How to thicken caramel sauce

ice cream and caramel image by Leonid Nyshko from

Making delicious caramel sauce is as much an art as it is a science. There is no one right way to do it, and no limit to the ingredients you can add to flavour the finished product. At its most basic, caramel sauce contains sugar, cream and usually butter.

Beyond these basic ingredients, however, you have complete control. Add vanilla extract for a richer flavour, salt for salted caramel sauce, or fruit extracts for more complexity. Control the caramel sauce's consistency, making it as thin or thick as you like.

Reduce the amount of cream in the recipe by up to 25 per cent (if you have not already added it). For every cup of cream your recipe calls for, use only 3/4 cup instead. This will make the sauce significantly thicker.

Make the sauce as you normally would by heating the sugar (alone or with butter and any other ingredients your recipe dictates). When the sugar is heated to the temperature or colour the recipe recommends, add the cream. Turn down the heat and stir the mixture constantly until the sugar dissolves in the cream.

Examine the texture of the sauce. It should be thicker than it would have been if you used the amount of cream the recipe originally called for. Keep in mind that it will thicken significantly as it cools.

If you prefer the sauce even thicker, add a little bit more sugar and stir to dissolve. Repeat this process until the sauce thickens. Add only a little sugar at a time; do not dump in a large amount all at once.

Remove the sauce from the heat and pour into another container when you are content with its consistency. Place the container of caramel sauce into the refrigerator. The cold temperature will further thicken the sauce.