Easy caramel sauce

Easy caramel sauce

I’ve been looking for a way to make caramel sauce that is less involved than my other recipe. Because I don’t have time to wait around for 25 minutes, watching as coconut milk and sugar evolve into golden, syrupy goodness. And you probably don’t either. In the amount of time it takes for a pot of caramel to come to life, you could watch a rerun of The Office. Without the commercials. Or you could clean the kitchen. And when you’re done with that, maybe organize all of your stuff in the bathroom? No? Fine. But I really don’t think it’s necessary to have two dozen replacement razor heads or a year’s supply of bio-rutin supplements or three different conditioning treatments taking up precious bathroom real estate. Speaking of conditioner, maybe you could take a shower? And wash your hair while you’re at it because not washing your hair for four days is gross. I don’t care if you’re trying to protect your cylindrical filaments from the arid Colorado climate. It’s not cool to go on a hair washing strike when you share a bed with another human being. Your hair is dirty. Wash it.

Did that get weird? That kind of got weird. Anyway, I’m not saying we should ditch the old recipe entirely (ok, maybe we should), but this recipe is nice to have on hand when you don’t have half an hour to devote to making caramel sauce. It’s also nice to have on hand when you want to make caramel apple crumb pie at the eleventh hour. Like, maybe later this week?

Easy caramel sauce in the making
Easy caramel sauce in the making
Easy caramel sauce

Notes: Feel free to use brown sugar or muscovado sugar in place of the whole cane sugar (sometimes found under the brand name sucanat). I use whole cane sugar because a) I’ve got a lot of it hanging around my kitchen and b) it’s a nice alternative to highly processed brown sugar. Which actually starts out as whole sugar, but has the molasses removed for processing and then added back at the very end. Are you making a weird face? I did too when I first found out. So just buy the natural stuff, yo. Oh, and say you forget to whisk your caramel for a few minutes and it burns and sticks to the bottom of the pan. But you don’t find out until you go to whisk it and burnt flecks of caramel ruin your perfectly golden sauce. No worries! Simply pass the caramel through a fine mesh strainer a couple of times then place it back on the stove (in a clean pot, of course) to finish cooking. Crisis averted!


1 13.6 oz can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1/2 cup whole cane sugar

Start by opening the can of coconut milk and separating the thick, white milk fat from the water. Add 1/4 cup of the coconut water to a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Whisk in the sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for 5-6 minutes, whisking only a few times, then stir in 1 cup of the coconut milk fat (you may have more or less, depending on your can of coconut milk – that’s ok). Reduce the heat to medium and boil the mixture for 5 minutes, whisking every minute or so. If you added less than 1 cup of coconut milk fat, you’ll want to cook the mixture for an extra 2-3 minutes. Off the heat, then transfer the caramel to a glass jar and cool on counter, uncovered, until the caramel reaches room temperature. Refrigerate for at least four hours before using; caramel will thicken as it cools. Will keep for up to one week.

Yield: 2/3-1 cup caramel sauce


38 thoughts on “Easy caramel sauce

  1. Wowowow. Really?? This seems so easy. Definitely have to try it. A few months ago I was researching how to make caramel and was completelyyyy overwhelmed. There are a billion and 1 recipes out there and all vary SO much. This will be the next one I try. That first pour shot? Stupendous!

  2. " But you don't find out until you go to whisk it and burnt flecks of caramel ruin your perfectly golden sauce." — DID that about a month ago. I was so ticked. Didnt want to strain it b/c I feared the burnt flavor would linger so pitched it and started over. Your sauce is divine looking!

  3. I think a can in America is about 400ml. That doesn't matter though, as you need only 1/4 cup of the water and up to 1 cup of the milk fat for the recipe.

  4. Glorious caramel! Stunning, stunning photos and nothing I love more than pies made with whole-grains. And as much as wel all wish that spring fruits were ready, they're just not … so this is perfect. A treat to come across this morning!

  5. Just made this & stirred in 1/4 cup of Irish whiskey at the end. Hoping it thickens up nicely and then I plan on using it in the apple crumb pie that you posted.

  6. Did you cook the sauce longer before stirring in the whiskey? I made a boozy caramel sauce for a cinnamon roll recipe I'm sharing next week, and only added 2 tablespoons but it thinned it out significantly. If you cooked the caramel according to the instructions above, you'll want to use 6 tablespoons of starch in the filling to help absorb the excess liquid.

  7. Making this up as we speak! Hold on, I have to whisk…Ok, whew! I am going to use this for drizzling inside the middle of a cake. One thing though…this didn't make much caramel sauce for me. I think I ended up with way less that what is shown inyour picture above, which is fine because like I said, just using it for drizzling in a cake. Thanks so much for posting!

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