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Bourbon Caramel Sauce

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  • Prep Time: 1 min
  • Cook Time: 9 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: About 2 cups 1x


This Bourbon Caramel Sauce recipe is easy to make in 10 minutes and tastes irresistibly delicious drizzled on everything from ice cream to fruit, brownies, coffee drinks, and more.


  • 1 cup granulated (white) sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature*
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. Combine the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan.  Briefly stir to combine.
  2. Turn the burner on to medium-high heat.  Then — this is very important — do not stir or touch the pan until the sugar has caramelized.  The sugar mixture will go from being completely clear, to a champagne color, to a light golden color, and then to increasingly darker shades of amber.  (Keep a close eye on the sugar, as it darkens quickly once it begins to caramelize.) Once the sugar reaches a deep amber color (about the color of a copper penny), remove the saucepan from the heat and turn the burner off.
  3. Right away, begin to slowly and carefully pour the heavy cream into the sugar mixture, whisking as you pour to quickly incorporate the cream.  (The mixture will bubble furiously when the cream hits the hot sugar, so be very careful!)  Add in the butter and whisk until combined. Add in the vanilla, bourbon and sea sea salt, and whisk until combined.
  4. Serve immediately.  Or let the sauce cool until it reaches room temperature (it will thicken considerably as it cools), then transfer the sauce to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.


*Feel free to heat the cream and butter up a bit in the microwave if you are in a hurry.  It’s important both ingredients be room temperature (or warmer).  If cold, they can cause the caramelized sugars to seize and clump up.