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Classic Caramel Sauce

Yield: Yields about 3 cups.

This sauce keeps well, making it a great last-minute way to dress up dessert. Drizzle over ice cream or plain cakes; mix with nuts and spread between cake layers; pour on apple-filled crêpes or grilled pineapple.


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbs. light corn syrup
  • 8 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  • In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup. Dissolve the sugar over medium heat, stirring until the mixture is clear. Increase the heat to high and cook, swirling the pan to cook evenly but no longer stirring, until caramelized. Take the pan off the heat when the sugar is a very deep amber. Carefully add the butter and cream. Return the sauce to the heat and bring to a boil, whisking frequently until smooth, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Orange Caramel: Make the basic recipe, adding orange juice in place of the cream.

Butterscotch: Combine 2 cups light brown sugar, 12 Tbs. butter, and 4 Tbs. light corn syrup. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the sauce boils and becomes smooth. Finish as for basic recipe with 3/4 cup heavy cream and 1/2 tsp. salt.


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