How to Make Caramel Sauce and Caramel Syrup for Coffee


Chris Clark

Chris Clark is the co-founder and chief content editor of With a passion for all things java, Chris has been a coffee blogger for the past 3 years and shares his expertise in coffee brewing with the readers. He's a hands-on expert, loves testing coffee equipment, and has written most of the in-depth reviews featured on the site. When he's not whipping up delicious drinks or experimenting with the latest coffee gadgets, Chris is exploring the local cafe. You can reach him at [email protected].

Learn about Brew Coffee Home's Editorial Guidelines >>

We review and suggest products independently, but if you buy a product via the links in our posts, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Making coffee at home doesn’t mean you have to settle for bland homebrew. You can prepare many flavored coffee beverages using a few kitchen staples. One of the easiest and most popular flavors to experiment with at home is caramel.

You can make caramel at home a couple of different ways, typically as either a caramel sauce or a caramel syrup. If you love the sweet taste of caramel in the morning, read on to learn more about how to make caramel sauce and caramel syrup for coffee. 

Caramel Sauce vs Caramel Syrup for Coffee

Caramel sauce has a thicker consistency than syrup. Made with sugar, cream, and butter, caramel sauce is ideal for drizzling over foam, whipped cream, or ice cream. 


On the other hand, caramel coffee syrup is a much lighter and thinner substance than sauce. Caramel syrup typically consists of sugar and water, and thus works well for dissolving into other liquids, such as coffee.


Ingredients of Caramel Sauce and Caramel Syrup for Coffee

Caramel syrup and sauce recipes call for granulated white sugar. Sometimes you can also use brown sugar, but brown sugar melts differently than white sugar and has a different flavor, so it will affect your results.

For caramel sauce, you’ll also need cream. Milk will work, but the fattier your dairy ingredients the better, since the cream impacts the sauce consistency. Butter is the other fatty dairy ingredient you’ll need for caramel sauce. You can use salted or unsalted butter, although salted butter may help to cut through the ultra-sweetness of the sugar. 


Caramel syrup recipes won’t call for fatty ingredients, but the recipe might suggest additional sweeteners and flavorings, such as corn syrup or vanilla extract.

Follow our homemade recipe below, you can make the natural caramel sauce and syrup that taste even better than store-bought caramel syrup, and is healthier without artificial ingredients. However, if you don’t bother making it yourself, here is a list of the best coffee syrups for your coffee drinks.

How to Make Caramel Sauce for Coffee at Home? (Caramel Sauce Recipe)

Here’s how you make your own caramel sauce for coffee at home. 


  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 5 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp of salt


  • Medium saucepan
  • Whisk or wooden spoon
  • Pastry brush (optional)


  1. First, add the sugar, and then the water, to a medium saucepan. Do not mix the sugar and water. If you like, you can gently push the dry sugar into the water. 
  2. Once the sugar mixture is soaked, put the saucepan on medium heat. Do not stir the sugar water. If you have a pastry brush on hand, dip the brush in room temperature water and occasionally brush the sides of the saucepan to prevent sugar from sticking. 
  3. When the caramel begins to turn golden brown, turn off the heat. How dark you let the caramel get is a matter of preference—the darker the caramel, the more bitter the taste.
  4. After turning off the heat, slowly pour the heavy cream into the caramel while vigorously whisking. This step will create a lot of hot steam, so be careful to avoid getting a steam burn. You can pour the cream in multiple times.
  5. Add the butter to the caramel, gently stirring until the butter melts. 
  6. Put the saucepan on low heat and continue cooking for two to three minutes, gently stirring continuously.
  7. Turn off the heat and stir the salt into the caramel. The salt will balance out the extreme sweetness of the sugar. 
  8. Allow the hot caramel sauce to cool completely before using. You can refrigerate this sauce for up to two weeks in an airtight container. 

Homemade Caramel Syrup Recipe

Here’s how you make caramel syrup at home. 


  • 1 cup of granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Pour the sugar into a medium saucepan, making sure the sugar is evenly distributed on the bottom of the pan. Place the saucepan on medium-low heat.
  2. In another saucepan, boil a cup of water. 
  3. As the sugar begins to brown, gently stir it until all of the sugar has melted into a light amber color. If you like a deeper caramel flavoring, aim for a dark amber color.
  4. Take the sugar off of the heat and pour the boiling water over the sugar. 
  5. Stir the water and caramel mixture until the caramel has completely dissolved into the water. 
  6. Let the mixture cool for about 20 minutes. Then, stir in the vanilla extract and salt. 
  7. Transfer the homemade caramel syrup into a glass container.


