The BEST Bourbon Caramel Sauce to top your favorite fall and holiday desserts! Sweet, gooey with an added depth of flavor from the salt and bourbon! Bonus: it’s made with just 7 easy ingredients.
Caramel Sauce is one of those things that makes any dessert extra delicious and extra decadent.
I have wanted to create bourbon desserts for a while. I love caramel, so bourbon caramel sounded like the perfect treat!
If you are looking for more caramel recipes, try my Maple Caramel Sauce, Tahini Caramel and my Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Pretzel Bars.
I adapted this recipe from Minimalist Baker’s 4-Ingredient Bourbon Caramel Sauce and Gimme Some Oven’s Bourbon Caramel Sauce.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- The bourbon, sweet vanilla and caramel and salt add so much depth of flavor.
- Bourbon takes caramel to another level of delicious!
- It’s simple to make!
INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING BOURBON CARAMEL SAUCE
- Granulated Sugar
- Butter: Make sure to use room temperature butter, otherwise the caramel will most likely seize up.
- Heavy Cream: It’s also important that your cream is at room temperature when added.
- Bourbon: I find 1 1/2 tablespoons the perfect amount. You can definitely taste the bourbon but it’s not overpowering. If you want a stronger bourbon taste, add an extra 1/2 tablespoon.
- Vanilla extract: For its sweet flavor.
- Salt: I like to use 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt. You can use regular table salt if you don’t have fine sea salt. Add more or less than the suggested amount.
Unlike many caramel recipes, this recipe does NOT require a candy thermometer. Instead of a thermometer, you can go by the color to know when to take the caramel off the heat.
I recommend using a light colored saucepan as it makes it easier to notice those important color changes.
You’ll also need a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon and a jar to pour the caramel into.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
Step One: Place the water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Pay attention to the color of the mixture as it boils. Once it reaches the color of copper/iced tea, take it off the heat.
Step Two: Whisk in the heavy cream and the butter. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the vanilla extract, bourbon, and salt.
Enjoy! You can also pour the sauce into a jar and allow it to cool to room temperature. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
Hint: Be careful when adding these ingredients as the mixture may bubble and splatter!
Tip #1: Read over the instructions carefully before starting the recipe. This will help you understand the steps and know what to look for. Once you start the caramelization process, you can’t stop it so it’s good to know what to look for.
Tip #2: If you’ve never made caramel before, it’s definitely helpful to watch it being made. Cooking Classy has this great video on making Caramel Sauce. It’ll help you understand the process and know what to look for in terms of color.
Tip #3: Have your ingredients measured and next to the stove. Don’t wait til it’s time to add them to measure them out.
USES FOR BOURBON CARAMEL
This bourbon caramel sauce is delicious any way you serve it. Here are a some ways to enjoy it:
- CAKE: Drizzle it over top or in between layers. I can’t wait to try it over my Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Icing!
- CUPCAKES: This Bourbon Caramel Sauce would be delicious over cupcakes with or without frosting. I’m already imagining it over Brown Butter Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Icing.
- ICE CREAM: It turns even a dish of vanilla ice cream into an ultra decadent dessert. You can even make your own ice cream out of bourbon caramel sauce! Check out this No-Churn Bourbon Salted Caramel Ice Cream from Mike Bakes NYC!
- AND MORE!!
I just happen to be finishing this Bourbon Caramel Sauce on a Friday and I can’t think of a better treat for the weekend. It amazingly only takes about 15 minutes and is super easy to make! The different ways to enjoy it are endless and it’s a recipe you’ll want to make all fall and winter long!
Bourbon Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream room temperature
- 3 1/2 tablespoons butter chopped, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Give it a stir then set it to medium to medium high heat for 11-13 minutes until it turns a copper/iced tea color.
- Remove pan from heat and whisk in the cream followed by the butter. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the vanilla, bourbon, and salt. Pour the caramel sauce into a heat proof jar and allow to cool slightly. Mixture will thicken up as it cools.
How do you store this? Does it need to be kept refrigerated?
Hi Pam, Apologies for the late response. This caramel can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.