How to make caramel

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Learn how to make delicious and quick caramel to kick up your next dessert.

How to make caramel

Yields 1 cup caramel

Caramel is to dessert as bacon is to… pretty much everything. There really are few desserts that can't be made better by drizzling them with layers and layers of the sweet/rich brown sauce. Sadly, though, many of the caramel sauces you get at the store are full of ingredients with a lot of preservatives and things you may not want. That's why you should make your own caramel, especially since once you learn how, it's so easy.

However, be careful! Caramel is a hot, sticky mess that will burn you very badly if it touches your skin. Keep small children away from it and treat it with great respect. Also, use a wooden spoon or other non-metallic device to stir to prevent the caramel from having a metal aftertaste.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. Pour the sugar in a skillet and add a tablespoon of water.
  2. Turn the heat on medium and slowly cook the sugar until it turns a golden amber color, stirring only until the sugar is melted.
  3. Once the sugar has reached a deep golden brown, carefully add the vanilla and butter and let it melt.
  4. Stir just enough to incorporate and then add the heavy cream.
  5. Take the pot off the stove and stir just enough to incorporate.

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