Caramel sauce

Prep: 2 mins Cook: 10 mins

More effort

Serves 10
This classic sauce uses only three ingredients. Drizzle around chocolate puddings or over your favourite ice cream

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal206
  • fat12g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs27g
  • sugars27g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0.09g
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  • 250g caster sugar
  • 142ml pot double cream
  • 50g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…


  1. Tip the sugar into a heavy-based frying pan, stir in 4 tbsp water, then place over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and bubble for 4-5 mins until you have caramel. Take off the heat, then carefully stir in the cream and butter. Leave the sauce to cool, then tip into a squeezy bottle.

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Comments (43)

suffokaty's picture

If you found your sugar going into hard lumps and not caramelising its probaby because you stirred the mixture. You only need to move the saucepan in a circular motion stiring the mixture will let air in and dry it out.

darrenmckinstry's picture

hi, don't stir the water sugar mix while it's caramelizing....(swirl it just a little, but only if you must) ... leaving it alone will stop it recrystalising.... then stir in the butter and cream to make the sauce....

jillmc's picture

Learning to spell might help too!

alexcooles's picture

Also, 'i need a job (chef)' if you want a job, try not to be so harsh- employers don't like it when you criticise them.

alexcooles's picture

Absolutely horrible. If I could, I would give it no stars at all!

dltasco's picture

jeez people ,1st if you had a solid lump of sugar you obviously didnt use enough water ,2nd if its solidafying use more cream ,i thought of this prior to cooking it because i wanted a thinner consistancy , yous may also want to use a qualty butter (unsalted) this recipe is basic school stuff shame on yous

mairetheresa's picture

Having said in an earlier posting that I followed recipe exactly and it turned out perfect .... well I am having to eat my own words now!! Have tried to replicate without success and am experiencing the same as others, ie bubbling white liquid which if I leave to "caramelise" just turns into a solid block of sugar!! I'm not doing anything different from last time - same pan, same gas ring, same amounts, same recipe!! What's going on here Gordon?!

kdexeter's picture

I admit, I didn't acyually use this recipe, but looked at it for tips on how to make caramel as I had had the same experience as a couple of other people - the sugar was setting into a slid lump & not colouring.

a happy chef said to put a little vinegar or lemon juice into the mixture, so I gaveit a go - just a tiny little bit, and it seemed to stop it from setting solid, but it was still going into a lump.

I'd already tried (and dumped) 2 previous attempts, so I persevered with this (I have made fudge before & never had this problem) and eventually, the sugar came together, but then a little more stirring and keeping it on the heat, and it melted again & turned into caramel!

The recipe I followed was similar tothis - sugar,butter & cream, and it worked eventually, but I recommend using a drop of vinegar just in case!!

By the way, you can't taste the vinegar!!!

mairetheresa's picture

This was sooooh yummy. Had caramel profiteroles years ago at a wedding and everyone commented on how lovely they were but you can't buy them anywhere so I just bought some cheapy profiteroles and made this sauce, built them up in a pyramid and poured the sauce over. Did this for a Sunday lunch get-together and everyone loved them! Re the earlier comments on problems with the caramelising - it worked for me and I just followed it to the letter - ie, heavy frying pan, slow heat first before bubbling, leave for at least 5 mins on the high heat. I also stirred it periodically so I'm not sure whether this made a difference. As soon as it was caramelised, I poured it into a jug then onto the profiteroles.

btp100's picture

Who'd have thought something this good could be so easy!! I recommend making it with the caramel sauce...

loopylynd's picture

love this sauce with the chocolate fondant puds also rippled it through vanilla ice cream, so scrummy!!

happychef2010's picture

I havent made it yet but to Ailsa and KatieQ, when I was at college (I'm a ex chef!) we were taught to put a tiny bit of vinegar or lemon juice in the water when dissolving the sugar to ensure it doesnt recrystalize, so you might want to try that.
Also the less water you put in the quicker you get caramel - you have to boil all the water off before the sugar will begin to caramelize, so if you add too much or it will take a long time. It is quite common for professional chefs not to add water at all but carefully just melt the sugar, although I wouldnt suggest it if you havent caramelized sugar before!

ailsamac28's picture

Like Katie the sugar didn't melt and just went into hard lumps. I didn't add any more water but tried again and the same thing happened. Please can someone tell me what went wrong especially as everyone else is getting a lovely caramel sauce with no problems

swagnert's picture

Just tried this and it tastes absolutely gorgeous! Just wanted to say it takes more than 4/5 mins to turn caramel colour, I think anything up to 10 mins is more like it!

katie_q's picture

mm I followed the directions and the water dried up really quickly and turned back to VERY hard sugar. I added more water and turned it to syrup but didn't get caramel. It was white sugar and not caramel coloured at all. Tasted good on my cheese cake though wasn't the most appetising looking stuff. Gordo, you failed me a little bit :(

stellababe's picture

Really easy & delicious, we kept leftovers in the fridge and our kids loved it on ice-cream!

charlene19's picture

amazing!!... i made it about 10 mins ago and i have to say its wonderful =]

hilarystout's picture

Sorry - that comment was actually for the fondant...
I made the sauce too, but managed to burn the sugar, so it wasn't the best, but that was entirely my fault!!

Can anyone advise how long and how this sauce might/should be stored (have no idea since it contains cream - will it go off quickly?)? Thanks

hilarystout's picture

Made this today and it was FABULOUS!!!!! Am SOOOO impressed. Was really simple, but SOOO good... I reckon it's Masterchef material!

angmunchkin's picture

Wonderful ...loved it. I scaled it down to cover two small cheesecakes (the sticky toffee ones -- also on this site). I find this sauce stays soft enough that it is spreadable/workable, but sets wonderfully at room temperature like a soft icing, if you wish to use it to top a cake ....DONE!


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