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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.




Ahh .gifs, I love them so much, they are my besties. (do you remember the toasted, ground vanilla bean tutorial? and the how to make pretzels .gifs? and the dripping ice cream .gif? Good times guys, good times…)

I hope this step-by-step guide will make you think so too!

No fuss, no burnt sugar, no burnt hands. Easy az.

And guys,  really if your not convinced yet: there are no thermometers involved here. Because seriously, who can accurately use those candy thermometers in a shallow pan of caramel? That totally does not work at all. Pitfall-and-a-half I say.

(Oh ho ho, wondering what’s going on? Why is this such a crappy, short post Izy? Well my friendlings, this is just a short pre-step to a post coming yo way soon)

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)

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  • Mimi @ Culinary Couture November 19, 2012 at 1:34 am

    I love gifs! Great post!

    • Izy November 21, 2012 at 3:58 pm


  • Jessica | Portuguese Girl Cooks November 19, 2012 at 2:33 am

    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!

    • Izy November 21, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      Thanks Jessica! Haha, I totally ate all three of them after photographing them 😉

  • Madonna November 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm

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

  • Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen November 20, 2012 at 10:05 pm

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

    • Izy November 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      it’s so satisfying eating candy that you’ve successfully made :’)

  • superdripp November 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Hi crumb boss
    think new recipe good pay me money stuck in america
    not know what turkey is

  • Nutella and Salted Caramel Stuffed Double Chocolate Chip Cookies November 25, 2012 at 7:01 pm

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  • Katherine November 27, 2012 at 1:28 am

    As always love your use of animated GIFs. It makes the recipe come alive. Lovely caramels!

  • Yii-Huei December 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    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!

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  • Erica December 7, 2012 at 3:30 am

    Thanks for the mention! Your caramels are so absolutely gorgeous!

  • Lita March 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    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!

  • Jana @ 333 Days of Hand Lettering June 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I love caramels especially with salt!

  • Viv July 5, 2013 at 8:47 am

    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].

  • Lara July 21, 2013 at 4:52 am

    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 ^_^

  • Laura August 15, 2013 at 3:42 am

    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

    • Izy August 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      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)

  • peg September 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Yikes and Yum!

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  • Alynn December 22, 2013 at 12:39 am

    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.

    • jennifer October 17, 2014 at 8:00 am

      Did you use cold cream?because you should not use cold cream

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  • Shannon July 2, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    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.)

    • Izy July 2, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      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!)

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  • Emma Barclay December 19, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    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

    • Izy December 21, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      if you freeze the shaped caramels and then dip them into chocolate you should be fine!

  • Anna February 24, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Hi, and what if I use soya cream in spite of double cream?

    • Izy February 24, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      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 🙂

      • harvey April 25, 2015 at 11:26 am

        How much deos this make and is it soft or hard?

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