This is absolutely wonderful, creamy and rich. It makes a very thick caramel after it cools. I’ve used it to frost cupcakes, as a cake filling and to dip apples! Delicious!

Thick Caramel Sauce or Filling


  • 1 cup butter (do not substitute)
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. In a heavy saucepan, bring butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring. Carefully stir in whipping cream. Attach a candy thermometer to your pan. Continue to stir until the caramel reaches 238 degrees, or the soft ball stage. Remove from heat and add vanilla and salt.
  2. I don’t even want to think about it!


jobueno Says... 2009-10-26 08:32:50

This is an EXCELLENT recipe. I made this to fill an Amaretto flavored cake and can not tell you how people raved about it.

young9 Says... 2010-01-28 22:53:50

tried this recipe today and it is WONDERFUL!! i used it on a WASC chocolate cake and then had leftovers and had it on our vanilla ice cream tonight. sooo yummy!

moca_cakes Says... 2010-02-05 13:22:46

used it to fill a snickers cake...delicious!

noahsmummy Says... 2010-02-13 23:05:54

how big a can?...

JodieF Says... 2010-02-16 14:40:59

A can is 14 ounces.

JenLGAJ Says... 2010-03-01 09:51:53

do you need to use a dam when using this as a filling???

JenLGAJ Says... 2010-03-01 10:02:29

also.... how do I store this once its made??? so far it tastes and looks delicious!!!!!

SoonerGirl1968 Says... 2010-03-03 12:31:20

Question... I made this last week to fill a chocolate turtle engagement cake and it was DELICIOUS! However, it was an absolute nightmare when it came to slicing through the layers. It was like cutting leather. Can you please tell me how to use this as a filling without it doing this? I massacred the cake trying to serve it. I would love to use it again as I prefer the taste over my other recipe, but I hate to send it out like that.

JodieF Says... 2010-03-15 14:48:32

Was the cake very cold when you tried to cut it?? That's all I can think of. Either that or you overcooked the caramel past the soft ball stage. Even straight out of the fridge I can run a knife through it easily. When I've used it as a filling, I use whatever I'm using to ice the cake as a dam....American or SMBC.

I store the caramel in the refrigerator, although another member ran it by her Health Department and they said it was safe fine without refrigeration.

I'm sorry for any delay answering the questions. I had no way of knowing they were posted!


jclvs2 Says... 2010-03-18 08:18:58

I would like to try your reciepe and was wondering do you have to fill the cake right after you make the caramel? Not real familiar with working with caramel. Thanks for any advice.

JodieF Says... 2010-03-18 15:30:07

No...I usually make the caramel a few days in advance. You can always warm it at 10 second intervals in the microwave if you think it's too thick. Jodie

SoonerGirl1968 Says... 2010-04-02 08:01:00

Jodie - Thank you for the reply - I didn't realize you had responded. I read through another post where you discussed cooking it past the soft ball stage and it occurred to me that I left the caramel in the pan (off the burner, of course) to cool. I'm betting it continued to cook which is probably what caused the problem. I will definitely make it again and pour it from the pan into another dish to cool. It really is a WONDERFUL caramel - I just cooked it too long, I'm sure. Thanks so much!!!

CakeGalUK Says... 2010-04-18 05:14:48

Can I ask what type of brown sugar specifically? Light? Dark? Muscavado? etc... going to try tis week :)

JodieF Says... 2010-04-21 09:47:52

I only buy dark brown sugar myself, but you could use either. I just like the flavor of dark brown better.


CakeGalUK Says... 2010-04-21 11:28:16

Perfect, thank you!

cabi59 Says... 2010-04-25 16:17:21

Sounds very good. Is this recipe very sweet?

CakeGalUK Says... 2010-04-26 06:26:25

having just made this... yes it is very sweet, but no-more than I would expect from a caramel or these ingredients!

Angelfire3 Says... 2010-06-14 11:50:22

FINALLY! a good recipe I can follow. I'm been googling caramel recipes all day long and this caught my attention. Can I store this in a glass jar? I bought a case of glass preserve jars from Wal*Mart. Also, how many cups does this yield or cupcakes to frost? What will happen if I used 51% (or 53%) country crock margarine instead of butter?

JodieF Says... 2010-06-14 14:18:55

It makes 4 cups of caramel. Personally I wouldn't use margarine and sure wouldn't use a spread. Butter has a far better flavor, but it also has a much higher fat content, and far less water. Country Crock is listed as a spread. I couldn't promise the caramel recipe would turn out if you used that.

Good luck!

