What can you say about caramel sauce besides “Yum!” Smooth, creamy caramel sauce, with or without rum added, makes even simple food really special!
 
Overhead view of small white bowl containing caramel sauce on square white plate surrounded by green apple slices.
 
Simple ingredients almost magically produce this sweet, delicious, creamy caramel sauce. So easy to make and even easier to eat, homemade caramel sauce elevates every dessert. Even simple apple slices or a scoop of vanilla ice cream become a special treat topped with caramel sauce.
 
The addition of just a tablespoon of dark rum transforms plain caramel sauce (which is still really, really good, let me assure you) into a memorable caramel rum sauce. You’ll see everyone’s eyes light up when you casually mention that you made caramel rum sauce. The rum adds an incredible depth of flavor.
 

I could live on this caramel sauce. I really could, it is that good. Living on caramel wouldn’t be too good for my waistline, or my blood sugar, or my general well-being, but I would be one happy camper! At least for awhile.

 
If you’re on a diet, you might want to go elsewhere. Quickly. This isn’t necessarily a healthy recipe. Unless we’re talking about emotional health. Because it will make you happy, very happy.
 
Overhead view of triangular white dish containing sliced bananas, vanilla ice cream, and pecans, drizzled with caramel sauce.
 

About this caramel sauce

All you need to make this sauce is a saucepan and your stove. The full directions are in the recipe card below but here’s a quick run down. Make sure you have all the ingredients measured out and ready to go before you get started.

What’s in caramel sauce:

  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Corn syrup
  • Just a pinch of salt
  • Heavy cream
  • Dark rum, optional but really delicious!
  • Butter
  • Pure vanilla extract

Simply combine sugar, water, corn syrup, and salt in a saucepan and boil until the sugar darkens to about the same shade as iced tea. Swirl the mixture occasionally but don’t stir. Keep a close eye on it, though, because once the sugar starts browning, it can go from perfect to burned pretty quickly.

Carefully stir in cream and rum. I say carefully because there will be a fair amount of hot steam and I don’t want any injuries! Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter and vanilla. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

There are so many ways to serve this warm caramel sauce! Homemade vanilla ice cream, apple slices, banana splits, turtle sundaes, apple spice cake, chocolate cake. Maybe the best way is by the spoonful. What would you use this caramel on? 

A jar of homemade caramel sauce makes a great gift idea, too. Put it in a recycled or Mason jar and tie a pretty ribbon around it. Include a jar of homemade spiced pecans  or vanilla bean candied walnuts for a special someone. You may want to attach the recipes because I’m pretty sure they’ll want to make their own when the jar is empty.

Triangular dish with sliced bananas, vanilla ice cream, and pecan halves, drizzled with caramel sauce.

Sweet on sauces?
Here’s a few more delightful toppings for you:
 
 

Overhead of small white bowl containing caramel sauce on square white plate surrounded by green apple slices.

Caramel Sauce {with optional rum}

Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

What can you say about caramel sauce besides "Yum!" Smooth, creamy caramel sauce, with or without rum added, makes even simple food really special!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum, optional
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Boil sugar, water, corn syrup, and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat, swirling occasionally. Cook until caramel is the color of iced tea, 10 minutes. (Watch it closely. It takes awhile to get going, but once it gets going, it can scorch quickly.)
  2. Add cream and rum, if using, whisking to combine. Watch out for hot steam! Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla. Transfer sauce to a bowl to cool (and thicken).
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 145Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 17mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0gSugar: 20gProtein: 0g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram