How to make salted caramel – a step by step guide with .gifs

One thing that annoys me about recipes, espesh things like caramel, is that you can never SEE what the heck it’s meant to look like whilst you make it. Is it too brown? is it too light? Why did you not tell me it would start spitting molten-hot-sugar-goo at my face?

Problem. solved. Answer? .gifs

p.s. you may have to mouse-over the .gifs to get them to start playing btw.


-This makes a caramel which is still quite soft once cooled:

You can thin it down to make an awesome salted caramel sauce by heating it back up and stirring in another tablespoon or two of water or milk.

– Continue to cook the caramel over a low heat whilst stirring after the cream is added if it is too soft – test the consistency by spooning some onto a plate and letting it cool.

How to make salted caramel:

1/3 cup (66g) granulated sugar
3 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp (8g) butter
3 tbsp double (a.k.a heavy) cream (see notes)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
scant 1/4 tsp maldon salt

Measure out the butter and cream separately now! It makes life a lot easier later.

Put the sugar and water into a medium saucepan. Stir together over a medium-high heat, just until the sugar dissolves. Now put that spoon down, you’re not allowed to use it for a while.

Tilt and swirl the pan while the mixture boils (no mixing!). You’ll see it start to caramelize, probably in one corner of the pan, keep swirling until it has all reached a yellowish-golden colour (as seen at the end of the .gif above, and the start of the .gif below). TAKE IT OFF THE HEAT IMMEDIATELY.

Add in the butter (you may need to step back for a sec, it bubbles up), and swirl it in

Then the cream, and stir it in

Add vanilla and salt and stir them in. And you’re done!

(see notes as to how you can modify the recipe)

42 thoughts on “How to make salted caramel – a step by step guide with .gifs”

  1. There are no words for how much I love your cute little gif’s. It goes without saying, salted caramel is always a winner in my book, and I wouldn’t mind devouring one (or ten) of those little caramels!

  2. You are so clever, and I love the molds. Would you share the brand of mold? This would be such a wonderful holiday gift.

  3. I kind of like candy-making just because it can be such a frantic process and is super awesome when it works out!

  4. Wow, these look fantastic! I love how you put them into small moulds. It looks really cute. Definitely going to make these some time. I’ve never made caramel before!

  5. Seems to have worked really well, even using goat’s cream and goat’s milk butter! I used slightly more cream, as I think goat’s milk is less fatty. Only problem I had, was I had to put it back on the heat when I added cream. It had cooled the sugar syrup, hardening it immediately!

  6. Wow thanks Izy! Loving your blog… Never made caramel before, but I’m going to give this a try. Expecting guests for the weekend, so I’m going to attempt this recipe. The gifs are magical and make trying this recipe sooo much easier. [tried your 100Calorie choc muffin recipe last night – used half the sugar and substituted stevia powder for the rest and it still turned out fantastic! You’re a star].

  7. Hey there,
    this recipe and the results look amazing!
    Unfortunately I don’t have little moulds like you do and was wondering what I could use instead?
    Thanks ^_^

  8. When i tried this recipe, it came out very grainy. Not sure if that’s how it happens, but I still couldn’t figure out what step went wrong to have that happen

    • sometimes if there is sugar stuck to the sides of the pan, the crystal can trigger the rest of the sugar in the pan to crystallise (just like what happens if you stir the sugar when it’s caramelising)

  9. Tried tripling it as suggested… adding the cream started to clump up the caramel, returned to heat for a couple minutes… ended up not firming up. It’s a goopy sauce consistency.

  10. I lovelovelove your blog! I’m hoping to make a ton of these caramels next week as party favors for my sons blog, and I was wondering if there is anything particular I need to do when I pour them into the molds to prep them, or if they will set in such a way that I should be able to pop them out without a problem? (I’m using my plastic candy molds.)

    • Thanks Shannon! I’d suggest once you get to the last stage of cooking that caramel that you test the consistency- take a small spoonful of the mixture and dollop it onto a plate, let it cool and then test the consistency by poking it or trying to run your finger through it. If it’s too thin, carry on cooking the caramel until it’s the right thickness, this way you can ensure it’ll set properly in the moulds. Then spray your molds with nonstick spray and pour in the caramel. Once they’re set they should be okay to just pull out (I had to use a toothpick to help with a few of them!)

  11. Hi – is it possible to add this into a chocolate shell? Just wondering as if it hardens when it cools how do get it in as warm it would melt the chocolate.
    Thanks so much

    • I’ve never used soya cream so I wouldn’t know what to expect, to be honest! I think if you want to use soya cream you should look for a recipe which is based on it as that would work better 🙂

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