Bubbl3h3ad Says... 2010-06-28 16:54:11

OMG!!! This stuff was sooooo good! I put it between layers of a buttered pecan cake and we almost killed ourselves on it. I had a lot left over and have used it on everything.

lostbaker Says... 2010-07-16 13:32:25

Could I use white sugar instead? Brown sugar is rather scarce here!

JodieF Says... 2010-07-24 17:19:26

I'm sorry. There's no way for me to know that anyone has posted a question in the recipe comments. When I looked online I found this: "Substitute white sugar for brown sugar on a 1 to 1 basis, but add 4 tablespoons of molasses per cup." I hope that helps!

nancysmom Says... 2010-08-02 10:06:20

Thank you very much for the yummy recipe. I was wondering do you think I could add some pecans and then put the sauce/ filling over it? Between a cake layer? Has any one tried almonds or pecan pieces? Thank you it is a great recipe.

cakesmade4u Says... 2010-08-22 21:13:49

This is really yummy and I know you said don't sub the ingredients but I only had margrine and coffee creamer subbing for the cream and it still came out very very good very impressed and yes even better with adding pecons for a filling in a butterpecon cake ..!!! Thanks

crowder_jade Says... 2010-09-17 12:16:36

I maked this and it turned out really good on a snickers cake and I wanted to use the rest for carmmel apples and I was wondering how long the caramel stays good for if its in an air tight container, thank you

misstery13 Says... 2010-09-22 08:51:17

Wonderful recipe! One thing that worked for me is that I do not go by the temp. My candy thermometer says 230 is softball stage but I didnt even let it go that long. I drop some in cold water to test it so it only hit about 226-228 degrees before I took it off. It turned out to be a soft carmel (perfect for a carmel) Thought it was a little thick for filling so mixed it with a stablized whipped icing and filled an apple pudding cake. It was really good.

JustGettinStarted Says... 2010-10-02 10:06:19

I just made this and it is so good! I haven't sliced the cake yet (birthday cake for tomorrow) but I think it's going to be great! I was wondering if you knew how long it will last? Also, is it freezeable? I wouldn't think so, but I figured I'd ask and see. I torted and filled an 8 in, 2-layer cake with it and still have a TON left over. I only used about a cup-cup and a half of it. Thanks for such a great, yummy recipe!

Babs1964 Says... 2010-10-05 13:42:02

OMG! This stuff is sinfully delicious!!

JodieF Says... 2010-10-06 18:34:20

Yes, caramel is freezable. Honestly, I'm no expert, but it said it was when I googled it! *lol* There wouldn't really be any reason you couldn't halve the recipe. It would just be wasting a half a can of sweetened condensed milk. I'm very glad everyone enjoys it. I just used it this past weekend to rim the glasses of caramel apple martinis!

Babs1964 Says... 2010-10-06 20:49:05

FYI, I cooked mine a tad bit too long so when it cooled it was too thick to be able to spread. So what I did was warm about a cup at a time in the microwave for about 20 secs. then added enough of the whipping cream (about a tablespoon) then mixed it together well and voila spreadable caramel! Continue to heat small amounts at a time adding whipping cream as you go. I did it in small quantities so that the caramel wouldn't getting overcooked.

nesha Says... 2010-10-12 08:01:14

Nice, I was wondering is there anyway you can turn this into a buttercream???? I know I'd cook it not as long but as far as the buttercream, could I make it as usual then add the cooled caramel or would I just add powdered sugar to the cooled, whipped caramel....Please help, I have a yellow cake with caramel icing request for this sat, I'm still a lil lost lol with this one :):)

BREN28 Says... 2010-10-14 09:03:30

i've tried this recipe twice,and i love it! thank's JodieF !

ashleyj Says... 2010-10-20 23:08:08

I cannot wait to try this! Is there a way to test it w/o a candy thermometer?

JackiesCreations Says... 2010-11-01 14:06:34

Like Ashleyj can we make this w/out a candy thermometer? I have never worked with home made caramel before so I wouldn't know what to look out for? Any tips for when I try this w/out a candy thermometer?? Thanx so much! Lovin' all the good feedbacks about this recipe. It must be really really delicious!!!

travmand Says... 2010-11-13 05:45:08

Oh my goodness...this stuff is so good! My daugher and I were eating it by the spoonful! I used it to fill an 9X13 inch chocolae cake and also covered the filling with Heath bits. Frosted with Sugarshacks icing and sprinked with more Heath bits and drizzled more caramel over the top. We were eating it with the cake scraps that I leveled off the top as we can't wait until this afternoon to cut the cake ..... yum, yum, yum!! Make sure you only cook to softball stage....just like RKT or any other candy.....anything over that you'll end up brick-hard!!

