Salted Maple Caramel Sauce is the discovery of the season at our house. With only 4 ingredients and no cane sugar or corn syrup this luxurious dessert sauce comes together in just 10 minutes. Oh joy! (What will you do with yours?)
This silky homemade salted maple caramel sauce is the ‘it’ recipe of the season ~
you’re going to love dreaming up ways to use it. It’s an all natural version of caramel sauce that brings the complex flavor of maple to the table. I guarantee your first batch will be gobbled up with everybody demanding a taste test! It’s super easy to make, so let’s gather our ingredients and get right to it.
According to Wikipedia: The process of caramelization consists of heating sugar slowly to around 170 °C (338 °F). As the sugar heats, the molecules break down and re-form into compounds with a characteristic color and flavor.
For this caramel, I’m substituting pure maple syrup for the sugar, with amazing results!
What you’ll need to make salted maple caramel sauce
- maple syrup (the real deal)
- sea salt or kosher salt
- a heavy bottomed medium sized sauce pan
- a clip-on candy thermometer
To make a dairy free vegan caramel sauce
- omit the butter and cream, and use full fat coconut milk instead.
This sauce is made like any other caramel sauce with a couple of important differences…it’s made with pure maple syrup, and it doesn’t contain any sugar or corn syrup. The result is a smooth silky caramel sauce that has the lovely flavor of caramelized maple.
How to use salted maple caramel sauce (other than polishing it off with a spoon 😉
- Drizzle it over ice cream. If you heat your sauce briefly first you’ll have the best hot caramel sundae ever.
- Enjoy it over oatmeal or in morning yogurt.
- Add some to your coffee to make your own unique salted maple caramel latte (move over Starbucks.)
- Enrich a decadent hot chocolate.
- Drizzle it over fall cakes and quick breads, it makes an elegant dessert with store bought pound cake.
- Top a cheesecake with it or drizzle over a flourless chocolate cake.
- Use it as an easy dip for fruit like bananas, apples or pears.
- Um, did somebody say waffles?
How to store your fabulous salted maple caramel sauce
- Store your sauce in a closed container in the fridge. I like to use Weck mold jars, they’re cute and sturdy. It will last at least 2 weeks or more, and should stay nice and pourable.
- If you find your sauce gets hard or slightly grainy after a while in the refrigerator, microwave it in short bursts to reheat it.
Troubleshooting your maple caramel sauce
Your sauce is grainy: grainy caramel is the result of overheating it. Did you heat the mixture past 230F? This could be the problem. Another issue might be that your thermometer is incorrect: to test it, immerse it in a pot of boiling water…it should read 212F. If not, it needs to be replaced, or you need to adjust your cooking accordingly.
Your sauce is thin: you may have undercooked it by a bit. Make sure it gets to 230F and make sure your thermometer is accurate, see above. Refrigerating it will thicken it. And keep in mind thin sauce is not necessarily a problem, you can use it in all the same ways.
Your sauce is darker or lighter than mine: different types and grades of maple syrup will produce slightly different colorations, but don’t worry, they’re all delicious. Each of the test batches I made came out a different color!
Is maple syrup healthier than sugar?
- It depends on your definition of healthier.
- Maple syrup is less processed than refined sugars. It also contains antioxidants and minerals like zinc and potassium, and has a lower glycemic index than refined sugars, which means it won’t lead to blood sugar spikes.
- But maple syrup is still a sugar, and so should be eaten in moderation.
Reader Rave ~
“There was a pint of vanilla ice cream calling me while I read your recipe. So I hopped up and made it on the spot. Came together so quickly. The sauce is divine and is fabulous over ice cream.” ~ Suzanne
Salted Maple Caramel Sauce (easy recipe!)
- candy thermometer
- 1 cup maple syrup, the real stuff!
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp sea salt, or kosher salt
- Put the maple syrup into a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom. Fit the pan with a clip on candy thermometer. You'll need a pan tall enough to allow the maple syrup to foam up as it boils. The heavy bottom helps prevent scorching. Most good quality saucepans will work.
- Bring the syrup to a boil over high heat and boil until it reaches 225F - 230F, this is just under the softball stage.
- Remove from heat and add the butter, stirring until it melts. Then add the cream and salt and mix in gently. Note: the mixture will be very hot. Do not stir too much, just enough to blend the butter and cream. Too much stirring can cause the mixture to crystallize.
- Pour into a heat safe jar and let cool before refrigerating. It will thicken as it cools, and will thicken further in the refrigerator. This recipe makes just over a cup.
Questions and Reviews
Sue, you mention that to make this sauce dairy free vegan, the butter and cream can be replaced with full-fat coconut milk. I have a relative that cannot have any dairy. Would you please tell me how much full-fat coconut milk to use?
i produce maple syrup in northern ontario , when i make my maple cream product I boil my syrup to 236 then i allow my syrup to cool over night in the fridge because as mentioned stirring hot syrup causes it to become grainy. the following morning i slowly reheat to room temperature (or let it sit) then i start stiriing to produce my cream/butter the end result is a velvety smooth finish my advice would be to add your salt to your cream , melt your butter in microwave, add to the salt/cream mix and then add all to the syrup once u start stiring at room temp. I am attempting this adaptation as i type this
Let us know, it sounds delicious!
Thanks so much for sharing your recipe! I was curious to know if maple syrup could be made into caramel and now I know it can! But apparently not by me. I was careful, but must have over-stirred because my mixture came out grainy. Like a grainy maple flavored butter. I think even if it had had the right texture, I would have been disappointed since the flavor was literally of maple and butter, rather than combining to make a new flavor the way sugar and butter do in regular caramel. Not a fault of the recipe of course!
Elizabeth, it’s because this recipe does not actually call for caramelization of the sugars in the maple syrup. Did you catch the definition of caramelization that was at the top of the post? It says caramelization happens at 338F (specifically for sucrose, which is by far the majority of sugar in maple syrup). This recipe calls for a final temp more than 100 degrees lower. There’s no caramelization happening here. It’s just a salted maple sauce. I’m sure it’s still delicious, just not caramel anything…
I need more!? if I one and a half this recipe do you think it will still turn out?
You should be fine.
I have not made this yet so I am not ready to rate the recipe.
Will you please specify the amount of full fat coconut milk to use to replace the cream and the butter?
Thank you! I look forward to making this as instructed and also the dairy-free alternative…with our own VT maple syrup!
My go-to salted caramel recipe
Mine seems to seperate, made it to directions. It does taste yummo!
I have made this sauce twice and it separates as it cools. The second time I let it boil at 220 for a few minutes and it still separated. Any suggestions?