Salted Maple Caramel Sauce (easy recipe!)

salted Maple Caramel Sauce in a jar with a spoon

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?)

pouring Maple Caramel Sauce into a small Weck jar.

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!

salted maple caramel sauce in a jar with spoon

What you’ll need to make salted maple caramel sauce

To make a dairy free vegan caramel sauce

  • omit the butter and cream, and use full fat coconut milk instead.

a small jar of salted maple caramel sauce with spoon

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?

dipping a slice of apple into salted maple caramel sauce

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.

a small jar of maple caramel sauce, with a dripping spoon

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!

pouring salted maple caramel sauce into a glass jar

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 pin

salted Maple Caramel Sauce in a jar with a spoon
4.45 from 27 votes

Salted Maple Caramel Sauce (easy recipe!)

Salted Maple Caramel Sauce is the discovery of the season in our house.  With only 4 ingredients and no sugar or corn syrup this luxurious dessert sauce comes together in just 10 minutes.  Oh joy! (What will you do with yours?)
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Sue Moran


  • a 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 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.

Cook's notes

Don't try this with imitation syrup, it will only work with pure maple syrup.
Recipe lightly adapted from American Heritage Cooking
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    August 31, 2020 at 10:40 am

    This could be put on chicken wings at my house.

    • Reply
      August 31, 2020 at 3:50 pm

      I like the way you think!

  • Reply
    August 8, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    5 stars
    You mentioned substituting full fat coconut milk for the cream and butter. How much should I use?

    • Reply
      August 8, 2020 at 3:52 pm

      You can make caramel from full fat coconut milk, you’d boil it down until thick and rich, and you can omit both cream and butter.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    What can you do if you don’t have a thermometer and want to wait to get one? Could you also provide the measurements for the vegan version? Thank in advance, looking forward to trying it!

  • Reply
    Brenda Tuttle
    March 9, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Hi wondering if half and half would work? I have that in the house and not heavy cream. We just made our first batches of maple syrup this weekend!

    • Reply
      March 9, 2020 at 2:37 pm

      I don’t think it would Brenda, but I haven’t tried, so I can’t say for sure. Since you’re using your own amazing maple syrup I would go with the heavy cream and not take a chance!

  • Reply
    December 24, 2019 at 8:32 am

    I wonder if this could be “put up” in canning jars. The folks I would be giving it to are all on the opposite coast from me.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    I am making macarons in different flavors for my family this Christmas, and I am planning on making some maple filled ones with smoked salt for my Dad… I have been looking for a maple filling that once cooled will hold the cookies together! This looks a treat, but I’m worried it might be a little thin–Do you have any suggestions for how I might thicken it? (I’m a bit of a candy noob, my instinct is to cook it down but I’m worried it could burn like that?) Thanks!!

    • Reply
      November 20, 2019 at 2:56 pm

      Each time I make this it comes out a little different. If you make sure to get the temperature of the boiling maple syrup up high enough, it tends to be thicker. But really this is more of a sauce, so I’m not sure I would recommend it for filling macarons. If I were you I’d opt for more of a maple buttercream, and maybe use maple extract to boost the flavor.

  • Reply
    Suzanne Kroder
    September 27, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    5 stars
    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.

    • Reply
      September 27, 2019 at 6:01 pm

      Wow, fantastic Suzanne!

      • Reply
        December 10, 2019 at 5:59 pm

        Sue, I want to make this sauce for gifts. Does it need to be refrigerated? It never hangs around my house very long.

        • Reply
          December 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

          Yes, I would keep it in the refrigerator.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    While your heat the maple syrup and boil until it reaches temperature, do you stir it at all or do you just leave it to boil? I know sometimes when you make caramel you have to use a wet brush so the sugar doesn’t crystalize but this is probably different. Looks good, looking forward to trying it!

    • Reply
      September 27, 2019 at 5:12 pm

      There’s not really much need to stir at all because it’s just the syrup, so I would say leave it. But I don’t think it’s a problem to stir once in a while.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Hi Sue, do you think this would freeze well?

    • Reply
      September 27, 2019 at 1:28 pm

      Hey Leslie ~ I know you can freeze caramel sauce, so I assume you can freeze this. Don’t use glass, which could break, I’d use a plastic container. If you do use glass, leave extra space for expansion.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Would enamel coated cast iron pan be a good pan choice? Looks delicious

    • Reply
      September 27, 2019 at 10:03 am

      Yes, that’s a good choice. Basically any good pot that isn’t aluminum or super light weight.

      • Reply
        Stewart B Dunsker
        April 26, 2020 at 11:22 am

        at the top of the article Wikipedia states caramelization occurs at 338 degrees, yet your recipe calls for 225-230 degrees. did you really mean that low temperature?

        • Reply
          April 26, 2020 at 11:27 am

          This recipe calls for a slightly lower temp because the maple tends to burn easily.

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