Tor1985 Says... 2010-12-01 16:26:14

I halfed this and cooked it a bit longer than soft ball stage, threw in come peanuts and almond slivers, harden in the freezer and covered them in chocolate.....OMG sooooo good...even with the chocolate. I have to run them down to the freezer or there wont be any left for christmas! Thanks!!

1Cake-At-ATime Says... 2010-12-25 12:29:45

I made this (added some pecans) for a chocolate WASC cake. Delish. It's best to let it sit for about 10 minutes before using it as a filling because any longer and it turns stiff. Other than that, excellent recipe and will be my only caramel filling recipe.

mistymamas Says... 2011-02-15 23:50:18

Does it matter whether I use salted butter? Or does it have to be unsalted?

mistymamas Says... 2011-02-16 20:01:50

Mine came out hard too after refrigeration. Rock hard. First time around took 25 min on med to get to 238. Did another batch tonight on med.high and it was done in less than 10 min. So maybe this batch will be better. :)

JodieF Says... 2011-02-21 18:28:18

Again, there's no way to know that anyone has asked a questions when you post them in these comments. I try to check in every once in awhile but pm'ing me would be best. :o) I would lessen the salt added at the end if I used salted butter. If the caramel is ending up too hard, I would probably test my candy thermometer. The easiest way would be to put it in boiling water. It should read 212 degrees. What you think is 238 may actually be much higher if your thermometer is off. The higher the temp, the harder the caramel will be.

khewitt24 Says... 2011-03-09 14:35:18

I just made this as a filling for some Apple Cinnamon cupcakes. It is FABULOUS!!! Tastes as if I bought it from a store. I used dark brown sugar and I think that makes a BIG difference. I pulled it off the stove as soon as it reached the "soft ball" stage line, added the vanilla and salt and poured it into a glass pyrex bowl. It's soft and creamy and worked marvelously in my cupcakes. My son kept walking past the bowl, taking a dip with his finger, while he was suppose to be unloading the dishwasher. I'm gonna have to guard this!! What a great reciepe. I cooked this on '5' on my stove dial, stirring with a whisk the entire time. I never took it off this tempature until I removed it from the stove. You've got to watch caramel and candies very, very closely. The slightest over cooking will make it not turn out the way you want. Thanks for this recipe. I will be using it over and over. PS...I added 1 cup to some buttercream icing and let me just say....Whoa! You gotta try it. I'm sick to my stomach from eating so much! :)

helevene Says... 2011-04-16 23:49:44

Hi There, I tried this recipe. It seemed to be going well until dark 'bits' from the base of pan started mixing into the sauce. I panicked and stopped stirring the base of the pan (I have All-Clad pans so the quality of the pan isn't the problem). I then became concerned with it burning too much and only allowed the temperature to get to 225 deg celcius. And as I type this I'm now thinking that by 'degrees' you may mean Fahrenheit! (I am in Australia and work in Celcius). Could you please give me some feedback on what may have gone wrong? It looks like a lovely sauce ... minus the little dark brown bits in the mixture :-) We shall see in the eating :-) Thanks so much Helen

alowderphoto Says... 2011-05-10 11:54:40

I just made this and it was incredibly easy for a caramel. I didn't let it get to the full 238 degrees. I instead water drop tested it starting at 220 and it was just right at about 228. I didn't want to overcook it for fear of it being to hard to slice like one of the other comments above. The recipe made much more than I need but that is okay. I'm sure this will keep well so I'll just use it for a future cake. I may put a tiny bit more salt in it next time. I'm a fan of liberally salted caramel though so that is probably just me. I don't think this recipe was too sweet though. Some caramels are just too sweet to handle and I felt this one was well balanced.

Cream Says... 2011-06-14 15:02:46

Hi all. I don't have corn syrup here in the uk so I made a batch today, however it is a little grainy in some of the batch! Very annoying. Do u think it will still be fine to use in this recipe or will it effect the texture?

