Learn how to make easy salted caramel sauce using your Instant Pot! You’ll have this recipe done in under 20 minutes. This is the perfect topping for your fall desserts and also great for handing out in gift jars.
Are you a fan of salted caramel? Probably if you’re here! When it “became a thing” (search traffic skyrocketed in 2020), I wasn’t necessarily buying the hype at first.
I have always liked caramel just fine, but I’m more of a chocolate topping kind of girl. Give me hot fudge any day of the week.
I maintained that sentiment this entire time, until I actually tried it. I believe first it may have been salted caramel ice cream, then a latte, and finally, this sauce on top of ice cream.
I’m a huge fan. And turns out I like salted better than non-salted! I can’t be the only one.
Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe
There are a variety of recipes out there, this just happens to be my favorite one (of course). It only requires four ingredients besides water.
It’s also done completely in the Instant Pot, which is nice. If you’re having a dinner party or something along those lines, and the stovetop is full – you can make this sauce and keep it warm in the Instant Pot.
Without having to use a burner!
This salted caramel sauce is made in three simple steps. You’re going to caramelize the sugar and water, then add the heavy cream, and then add the butter and salt. That’s it!
You’re going to love this recipe! I think it would delicious over ice cream, caramel apples, apple pie, in coffee or hot chocolate . . . or just straight from the jar (horrifying mouth cover as I say this).
I promise you’re going to love it! Learn how to make it below.
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 + 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (double cream)
- 6 tsp unsalted butter
- Pinch of sea salt
This recipe makes a little over two cups of salted caramel. It’s hard to say how many servings that is given that some people like more sauce than others. But I would estimate each person using around 1/4 cup, so estimate about eight servings for this recipe.
Gather all of your ingredients.
Add both the sugar and water into your Instant Pot. Press the “Saute” button. You’ll want to use a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon to mix everything together.
Continue stirring the sugar water as it heats. Basically you’re going to keep stirring until the liquid starts caramelizing and the sugar is dissolved.
As the mixture heats, the sugar will clump but then it’s going to melt into a more amber colored liquid. Don’t let it burn by sitting, and keep stirring.
The Saute function on an Instant Pot takes the temperature up to 160 ~ 176°C (320 ~ 349°F), which is the temperature you need to caramelize the sugar.
You’re going to do this until you recognize that the sugar water has thickened, or caramelized. I go by feel, but it takes about 10 – 15 minutes.
Once caramelized, turn off the Instant Pot. It’s going to stay hot for a bit. Stir in the heavy cream.
Continue stirring, and if you notice any clumping, continue stirring. You might have to stir more vigorously or use a whisk in this step.
Keep mixing together and I promise everything will combine. Then you’re going to add the butter and salt. After the butter has melted and combined with the caramel, leave it for a minute or so.
If you notice any clumps, they will melt, or you can stir them out. The salted caramel sauce is going to thicken as it cools.
Let it cool completely, then you can pour it into containers with tight lights. It helps to use your spatula to scrape the sides to get it out of the Instant Pot. Yep – this is a sticky sauce!
You can put the containers in the fridge and store them for up to a month if you’re planning on gifting. This salted caramel sauce will continue to solidify in the refrigerator.
I’ll be honest, I love the 4 ounce mason jars for gifting this caramel sauce. Such a cute little idea.
In this recipe I recommend a thermometer, but you don’t really need one. You can visually observe when the sauce is thickening. I just provide the temp for those who like to use one!
I wouldn’t use a funnel or anything else to pour the sauce into the containers. Everything you cover with caramel sauce is going to end up sticky. Just do the best you can and have a sponge at the ready.
If you’re going to gift that day you can go ahead and leave it out. Otherwise, store in the fridge for up to a month. You can also freeze in an airtight container for up to three months. You’ll want to thaw before using.
You might have some questions about this salted caramel sauce and I wanted to share the most common ones below. You can skip these if you already have the knowledge. This might come in handy for beginning cooks!
What is the difference between caramel and salted caramel?
I’m sure that maybe professionals would have additional commentary on this, but the big difference is the salt. Sea salt is used in particular.
What is the point of salted caramel?
It’s the combination of sweet and salty that people love! If you’ve never tried it, that’s probably why you’re asking this questions. So I will encourage you to try it!
How long does salted caramel last in the fridge?
It lasts about a month! You’ll need to heat it up in the microwave or on the stove top.
Can I add salt to store bought caramel?
You could try it. You’re still going to have to heat it up to swirl it through, so just make this recipe, right?
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 + 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup double (heavy) cream
- 6 tsp unsalted butter
- Pinch of sea salt
- Add both the sugar and water into your Instant Pot and stir. Press the "Saute" button. Continue stirring the water as it heats.
- Do this until you recognize that the sugar water has thickened, or caramelized. It takes about 10 - 15 minutes.
- Once caramelized, turn off the Instant Pot. Add the heavy cream and whisk until combined.
- Add butter and salt, keep whisking until fully combined. Let cool to thicken. Pour into a jar. Enjoy!
Serving Size:2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 50Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 17mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 0g
If you enjoyed this homemade salted caramel sauce recipe, I’d love for you to check out these other recipes: