Easy Homemade Maple Syrup Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe

Make my perfectly creamy Maple Syrup Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe with butter, cream, tapioca flour, vanilla, & salt. It has 30% fewer grams of sugar and a 30% lower score on the glycemic index than traditional caramel. And it is more satisfying! And it turns out perfect every time 🙂

Easy Homemade Maple Syrup Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe with maple syrup, butter, cream, tapioca flour, vanilla, & salt. Made without refined sugar or corn syrup.

In less than 30 minutes, you can make naturally sweetened maple syrup caramel, even if this is your first time with my Homemade Maple Syrup Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe! All you need is a saucepan, a candy thermometer, and a few clean, basic ingredients, including maple syrup, butter, heavy cream, tapioca flour, vanilla extract, and salt. With my easy-to-follow instructions and video, you will have delicious caramel on your first try!

Compared to regular caramel, my recipe has 30% fewer grams of sugar and about a 30% lower score on the glycemic index because it’s made without brown sugar, refined white sugar, or corn syrup. The end result instantly adds delicious fall flavor to your favorite seasonal desserts. You can store this healthier caramel in the fridge and enjoy it in moderation on ice cream, fruit, cheesecake, muffins, etc. 

YouTube video

Why You’ll Love This Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe

  • You only need a few simple ingredients.
  • It is super easy to make for an impressive result.
  • The flavor-rich ingredients make it taste amazing!
  • All the ingredients are easily digestible for a gentle tummy.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Here is everything you need to make the best-tasting easy homemade maple syrup salted caramel sauce recipe:

Maple Syrup: While maple syrup imparts a unique flavor, you can substitute it with other liquid sweeteners like honey, agave nectar, golden syrup, or even molasses. Keep in mind that the flavor will vary based on the substitution you choose.*

Butter: For a dairy-free or vegan version, replace the butter with a dairy-free butter substitute like margarine or coconut oil. Note that coconut oil will lend a subtle coconut flavor to the sauce.*

Heavy Cream: To make a dairy-free or vegan caramel sauce, use a non-dairy alternative such as coconut cream (from coconut milk), almond milk, cashew cream, or soy creamer.*

Tapioca Flour (or Corn Starch): Tapioca flour and cornstarch can be used interchangeably as thickening agents in this recipe. You can also try arrowroot starch or potato starch as alternatives.*

Vanilla Extract: If you’re out of vanilla extract or prefer a different flavor, experiment with other extracts like almond, butterscotch, or rum extract. Adjust the quantity to taste.

Salt: While salt adds depth to the caramel flavor, it’s entirely optional. Omit it if you’re on a low-sodium diet or prefer a salt-free caramel sauce.

*I have not tested these substitutions.

Easy Homemade Maple Syrup Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe with maple syrup, butter, cream, tapioca flour, vanilla, & salt. Made without refined sugar or corn syrup.

How to Make My Maple Syrup Caramel Sauce Recipe

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

Gather all the ingredients and have them measured and ready to use. This will make the cooking process smoother.

Step 2: Heat the Maple Syrup

In a heavy medium saucepan, pour 1 cup of maple syrup. Place the saucepan over medium/low heat and stir continuously until the mixture begins to simmer. Clip a candy thermometer inside the pan so the bottom tip is submerged in the syrup but not touching the bottom of the pan. Continue to simmer until the temperature of the maple syrup reaches 225°F. This will take roughly 17-20 minutes. Stir the simmering syrup about every minute to ensure it isn’t sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 3: Add Remaining Ingredients

Once the maple syrup reaches 225°F, turn the heat to low and slowly stir in the butter and tapioca flour. Gently whisk until the butter is melted, and then carefully pour in 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Be cautious, as the mixture may bubble up when you add the cream. Add the vanilla and salt and continue to whisk until the tapioca flour dissolves. Bring to a slow simmer for 3-4 minutes to activate the tapioca flour. The mixture will still be thin but will thicken once it cools.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 4: Cool and Serve

Let the maple syrup caramel sauce cool for a few minutes in the saucepan. Then, transfer it to a heatproof container or jar and allow it to cool completely.

Drizzle the homemade caramel sauce over ice cream, pancakes, waffles, and desserts, or use it as a dip for apple slices. Store any leftover sauce in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Maple Syrup Salted Caramel Recipe Notes

Maple Syrup Quality: Use high-quality, pure maple syrup or real maple syrup for a more pronounced maple flavor. Grade A maple syrup has a lighter, more delicate flavor, while Grade B has a stronger, richer taste.

Butter Choice: You can use salted or unsalted butter based on your preference. If using salted butter, adjust the added salt accordingly or omit it if you prefer less saltiness.

Heavy Cream: For a lighter version, you can use half-and-half or whole milk instead of heavy cream. The sauce won’t be as rich but will still be delicious.

Thickening Agent: Tapioca flour is used as a thickening agent, but cornstarch can be a suitable alternative. It’s typically considered thick enough if it sticks to the back of a spoon when dipped.

Whisk Continuously: To prevent lumps and ensure a smooth consistency, whisk the sauce continuously, especially when adding the tapioca flour.

Caramel Consistency: The caramel sauce will continue to thicken as it cools, so remove it from heat when it’s slightly thinner than your desired consistency. Resist the temptation to increase it to medium-high heat, which could burn the sauce.

Flavor Variations: Customize your caramel sauce by adding a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or a splash of bourbon for extra flavor depth.

Safety Caution: Be cautious when adding the heavy cream, as it can cause the mixture to bubble up. Stir it in slowly to prevent splattering.

Dietary Considerations: This recipe can be adapted for various dietary preferences. Use dairy-free substitutes for butter and cream to make it dairy-free, and choose appropriate thickeners and sweeteners for specific dietary needs.