Cream Says... 2011-06-15 09:22:55

what a gorgeous recipe! It was fanatastic!! However, mine did turn out a little grainy, almost like the texture of fudge, what did i do wrong??

caramelchef Says... 2011-07-05 19:22:28

@cream the corn syrup stops the sugar from crystallizing that is why yours is grainy.

jlkallred Says... 2011-07-06 09:22:54

This is the best caramel!! Thanks for sharing. I overcooked mine, but it seemed to soften up a few days later. Also, I threw the leftovers in the freezer for a couple of weeks. When I wanted to use it, I let it thaw on the was perfect for using again.

caramelchef Says... 2011-07-07 22:18:01

So I made tonight and I like it, next time I will use have dark brown and half light brown sugar i think mine looked a bit too dark but taste wise its amazing. Love the recipe

Cat52480 Says... 2011-07-19 17:09:32

This. Is. Awesome! We are eating it by spoonfuls too! I didn't have a candy thermometer so I did the cold water test and just guessed. ;) if anything I may have undercooked it. It's going between butter pecan cake and I can't wait to eat it!

jewordsoflife Says... 2011-07-20 13:14:50

I just made this and it tastes fabulous! It's still cooling on the counter and I'm not sure how long I can leave it out? I'm not using it til tomorrow so I'm wondering how to store it because I'm sure to have allot leftover. TIA!

nicunurse Says... 2011-10-03 17:15:37

OMG! this is amazing! Waiting for it to cool before I fill my chocolate cake with It. Thanks so much! : ))

cuppicakes4 Says... 2011-10-17 14:05:54

what cake do you guys find it best to pair with and what icing? im covering the cake in fondant..and is it too soft to hold up in a 3 tier fondant cake?

divachef213 Says... 2011-12-25 10:25:05

Perfect! I used it on a chocolate turtle cake today and It came out great! The family is sure to love it!

SimplySensationalSweets Says... 2012-01-17 20:18:57

This recipe sounds amazing and I can't wait to try it..I have a customer that is wanting me to make turtles for her husband, would this work for that????

jeseka619 Says... 2012-01-20 12:07:35

This is unreal. Used to fill zucchini spice cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. They are soooooo good, it's hard to just eat one!

swertz8201 Says... 2012-01-22 20:17:59

The caramel is amazing! This will be my go-to recipe from now on. Very easy to make and only a bit time-consuming. Thank you so much for sharing!

CakinKimi Says... 2012-02-09 18:51:36

After trying multiple different times yesterday (with a different recipe), and failing numerous times, I decided to give this recipe a shot today. It was soooo easy and simply. And according to my hubby, delicious! Can't wait to fill a cake with it tomorrow.

trebakes Says... 2012-02-12 16:42:40

I just made this and it tastes good but is very stiff. I used a candy thermometer and stopped cooking it when it read soft ball. I think I'll reheat it and add more cream to thin it. I don't want to spend more money on this "donation". Next time I won't cook it so long.

WyoMom2b Says... 2012-04-25 12:10:47

DELICIOUS!!!! Oh em gee, I filled a chocolate cake and frosted with coconut buttercream, and the trimmings were so good I didn't want to give it to my customer!

trebakes, try to test your candy thermometer. It should read 212 at a rolling boil. If not, adjust accordingly.

CalhounsCakery Says... 2012-05-31 07:28:19

I'm just wondering if this needs to be refrigerated.

lauralaura Says... 2012-06-11 10:08:17

Thanks for this recipe Jodie.Please can I leave out the whipping cream or substitute it with Powdered milk instead?

vantec2012 Says... 2012-07-04 12:28:33

got a few questions, you say 1 can of condensed milk how much would that be in ml and is golden syrup the same as corn syrup am from the uk so if you could tell me the weights in uk format would be great really wanna try this

vantec2012 Says... 2012-07-05 06:14:07

i see 1 can is 14 ounces which is 398g which is what its sold as in the uk,

clevershepig Says... 2012-09-15 22:11:48

This recipe is fantastic. Thanks for sharing!!

LittleMonkey9 Says... 2015-03-21 10:56:08


I'd like to try this recipe as a filling for a cake I'm making on Sat but I have a few questions...

1. Is the 238 degrees in Farenheight?

2. The whipping cream - is this just the thick type of cream, or is it whipped before it is added to the rest of the ingredients? And if it is whipped, to soft or firm peaks?

Sorry if these questions seem silly - I'm in NZ and we don't have Farenheight or anything called whipping cream here so I'm a little in the dark! :)

JodieF Says... 2015-03-21 21:02:28

It is Farenheight.....238 is the soft ball stage, if that's helpful to you!  Whipping cream is heavy cream where the milkfat is between 36 and 40%.  You just add it as liquid.  I hope that helps!

lesucreaufour Says... 2015-06-03 00:42:49

I long is it good for....I love this recipe...I make it all the time. But I would like to know if I can keep it in the frige for more than a week? 

JodieF Says... 2015-08-03 22:22:05

I've kept it more than a week and I've also frozen it.

mooni26 Says... 2015-09-15 09:13:52

I was wondering if this recipe would work as a filling for white chocolates? I have been trying to find an appropriate recipe, but haven't found a good one yet.

Login To Leave A Comment