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Microwave Caramel Sauce

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Microwave Caramel Sauce: In less than 10 minutes you’ll have a decadent caramel topping that’s perfect for your ice cream or a holiday gift! Practically foolproof, luscious, and irresistible!

This Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe is my go-to method and it’s super quick and made with easy to find ingredients, many of which may already be in your kitchen!

Microwave Caramel Sauce in Weck jars with holiday labels

Easy Microwave Caramel Sauce

Are you caramel phobic? Scared of attempting a homemade caramel sauce? Push those fears aside as I have a simple solution: an easy caramel sauce made in the microwave. Once you’ve done it once or twice, it’s a piece of cake and no candy thermometer is ever needed. I have made numerous varieties of caramels and caramel sauces over the years. And some have been big fat flops. This is the recipe I turn to when I need a no-fail caramel sauce recipe.

Microwave Caramel Sauce in jars with red handled spoon for serving

Tips for Making Microwave Caramel Sauce

This is a super easy recipe! Here are a few pointers for making this no-fail microwave caramel sauce at home.

  • Since all microwaves heat a little differently, you may have to sacrifice your first batch to figure out the exact timing for your appliance.
  • Sugar, corn syrup, water and just a teeny squeeze of lemon juice are mixed in a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup. This concoction is zapped on high heat just until it starts taking on a very pale amber color.
  • You’ll want to use a clear Pyrex measuring cup so you can see as the color begins to change.
  • Here is my warning: this hot liquid will continue to cook and brown after it’s removed from the microwave. So, if you let it get to a deeper amber color you will have a burnt mess on your hands.
  • My old microwave took about 4 minutes to reach the ideal color and my current model needs a few seconds more than 5 minutes.
  • PRO-Tip: Make sure to make a note of the timing which gives you the best results for your future batches of this microwave caramel sauce.
Microwave Caramel Sauce in jars with bows for gift giving

Gifts from the Kitchen

To make this easy caramel sauce into a gift, I love pouring it into Weck canning jars. Adding a chef medallion from Felix Doolittle makes it even more personalized.

Microwave Caramel Sauce | A terrific hostess or holiday gift!

The Recipe: Microwave Caramel Sauce

An easy recipe for caramel sauce using your microwave! Beware that all microwaves are different. My previous microwave would burn well before 5 minutes, and my current one takes about 5 minutes, 5 seconds. Adapted from Cooks Illustrated.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 9 minutes
Yield 1½ cups


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup hot heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Mix sugar, corn syrup, water and lemon juice in a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup.
  2. Microwave till mixture just starts to take on a bit of color (a pale amber), about 4-5 minutes. Watch very carefully as it will continue cooking once you pull it out of the microwave. If it gets deeper than a pale amber, it will burn while on the counter.
  3. Remove measuring cup to counter where it will continue to bubble and darken to a caramel color (amber). Add hot cream a couple tablespoons at a time, very slowly as it will bubble intensely.
  4. When all the cream is added, stir in butter and vanilla
  5. Store in refrigerator for up to a month.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 tablespoons

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0gSugar: 20gProtein: 0g


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56 comments on “Microwave Caramel Sauce”

  1. pass me my spoon please this looks sensational!

  2. Thank you so much for this recipe! A new staple in our house!!

  3. This is so easy I may never buy caramel sauce st the store again! 

  4. This recipe was the perfect solution to my caramel making fears. I eat it by the spoonful!

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