Homemade Caramel Sauce And Syrup For Coffee

This recipe will show you how to make caramel sauce and caramel syrup for coffee
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 jar
Calories 44.5 kcal


  • Medium saucepan
  • Whisk or wooden spoon
  • Pastry brush


Caramel Sauce For Coffee

  • 1 ½ cups granulated white sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup cream
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp salt

Caramel Syrup For Coffee

  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extra
  • Pinch of salt


How to make caramel sauce for coffee

  • Add sugar and water to a saucepan, don't stir the sugar and water.
  • Put the saucepan on medium heat. Dip the brush in water and brush the side of the saucepan occasionally to avoid sticking.
  • Keep heating the saucepan until the sugar turn brown.
  • Turn off the heat, slowly pour the cream into the caramel while whisking.
  • Add butter to the mixture and stir to melt the butter.
  • Heat and stir the mixture for two more minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and add salt into the caramel sauce.
  • Make sure the caramel sauce is cooled compeletly, and store it into a jar.

How to make caramel syrup for coffee

  • Evenly distribute the sugar on the bottom of a saucepan.
  • Boil a cup of water.
  • Put the saucepan on medium low heat, stir and mix the sugar until it melts and turns brown.
  • Take the sugar off the heat and add boiling water into the pan and stir.
  • Chill the syrup for 20 minutes, add vinilla extract and pinch of salt.
  • Pour the caramel syrup into a jar and enjoy!


  • If you don’t have a pastry brush to wipe sugar from the sides of the saucepan, you can occasionally pick up the saucepan and gently swirl the water instead.
  • The cream should be at room temperature before you add it to the caramel—if the cream is too cold, it will create a significant amount of hot steam. 
  • If you want your caramel sauce to cool down quickly so you can use it, transfer it into a wider and more shallow container. 
  • Making caramel sauce requires patience. Most of the process involves waiting for the sugar to melt and resisting the urge to stir it, as this will produce burnt sugar crystals.
  • Making caramel simple syrup is easier than making caramel sauce, and primarily involves dissolving sweet flavors into boiling water.


Serving: 1tbspCalories: 44.5kcal
Keyword caramel coffee syrup, caramel sauce for coffee, caramel syrup for coffee
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How to Store Homemade Caramel Sauce?

Since the caramel sauce contains dairy ingredients, it should be kept in the refrigerator. Store the sauce in an airtight container, such as a glass mason jar. Alternatively, you can freeze caramel sauce and keep it for up to three months. 


How Long Is Homemade Caramel Sauce Good For?

With proper storage, your homemade caramel sauce can last in the refrigerator for as long as three weeks, or keep frozen for three months. If your caramel sauce has a strange smell or taste, or if it is starting to grow mold, throw it out.

Delicious Coffee Drinks with Caramel Sauce

Caramel sauce is a versatile ingredient that people use in many tasty drinks, including the following examples. 

Caramel Frappuccino

A Caramel Frappuccino is a popular cold coffee beverage that blends espresso, milk, and caramel syrup to make an indulgent and delicious caffeinated milkshake. This drink is usually topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Starbucks also uses caramel sauce as a topping for various other specialty Frappuccino flavors. 


Caramel Macchiato

A Caramel Macchiato is a simple but tasty beverage that can be prepared hot or iced. The drink calls for espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk. At Starbucks, the default recipe for a Caramel Macchiato also includes vanilla flavoring. To finish, baristas usually add caramel drizzle over the milk foam. 

Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew

If you like salted caramel, you’ll have a lot of fun with a Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew. This iced coffee beverage involves salted caramel sauce and cream. You can make this drink extra sweet by requesting an additional serving of caramel sauce as a topping. 


Final Thoughts

Whether you prefer it in sauce or syrup form, caramel is a fantastic flavor for livening up your morning coffee. Once you know how to prepare the perfect caramel, the possibilities are endless when it comes to the caramel coffee recipes you can make.


Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about caramel sauce and caramel syrup. 

How to avoid crystallization?

You can avoid crystallization in your caramel by refraining from stirring while the sugar melts. If you stir your melting sugar and water, you will cause bits of sugar to cling together and eventually burn, producing a chunky texture and bitter taste. 

Can you use brown sugar?

Some caramel sauce recipes will call for brown sugar, but traditional recipes use white sugar since it melts better. However, with the proper instructions, you can successfully caramelize brown sugar as well. Brown sugar tastes like molasses and will create a dark and decadent caramel sauce. 

Calories in caramel sauce?

The amount of calories in caramel sauce depends on the particular ingredients in the sauce. Typically, a two-tablespoon serving of caramel sauce will have around 89 calories.  

Photo of author

Chris Clark

Chris Clark is the co-founder and chief content editor of With a passion for all things java, Chris has been a coffee blogger for the past 3 years and shares his expertise in coffee brewing with the readers. He's a hands-on expert, loves testing coffee equipment, and has written most of the in-depth reviews featured on the site. When he's not whipping up delicious drinks or experimenting with the latest coffee gadgets, Chris is exploring the local cafe.