Introduction: How to Make a Delicious Caramel (on Your First Attempt!)

Picture of How to Make a Delicious Caramel (on Your First Attempt!)

I attempted to make this twice before getting it right as the sugar kept burning! Bad stove!

Anyway, on my third effort I mixed it when the melting sugar was getting dark in color and it worked fine - I ended up with a really nice caramel.

Lets get melting!

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

To make the caramel you will need:

  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • 100 grams butter

Step 2: Melting the Sugar

Picture of Melting the Sugar

Pour the sugar into a pan and turn the heat on low. You will need to watch this the entire time as it can quickly burn. In the second photo you can see that it is starting to melt around the edges but in the third photo the melted sugar has begun to darken and we are ready to stir.

Step 3: Sugar

Picture of Sugar

Using a wooden spoon gently stir the sugar around until it has melted, it should take around 5-10 minutes.

Step 4: Time to Add the Cream

Picture of Time to Add the Cream

Once the sugar has completely melted pour in the cream. Now the sugar will cling together due to the cooling effect of the cream and it will firm up like toffee, but keep stirring until it all melts together.

Step 5: Butter

Picture of Butter

Once the cream and sugar have come together nicely it is time to add the butter. Take the pan off the heat and then add the butter, just stir until the butter melts. Once the butter has melted it should be a runny consistency.

Step 6: Finished

Picture of Finished

Pour the caramel into a heat proof dish, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge over night. By morning it will have lightened in color and will be nice and thick. It's ready to use on all sorts of things - we used it in our delicious Walnut and Caramel Ice-Cream.

I hope you enjoy making this lovely caramel and find plenty of uses for it. Please share them with us!


MathewH10 made it! (author)2016-08-27

Great easy recipe helped make it with my 7year old daughter yesterday. Success first time.

Great photo, that's nice how you made it with your daughter :) I hope you enjoy!

gmsmg (author)2016-08-23

salted butter or unsalted butter.



I used salted butter.

gmsmg (author)flour on my apron 2016-08-24

Thanks for getting back to me.

DragonGal (author)2016-08-22

awesome!!!!!! ill be sure to try this out!!!!!!

Cool, have fun :)

OneBirdieMa (author)2016-08-21

Bravo! Caramel with cream! In other words REAL caramel! I'll have to try this one, for sure. Thanks for posting this!

Haha if you make the caramel post a picture, i love seeing them.

You know, I think I've never taken a pic of the caramels I make! I will take a pic when I next make a batch. Be a while yet, though; I get a knee replaced on Wednesday and won't be trucking in the kitchen for a while after that.

Great, I love seeing pictures :)

FunLife3315 (author)OneBirdieMa2016-08-22

mmm.... I agree....

Real caramel, not soppy stuff without any flavour....

Good Job!

dsantil71 (author)2016-08-18

Using a double boiler will help minimize the risk of burning the sugar.

What exact type of cream did you use? I only know about 1/2 & 1/2, heavy cream & heavy whipping cream.

Also I don't know what caster sugar is. Is there something I can substitute for it, like confectioners or powdered sugar?

JerryS42 (author)dsantil712016-08-22

I'm thinking a double boiler would not get warm enough to melt sugar (212F vs 370F)? And I don't think there is a significant enough difference between heavy and whipping cream to really change the result.

I've used recipes where all the ingredients are mixed together in a pot and brought to rolling boil, after 10-15 min you can drop a little of the boiling caramel in a glass of water and ice. When the sample doesn't dissolve, it is done.

DianeW64 (author)dsantil712016-08-21

U.S. cartons don't list fat content on cream. :-(

I would suggest using whipping cream. The heavy cream may be a bit much.

Half & Half is, of course, half milk, so you wouldn't want to use that.

Ninzerbean (author)DianeW642016-08-22

DianeW64, I have used all sorts of sugar from large crystals to light brown to regular US cane sugar, it all works.

OneBirdieMa (author)DianeW642016-08-21

Use whipping cream or table cream. As for the sugar, I haven't the time right this moment to look up the conversion, but because caramel shouldn't be dependent on the texture of the sugar, there should be a weight equivalent that will work.

Yes whipping cream sounds about right

FunLife3315 (author)dsantil712016-08-22

caster sugar is fine sugar.

halfway between icing sugar and normal, really. (but not a mix)


A double boiler could work but it might not be hot enough when adding the cream.

The cream that I used has around 40% fat. You could just look at your cream and see what its fat content is.

Caster sugar has finer crystals than regular sugar. It is not a powder. To make caster sugar all you need to do is put regular sugar in a blender or food processor until the crystals are smaller.

There is a US version of Caster sugar called "Baker's Sugar"; it comes in a carton and is the fine sugar best for this recipe.

naomiandtom (author)dsantil712016-08-21

DON'T use confectioners' sugar! It has corn starch in it and will affect your caramel.

AF6YS (author)2016-08-21

Very nice, and has gotten my sweet tooth excited!

I have an altogether different and a heck of a lot easier method.

The ingredients are: 1 can of Carnations (or store brand) Condensed milk (also known as Dulce de Leche in Mexican neighborhoods)

A slow cooker or crock pot. A pair of tongs to lift the can out after cooking.

