentrations of sugar or salt, and heavy cream can stay good in the fridge for months.. as can butter.. so why would a combination have only a week shelf life in the fridge??

  8. Janet Schiller

    I haven’t tried your recipe yet, but ASAP! I was wondering if the recipe can be multiplied! Or would the cooking time be longer etc? How long can it be stored in the fridge? I have been making homemade caramel for the past 15 years due to my business, but it take a few hours of slow cooking and a thermometer. But it does make a half full Dutch oven amount of caramel. I was looking for something quicker! As like you and your followers, I figure caramel is a definite food group!! Any info would be greatly appreciated!!


    1. Shelly

      I would double the recipe and cook it in portions, because otherwise the cook time wouldn’t work and you would have to adjust it!

  9. helyne price

    oops too good to be true ..I just became one with the poor spellers, in this case the really , really bad typists!

  10. helyne price

    I just came across this, unfortunately( I jest!) sounds to good to be true.
    Thanks Shelly .
    Oh just an aside peeps if you have a question go back and reread the blog/recipe. So often the answer lies within. Sorry had to get that off my chest so I can fit in more caramel sauce.

  11. Paula B.

    I will be making this soon as I love homemade caramel sauce, that store-bought stuff is tasteless. Funny, about your family members and their preferences, I never liked caramel anything until “later” in life, now one could say I can’t get enough. (Making up for lost time?) So, maybe they’ll eventually come around. I hear ya on the Oreo situation, but I have to say that I find folding socks very therapeutic. Thanks for the easy recipe, my last few attempts at making a traditional caramel sauce did not turn out so well, leaving me very discouraged. I’m pinning this, too!

  12. Vicki

    I LOVE caramel and can’t wait to try this. I don’t usually keep cream on hand (yes I can run to the store) but I always have coffee creamer on hand. Do you think liquid coffee creamer would work as a substitute for the cream?
    A hint for all you caramel lovers: try a Caramel flavored coffee creamer in some baking like pancakes or waffles etc. . . it adds a wonderful flavor.

    1. Shelly

      Since coffee creamer is non-dairy usually I don’t know if it would work..I’d be more apt to try a whole milk before anything else, but if you try it let me know how it turns out!!

  13. Mandy McInnes

    Hi there Brittany. Would you share your hot fudge recipe please. It sounds delish. I’m on mandym@sai.co.za. Not sure how else you’d find me or be sure I’d get your reply. Thank you so much. All the best from sunny South Africa. Mandy (McInnes)

  14. Bonnie

    Hi Shelly,
    I just make your caramel. I think I did something wrong… It is more of a liquid. Doesn’t look like your caramel in the picture. Any suggestions???

  15. Wendy

    Ohhhh…THANK YOU!!! Well my hips and scale don’t agree, but too bad. I can’t wait to make this and swirl it into my homemade malted vanilla bean ice cream! Or maybe just eat it with a spoon. Wonder if you could add a little dark chocolate to it…maybe make a chocolate caramel sauce??? (I have 25 lbs of chocolate sitting around, I’ll try it!)

    1. Shelly

      NO, it’s a different type of caramel. This is actually creating caramel instead of just melting them…hope that helps!

  16. kate

    i have no doubt that this is gorgeous and i will be making it.but out of interest as i have a complete fuss pot allergic to change borther…how different does it taste to the stuff that you stir for hours to create:)thanks.xx

  17. This is genius! I’m a little scared about breaking out the big guns and doing it on the hob, I’m clumsy and am almost certain to set fire to the place, but even I can make caramel sauce with this recipe, thank you so much! Pinned and printed 🙂

Leave a Reply

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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