Yes, you read that right, you can make caramel sauce in the microwave! Oh, you already knew that?? Well, it was news to me…and good news, at that. I guess I knew it was possible, but I had never really considered it. Surprising, seeing as how my obsession with caramel (especially homemade), finds me constantly standing over the stove watching the sugar mixture boil. It’s kind of a pain. Naturally, I was beyond thrilled when I found this microwave caramel sauce recipe. So. Much. Easier. All you do is let it cook in the micro, then mix in your cream, butter, and vanilla. Easy peasy.
I used all white sugar the first time I made this, which was perfectly delicious. The next time, I used half brown sugar to achieve a little bit richer of a taste and fell in love. You sort of have to use your judgement as to when to stop microwaving, because you can’t see the color change. If you used all white sugar, you would stop microwaving as soon as it begins to turn an amber color. The process seems to be pretty forgiving. I microwaved mine for 6 minutes, and it turned out very well. If the caramel sauce isn’t as thick as you’d like, just pour it into a saucepan and simmer it for several minutes. Keep in mind that it does thicken considerably when completely cooled, so it’s most likely not necessary.
I did not have heavy cream when I decided to start making this, so I used a mixture of melted butter and milk. Just use a ratio of 2:1 milk to butter. I used 1/3 cup warmed milk plus ~2 1/2 Tbsp melted butter. This simple substitution can be used in baking and when making soups or sauces, but is not intended for whipping. You’re basically just increasing the fat content of the milk to get the reaction you need, but unfortunately, it will not whip like heavy whipping cream does.
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp corn syrup
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (or heavy cream substitute), warm
- 1 Tbsp softened butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Whisk sugars, corn syrup, water and lemon together in a glass bowl. Microwave on high for 5-8 minutes.
- Gently remove from microwave; careful - it will be hot and let rest for 3-5 minutes. Stir in 1 tbsp cream and whisk well. The mixture will foam up then settle back. Add remaining cream, slowly (in batches) and whisk.
- Add butter and vanilla and whisk well.
- Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Store in resealable container (mason jar is perfect!) in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
You can use all white sugar. Follow directions normally, but stop heating as soon as the mixture begins to turn an amber color.