Homemade caramel syrup is easier to make than you may think and doesn’t require much effort or time. Once you learn how to DIY caramel syrup you’ll never want to buy store-bought again!
This caramel syrup recipe is absolutely perfect for so many different things. Use caramel syrup for coffee, drizzle on baked goods and pastries, swirl over your favorite ice cream as a topping, and more. The possibilities are as endless as they are delicious.
I love making my own caramel sauce because it’s so easy to do and I always have the ingredients on hand. Living on our little farm, a trip to the grocery store can take up a big portion of the day so the more recipes I can make at home without having to go out, the better. I even added my own little twist to the syrup by spicing it up with cinnamon.
- Sugar: You will need to use granulated sugar for this recipe but brown sugar will also work. Note that brown sugar will change the flavor a bit thanks to the molasses. The darker the brown sugar the stronger the flavor change will be.
- Butter: Use butter that has been sliced into tablespoon-sized portions so that it can melt more easily and quickly.
- Milk: Adding in a little milk will help to give you a nice and creamy end result which is perfect for caramel.
- Cinnamon: This is my own special twist. Adding in some ground cinnamon really helps to elevate the flavors and make this syrup taste incredible.
- Baking soda: Use a little bit of baking soda to help make scientific magic happen. The baking soda will create a lot of little bubbles that will make the caramel texture softer as it cools.
How to Make Caramel Syrup
- Place the sugar in your saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Once the sugar has started to melt around the edges gently stir it around to melt completely.
- Once the sugar has almost melted completely (it will be an amber color) add in the butter.
- Gradually add in the milk with a whisk until the mixture begins to bubble and boil.
- Bring it to a rolling boil for 2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and then stir in the cinnamon and baking soda.
- Whisk together the syrup until it begins to bubble and foam vigorously.
- Let it rest for a few minutes so that the foam can settle down.
- Serve your sauce warm or cold.
Substitutions & Variations
- Cinnamon. If desired you can omit the cinnamon from this recipe to make it a “true” caramel syrup flavor.
- These go great with my Pumpkin Spice Pancakes!
- Storage. Keep your homemade caramel syrup stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I recommend using a mason jar for storage because it’s pretty air-tight, doesn’t take up too much space in the fridge, and can be rather convenient for when you want to grab some syrup from the jar.
- Reheating. Before using the syrup you will need to reheat it slightly to get it to thin down enough for pouring and drizzling. This is because the caramel will be set up after being chilled for so long.
- To do this simply scoop some caramel into a bowl and place it in the microwave for a few seconds before using or take the storage container or jar you have the syrup in and place it in the microwave for 30 seconds-1 minute (only if microwave-safe).
- After that, you just have to give the syrup a good stir to evenly distribute the heat and you should be good to go!
A rolling boil is a term given to a boil that can not be broken when stirring. When a pot of liquids reaches a rolling boil it will bubble constantly.
Yes, this caramel syrup recipe uses dairy in the form of milk and butter. While you could try to use plant-based margarine and milk, I have not tested the results so I do not know how it would turn out. I recommend using dairy products for richness and to make sure it turns out correctly!
You really won’t need much syrup for a simple cup of coffee which means you’ll have enough syrup on hand for several cups this week if you plan it out correctly. Depending on how sweet and flavorful you want your coffee, you can add about 2-3 tablespoons of caramel syrup to the bottom of your cup. Then add in the hot coffee or ice and then coffee (if making iced coffee) followed by any addition of creamer. You can adjust this to your own tastes of course.
Yes, this syrup can go bad when it gets too old or is improperly stored. It should be stored in the refrigerator. You may notice signs of it going bad if there’s an offputting odor, discoloration, or even sugar crystals inside of the container of syrup.
How to Make Caramel Syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter sliced into tablespoon portions
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Place the sugar in the sacepan. Turn heat onto medium-low.
- Allow the sugar to melt, it will start to melt around the edges. Stir gently, allowing the sugar to melt evenly.
- Once the sugar is almost completely melted, it will be an amber color, add the butter.
- Whisk in the milk gradually, it will bubble and boil.
- Bring to a rolling boil (see note) and boil for 2 minutes.
- Off heat, add baking soda and cinnamon.
- Whisk to mix together, the syrup will bubble and foam vigorously.
- Let rest for a few minutes to let the foam settle down.
- Serve warm or cold.
- Store in an airtight container (like a mason jar) in the fridge, reheating and stirring before use to melt and combine.
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