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Simple Caramel Sauce

This is a quick and easy caramel sauce that has rich flavor and a velvety smooth texture. Easy to whip up as needed, or keep a batch on hand in the refrigerator for a dessert emergency.

recipe at a glance
Rating: 4/5 4 stars
16 reviews

recipe is ready in under 30 minutes time: under 30 minutes

serves/makes:   4.5 cups


recipe id: 27030
cook method: stovetop

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2 cups brown sugar
1 can (14 ounce size) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk, more as needed


Stir sugar and condensed milk together; heat over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, till sugar dissolves; remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla and stir well. Add milk and stir well. Store in the refrigerator.

cook's notes

This is sooooo good, but don't eat too much. Trust me.


45 calories, 2 grams fat, 7 grams carbohydrates, 1 grams protein per tablespoon. This recipe is low in sodium.
Show full nutritional data (including Weight Watcher's Points ®, cholesterol, sodium, vitamins, and diabetic exchanges)

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shared by: hgwilt

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Guest at

recipe rating
It is interesting to me that not all brown sugar is equally dissolvable whether by itself or with butter. (And no matter how small the crystal size!) I used brown sugar that my mother has in her pantry, and it melted with heat alone. Then I tried the recipe with a light brown (small crystal) sugar using identical pan and heat and the sugar did not melt after continuous heat and stirring for 30 min. and even resisted melting completely after butter was added. I also tried melting organic dark brown (small crystal) sugar and after adding butter and constant stirring for 40 min., it still did not melt and I was left with wet, crunchy, unmelted (obviously stubborn) sugar crystals

Registered Member at

Member since: July 9, 2009
recipe rating
Followed the suggestions and it turned out awesome! Makes a lot though so I have leftover. What a shame...

Guest at

recipe rating
I did what others did. Started out following the directions but could see it wasn't cooking right. Added the butter and cooked perfectly then. I did not add the extra milk at the end because I wanted a thicker sauce for dipping apples. YUM!

Registered Member at

Member since: January 25, 2008
recipe rating
I melted the brown sugar BY ITSELF in the pan first, then stirred in the sweetened condensed milk. Everything worked fine after that.

Guest at

recipe rating
This is a perfect caramel sauce! Absolutely perfect.

Guest at

recipe rating
I absolutely love this recipe! Simple and delicious, that's all that's necessary!

Guest at

recipe rating
This tastes wonderful. After reading the other reviews, I made it by melting the butter and sugar together for several minutes, then added the condensed milk, cooking and stirring for several minutes while it bubbled along.

Guest at
Apr 23, 2012

question or comment
I can tell you that the sugar isn't going to melt with just the brown sugar in the pot.. This method can be down using plain sugar and that indeed will melt.

Its how I do caramel all the time and not with brown sugar just with everyday sugar. So if you do this you can do the same thing just with regular sugar, other wise you will have to add a liquid to the brown sugar to make it smooth and melted..

Guest at

recipe rating
I would rate this a five, as the sauce was DELICIOUS, but like other commenters, I had some issues with the directions.
Tbc, I am NOT a novice baker (I'm trained), and this was NOT my first time making caramel. I wanted an way recipe I could pad pass to a friend, and this looks straight forward.
But the direction to stir milk and sugar over heat til sugar melts, is wrong. I kept it medium low, sired constantly, for over 40 minutes, and that sugar wasn't melting. It was cooking, bubbling, but not melting at all.
Finally just followed my instinct and added the butter on the heat, mixed thoroughly, and let it cook another 15 minutes. Then I took it off the heat and added the milk (actually I used half milk, half half&half) and stirred it in a bit at a time, returning it to heat. 15-20 minutes later, I had perfectly smooth caramel.
So please note, the sugar DOESN'T MELT AWAY until the milk and butter are added!

Guest at

recipe rating
i was searching for a recipe without using cream after screwing up my first batch. this recipe is ok but the instruction's just too vague.

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