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. This 15 minute salted caramel is the perfect topping for ice cream, pie, cupcakes, cakes, cupcakes and more!
Caramel Sauce is one of those things that makes any dessert extra delicious and extra decadent. I have been drizzling my Maple Caramel Sauce on everything this fall.
My husband’s cousin has been asking me to make something with bourbon for a while now. Since I love caramel, I decided to try bourbon caramel sauce.
I used the same method to make my Tahini Caramel and my Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Pretzel Bars and also adapted this recipe from Minimalist Baker’s 4-Ingredient Bourbon Caramel Sauce and Gimme Some Oven’s Bourbon Caramel Sauce. I loved that they used vanilla alongside the bourbon and found that it added the right amount of sweetness to make sure the bourbon is not overpowering and that the caramel is still overall sweet.
I am seriously wowed by this caramel every time I taste it and I know you will be too! The bourbon, sweet vanilla and caramel and salt all hit different taste buds yet work so well together. It’s definitely a next level type caramel sauce!
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.
- Salt: (optional) 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.
WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE BOURBON CARAMEL?
Unlike many caramel recipes, this recipe does NOT require a candy thermometer. Instead of a thermometer, we’ll 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.
HOW TO MAKE BOURBON CARAMEL SAUCE
The first step is to 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.
Whisk in the heavy cream and the butter. Be careful when adding these ingredients as the mixture may bubble and splatter! Once the butter has melted, whisk in the vanilla, bourbon, and salt. That’s all there is to it!
TIPS FOR MAKING BOURBON CARAMEL
- Read over the directions. Read over directions so that you understand the steps and know what to look for in terms of color. The process of caramelization is one of those things that, once you start it, you can’t stop it so you want to be ready.
- Prep Your Ingredients. Have your ingredients measured and next to the stove. Don’t wait til it’s time to add them to measure them out.
- Watch a video. 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.
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!Print
- 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 tablespoon bourbon
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon 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.
Keywords: caramel, bourbon, sauce, bourbon caramel, liquor, salted caramel, caramel sauce