Salt Optional: The addition of salt is optional and can be adjusted to your taste. Some people prefer a salted caramel sauce, while others may prefer it without salt.

Taste and Adjust: Caramel sauce is versatile, so feel free to taste and adjust the sweetness or saltiness according to your preference before it cools completely. You can also add a few drops of maple extract if you’d like the maple flavor to be even more pronounced.

Serving Suggestions:

This salted maple caramel sauce is extremely versatile and is the perfect topping over vanilla ice cream, an ice cream sundae, apple pie, maple ice cream, caramel cheesecake with a caramel drizzle, or in your favorite drinks. 

Refrigeration: After making the caramel sauce, allow it to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, store it in an airtight container or glass jar. It looks great in heatproof decorative jars.

Use an Airtight Container: Ensure that the container you use for storage is tightly sealed to prevent air from entering, which can cause crystallization.

Label and Date: If you’re making multiple batches of caramel sauce or storing it for an extended period, it’s a good practice to label the container with the date to keep track of its freshness.

Refrigerate: Store the caramel sauce in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to two weeks when refrigerated.

Reheating: If the caramel sauce thickens too much in the refrigerator, you can gently reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop to return it to a pourable consistency. Use short intervals in the microwave or low heat on the stovetop and stir frequently to avoid overheating.

Freezing (Optional): If you want to store caramel sauce for a longer period, you can freeze it. Pour it into an airtight freezer-safe container, leaving some space for expansion, and store it in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating and using.

Check for Freshness: Before using any stored caramel sauce, check for signs of spoilage such as an off odor, unusual texture, or mold growth. If any of these are present, discard the sauce.

Can I use pancake syrup instead of pure maple syrup for this recipe?

While pure maple syrup provides a distinct flavor, you can use pancake syrup as a substitute. However, keep in mind that the sauce’s taste will differ from traditional maple caramel sauce.

Is it necessary to use heavy cream, or can I use a lower-fat alternative?

Heavy cream provides richness to the sauce, but you can use a lower-fat option like half-and-half or whole milk for a lighter version. The sauce will be less creamy but still tasty.

Can I make this caramel sauce without butter for a dairy-free option?

Yes, you can use a dairy-free butter substitute like margarine or coconut oil to make this caramel sauce dairy-free.

What is the purpose of tapioca flour (or cornstarch) in the recipe?

Tapioca flour or cornstarch acts as a thickening agent, helping the sauce achieve the desired consistency. It prevents the sauce from being too runny.

Can I adjust the sweetness level of this caramel sauce?

Yes, you can adjust the sweetness to your liking by adding more or less maple syrup. Keep in mind that the sauce will thicken as it cools, so you may want it to be slightly thinner when you taste and adjust the sweetness.

What can I do if my caramel sauce becomes too thick after cooling?

If the caramel sauce thickens too much in the refrigerator, you can gently reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop with short intervals and stirring until it reaches your desired consistency.

Is salt necessary for this caramel sauce?

The addition of salt is optional. It can enhance the caramel flavor, creating a sweet and salty balance. You can adjust the salt to your taste preference or omit it for a salt-free version.

Can I add flavorings like cinnamon or vanilla for a different taste?

Absolutely! You can customize the caramel sauce by adding flavorings like cinnamon, vanilla extract, or other extracts to suit your preferences. Just adjust the quantity to taste.

How long can I store homemade caramel sauce, and how should I store it?

You can store homemade caramel sauce in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Keep it in an airtight container to prevent moisture and odors from affecting the sauce’s quality.

Can I freeze leftover caramel sauce?

Yes, you can freeze caramel sauce for up to three months. Use a freezer-safe container, and allow some space for expansion. Thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating and using.

Easy Homemade Maple Syrup Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe with maple syrup, butter, cream, tapioca flour, vanilla, & salt. Made without refined sugar or corn syrup.

Easy Homemade Maple Syrup Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe

Gluten-Free diet-friendly recipe
Make my perfectly creamy Maple Syrup Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe with butter, cream, tapioca flour, vanilla, & salt. It has 30% fewer grams of sugar and a 30% lower score on the glycemic index than traditional caramel. And it is more satisfying!
5 from 1 vote
Servings 14
Prep Time 24 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour or corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Gather all the ingredients and have them measured and ready to use. This will make the cooking process smoother.
  • In a heavy medium saucepan, pour 1 cup of maple syrup. Place the saucepan over medium/low heat and stir continuously until the mixture begins to simmer. Clip a candy thermometer inside the pan so the bottom tip is submerged in the syrup but not touching the bottom of the pan. Continue to simmer until the temperature of the maple syrup reaches 225°F. This will take roughly 17-20 minutes. Stir the simmering syrup about every minute to ensure it isn’t sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.
  • Once the maple syrup reaches 225°F, turn the heat to low and slowly stir in the butter and tapioca flour. Gently whisk until the butter is melted, and then carefully pour in 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Be cautious, as the mixture may bubble up when you add the cream. Add the vanilla and salt and continue to whisk until the tapioca flour dissolves. Bring to a slow simmer for 3-4 minutes to activate the tapioca flour. The mixture will still be thin but will thicken once it cools.
  • Let the maple syrup caramel sauce cool for a few minutes in the saucepan. Then, transfer it to a heatproof container or jar and allow it to cool completely.
  • Drizzle the homemade caramel sauce over ice cream, pancakes, waffles, and desserts, or use it as a dip for apple slices. Store any leftover sauce in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Video

YouTube video

Nutrition

Calories: 122kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 0.2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 67mgPotassium: 51mgSugar: 12gVitamin A: 232IUVitamin C: 0.02mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 0.04mg
Keyword butter, heavy cream, maple syrup, salted caramel, sauce
Did you make this recipe?Please let me know in the comments below how it turned out 🙂
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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