My Recipe Box

Brown-Sugar Caramel Sauce


Yields 2-3/4 cups.

  • To learn more, read:
    A Baker’s Pantry
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 54

Brown sugar, butter and vanilla make a remarkable, full-flavored sauce that's something like butterscotch, only better.

  • 2 cups packed brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 4 chunks
  • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt

In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, combine the brown sugar and water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Cook over high heat, swirling the pan continuously, until the caramel reaches 280°F on a candy thermometer.

Immediately remove the pan from the heat and slowly and carefully pour in the cream (the caramel may sputter). Boil over high heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, to blend. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the butter, vanilla seeds, and salt.

Cool slightly before using.

Make Ahead Tips

The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer indefinitely.

Cookbooks, DVDs & More