Water filled to the almost top of the can of condensed milk (or Dulce de Leche) inside the crock pot. It won't rise, but the water level will drop due to evaporation, you could add more water. Put the lid on and put the cooker on "slow" or "low" heat.

The Caramel cooks inside the can and can take up to 4 hours, but you may want to keep a watchful eye every hour or so. Don't worry about the label.

You will want to wear some oven mitts or silicone gloves to handle the can. Or you can wait till the caramel has cooled to handle.

It also works with sugar free condensed milk!


Good idea but I prefer making things from scratch.

"From scratch" is one of those nice old phrases -- I do wonder what folks think when I say it in a conversation! (I'm the same way -- from the beginning, and not just with cooking.)

OneBirdieMa (author)AF6YS2016-08-21

And this isn't real caramel. condensed milk doesn't make real caramel. IMNSHO. But I am a caramel snob.

AF6YS (author)OneBirdieMa2016-08-21

That is ok, I won't hold it against you! lol! I'd like to try your caramel and do a tasty comparison.. Haha!

OneBirdieMa (author)AF6YS2016-08-22

You know, that's a good idea! Have to be in colder weather tho'. Transporting caramels in hot weather -- well, I don't think so! I don't even make them in hot weather! And I don't know how we'd handle the anonymity/privacy bit: finding a point equidistant from those of us contributing our wares would the the worst of the logistics. Maybe not such a good idea -- except as an idea!!!

cpatterson10 (author)2016-08-21

To keep the sugar from seizing up when adding the cream, heat the cream on low in a separate pot while cooking the sugar.

One of my favourite variations on this is adding bittersweet or a super dark chocolate in between bits of butter. It makes a glorious, thick chocolate sauce

And I also highly recommend adding a healthy pinch of sea salt to the caramel. Just a little bit won't turn it into salted caramel but really makes it amazing. Add a couple pinches and make it nice and salty.

Thanks for the tip

Great tip, Wow that chocolate sauce sounds amazing.

lonelyBlobby (author)2016-08-19

that's cool

You can also put the caramel in ice cube mold to make small rectangles and wrap them each in transparent paper to make those small french candies sold for 35¢ in the souvenir stores "Bretons".

to make them really good and french put salt butter to make caramel au beurre salé.

bon appétit !

nanaverm (author)lonelyBlobby2016-08-21

And you can charge more when you use the French words. (just kidding - sort of).

Great tip!

RayJN (author)2016-08-21

I used a large stock pot for 10 cans of sweetened condensed milk. boiling/simmering for 4 hours

If you don't remove the labels you will have a paper mess.

AF6YS (author)RayJN2016-08-21

Yuck! For 1 can, no problem, for ten big problem!!!

RayJN (author)AF6YS2016-08-21

Beats taking 40 hrs to do them one at a time. They will keep as they are still sealed.

Great alternative if you don't want to make caramel from scratch.

rmiano (author)2016-08-21

FOMA: You mention that the caramel will be "nice and thick" and that you used it in ice-cream, so does that mean that the final consistency is like the thick, gooey caramel ribbons found in ice-cream (which can be heated and served warm, as a caramel topping), rather than a caramel that can be cut into squares? Thanks for posting the Instructable!

OneBirdieMa (author)rmiano2016-08-21

The consistency of the final caramel will depend on the temperature the mixture reaches while it is cooking. A degree or two makes a HUGE difference in the outcome -- AND the accuracy of the thermometer being used to measure the temp. My usual caramel recipe is actually for a soft caramel to use as a topping -- two degrees more and I get something cutable -- though admittedly it makes squares that flatten and ooze over time . . . refrigeration is such a blessing!

Yes that's right, I tried to cut the caramel but this is not that type of caramel, its too soft, but works great as you said served warm as a topping or thick in ice-cream :)

pasomare (author)2016-08-21

is there an easy way to translate 100 grams butter to a common US measure?

JGDean (author)pasomare2016-08-21

Since 1 pound of butter (or anything else) is 454-1/2 grams, a
quarter of that (a stick of butter - approximately 1/2 cup) contains 113.6 grams, just over the
100 grams recommended. If you cut one tablespoon off the 1/4 lb stick, you'll be very close (99.4 g)

Cook's solution:use the stick to grease the dish and use the rest to make the caramel..

Thanks JGDean for your great comment, well answered.

JerryS42 (author)pasomare2016-08-21

Sure, one stick of butter is 113g (4 Oz). Cut off one tenth (1/10) and you'll end up with almost exactly 100 grams of butter. Also, there's 24 teaspoons in a stick; remove 2.5 notches (tsp).

PJSolarz (author)pasomare2016-08-21

3.52 ounces or 7 tablespoons

pasomare (author)pasomare2016-08-21

worked it out myself, little bit less than 1 stick.

GavinF2 (author)pasomare2016-08-21

It depends on how large the stick is.

The easiest way to work out100gm is to take 100 times the absolute weight of a volume of pure water equal to the cube of the hundredth part of a metre, and at the temperature of melting ice.

Benny4 (author)2016-08-21

30 grams make 1 oz close enough

30 mills make 1 fluid oz

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